With its sparkling shorelines, evergreen forests and snowcapped mountains, California is a beautiful place to take a drive. Here are two drives that are sure to have you pulling off the road to take pictures and maybe even do a little site seeing. One goes along the southern coast of California and the other travels along the central coast of California
From Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo
About four years ago, my husband and I took a trip up to Santa Cruz, Ca. A lot of this trip was taken on the five freeway. This drive takes you along farm country. There is not much to see except open fields and the bugs that constantly hit your windshield. Thus, on the way back, we decided to take the scenic route along Highway one. If you do not like winding roads then this is not the route for you. If like trees peeking through the fog and breathtaking rocky beaches, then try this trip. Some of the sites we stopped at on our way home included Monterey. At Monterey, you can go to the famous Monterey Aquarium, the pier, or any of the amazing beaches.
Another place we stopped was San Simeon. We noticed a group of elephant seals on the beach so we simply pulled over on the side of the road to watch this amazing site. Other places that you drive by on the one are Carmel and Cambria. These are quaint little places if you ever want to stop. When we neared San Luis Obispo, we continued on the 101. San Luis Obispo is a small college town. Driving through the town is another nice drive. Here’s a great map that shows the trip that we took. This trip will probably take around four hours.
This trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a shorter drive but good if you just want to take a leisurely trip. Usually, when I am on this stretch of road, it is to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. This mainly has to do with the fact, that there are many lovely fish restaurants that overlook the glistening Pacific Ocean. Some of my favorites are Dukes, Gladstones, and Paradise Cove. This road has slight bends in it throughout. It’s always fun to look at all of the beautiful beach houses that line Pacific Coast Highway. These people hardly have a driveway and most of their properties are backed by the highway. However, since the ocean is their backyard, I guess they don’t mind. Since Malibu is in Los Angeles County, this stretch of road can get busy. Thus it is best to avoid it during rush hour traffic. Unfortunately, you might want to avoid this stretch of land after a rainy day, as it is prone to mudslides.
You can’t drive along this stretch without going to the beach. There are plenty to choose from. For great surfing and clean water, try Zuma Beach. If you want to explore tide pools and coastal caves, try Leo Carrillo State Park. Here are some of the many other beaches along this twenty-one mile stretch of beautiful scenery. If you just want to go on the drive, this will take about a half hour to forty minutes, depending on traffic.