4) Big Sur
Highway 1, better known as the Pacific Coast Highway (or PCH to locals), guides you along the central California coast, through some of the best scenery in the country. Perilously high cliffs wind along the jagged coastline, creating breathtaking ocean and mountain views. This is Big Sur; an 85 mile stretch of stunning rugged shoreline. Big Sur is not a city or town. It’s a region of coastline which runs just south of Monterey Bay, from Carmel to San Simeon. You can make the drive in one day, or you can stay overnight in the towns along the way. Be aware: accommodation here is can be expensive! Camp sites are available at much more reasonable prices. There are areas where State Parks will charge a small fee for access to miles of trails and spectacular views, however much of the region can be seen from Highway 1.
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