In May of 2015 I made a road trip in a Mercedes CLK 350 from Orange County to San Francisco along Highway 1. After stopping overnight at Morro Bay I continued north.
The coastal road is one of the great drives of the world. Its total length is 1055 kilometres and commences at Dana Point, just south of where I started my journey.
Highway 1 finishes at Leggett, 290 kilometres north of where I left it at San Francisco.
The Highway was built piecemeal in various stages, with the first section opening in the Big Sur region in the 1930s.
The Highway passes through a number of coastal parks as it winds through Big Sur, hugging the spectacular cliffs. It briefly traverses a redwood forest in the Big Sur River valley.
Access to beaches and national parks, coupled with great coastal scenery, makes the Highway a popular tourist route.
The Highway crosses several historic bridges, including Bixby Creek Bridge, a reinforced concrete arch with a 100 metre span, and the Rocky Creek Bridge. Bixby Bridge is one of the tallest single span bridges in the world. Prior to its construction in 1932 locals were often isolated in winters.
Frequent landslides and erosion along the coast have caused several segments of the Highway to be either closed for lengthy periods for repairs, or re-routed further inland.
I left the coast after Carmel and drove into San Francisco.
San Francisco is a beautiful city. A visit to the Fishermans Wharf is a must.
Equally essential is a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge (or the ‘Red Bridge’ as it is known by the locals) to Sausalito.
It was time to turnaround and head back to Newport Beach.
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