This blog post was updated on August 13, 2021.
If you’re on the lookout for an end-of-season road trip in America, then the Pacific Coast Highway is an option to consider in the western states of the USA.
One of the most popular drives behind Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway and scenic route can be traveled from the bottom of California to Oregon and beyond, but for the sake of this article, we will talk about the trip between two major cities: Seattle and Los Angeles.
There are a number of great views and stops from this epic drive from Seattle to Los Angeles. It’s a long 1400 miles plus to cover this distance, which accounts for a 24 hour drive if going the route straight (without stops), so it is suggested to spread the ride along a week or more to get the true benefit.
On the list of major attractions would be Redwood National Park, Mendocino, San Francisco and Big Sur to name a few. After downing your Seattle specialty coffee, you’ll head south, perhaps to Portland before heading to the coast.
Portland: Portland is a beautiful city to hang out in on the journey. Even if you only stay for a day, there are a number of options for things to do in a 24 hour period in Portland that will keep you happy, such as checking out a couple of microbreweries or just relaxing in one of the numberous parks and gardens.
Cape Blanco: After heading to the coast, you will be in the reaches of Cape Blanco, Oregon and the Cape Blanco State Park. Known particularly for their lighthouse, dating back to 1870 and holding the record for the lighthouse with the longest continuous run, Cape Blanco is a secluded and unique getaway.
Redwood National Park: Traveling further south after crossing the border into California, you will come across the famous Redwood National Park, known for its towering redwood trees. You can come face-to-face with this spectacular forest perhaps for free in September.
Mendocino: Mendocino is located further south, just about 4 hours north of San Francisco. Although quite small (less than 900 people live there), it is a popular spot for vacationing due to its intensely scenic outlook. Not too far inland is the Mendocino National Forest.
San Francisco: San Francisco is a city that rarely, if ever, gets negative reviews. For the most part, it is a colorful location with a number of great food and entertainment choices from San Francisco museums to diverse late-night dining.
Big Sur: Big Sur sees nearly 3 million tourists each year, but most of them are merely passing through on the drive on Highway 1. However, the views in the area are some of the best in California, especially those of and from the Bixby Creek Bridge. The views are sweeping of oceans, cliffs and forests, and if you’re looking to spend the night, be prepared to book early.
Eventually, you will make it down to Los Angeles, after passing through Santa Barbara and other iconic Californian coastal cities, to bring your trip to an end. But, before heading out on a cheap flight home, be sure to make the most of your time in Los Angeles by taking part in a popular bus tour, checking out the walk of fame or just visiting some good L.A. art museums.
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