For the last four years I attended college in Monterey Bay. I grew up in La Quinta, California (a city just past Palm Springs) and every Christmas break I would make the 7 hour drive home to spend time with my family. A few times I’ve decided to take the scenic route home by driving along Highway 1 for a while. The farthest I’ve gone on the 1 is from Monterey all the way to Santa Barbara.
The first stop you should make if you are driving south on the 1 is Bixby Bridge. One of the most iconic California symbols and located in Big Sur.
The next stop I’d recommend is McWay Falls, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The view is another iconic California destination photographed and shared across the world. You pull off along the highway and there is a short trail about 1/4 of a mile down to an overlook of the beautiful waterfall.
Next I highly recommend stopping at Elephant Seal Beach. Depending on the season you might just see Elephant Seal mothers with their new born babies bathing on the beach in the sand. Either way, when you visit you are sure to see seals everywhere scattered all along the beach; its incredible.
Next stop, Morro Bay. Morro Bay is known for Morro Rock a giant volcanic mound located near the beach.
And finally Santa Barbara, where you can enjoy a nice bite to eat overlooking some of the most beautiful beaches in the world before getting back on the road.