We have all seen the RV and car commercials that feature a scenic drive on the cliffs of the California Coast and it almost seems unreal. The amazing thing is, this experience is available to anyone with four wheels, and is made even better with an RV. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, travelers can get the best of the California Coast by driving Highway 1.
Here are six places to visit on the Central Coast of California:
If starting your drive from Los Angeles, your scenic drive will officially begin when you hit the Santa Barbara. Nestled between the ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, this coastal city has much to offer its visitors. It is a great place to stop and eat lunch or even do some sightseeing, such as the Old Mission Santa Barbara. There is much more to experience further up the coast, but if you wish to stay and explore more, Santa Barbara has a number of camping options, many of which have an ocean view.
2. Morro Bay
Once continuing north on Highway 101, you will come across the quaint waterfront city of Morro Bay, just two hours north of Santa Barbara. The city is named after its historic landmark, Morro Rock, standing at an impressive 581 foot elevation offshore from the town. View the impressive rock and then keep heading north.
3. San Simeon
Thirty minutes north of Morro Bay is San Simeon, CA, home to two great Central Coast spots. First, get up close and personal with marine life at the elephant seal colony right off Highway 1. There is a large RV-friendly parking lot and a lot of free entertainment. Just a few miles north is Hearst Castle, an absolute must-see. Take a tour through William Hearst’s National Landmark mansion!
4. Big Sur
The true scenic drive really begins during the 80 mile stretch between San Simeon and Big Sur. Prepare for winding roads and remember your road etiquette, but know that it is worth the drive! Pull off at the numerous scenic vistas that provide a great view of the coastline and don’t forget a camera! Pay a visit to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park where you can hike amongst glorious Redwoods as well as see a waterfall that flows directly into the ocean, one of few in North America.
Your next stop up the coast should be in the city of Monterey. Enjoy an authentic dinner or lunch at either Fisherman’s Wharf or Cannery Row and if you enough time, visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
6. Santa Cruz
Gear up for a lot of fun in Santa Cruz and visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The California Historical Landmark is the oldest amusement park in the state and offers a wide variety of rides and old fashioned carnival games.
Once you have hit all of the hot spots of California’s Central Coast, make your way up to glimmering San Francisco and take in all the city has to offer. After viewing this list, are there any spots that you would park your RV and explore more? Comment below and tell us what intrigues you about the California Coast!