The Pacific Coast Highway. Photo © Dreamstime.

Planning a PCH Road Trip

The Pacific Coast Highway is an epic journey, offering up 1,700 astounding miles to those with playful hearts and the passion for adventure. Expert author and Pacific Northwest resident Victoriah Arsenian offers advice on the best times of year to hit the road, tips on both high- and low-season conditions, and highlights of each region from the Washington Coast to sunny Southern California.

Craggy rocks rise up along a smooth sandy beach as waves wash up on shore.

The Best California Beaches

From wide, golden beaches with abundant sunshine to boardwalks crowded with kids, cotton candy, and roller coasters, California has any kind of beach you could possibly want. Author Stuart Thornton shares a helpful overview of some of the state’s best options for sun, sand, and surf.

Glass Beach. Photo © Elizabeth Linhart Veneman.

Sights in Fort Bragg

The village of Mendocino may be where folks savor the scenery, but Fort Bragg is where the work gets done. This blue-collar town is home to lumber mills, fishing boats, and scores of working train tracks. It is rougher around the edges than its gentle cousin down the coast, but it has some great attractions, beautiful scenery, and tons of local color.

Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. Photo © Donnie Shackleford/123rf.

Hiking and Biking the North Bay

Marin County, in the North Bay, is San Francisco’s backyard. Beginning with the Marin Headlands at the terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge, there is a nearly unbroken expanse of wildlands from San Francisco Bay to Tomales Bay. Here you’ll find rugged cliffs plunging into the Pacific, towering redwoods, the area’s tallest mountain, and verdant pastures.

Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Book Cover

Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

This full-color guidebook includes easy-to-use maps to keep you oriented on and off the highway. Hit the road! California, Oregon, and Washington: explore the top destinations along the West Coast with this book as your guide. Our detailed driving routes give you all you need, including mileage from place to place, driving times, and advice […]

If driving along Pacific cliffs appeals to you, hop on Pacific Coast Highway 1 when you hit San Luis Obispo.

Road Trip Itinerary: San Diego to San Francisco in Two Days

You could drive from San Diego to San Francisco in several hours of featureless traffic, or you could take your time exploring the scenic route. Our two-day itinerary gives you time to lounge on the beach, enjoy the natural splendor of the central coast, and leaves plenty of time for cosmopolitan fun.

Coronado Bridge in San Diego, California.

San Diego Area Sights: Coronado Highlights

If you’re in San Diego, the trip across the Coronado bridge to visit this famous resort city should definitely be on your list. Highlights include the spectacular bridge itself, the story of how the resort city came to be, and most notably, the famous Hotel del Coronado.

The California Tower's belltower and dome in San Diego's Balboa Park.

One Day at Balboa Park, San Diego

There’s more to see and do at Balboa Park than can comfortably be accomplished in one day. If you’re only going to make one pass through the treasured cultural center of San Diego, here’s how to prioritize your visit with kids and without.