California Coast Road Trip | San Francisco to San Diego | Itinerary and tips |

California Coast Road Trip | San Francisco to San Diego | Itinerary and tips |

It’s the Road Trip that’s, on everyone’s Bucket List even for a Californian like me who’s never done it before The Pacific Coast Highway stretches from San Francisco in Northern California [Down] to San Diego in the South It’s 500 Miles in total and includes the Jaw-Dropping landscape of Big Sur Here’s how, we did Highway 1 with Two Kids, over three days First catch a ‘quiet’ flight into San Francisco Explore this Vibrant City with its crazily steep streets for a few days Before Starting your Epic Road Trip from the best Starting Gate in the world Start early and grab some photos at Mason Street or on the beach next to it that way you’ll get panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and you’ll avoid the crowds at the Vista Points Photos done, it’s time to jump into your car get the roof down and drive to the start line Turn Around in The Vista Car Park and Pay for your bridge toll online you can’t Pay by cash as you go Through Anymore Do it now or your trip Could get a whole lot more expensive When you get off The bridge take Lincoln Boulevard to get to the coast as quickly as you can Highway 1 Begins on some very normal Roads So by Heading west you’ll soon be next to the Ocean and Enjoying the, views You’ve Been Looking at online for the past Two Months Now’s a great Point to look out for the El Camino Real bells They Line The Routes Down to san Diego and Mark the trail that the Early Settlers used to reach all 21 of California’s Missions Over The Past Century More Than Half of The 450 bells, were stolen but Lots Have Recently Been Restored and Replaced. After two and a half hours on the road your first stop will be Santa Cruz It’s the birthplace of Surfing in The USA Three Hawaiian students shocked locals when they rode the waves on planks of wood here back in 1885 it’s also Famous for its Boardwalk Which you might recognizer from The Lost Boys Movie and it’s 90 year Old big Dipper Is still Holding its Own against the modern Rides It’s a perfect place to stop for [some] lunch and get Ready for a busy, Afternoon what do you think of the drive so far Right if You Give Yourself two hours to eat that Mammoth Burger and Explore you’ll reach Monterrey by 2:30 It’s a quaint place Full of Seafood Restaurants and Has A cool Fishing Village by It’s also home to the Famous Aquarium you Can stop here for Food Instead of Santa Cruz if you’d like an hour on and you’ll quickly, realize that the shops and Houses have disappeared and it’s just you, the Ocean, and the road There’s no Las Vegas style sign which tells you when you’re in Big Sur the rugged coastline and lashing Waves Make A much more impressive Impact Than Any neon sign Could Make As you begin to climb into the hills the temperature drops What surprised us even more though was the coastal fog, even during the hot Californian Summer? There Are Loads of Places to Pull over and Admire the view but, We kept Driving until We reached Bixby Bridge? The 280 Foot Structure is a sight to behold Especially As it’s in The Middle of Nowhere super cool, Selfies are A must Once You Cross the bridge it’s Time To wind your way Further South Pfeiffer Beach is Definitely Worth Stopping for if you Can find it we’ve put Foolproof Directions on our Website Its Keyhole arch and Purple sound or a sight to Behold for all ages It’s, well worth the $10 parking fee Enjoy A meal with A view at Nepenthe before another Magical Stop at McWay Falls. No time for any more stops though. Drive straight to San Simeon or Cambria where you’ll stay overnight Make Sure You’ve Booked in Advance Though or you might be Sleeping in your car. As you probably arrived late start, Day Two by exploring where you stayed overnight We walked Across the road from our Hotel and got A special Soundtrack as, We looked out Across the Ocean? LA-Based fellow Brit Marcos Lopez, Iglesias Who’s Played with Lemal and Duran Duran uses Big Sur to help inspire his Songwriting. A Unique Experience Which Could Only Happen on A road trip like This Just A few Minutes away from San Simeon is Piedras Blancas where you’ll get to meet California’s Elephant seals up close. These guys formed a colony here in 1990 and they’ve never left! San Simeon Is also the Former Home of Media mogul william Randolph Hearst “Welcome to my new Home!” Hearst Castle welcomed the rich and famous during its 1920s heyday. It’s very Gatsby and as you Wander Around the Opulent Rooms and Magnificent Swimming Pools you can’t Help but Imagine what it might have been Like to party here With the likes of Buster Keaton Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin There Are Secrets Everywhere from the Tiles on the Steps to the Tiles on the Tennis court Which Form The skylights for The Beautiful Roman Pool Below The tours are great but but book before you leave San Francisco to make sure you get the time and tour you want. Look out for the Old Zoo as you Make your way Down from the Castle and Grab some Lunch before you leave Every Mile From Here is Just Another step Back Into Reality Just over an Hour away is San Luis Obispo Jump off the Highway at the Madonna Inn for a rest stop with a Difference it’s the Kitchen so tell in The World with a Different Theme for every Room You’ll Get A good Feel [for] this in the men’s Toilets it’s A cave Which Cascades Water when you go for a pee!! The Rugged Landscape Quickly Becomes Lush again as you Come to the Strawberry Fields of Lompoc and Into The Wine Country Made Famous in The Films Sideways! “We’re going well! Two more hours left of driving!” Next leave Highway 1 To visit the amazing town of Solvang with its Cookie Cutter Danish Architecture It was Occupied by danes in 1911 and the culture Continues Today. There Are Now More Windmills here Within two square Miles Than Anywhere Outside of Denmark Make Sure you stop for a Danish Pastry If you can pick just one!! And then Give Yourself A well-Earned Break Head on to The One via any mode of transport! Instead of Saying at A normal Hotel We Decided to try Glamping at el Capitan Canyon where you can even Treat Yourself to a Massage We had our Own Cabin With all the Home Comforts We could want? But, also our Own fire pit Which Is perfect to Watch the Wildlife run Past us while we toasted Marshmallows if you’re There on the right night you can watch a movie at one of their outside Screenings. After A great night’s sleep it. Was Time To leave el Capitan Canyon. “I liked it here!” And begin our final day on the road The 101 Through Santa Barbara Is A Lot like any Road in California for A bit But With the Top Down There was the chance to play A few games with the truckers! [Horn sounds] After Half an Hour Highway 1 returned and We have the Ocean [as] our Partner again? Malibu Is the first place you reach this is where Hollywood’s biggest Stars Have Their beachfront Mansions You’re More Likely to See someone Famous Here Than in downtown LA! We would Have Stopped Here for Lunch but The Kids are Falling Asleep you Should Think About Stopping at Paradise Cove The Paramount Ranch, or have a bit of culture at the Getty Villa. We continued down to Los Angeles through Santa Monica and its famous pier which Includes the World’s First Solar-powered Ferris Wheel! Then Through The weird and Wonderful venice Beach And we even got to do that cool drive under the planes at LAX!! “LA traffic – going nowhere! Still fun to look around though.” Yes, we were driving through LA traffic but it’s another point where you get to think about how amazingly varied this special route is! We Finally Stopped some lunch at Hermosa beach With the usual Southern Californian sights on the Boardwalk? Now Into Orange County and The Home Straight Through Huntington beach and Down to Long beach where the Queen mary is now a hotel Dana Point is where Highway 1 officially Ends but the Pacific Coast Highway – and The 101 – continues after half an hour on the Freeway. Get Off at Oceanside and make sure you see the longest wooden pier over water on the West Coast. Just up from there is the famous Top Gun House on Pacific Street Make Sure You get some Photos before it’s moved for a new development Yes it Looks A bit Different From when Tom Cruise, was There but it’s Still A cool Piece of Movie History to visit La Jolla’s the first real neighborhood in San Diego so if the sun’s about to set Head to the cove to Watch it go Down next to the Birds and the seals on the Rocks. Just don’t get too close It’s an ideal place to finish your epic journey. If you’ve arrived earlier though, head down to the south of San Diego and finish your drive at the Cabrillo Monument. It’s on the Southernmost tip of California – and the United States – with Mexico, just a few minutes away Grab a drink and let a San Diego sunset give you the best possible finish to one of the best Road Trips in the World! Hit subscribe to find out what to do in San Diego in our next Video Plus, head to our website: for everything you possibly need to know about this Road Trip including an hour-by-hour itinerary.

100 thoughts on “California Coast Road Trip | San Francisco to San Diego | Itinerary and tips |”

  • San Diego to San Francisco was one of my first ever road trips with just me and my friends my senior year of high school. As a teenager I thought it was the craziest thing, such a beautiful scenery as well but man oh man we where so ignorant to the fact how much driving was needed it was hilarious. We where just teenagers so stopping to spend the night at a hotel wasn’t in our budget lol. We got to San Francisco at 3am in the morning god it was so funny. But the trip is one I’ll never forget still my favorite to this day.

  • I grew up in Silicon Valley and this video made me miss it soo much! I remember going to so many of these places as a kid. Man I miss Cali 🌴

  • Great video, We're going in October from LA to San Francisco. The video gives us a great impression. Well done. Greetings from Holland.

  • Got to do it once, back in April 88. Was a beautiful trip. We drove up to Eugene OR.. We finally got to see Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park. Slept somewhere along the way.. Be careful, there are nude beaches out there..

  • Great video! I would love to fly into San Francisco and fly out of L.A. with my family doing a road trip for a week. Do you know of any affordable hotels for a family of 5 that are somewhat along the coast?

  • Hubert Peebles says:

    Nice overview of the place where I spent most of my life.
    Lived in San Diego for HS, College & University.
    Now living in ancestral home of Peebles, Scotland.

  • It’s a fun ride, only taken it from the bay down to Anaheim. Never had the opportunity of going to San Diego growing up in California

  • My family and I were going there in a month or so, this video made it even more fun keep up the good work, god bless you<3

  • Michigan USA/Singapore S.E.Asia says:

    Michigan is top tourist destination in America during summer.. top city economy and airport too Objective data for you below: California people wake up. The world does not rotate around California like your mass media outlets tell you. Michigan, Minnesota and other northern states are diverse too. Hell San Francisco does not even have the largest bridge in America and it certainly not the symbol of America, through your state government wants you to believe that..Instead it is the Michigan Mighty MAC Mackinaw bridge that is the largest, prettiest and most complicated bridge built in America… also go north for acceptance and opportunities too. Anyhow you both are smart to leave the Bay Area. Now time to leave the state of California because it is burden with crime, taxes, homeless, human waste, lack of water and poor education…already 3 cities applied for bankruptcy in California… go north my friends and here is the places people are moving too… and note…our famous clean safe beaches too last but no least Michigan number one. Minnesota is nice too and thriving like us and both diverse as well.. Last but certainly not least …

  • Trashcan Troubadour says:

    On the highway one trip the main thing is Big Sur. Another thing is to make sure it’s not closed at any point, because if it is, your only choice is to turn back and drive all the way to where you got on. That’s what happened when I went from San Francisco to LA. When I took it north from San Francisco I got tired of all the zigzagging and somewhat bleak scenery, and just got on 101 to my destination.

  • I have done this twice in my life and when I die,…instead of going to Heaven,……I hope God sends my on a loop making this journey,….it is the Best!

  • Ramon Castro says:

    Cool Video !! Awesome scenic views of the coast. Where did you rent that cool convertible car ? Make model style ?

  • You drove right by all the best places……. The man with a British accent ruin this video…. Wow what a disappointment

  • As a native California, I've driven that drive a few times. You definitely hit the high points/attractions. My favorite area is cambria/san simeon. The stretch from morro bay to LA can be rough and long. Traffic…ugh! Great video. Glad you had a nice time.

  • We did this trip 2 years ago. We stayed in Cayucos the first night then we stayed in Santa Barbara and we went to the zoo. Next we stayed in Ventura. The next day drove through Malibu, Santa Monica and we stayed in Newport Beach. The next day we were in Laguna Beach, San Clemente, ocean side, La Jolla then stayed overnight in San Diego. The next day we spent in Coronado then we started making our way back to home. It was an epic road trip through the Golden State.
    FYI, Ventura was SO ghetto. I'm glad we went, but I know that I will never go back. Laguna Beach is a must to stop vmby and see.

  • Euphoria Nostalgia says:

    California is interesting and unique in many ways but one thing is that it has a Spanish name and cities/places in Spanish and also English because it was colonized 1st by Spain and then became part of USA in 1800s and settlers from the east founded and named several cities and places in english but to be fair that is true for most states in the US which were colonized by respective european countries, indigenous names, and then USA a mostly english speaking nation founded some places like in Michigan there are several French named places ex.Detroit and Dearborn in english and Michigan is a native american word

  • Roadtrip Lover미국 싸다니기 says:

    Wow, you have a great channel. I give you big Subway sandwich and more for being your new friend. Thank you.

  • wow this trip only took 3 days! Amazing! You make me want to try this. Now if only there weren't all those crazy drivers out there

  • pnutbutterCHIchi losey says:

    if you are going to explore california 101 take a month or so and do it beach by beach by beach. i have lived here for years and still havent seen everything i would like to.

  • Thank you for posting this.    My wife and me were able to take this trip in 1972.  Took hours of 8mm movies and view them from time to time.  Wonderful adventure, it was.   Spent a few days at Disneyland before going to San Diego.  From there, we drove to Las Vegas for a few days before flying home.

  • Totally awesome trip, we did half of this a few days ago, a MUST also that you passed up in big sur area, was Mcway waterfall, this is the only waterfall that I know of, I’m sure there are more, that falls directly into the ocean, we took awesome pictures there. It’s easy to get to , just a short hike. However, it can only be viewed from the trail , as it is a big fine to hike down to this beautiful spot, I believe there trying to preserve it , beautiful photo op tho 👍🏻

  • The Missions BELLS does not line the PCH1 from SF to SD. It curves inland to the 101 by Salinas/Monterey Bay regions and then flows down 101 until it reach back to PCH again.

  • Hearts Castle is spectacular for sure, it is amazing touring around, and that indoor pool is lace with 24k gold. I wanted to jump and chip some for myself' LOL.

  • I completed the same road trip exactly the same way as described in this video on a Mustang with my family. Me and my whole family would like to thank you for helping us complete the most memorable road trip of our life 🙂

  • Richard Morris says:

    in my 4 trips to the left coast my opinion was it must have been a beautiful place before humans arrived & between pollution , homelessness &questionable politics it's was some nice scenery.

  • This video is like a commercial. Im not sure why this guy needed to make this style of video. There are thousands of clips all the same thing. Wish he talk about what he likes and dislikes

  • Michael Lowrey says:

    Wow, I can actually smell your video all the way in Florida. California and Florida. States in the past everyone wanted to live in. We all thought, if I can just get my furniture across the state line. Wow. California, I use to say it was around to make Florida #49. But alas, Oregon and Washington proved the West Coast is far superior in falling cities. Good luck.

  • Roosevelt Jones says:

    You do not see the Golden Gate bridge on a road trip to San Diego. Golden Gate bridge is north and San Diego is south!

  • I'm sure that your trip wasn't cheap, but then again if there is money hey why not enjoy life. Many can't do that not even the Californians who lives local etc, etc. Ok, enjoy life if possible. TCB.

  • Also, I'm glad that you did not drive through the Centro of the city so we would have seen the tent city and all the sad and poor people there believe me…………..sadly said to many of them there. California has lot's of not so lucky people and they are poor beside there also is a few rich people but more poor people let's not forget that. TCB.

  • Lovely video..I also tried to capture the beauty of this same road while sitting in a car. See this link: Hope you will like it. 🙂

  • never sit in the back in a convertible, those seats are for shopping bags…anyone violates this rule will ended up with spiky hair.

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