The California Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is also sometimes referred to as California State Route 1 (SR 1) or Hwy 1. Check out our Top 13 must see stops on your Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip – from San Francisco to San Diego (and everywhere in between!) on this 659 mile Pet Friendly Road Trip!
San Francisco's many world-famous attractions include the Golden Gate Bridge (walkways on either side of the bridge are open to pedestrians and cyclists), Fisherman’s Wharf shops and restaurants in a beautiful waterfront setting, Alcatraz Island (which closed as a penitentiary in 1963 and re-opened as a tourist attraction in 1973), Union Square, Cable Cars, Chinatown, and Pier 39, home to 130 stores and a wide range of places to eat.
Planning a trip to DisneyWorld / Orlando Florida?
Check out a wide range of pet-friendly places to stay, covering every taste and budget along
Did you know - 4 DisneyWorld Resort Hotels are now Dog-Friendly!
These are: Disney's Port Orleans Resort Hotel, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Yacht Club Resort, and Disney Fort Wilderness Cabins.
San Jose - Silicon Valley
San Jose is a central part of Silicon Valley – other nearby cities that fall within Silicon Valley include Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Tech giants Facebook and Google are headquartered here, as is Hewlett Packard from where it all began.
Highlights include Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, The Wharf, Pacific Avenue, Palomar, Wilder Ranch State Park and the Rio Theatre.
Monterey / Carmel-by-the-sea
Highlights include Monterey Bay, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, the Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.
The ‘17 Mile Drive’ is a very scenic loop drive on the Monterey Peninsula taking you towards the town of Carmel-by-the-sea, known for its long-established artistic colony of artists, writers and poets, and for being particularly dog-friendly!
Big Sur is a very scenic, rugged stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon (home to the Hearst Castle and its vast collection). The stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, and pristine beaches have made Big Sur a very popular destination.
San Simeon – Hearst Castle
Publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst built Hearst Castle on The Enchanted Hill, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, in an undertaking that began in 1919, finishing in 1947.
At the height of Hearst's ownership, the estate totalled more than 250,000 acres: in 1957, the castle and its contents, with 127 acres of the gardens, were transferred to the guardianship of the California State Parks Department.
In addition to the Art & Antiquities collections, notable features include the Neptune Pool, the Roman Pool, the Pergola, and the Zoo (at the time said to be the largest private Zoo in the world).
San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway - Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, the Fremont Theater and Bubblegum Alley (an alley lined with chewing gum left by visitors, covering a 70 foot long stretch of Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo).
Attractions include Stearns Wharf, East Beach, Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Lotusland, the Lobero Theatre, the Arlington Theatre and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.
Stretching for 21 miles along the coats, the beach city of Malibu, located about 30 miles west of Downtown LA, is home to many Hollywood stars.
The best way to exit Malibu is via Topanga Canyon, making sure to enjoy the view over the San Fernando Valley from the top of Topanga Overlook.
There's so much to see and enjoy in Los Angeles!
Check out the bohemian, free-spirited Venice Beach Boardwalk with it's funky shops, street artists and performers, and colorful murals. There’s a skate park and of course, Muscle Beach outdoor gym!
Other notable attractions include Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame, and the Chinese Theatre, Griffith Observatory, Disneyland in Anaheim, Santa Monica Pier (and high end shopping), the Getty Center in the hills above Santa Monica, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Beverley Hills, the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Music Hall (home to the LA Philharmonic), Sunset Boulevard , Rodeo Drove and so much more......
Surf City USA – Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach officially adopted the Surf City USA nickname in January 2008. Located just 30 miles south of Los Angeles, HB as it is known, boasts 10 miles of sandy beaches which hold more than 50 surf contests each year, including the legendary US Open of Surfing.
Apart from great surfing, Huntington Beach is also home to the International Surfing Museum, the Surfers' Hall of Fame, and the Surfing Walk of Fame, where Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, was inducted in 1994.
Our Road Trip ends in San Diego, home to Balboa Park, Downtown and Old Town. Balbao Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, the park contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Balbao Park is home to wonderful performing arts centers, as well as California’s best collection of museums, 16 in total, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, the San Diego History Center, the Botanical Building and the Fleet Science Center, .
Other sights include SeaWorld San Diego, the USS Midway Museum, a historical naval aircraft carrier museum located in downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter, the 128-acre Legoland theme park, and Cabrillo National Monument which commemorates the place where explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to land on the U.S. West Coast in 1542.
Make sure to enjoy the view of San Diego and the Bay from the Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma!