Where does the Pacific Coast Highway Start and End?
California State Route 1, often known as the Pacific Coast Highway, begins in Leggett at an intersection with U.S. 101 and continues south for almost 656 miles until it ends at Interstate 5 in Dana Point. Your PCH road trip can include all or part of this road. You may even want to go farther north or south on connected roads so you can see all of California’s stunning shores.
Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center
Coastal Trail, San Francisco, CA 94129
Start your trek across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge with a stop at the welcome center, where you’ll find helpful maps, a gift shop, and historical background.
Natural Bridges State Beach
2531 W Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
This California state park used to have three natural bridges, but only one still stands today. Even so, this wildlife haven is well worth a visit. In fall and winter, thousands of monarch butterflies make this area their home.
Big Sur might just be the most awe-inspiring California vista of them all. This stretch of coastline features miles of dramatic seaside cliffs alongside wide open ocean. When visiting Big Sur, don’t miss stunning McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. If you need to stretch your legs, take the family on the hiking trails in Limekiln State Park. Just be aware that crowds can be big and amenities are few in this pristine natural area.
750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA 93452
Now a National Historic Landmark, Hearst Castle was the one-time home of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. Julia Morgan, one of the first female architects in the U.S., designed the massive home, which partly inspired the film Citizen Kane.
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Explore the stunning gardens and picturesque setting of this historic mission, founded in 1786 by Spanish Franciscans.
USS Midway Museum
910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
A great stop for all ages, this naval aircraft carrier now operates as a museum. On board, see various military aircraft, pretend to doze off in former sailors’ bunks, and see what life was like on this floating city.