Plan your Pacific Coast Highway trip from start to finish with the free online trip planner found here.
The Pacific Coast Highway stretches from the southern tip of Baja California, along the California and Oregon coast, all the way north to the top of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. All in all, if you decide to drive the Pacific Coast Highway, you will be traveling along 2500 miles of curving highway, which could take you a couple of weeks to complete.
Popular sections of the Pacific Coast Highway include Highway 1 in California between San Francisco and San Diego, as well as highway 101 along the Oregon Coast.
Pacific Coast Highway Highlights
As outlined in this sample road trip itinerary along the Pacific Coast Highway, popular highlights are Monterrey, Central California Coast Wine Country, Hearst Castle, and the San Diego Zoo.
Tip: Look out for the Fog!
Fog can create some of the most hazardous road conditions along the Pacific Coast Highway. The Pacific Ocean along the California coast is particularly cold, which when mixed with the warm air temperature can create thick fog.
Pacific Coast Highway Traffic Conditions
You won’t be the only car driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, but there will also be long stretches of road between popular stopping points, where you will have the open road to yourself.
Traffic mainly depends on the day you are traveling. Summers are quite a bit more popular for Pacific Coast Highway road trips, though driving during the week can give you plenty of road space regardless of the time of year.
You can also access live traffic reports on Google Maps or by accessing your travel itinerary on your mobile phone.
California Pacific Coast Highway History
State construction of what is now Highway 1 started after the state’s third highway bond issue passed in 1919. At that time, California highways were not publicly referred to by any route numbers, and the Highway 1 name came about 15 years later.
Read more on Wikipedia
Pacific Coast Highway Alternatives
For drives between San Francisco and LA, two popular alternatives to the Pacific Coast Highway or California State Route 1 are Interstate 101 or Interstate 5. Interstate 5 is the straightest route between these cities.
Note that 101 will sometimes merge with the Pacific Coast Highway.