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Must Visit Landmarks on Pacific Coast Highway

TravisMathew’s summer is being spent on the California coast, from our home in Huntington Beach, all the way up to Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and the Bay Area.  Stretching along the way is California State Route 1, more affectionately known as Pacific Coast Highway.  The next time you take a trip out to California, or if you’re a local and are looking for something to do on a weekend, here are TravisMathew’s picks for the coolest spots to hit on PCH.


Glass Beach in Fort Bragg
A spot that you really have to see to believe, this stretch of beach is made up of millions of small, smooth pieces of colored glass to create an amazing “sea of glass”.  Once a city dump until the 60s, pounding waves over the years has broken down glass bottles into the pebble-like colored sand.

Potter Schoolhouse in Bodega Bay
This famous landmark, along with the St. Teresa of Avila Church, are better known as memorable settings from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Set in a quaint fishing town, Bodega Bay also offers whale watching, remote areas for paddle boarding and kayaking, plus some of the best seafood restaurants on the California coast

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
This “must visit” bridge is this famous San Francisco landmark is literally a stretch of PCH and the 101 Highway.  From the bridge you can see the notorious Alcatraz Island and you’re just minutes away from Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, and the historical Haight-Ashbury district.


The Boardwalk in Santa Cruz
Take a step back in time and check out the Giant Dipper, a wooden rollercoaster that has been running since 1924.  You can’t go wrong taking a stroll down to the beach where you can spot paddle boarders and sea lions trying to share the Pacific Ocean or taking a photo in front of the Santa Cruz lighthouse.

17 Mile Drive in Monterey
We can’t recommend this landmark enough, especially if you’re a golfer.  Nearly twenty miles of winding roads thru Monterey with views of the ocean with spots on the way at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Course and the exclusive Cypress Point Club.

Bixby Bridge in Big Sur
Measuring over 700 feet long and nearly 300 feet high, this massive bridge is one of the most photographed bridges on the West Coast.  The nearby rural mountain community boasts lookout points like McWay Falls and Pfeiffer Beach.


Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County
This tiny (population 8000) surfing community is also home to fishing hotspots and is called the “clam capital of the world.”  Just off PCH is SLO is the famous tourist attraction of Bubblegum Alley, a 70-foot long alley covered with chewed gum left by visitors from all over the world.  Gross?  Maybe.  Mandatory experience and photo spot?  Absolutely.

Topanga Canyon near Malibu
Home to Hollywood elites and bohemian artists, this stretch of land has inspired filmmakers and musicians due to the sharp turns and views of the Santa Monica Mountains.


The Pier in Santa Monica
Not only is PCH a part of Santa Monica, but the historical Route 66 starts (or ends) here too.  If you have more time than just checking an amazing sunset, hit up Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, and the Griffith Observatory for a day full of adventure and sightseeing.

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