Highway 1

At over 600 mile long, California State Route 1 stretches along California’s Pacific coastline. The road starts about 60 mile south of Los Angeles and ends about 180 miles north of San Francisco. Spectacular views adorn almost the whole length of the road. The most beautiful sections of the road are in the area north of the town of Bodega Bay (north of San Francisco. An area relatively far from the path most tourists travel, read about this section of Highway 1 here), and in the area south of Monterey (from Monterey south to the town of Morro Bay) where most of the tourists choose to visit.

The section between Monterey and Morro Bay (120 miles long, about three hours drive) is one of the most exiting sections in terms of the views. Huge cliffs rising from the sea water, turquoise bays, sandy beaches, thick forests that reach the water’s edge, adorn the way. On top of that, of course, is a unique abundance of marine mammals. You should devote a full day to this section (that is, spend the night before the road trip in Monterey and the night after in Morro Bay – or vice versa). In addition – you should dedicate another full day to visit the town of Monterey and its surroundings.המצוקים של כביש 1

Recommended activities and sites along Highway 1 from Monterey to Morro Bay (from north to south):

1.Drive the ’17 Mile’ road, along which many luxury homes are scattered adjacent to the beach. This road connects with Highway 1 near the town of Carmel, and it is possible to combine this day with a visit there (but you can also skip the ’17 Mile’ road and the visit to Carmel, which is not mandatory at all. The trip on the ’17 Mile’ road involves a fee).בתי פאר לאורך החוף בכביש 17 המיילLuxury homes along the 17 Mile Road

2.Visit Point Lobos State Park, which is located on a peninsula extending into the ocean about two miles south of Carmel. Rocky pools inhabited by marine invertebrates and bays alive with seals, sea lions and sea otters are all to be found in the park. The park has a perimeter road, from which short hiking trails diverge, and a blue view of the ocean can be seen from all directions. To protect the unique natural values of the region, the entrance to the beach is limited to about 450 people at a time (so if you visit the place on the weekend, you should arrive early. There is no parking for long trailers in the reserve).

3.Visit the beautiful Pfeiffer Beach (turn from Route 1 west to Sycamore Canyon Road near the community of Big Sur, the turn is easy to miss. Be advised as the road to the beach is not suitable for long trailers and RVs).חוף פייפר היפהPfeiffer Beach, comparable to the famous Oregon coastline

4.Hike the short trail to the impressive McWay Falls, which flow to a turquoise bay at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. (Parking for RVs and caravans is limited).מפלי מקוויMcWay Falls, flow mainly in spring and winter.

5. A nice hike, under a canopy of redwood trees, to the waterfall in the Limekiln State Park. The trail is about 2.5 miles long, about 1.25 mile in each direction. Parking at the trail head is scarce, and there is no parking for RVs).כביש 1 שמורת לימקילןRedwoods, a waterfall and ferns in Limekiln State Park. 

6. See elephant seals in the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery north of the town of San Simeon. You can watch elephant seals year round, but winter is the best season for this.כביש 1 פילי ים בסן סימיוןThe sea elephant colony near San Simeon, a must stop along Route 1

7.Visit Hearst Castle near the town of San Simeon. A magnificent castle on the hills east of the coastline built by the wealthy media man William Hearst. To visit the place, you must make a reservation in advance. (You can also wholeheartedly skip this visit, which is very commercialized, especially if time is limited. The castle’s uniqueness is mainly its luxury – although the view from the top is also very beautiful. The place is a center of attraction mainly because of its European roots).כביש 1 מורו בייMorro Bay – a beautiful town with a huge granite pillar erected above the coastline. A recommended place to stay on the south side of Highway 1

Map of the highway with the aforementioned sites:

For recommended hotels in Monterey click here.

You should book your stay in Monterey well in advance, especially in summer weekends.

For recommended hotels in Cambria/Morro Bay click here.

For information regarding the northern section of highway 1 (north of Bodega Bay) click here.

כביש 1 מפהNorth section and South section of Highway 1

Please note –

It is better to drive south on Highway 1 (because then you drive on the ocean side and its easier to stop at observation points) but the difference is not very significant (driving north is also very much enjoyable)

Highway 1 closes frequently to landslides. You should make sure the road is open before embarking on your trip. Check here for current road closures.

Click here for more travel destinations in the state of California.

See here some suggestions for activities in Monterey:

Follow me on Instagram