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  • Address: California, USA

California ATTRACTIONS See all

Pacific Coast Highway Tours

The Pacific Coast Highway—also known as PCH or, more commonly, Highway 1—runs north-south along most of the United States’ West Coast. The incredibly scenic California stretch is known for its oceanfront locales, rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and numerous beaches, making it one of the nation’s most popular road-trip routes. From San Francisco to San Diego and the many charming stops in between, it’s truly one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet to take a drive.

The Basics
Using major cities such as San Francisco or Los Angeles as a base, a trip up or down the PCH makes for excellent day trips. From beachside towns to national parks, there is plenty to do and see. If you’re going to drive the whole route, keep in mind that the Pacific Coast Highway is best suited for unhurried, leisurely driving. Leave enough time to make plenty of stops and to enjoy the scenic views along the way.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Though many stops along the PCH are best visited spontaneously, there are a few notable places or tours—including Hearst Castle—that do best with advance reservations. 
  • Nature lovers and beachgoers will enjoy Highway 1. Be prepared for amazing coastal vistas alongside empty beaches, dense forests, and foggy mountains.
  • Views are often regarded as best driving from north to south.

How to Get There
The Pacific Coast Highway runs from the California-Oregon border to Orange County, though most travelers begin in San Francisco and end in Los Angeles or San Diego. Speed limits and road types vary along the highway. In some locations it can be a twisting, slow-moving two-lane road, while in other spots, the PCH is and moves like a freeway. 

When to Get There
The weather in California is famously sunny year-round, though it can get chilly once the sun has gone down, especially up north. If you’re planning your trip around any particular stops, be sure to plan your time and visit accordingly.

Highway 1 Beach Towns
Besides the stellar ocean views, one of the great joys of driving the PCH is the number of beachside towns worth stopping in. From San Francisco, the towns of Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey—home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach, and Cannery Row—are must-stops. Be sure to include a drive over the Bixby Bridge, a scenic spot just outside Big Sur. Santa Cruz (and its beach boardwalk amusement park), San Luis Obispo, Cambria, Pismo Beach, and Santa Barbara are more Central Coast highlights. 

Hearst Castle, another favorite stop, stands in San Simeon, on the coast between Monterey and San Luis Obispo. Tours are required to visit the castle and can be purchased up to 56 days in advance—it is strongly recommended to do so. The state beaches in Oxnard and Ventura offer some of the best surfing in the US. And, of course, Malibu and Santa Monica are the jewels in the crown of classic California beach culture.

Tours & Tickets

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Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium, San Francisco, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium

4 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

This tour will start traveling south on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway 1. We will set foot on Monterey’s famous Cannery Row for a chance ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
Malibu Stars' Homes Tour, Malibu, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Malibu Stars' Homes Tour

1 star rating: I do not recommend this 1 Review

Join us on a 2-hour Malibu Stars' Homes Tour where you will see up close the impressive homes of popular stars from TV and Film. Malibu is a stunning ...  Read more

Location: Santa Monica, California
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.00
Private Full-Day Tour of Monterey with Carmel and 17-Mile Drive by SUV, San Francisco, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full-Day Tour of Monterey with Carmel and 17-Mile Drive by SUV

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Ride down Pacific Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey & Carmel in a comfortable private SUV. See California with a Bay Area ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $850.00
Private Tour: Malibu Wine Tasting from Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Malibu Wine Tasting from Los Angeles

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Go wine tasting in Malibu on this private 5-hour tour from Los Angeles with a professional guide. Leave the driving to your guide so you can admire the passing ...  Read more

Location: Los Angeles, California
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $395.00
Malibu Stars' Homes Tour and 48-hour Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker Bus, Malibu, Wine Tasting & ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Malibu Stars' Homes Tour and 48-hour Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker Bus

3 star rating: Worth doing 1 Review

Join the Malibu Stars' Homes Tour to visit a few of the most beautiful homes of some of your favorite stars. Malibu is one of the most stunning destinations ...  Read more

Location: Santa Monica, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $99.00
Private Full-Day Trip Up Pacific Coast Highway with Pickup, San Francisco, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full-Day Trip Up Pacific Coast Highway with Pickup

Get the best part of pacific Coast highway one with this Private Full-Day Tour. You'll be picked up from either your hotel or the port your cruise stops at, ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $680.00
Private Tour: Malibu Wine Tasting for Two by Limousine from Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Malibu Wine Tasting for Two by Limousine from Los Angeles

Make your wine-tasting experience in Malibu even more memorable with a private tour for two by stretch limousine. Champagne, chocolates and a picnic lunch of ...  Read more

Location: Los Angeles, California
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $895.00
Explore Pirate Tower on Hidden South Orange County Beach, Laguna Beach, Romantic Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Explore Pirate Tower on Hidden South Orange County Beach

See and explore the secluded Victoria Beach in South Orange County on the Southern California coast for 1.5 hours on this small-group tour. Your local guide ...  Read more

Location: Laguna Beach, California
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $29.00
The Malibu Writer's Journey, Malibu, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

The Malibu Writer's Journey

Get ready to explore your own personal mythology through life writing at one of the best-kept secrets in Malibu, a magical hidden beach, which provides the ...  Read more

Location: Malibu, California
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $175.00
Muir Woods and Sausalito Experience, San Francisco, Craft Classes
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 9

Muir Woods and Sausalito Experience

4 star rating: Recommended 16 Reviews

The world famous coastal redwoods found in Northern California are the tallest trees in the world. They're a magical sight to see and in a place called Muir ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $74.99

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