Driving out to the coast

Added: Davion Mercurio - Date: 23.09.2021 00:14 - Views: 43751 - Clicks: 1497

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While many travelers begin in Los Angeles and head north, driving the Pacific Coast Highway from north to south keeps you in the lane closest to the ocean. Near the small town of Leggett home to the famed Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree US transitions into scenic Highway 1, the most popular portion of this route and the classic Coastal California road trip.

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All this may be true in small pockets, but the amazing thing about the Pacific Coast—from the dense green forests of western Washington to the gorgeous beaches of Southern California—is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself. This 1,mile 2, kmmostly two-lane route takes in everything from temperate rainforest to near-desert. Most of the Pacific Coast is in the public domain, accessible, and protected from development within national, state, and local parks, which provide habitat for such rare creatures as mountain lions, condors, and gray whales.

Heading south, after the rough-and-tumble logging and fishing communities of Washington State, you cross the mouth of the Columbia River and follow the comparatively peaceful and quiet Oregon coastline, where recreation has by and large replaced industry, and where dozens of quaint and not-so-quaint communities line the ever-changing shoreline.

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At the midway point, you pass through the great redwood forests of Northern California, where the tallest and most majestic living things on earth line the Avenue of the Giants, home also to some of the best meaning gloriously kitsch remnants of the golden age of car-borne tourism: drive-through trees, drive-on trees, houses carved out of trees, and much more.

The phenomenally beautiful coast-line of Northern California is rivaled only by the incredible coast of Big Sur farther south, beyond which stretches the beachfronts of Southern California. The land of palm trees, beach boys, and surfer girls of popular lore really does exist, though only in the southernmost quarter of the state.

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While rarely as old as places on the East Coast, or as impressive as those in Europe, these diverse sites include the Spanish colonial missions of California, Russian and English fur-trading outposts, and the place where Lewis and Clark first sighted the Pacific after their long slog across the continent. Last but certainly not least are the energizing cities— Seattle and Portland in the north, San Francisco in the middle, and Los Angeles and San Diego to the south—that serve as gateways to or civilized respites from the landscapes between them.

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Add to these the dozens of small and not-so-small towns along the coast, with alternating blue-collar ports and up-scale vacation retreats, and you have a great range of food, drink, and accommodations options. Here are ten major sights along the Pacific Coast Highway where travelers aiming to follow only a section of the full cross-country route may wish to use to plan their drive:.

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If you choose to travel, please do so safely and responsibly. Here are ten major sights along the Pacific Coast Highway where travelers aiming to follow only a section of the full cross-country route may wish to use to plan their drive: A classic Big Sur photo op is beautiful McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

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The Perfect Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip