2017 was a turbulent yr all around the globe, however particularly alongside the HWY 1 alongside California’s Central Coast. Pure disasters left sections of this well-known highway closed for greater than a yr. Two occasions occurred that induced main detours for individuals taking a HWY 1 highway journey.
Nonetheless, it’s time to have a good time as a result of the historic HWY 1 is again open! One thing that you just don’t get to say fairly often is that they completed this large mission, not simply on time – however early. When you see the photographs of the aftermath of the landslide you’ll see what an enormous endeavor it truly was.
See more: Is highway 1 open in california
Right here just a little bit extra background & our information to the proper highway journey down HWY 1 alongside the Central Coast! Our most up-to-date journey was truly our third time driving HWY 1. A couple of years in the past we drove from Vancouver to L.A. on a part of a fair larger highway journey across the nation. We love highway journeys, and might actually say this is among the finest on this planet!
The Large Sur Land Slide
In Could 2017 an enormous chunk of rock and soil got here tumbling down protecting HWY 1 for a quarter-mile lengthy part and spilling into the ocean. In complete, 6 million cubic yards of land slid down from the hills behind HWY 1, close to Large Sur at Mud Creek. Fortunately earlier than the Large Sur landslide occurred CalTrans (the federal government physique accountable for the highway) was monitoring the scenario and already had closed the highway and nobody was harm.
It’s onerous to place into perspective how giant this landslide was and the way a lot work it was going to be to restore the highway. The aftermath of the HWY 1 landslide was a serious mission to securely reconnect the highway. With numerous onerous work, CalTrans completed the highway just a few months forward of schedule and the highway is once more open. Now you can drive your complete size of HWY 1 with no detours.
Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Closure
The second main closure on HWY 1 about 30 miles north was the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. Right here one other landslide compromised the structural integrity of the concrete columns supporting the highway.
To be able to reconnect the highway, a brand new bridge changed the earlier one in late 2017. Utilizing superior strategies HWY 1 was partially reopened with a brand new bridge with a metal spine to span the canyon.
Dream Drive 2018
To have a good time the reopening of HWY 1, California celebrated by rounding up almost 100 classic vehicles to make the drive from Monterey Bay to Morro Bay. With the assistance of native volunteers and traditional automobile homeowners, we took a drive down this well-known highway in a convoy of wonderful vehicles.
Our automobile for the occasion was a child blue 1953 Chevy Bel Air. We began the day with a lap across the Laguna Seca Race Observe earlier than hitting the streets! We didn’t set any pace information on the observe however we cherished our large ole’ cruiser. It was the proper automobile to make the journey and appeared to embody what this highway journey feels wish to us.
Prime Cease’s Alongside HWY 1 Central Coast Cabrillo Freeway
The coastal stretch of HWY 1 from Monterey Bay to Morro Bay is also referred to as the Cabrillo Freeway. Inside this portion of the well-known freeway are many nice stops and viewpoints. We simply obtained again from driving this part of highway as a part of the Dream Drive placed on by Go to California.
We had a lot enjoyable, we did it once more the subsequent few days making our means up and down this wonderful highway. Listed below are our favourite stops alongside HWY 1 Central Coast.
Bixby Creek Bridge
Some of the iconic and most photographed spots on HWY 1 is the Bixby Creek Bridge. This arched concrete bridge spans the canyon of Bixby Creek about 25 miles from Carmel. There are just a few pull-offs to get a photograph with the bridge and shoreline.
Our favourite is the dust highway on the Northeast nook of the bridge. From right here you get good views of the bridge and coast. For those who line up your shot good from right here you’ll be able to body your self beneath the arches.
For those who’ve ever seen a photograph of Large Sur, it might need been this picture-perfect waterfall. Positioned in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a singular waterfall that spills out proper onto the sand simply inches from the ocean.
Sadly, or possibly, happily – you’re not allowed to go proper down by the falls themselves. Which, when you’re there you’ll respect the actual fact you may get a shot of this spectacular 80-foot waterfall with out different individuals in your photos.
Associated Article: Greatest Nationwide Parks Close to Los Angeles
Some of the fashionable stops on Freeway 1 is the over-the-top Hearst Citadel. This large property was as soon as the house of William Randolph Hearst famed newspaper and media mogul. The Hearst Citadel holds 56 bedrooms, 61 bogs set round 127 acres of gardens. Make sure to put aside a few hours to go to the Hearst Citadel whereas stretching your legs on a California HWY 1 highway journey.
A extra low-key cease in comparison with the fort is Willow Creek. Preserve your eyes open for indicators for this pull-off inside Los Padres Nationwide Forest. It’s simpler to identify touring from north to south however is value pulling over for.
Right here you’ll discover piles of darkish rocks worn clean by the ability of the ocean surrounded by steep cliffs. You may picnic right here or spend a part of your day having fun with the environment.
A Paso Robles vineyard run by the Hearst Household. Make sure that to plan a pit cease for a glass of rose or a purple mix alongside your drive (whereas being accountable in fact). For those who don’t have time to make it to the tasting room among the many vines in Paso Robles, you’ll be able to catch a wine flight throughout the highway from Hearst Citadel of their seaside tasting room. For those who’re searching for a lunch spot in your HWY 1 highway journey that is the place to cease, with nice choices for adults and kids too.
The small city of Large Sur would possibly solely take a complete two minutes to drive via, however there may be a lot to see and do right here you would spend weeks. This place is a mecca for climbing, browsing, and has just lately change into a spot for wellness retreats. If you’re up for a hike Large Sur has mile after mile of trails resulting in spectacular pristine seashores and grand vistas.
A favourite cease amongst locals and guests is the superbly positioned ragged level. Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean is a mini peninsula with beautiful views of the shoreline. On account of its westward-facing cliffs, it’s an epic place for sundown. Watch the solar soften into the horizon right here whereas sipping some wine or having dinner on the Ragged Level Inn & Restaurant.
For those who’re in want of some relaxation, Ragged Level additionally has rooms to lease and makes an excellent place to remain. Ragged Level Restaurant is actually busy for lunch however at time for dinner we have been capable of get a desk outdoors straight away.
Piedras Blancas (Elephant Seal Seaside)
A California HWY 1 highway journey itinerary should embrace a cease to essentially the most well-known residents alongside the best way, the Elephant Seals on Piedras Blancas. You’re assured to see seals chilling on the seaside and now and again coming and going again out to sea. These creatures are enjoyable to take a seat and watch with their large floppy noses.
There’s a giant parking zone proper off of HWY 1 and two wood walkways with viewing platforms. There’s even a webcam, click on right here to see what’s taking place at Piedras Blancas proper now and what number of Elephant Seals are sunning themselves on the seaside. Please obey the indicators and don’t feed the elephant seals or leap the fence and enter the seaside.
Don’t neglect to pack a pair of binoculars or a zoom lens in your digital camera, as a result of nearly any time of the yr you’ll be able to spot whales off the coast. We pulled off on one cease the place a small crowd had gathered to seek out about 5 whales splashing offshore.
Paso Robles Wine Area
On the slopes behind the southern stretch of the central coast is an rising wine area in Paso Robles. Know for his or her purple blends this area makes the proper detour whereas cruising down the central coast of California.
Once you see an enormous rock plunked down within the Pacific Ocean just some hundred yards from shore, you recognize you’ve made it to Morro Bay. This iconic rock was the tip of our dream drive the place we took in a misty sundown.
One of many final items of shoreline you’ll be able to catch earlier than HWY 1 turns inland on its southward journey to L.A. is Pismo Seaside. Round this space, the highway additionally modifications names from the Cabrillo Freeway to the PCH. Don’t miss this stop-off earlier than the highway curls east and also you lose sight of the coast for about 80 miles.
HWY 1 FAQ:
Q: Is HWY 1 open all the best way now?
A: Sure, as of July 18th, 2018, HWY 1 is now utterly reopened and prepared in your subsequent highway journey. HWY 1 is open from north to south and in all places in between as of the article. Nonetheless, situations change and it’s finest to verify earlier than beginning your drive. See HWY 1 closure info right here.
Q: Is the bridge on HWY 1 open?
A: One other landslide induced the closure of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge the place the slide jeopardized the integrity of the bridge, however the bridge has been rebuilt and open once more.
Q: The place is the Cabrillo Freeway?
A: The Cabrillo Freeway refers back to the part of HWY 1 between roughly from San Franciso to Pismo Seaside.
Q: Is the PCH the Similar as HWY 1?
A: No, however kinda. The PCH 1 is a portion of HWY 1, however not the entire thing. It’s a typical misnomer that HWY 1 is the PCH 1, however that’s not likely appropriate. The PCH is HWY 1, however HWY 1 has a number of names alongside its path down the California Coast. The PCH 1 is the right identify of HWY 1 whereas it covers both aspect of L.A. for just a few hundred miles from Gaviota to Dana Level.
The place to Eat Alongside HWY 1 Central Coast
On this part of HWY 1, there are surprisingly only a few eating places or actually something for that matter – only a complete lot of pure magnificence. There are just a few stops value mentioning should you get hungry alongside the drive.
It’s finest to pack just a few drinks and snacks in your highway journey down the central coast on HWY 1. There can be locations to cease for meals and gasoline, however they’re kinda far aside. Listed below are just a few of our favorites!
Ragged Level Restaurant
This place is the proper midway level alongside the central coast drive and an excellent spot for dinner and sundown. One in all our favourite nights we on our HWY 1 highway journey was the night we spent having dinner right here after which watching the sundown.
A terrific place for brunch is Ventana perched on a tall cliff overlooking the Pacific. Right here you’ll discover a refined environment surrounded by numerous pure magnificence. There’s each indoor and outside eating with an incredible patio space.
If you end up hungry alongside HWY 1 and you’re wherever close to Morro Bay, that is the place for you. Right here you’ll discover big plates of nice seafood tacos and different choices. Even should you’re not ravenous whenever you drive previous Morro Bay, this place is value a cease, however we’d counsel splitting as a result of their parts are large.
A favourite on the southern stretch of this drive is Moonrock Bay Restaurant. Serving up native seafood in a enjoyable welcoming environment.
Tucked away excessive within the hills overlooking the ocean is a singular little restaurant and glamping resort. We noticed this place from HWY 1 and needed to test it out. Up within the hills, they’ve yurts and treehouses to remain in and so they even have a cute little restaurant with nice views.
Don’t Overlook to Pin Me For Later!
*Due to Go to California for inviting us to be a part of the Dream Drive Occasion. As at all times all opinions are our personal. We love heading off on a California Hwy highway journey, we all know we’ll be again once more!
This submit might comprise affiliate hyperlinks, see our disclosure