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  1. Ryan says

    Ah the PCH! Loved driving up it to Santa Monica when I did a few years back, and I’ve taken the train down the coast a few times, but damn I need an RV! Plus, I’ve never stopped north of Santa Monica so I need to do that. Big Sur, WOW. Looks amazing, and I want to finally see the Redwoods.

  2. Cherie Westover says

    We drove the PCH from San Francisco to LA for my 65th birthday in November. .it’s been in my bucket list for years! I have to say it was the best trip I’ve ever taken! The beauty is almost too much to describe! I’d go back in a heartbeat!

  3. Ashley says

    Ok, I HAVE to do this road trip! As a native Californian and a Santa Barbara grad as well, I’ve driven sections but not the whole thing. Plus now I am inspired to reread all my favorite Kerouac novels as well. This will be a must when Alex and I return to California!

    • Kristin says

      You have to read Dharma Bums while you do it if you haven’t already! He writes so much about California in that one.

  4. Ron says

    Great photos from California. Kudos on that hometown pride! We are from SoCal and we love going to Santa Barbara. I love those coastal cities/towns like San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara and the list goes on. In two weeks, we are going to drive from Orange County to San Jose and San Francisco via PCH. Your photos make us so excited to take the trip. I wish we could go up to further towns, past San Francisco.

    Great post!

  5. Anonymous says

    Hi Kristin,
    My wife and I found your itinerary for the PCH very helpful for planning our trip from LA-> SF. First, we wanted to thank you. Your pictures of McWay Falls and Bixby Bridge convinced us that we had to do the trip! If your readers have time to spare while they are doing this trip and are looking for a slight variation, another possibility would be to spend a day or two in Santa Barbara before heading to all the adventures in Big Sur. We spent two days in Santa Barbara (SB) in March and did the Urban Wine Trail in SB which allows you to walk from different brick-and-mortar stores that own vineyards in the neighboring Santa Ynez wine region. You can sample wine without having to drive which is always a plus 😉 We also loved the food in SB, especially the Mexican food like at Mony’s Taqueria. If your readers are doing the PCH during a warmer period they could also use SB as a homebase to explore the Channel Islands to see some great marine life (something we hope to do in the future but didn’t get to because of cold weather).

    We one day hope to travel as much as you Kristin. That is the dream! Your blog is so great.
    Wishing you and your readers a Happy New Year!


    • Kristin says

      Glad you liked it! I went to university at UCSB so I definitely agree that spending some time in Santa Barbara is a great call. I should just do a guide specifically on that sometime soon – my heart is still there!

  6. Missy says

    I love this post! I’m currently planning a road trip along the coast. One question for you, did you find it difficult to drive the RV along highway 1? I’m contemplating either renting an RV, or a convertible 🙂 Thanks for the great post!

    • Kristin says

      It’s not easy to drive anywhere until you get the hang of it. Then once you do, it’s just about taking it slow and making sure you take the turns very easy.

  7. jim Bose says

    wow so cool I live in Vermont and I am getting a little older and really want to come to California to LA so I can travel the PCH. Your photos and places you have been to are breath taking, Thanks for sharing. Now I am planning my first ever west coast trip.

  8. Sam says

    Thank you for this lovely detailed post! We just moved to Sacramento last October and we take a big vacation every year and this year we’re going to be driving down the coast and back. I didn’t really think about camping but it’ll probably be much cheaper and easier with dogs. i’ll be bookmarking for future reference!

  9. Clare says

    Hey Kristen i am planning a family trip for 4 on a budget. , & was hoping to get your advice.
    We flight into LA on the 8th June and out again on the 16th, we would like to do this road trip to -SF.
    but we need motel /hotel rooms since we have to travel light, Do you have any recommendations?

  10. Sheree Newman says

    We are planning a trip this summer SF-LA but hear the PCH is in bad shape in Big Sur. Is this true? wondering if we should postpone until next summer?

  11. Ryan says

    So, I know I’ve seen this post before, and commented, but I recently got a taste of some of the places you went. Just did a road trip to some National Parks, but went down the coast from San Fran to Santa Cruz…and before that did a ton of the National Parks in Cali, Nevada, and Arizona. Mainly, I read Dharma Bums last year, and On the Road again on this trip. The quotes you listed are the ones I loved too, and how I felt exploring it. Will be tagging this in my article if you don’t mind =)

  12. Phil says

    Hi Kristin, 8/13/’17
    My wife and I are from San Jose and have traveled many portions of the PCH over our years together. We started with an old pickup staying in Big Sur for $8 a nite but have graduated to being RV’ers and have a mid size Itasca Winnebago tricked out for comfort. My wife just said let’s do a coastal trip soon. So I jumped on the net and saw your info. So after reading your notes I am inspired to drive HWY 5 to San Diego and start our coastal tour from that point. I do know that HWY 1 is closed for repairs just south of Big Sur so that’s needs to be addressed in our itinerary. Thanks for all your great points of interest we plan to include on our trip.

  13. Saul says

    Awesome itinerary, you hit many of the most beautiful places along the coast! Next time you should head a bit inland and check out what Costa Mesa has to offer!

  14. Garren Pryor says

    3/14/2018 Hi! My husband and I are planning our first road trip for my birthday this year. I found this very helpful. I missed how many days this trip was. I will read again. Do you mind sharing? Thank you!

  15. Kris says

    Hey thanks for documenting your California road trip. We are planning to do a road trip like this from SF to Santa Barbara. My wife and I are bringing our 2 year old and her parents and so far have Santa Cruz, Monterey, the Bixby Bridge, Solvang, and Santa Barbara on the list of places to visit. And after reading this, I think some of your suggestions will fill out the rest of our trip. McWay Falls, Morro Bay and random beach stops along highway 1 should be great sites for us to check out.
    Thanks for this Kristin!

  16. Judy says

    Thank you for the road trip info. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I want to drive the coast, camp along the way, and also ride my bike for day trips. Any other recommendations you can provide would be helpful.

    Enjoy! Judy

  17. Josh says

    Hello! I wanted to thank you for providing such an amazing itinerary for traveling and camping along the PCH! Couple questions. I’m from Seattle, so we’d be doing the trip north to south, so would it just be as easy as basically flipping your itinerary to where you ended as our starting point?

    Also, because of COVID we’d really like to avoid staying in hotels and the idea of camping in a tent or tear drop camper, is something we’re seriously considering. My concern though is, we’d head out in about 1.5 weeks, do we have to reserve ahead a time for camping sites even if they are tent only?

    Again, thank you immensely for this itinerary and explanation of what to do along the way!

    • Kristin says

      Hi Josh,
      Thanks for reaching out! Yes you can just reverse the route 🙂

      I would be a bit concerned about finding camping at this point. It’s not impossible, but it’s what a lot people are turning to this summer and many of the campsites are only operating at half capacity, or are closed for the season. Look into it now! You can also probably find a few first-come, first-served campsites – this is common on some state parks. Just make sure you get there as close to check out (usually 11 or noon) as possible.

      All that said a lot of kiddos are back in school starting this week so that should help a lot!