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.

Sunrise at Dante's View, looking out over Death Valley, California.

Accessible Sights and Drives in Death Valley

These recommended destinations in Death Valley National Park include drives and sights easily seen from parking areas as well as two ADA-accessible trails. Roads are paved or graded dirt, and in most cases there are no formal parking spaces.

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.

A lantern illuminates a pen lying across a sheet of paper serving as a guest register.

Haunted San Diego

Everyone loves a good ghost story. San Diego’s claim to creepy fame is home to the “Most Haunted House in America”, but like any historic city, the shivers don’t stop there–a self-guided ghost tour of its creepiest locales is a great way to take in the sights and learn its history. From strange sightings to unexplained noises, here are the spooks and spirits, ghosts and ghouls of haunted San Diego.

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.

Moon Death Valley National Park , 1st ed.

Moon Death Valley National Park

California resident Jenna Blough reveals the must-see sights and best-kept secrets of Death Valley National Park, from the popular Amargosa Range to the remote expanses of the Saline and Eureka Valleys. Blough offers handpicked suggestions for experiencing the full diversity of Death Valley including “Best Hikes,” “Best Scenic Four-Wheel Drives,” and “Hidden Springs and Desert […]

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.

Societe's tasting room is must-stop for those who enjoy drinking in the shadow of brewing tanks.

San Diego’s Best Craft Breweries

San Diego is thirsty for beer and has dozens of small breweries. Beer drinkers come from all over to taste their wares. Here’s our best San Diego Craft Breweries list, including specialties and highlights.

View from the Coronado ferry landing across the water to the San Diego skyline.

The Best of San Diego in Five Days

To take in all the best of San Diego in five days, you’re going to be very, very busy. Fortunately, between your museum-hopping, boutique-browsing, and enjoying the sights, sun, and sand, you’ll have a chance to fuel up at over a dozen delicious cafes and eateries.