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Pacific Coast Highway - Route 1

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Our most recommended Pacific Coast Highway - Route 1 Culture & History

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

1. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

Discover the most iconic highlights of California, as well as some lesser-known gems, on this 3-day tour from Los Angeles. Drive the renowned 17 Mile Drive, explore Santa Barbara, and visit Yosemite Valley National Park or Hearst Castle. Enjoy 2 nights of accommodation and a bay cruise in San Fransisco included. Day 1: Los Angeles – Santa Barbara – 17 Mile Drive – Carmel Summer RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. See the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Visit the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll in town before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Winter RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Stop at the heart of downtown at the “state street promenade” and stroll through the exclusive shops and restaurants. Continue to Santa Barbara beaches and Stearns wharf to “walk on the water” and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. Finish your visit at the Spanish Mission Santa Barbara and continue to Solvang, “the Danish capital of America” a quaint Danish community at the heart of California. After your lunch break, head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Day 2: San Fransisco – Bay Cruise – Golden Gate Bridge – ChinatownSummer RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Next, return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight in Modesto. Winter RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island. Then return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight at the Springhill Suites Oakland Airport. Day 3: San Fransisco – Yosemite – Los Angeles Summer RouteHead east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and Half Dome. See the highest waterfalls in North America, Yosemite Falls. Then head back to Los Angeles in the evening. Winter RouteStart the day with a visit to Monterey including the wharf and Cannery Row. Continue your tour of the beautiful California Coast with a visit to the town of Carmel-by-the-sea. Then head south to the world-famous Route #1 where you'll see the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Then drive back to return to Los Angeles.

San Fran: Carmel, Monterey & Big Sur Full-Day Private Tour

2. San Fran: Carmel, Monterey & Big Sur Full-Day Private Tour

Explore the Big Sur and Monterey areas of California at your own pace, and avoid the hassle of organized bus tours. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your departure or arrival time. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further; you decide where you want to go. Take a scenic drive from San Francisco to Carmel and Big Sur via State Route 1, the north-south highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. Travel the forested road of 17-Mile Drive. Discover the Mission District and Monterey Bay Aquarium. See all the sights of Fisherman's Wharf. Drive down to the Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge, and marvel at the flora and fauna of Poit Lobos State Reserve south of Carmel before your return to San Francisco.

San Francisco: Monterey and Carmel Tour

3. San Francisco: Monterey and Carmel Tour

Begin your tour by traveling south on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway 1. Head to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. At your first rest stop in Davenport, you will have a chance to take a selfie with the whole Pacific as your backdrop.  At Monterey, you will have 2 hours on your own to explore. You can visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, rent a kayak or paddleboard, hike along the coast, or take a bike to roam. You can also stroll among the quaint boutiques and art shops along the historic Cannery Row. Grab a seafood lunch at Old Fisherman’s Wharf.  Enjoy another eyeful of Pacific beauty along the scenic 17-Mile Drive through Del Monte Forest and take photographs of the hardy Lone Cyprus Tree. This famous road winds its way by magnificent homes and the spectacular coastline, between the greens and tees of world famous golf courses, and among the last remaining forest of a rare species of the Monterey Cypress.  Your scenic drive finishes at Pebble Beach Village. Upon arrival in the enchanted town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, you can explore the boutique shops on Ocean Avenue and be dazzled by the white sandy beach. If there is time, you can visit the historic Carmel Mission. Then, it will be time to head back to San Francisco. 

Pacific Coast Highway: Audio Tour Between LA & San Diego

4. Pacific Coast Highway: Audio Tour Between LA & San Diego

Connect your smartphone to your vehicle's stereo and make your drive come alive on this self-guided driving tour along the Pacific Coast Highway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Simply download your personal audio guide and tour to get started. Let your audio guide transform your scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure as you pass through and learn about some of the cities and small towns nestled along the coast. Along the tour, you’ll pass Oceanside, Carlsbad, Long Beach, Dana Point, San Onofre, San Clemente, and more. Your audio guide will point out must-see sights, parks, historical sites, tourist attractions, recreation areas, and more. Explore the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, the Batiquitos Lagoon, and look for dolphins at Dana Point. Walk along some of the world’s most famous beaches. Other tour highlights include Las Flores Estancia, Crystal Cove State Park, Sunset Beach, Torrey Pines, and the San Elijo Lagoon. Feel free to visit as many sights and attractions as you want: you have complete freedom to take as much time as you like to complete the tour. As you drive, get a historical overview of the area, including its original inhabitants, the Tongva. Hear about Louis Zamperini, the RMS Queen Mary, the Rise of Long Beach, Huntington Beach Oil Fields, and Crystal Cove's 1930 era beach cottages. This tour works in either direction and you can stop anywhere while you discover this incredibly scenic and historic drive.

Gettysburg: 50 Self-Guided Tours across the USA

5. Gettysburg: 50 Self-Guided Tours across the USA

Create your own cross-country trail, following recommended routes between 50 of the best attractions the United States has to offer. Enjoy audio and visual guides that are curated by local experts, creative writers, and professional voice artists, conveniently packed into the Action Tour Guide App. Start your adventure at Gettysburg Heritage Center, and explore the Civil War's most important battlegrounds. See the roots of the revolution in Boston and Philadelphia. Visit Lexington and Concord to imagine the famous “shot heard ‘round the world”. Drive out to Cape Cod or Cape Ann for the unique shoreline and quaint New England towns. Turn back time at the Gilded Age mansions in Newport. Roll down your windows on the Pacific Coast Highway, and take in the majesty of Big Sur. Head west to Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks, and admire each breath-taking landscape. Swing north to Yellowstone, home to volcanic springs and the Old Faithful geyser. Take your time completing each tour and choosing your ideal route after browsing all 50 options. Stay entertained along the way with texts and visuals that accompany each audio guide. The hardest part is deciding where to start.

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What people are saying about Pacific Coast Highway - Route 1

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 99 reviews

Excellent tour, covered all the major spots along California coast from Santa Cruz to Monterey to Carmel by the sea with important stops along the coast with appropriate time to take photos. Our your guide Doug and river Jason were pretty amazing and Doug has a thorough knowledge and passion and he was did an excellent job explaining all the important history on the tour. 17 Mile drive and pebble Beach were pretty amazing and beautiful. In Carmel, if you do not plan to shop, consider walking to the beach, it's a 0.5 mile walk slightly tedious walk (considering all the elevations) from the bus stop but it's worth it. In Monterey, aquarium will always be sold out when you arrive unless you dont book it prior, so 2 he is a little long, but considering it in life's lunch stop too, it totally makes sense. Apart from cannery row, consider taking a walk across lovers point trail in Pacific Grove which is just next to cannery row, it's pretty scenic.

Loved this tour! We learned so much about the area from Alex. He’s a charismatic guide with a sense of humor. We had beautiful views along the coast. Highly recommend!

Excellent service, the most iconic sites are visited, the staff is very friendly especially Brenda, our guide.

Jacob was very helpful as a tour guide and the hotel was excellent

It was a really good tour with a little bit of everything