Road trip on Route 1, California

Road trip on the most beautiful road in the USA
Road trip on the most beautiful road in the USA

Route 1 in California is an 883-mile road that runs along the Pacific ocean’s coasts in the state of California and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

The road was established in 1934. Along the road, there are many tourist points. We planned a route and rented a jeep for a two-day trip. We stopped on the way to beautiful coastal towns, spectacular viewpoints, nature reserves, and various attractions.

We rented a car in San Francisco and started our trip from there. This was an unforgettable experience for me, I have got to special places, places that are less known, but so beautiful and unique.

Being on a roadtrip with your boyfriend\ girlfriend or good friend is an amazing experience. You listen and sing songs, learn more about each other, and discover new places together. 

This trip takes two days.

San Francisco – Bixby creek bridge – Carmel by the sea – Monterey bay – Santa Cruz – Natural bridges – shark fin cove

Trip Itinerary

We started our journey in San Francisco and we spent  5 days in the city. After five days, we rented a car and drove about 135 miles (two hours and 15 minutes drive) to the first stop “Bixby creek bridge”. After spending half an hour there, we continued on our way and drove about 15 miles (22 minutes) to the next stop “Carmel by the sea”.

We spent about an hour or two in the town and walked around it. Then, we drove about 5.6 miles  (13 minutes) to the next stop, the city “Monterey Bay”.

We spent several hours there and ate at a restaurant in the area. Finally, we drove to the town of Santa Cruz where we spent the first night. We went to the promenade, the beach and also to an amusement park.
We stayed at the Oceana Inn Santa Cruz hotel.

In the morning we continued down the road. We stopped first for breakfast at a cafe in  Santa Cruz and then continued our road trip. Our first stop on the second day was inside the town of Santa Cruz at a viewpoint called “Natural bridges state beach”. 

We spent about half an hour there and then drove about 10 miles  (13 minutes) to the last point on our road trip “Shark fin cove”, where we enjoyed the beach and gorgeous view. We finished the trip at the San Francisco airport and from there flew to Las Vegas.



Oceana inn Santa cruz 
Three-star hotel, the hotel had spacious and well-equipped rooms. The room had a large double bed, bathroom, and a sitting area. The service at the hotel was pleasant and good.
The hotel is located in the center of Santa Cruz and within walking distance from the main street.

Bixby creek bridge

A viewpoint on a cliff overlooking a spectacular beach and a bridge that connects between the roads.

The best viewpoint in the area is on the north side of the bridge where you can see both the bridge and the shoreline.

Carmel by the sea

The town of Carmel is one of the most beautiful towns on route 1.
On the main street of the town, Ocean View, you will find boutique shops, restaurants and bars, galleries, and decorated houses.

The town has nice and peaceful beaches with white sand and blue water.

Monterey bay

About 160 km south of San Francisco, the Monterey Peninsula stands out from the coastal strip.
In the city of Monterey, you will find the oldest and most historic houses in California, restaurants, shops, and a beautiful beach.

On the pier in Monterey, you can see seals.
Monterey Bay Aquarium – one of the most beautiful aquariums in the United States, it is known for a wide variety of sea creatures such as penguins, otters, sharks, and many types of fish.

Santa Cruz

A beach town in the north of Monterey Bay, this place is calm and pleasant and offers beaches and various attractions.
The town is known for the big waves that hit its shores and therefore, it is a very popular site among surfers.

In Santa Cruz, you will find a beautiful promenade, an amusement park with a fair every weekend, art galleries, cute parks, shops, restaurants, and of course beautiful beaches.
We spent the night at the Oceana Inn Santa Cruz hotel, a three-star hotel with well-equipped and comfortable rooms.

Natural bridges state beach

Beach within the coastal town of Santa Cruz. Inside the sea, there is a huge rock on which birds build nests. There is a viewpoint from a terrace overlooking the beach where you can take photogenic photos for your Instagram feed.

Shark fin cove

A spectacularly beautiful beach surrounded by large rocks and cliffs. The sea water is turquoise and clear, and you are surrounded by beautiful nature-like caves and viewpoints to the sea. To reach the beach there is a short route that takes about 5-10 minutes.

Additional Recommendations

A road trip is an extraordinary and especially enjoyable experience.

There are amazing places to travel by car in the world like the United States, Europe, New Zealand, and many more.

There are a few things you should know before going on this special experience. I have prepared for you a detailed guide that will help you plan a successful road trip.

The guide has information about the car rental process, route planning, what you must not forget, and more.

To the full guide to a road trip – click here

If you enjoy this article don’t forget to share it

Skip to content