There is nothing like a road trip. Now, we have got road trips and then we have California's Highway 1 road trip. This is not only the best road trip in the USA but probably the best in the world! The scenes along the way are just breathtaking and a lifetime experience for anyone. This 750-mile stretch features the most scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and its beautiful beaches. The highway passes through the most interesting stops that keep you occupied all the way. You will more commonly hear the highway is referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway or the PCH.
It may become a little confusing, especially for a first-timer, on where exactly to start this journey and where to end it. You have several choices, but the most scenic and entertaining route would start from San Francisco all the way to Los Angeles.
What you want to see-
Before joining highway 1 you might as well sample what San Francisco has got to offer. This city is characterized by a hilly landscape which in itself is very attractive. A curious fog hangs over the city most year-round giving it a unique atmosphere.
While here you will want to visit Chinatown and sample the best of Chinese culture and cuisine. Chinatown in SF is one of the oldest and most established Chinese settlements in the US.
Alcatraz Island is ten to fifteen minutes away on a ferry and this historical prison is a must visit. The rock, as it is commonly referred to, has got a global reputation as one of the most notorious correction facilities for various reasons. Several movies and series are based on this prison.
After joining highway 1 your first stop is Monterey in central California where you will enjoy various beach fun activities. There are also several hiking trails to stretch your muscles before getting back on the road. One of the outstanding attractions here is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Get to view an impressive display of aquatic life and learn tons on the same.
17-mile Bay View
Enjoy the scenic views of the Spanish bay from the 17-mile bay view which is just a 15-minute drive from Monterey. The drive will take you along the coastline before cutting into an exclusive neighborhood where you actually have to pay to drive through. Beautiful architectural designs characterize the route. It will take you along a forested area near the shore and a few golf courses and past the famous Lone Cypress Tree.
There is more to do at Carmel including visiting the 18th Century Carmel Mission Basilica Museum. Carmel River State Beach will certainly be a breathtaking experience for bird watchers.
This rugged terrain lies between Carmel and San Simeon and is famous for its parks and hiking trails. The Mcway falls are a sight to behold; an 80 feet waterfall that goes straight down to the beach.
This city is dominated by a unique architectural design which is mainly Danish in style. The architecture gives a different feeling given the otherwise American and sometimes English houses that we are all used to. There are several wineries which are also main attractions to the city. Sample some of the best wines along the coastline before continuing with your journey.
This is one of the highlights that the West Coast has got to offer. You will notice the lavish lifestyles of different celebrities in the air punctuated by million-dollar homes. While in Malibu you can enjoy hiking activities at the Santa Monica National Recreation Area and surf at the Zuma beach.
Just like the name suggests, this city has got a lot of Spanish influence to it. Sample the best of Spanish cuisine at the numerous eateries. A wonderful mountain range lies at the edge of the city where numerous activities take place. You can also relax at the beach and watch the breathtaking sunset.
This is the highlight of your journey and rightly so. LA is the centre of global entertainment. The iconic Hollywood sign symbolizes the numerous renowned studios such as Paramount pictures that have graced our screens for decades. There are several movie museums to visit and a lot of rich history to learn about the movie industry.
Enjoy but safe-
Drive safe during your road trip
It would not be a road trip if you had an accident or kept getting stopped for simple mistakes you could have avoided.
Have fun but keep safe. You can get a handbook on the traffic rules to follow especially if you are not from the area.
Make sure you are fully kitted including a spare wheel, jumper cables, first aid kit, life saver, basic tools such as a wheel spanner and a fire extinguisher.
Wear your seatbelt at all times as this is not optional, it is the law and for your own safety too. All riders must make sure that they and any passenger are wearing helmets.
Stay within the speed limits of each highway stretch and don't cause a traffic jam too.
Keep yourself visible on the road
It is highly recommended that you keep your headlamps on the whole way to ensure that oncoming traffic sees you.
For your own comfort, it is even better if you installed a car night vision system. This system is not only very convenient for night driving but is also very useful during rainy or foggy days.
There are several night vision systems; some even come already fitted with new car makes and models.
Just like this exceptional road trip, there is an equally impressive night vision system that will take care of all your visual needs.
The Lanmodo Vast Pro automotive night vision system is unique, effective and affordable. It gives a true representation of the road and its surroundings. This is through its clear 1080-pixel resolution color display with a wide-angle vision of 45° that lets you see the road clearly. You may even notice things you would otherwise not see, especially during a night drive. The system is however, very effective for night driving safety.
Turn off your lights!
Remember to turn off your lights when you park and switch off your ignition. You may be required to have your headlamps on for part or most of the journey, depending on the weather conditions. The law requires you to not only put on your fog and parking lights but also your headlamps. This is whenever the weather requires you to use your windshield wipers.
When you are driving, and you have five cars behind you and none in front, you are required to pull over and let the others pass. Avoid pulling over suddenly or someone might crash into you from behind. Also, do not pull over on unpaved shoulders.
Be careful when overtaking
Careless overtaking has caused many accidents. Do not overtake when the yellow line is straight or when you see a double line. It is also common sense not to overtake around bends.
Keep to the rules, be safe and enjoy the road trip of your lifetime.