It is the area of coast up from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The quicker route between the two cities is route 101, which is the road we took last time, but we thought we’d take the scenic route…
Don’t do it! All the guide books tell you to take Highway 1; it’s prettier, much more to see and route 101 is just a boring motorway. Ignore the guide books! Take the boring motorway!
We actually did travel Highway 1 the first time we went to California ten years ago, and it has changed so much since then. Back then, we passed hardly any traffic. (In the middle of the day in the summer holidays I was able to take a loo stop at the side of the road with no worries.) This time the road was chock-a-block full of traffic even at ten o’clock at night. Back then it was the worst day of our holiday and this time it was the worst day of the holiday. My husband hadn’t wanted to take that route, but I insisted because all the guide books tell you to take it due to the wonderful scenery and photo opportunities. So he was cross because it is such a difficult road to drive and I had to pretend not to feel wretched with car sickness. If you even slightly suffer from car sickness, do not take this road! It is so so windy it’s unbelievable. This time my husband was happier to take Hwy 1; we were going to have more stops this time and even walk to the beach, but as we had such a pointlessly wasted morning (see earlier post) we didn’t have time to stop and it got dark quickly so we couldn’t even see the scenery, and to top it all off it started to rain so he had to drive even slower round those horribly windy roads. And this time we all felt car sick too.
The scenery isn’t really that great either! Yes, I’m sure the view is nicer than from route 101, but if you’ve ever been to Cornwall then you’ve seen coastal scenery a hundred times more beautiful and interesting. There’s a waterfall going directly into the sea at Mawgan Porth; I really don’t think it’s worth the extra 5 hours driving to see a bigger one at Big Sur.