Overall Route Rating
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4.78 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.78
55 Reviews

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Jul 31, 2000

Rider Reviews

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March 8, 2009
Did this ride and then some. Started out from…
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January 7, 2013
Wife and I planned a 10 day riding vacation over…

Written Directions

The directions to this route are pretty straight forward since it stays on one road, highway 1, the whole time. My description of the "Roadside Amenities" above, describe the route from north to south. Start the route in Monterrey California and simply follow highway 1 south through Big Sur and down to the route's conclusion in San Simeon California (where you'll find the Hearst Castle).


This world-class scenic route takes you along the famed California Route 1 starting (or ending) in Monterey California and ending (or starting) in Morro Bay. The route is 1 of original 9 routes to be selected by the US Department of Transportation as an "All American Road" which is a designation given to only the cream of the crop roads that are categorized as America's Byways (The list of All American Roads has grown over the years. As of July 2016 there are 31 All American Roads). The route is part of a stretch of Route 1 that has been honored time and time again as a classic American roadtrip road by countless books, magazines, websites, etc. Along this route you will see coastal scenery that will leave you breathless. Opposite the ocean, inland scenery is as inspiring with its display of rolling hills, rock outcroppings, picturesque waterfalls, redwood forests, flowered meadows, lush valleys, and majestic coastal mountains. Along the route you will see a number of lighthouses, 18th century Spanish missions, and a variety of animal life including sea lions, sea otters, sharks, bat rays, gray whales, brown pelicans, and peregrine falcons as well as monarch butterfly winter sanctuaries.

Drive Enjoyment

Overall the road quality is very good and the number of turns, climbs and descents alone should give it a five star rating. However, its overwhelming beauty and popular attractions also lead it to be a sometimes constricted route and at times leading to traffic bottlenecks in some of the towns along the way. However it still is one of the best roads in America and therefore deserves its four star rating.

Watch this video of Pacific Coast Cruise; Hwy 1.

Tourism Opportunities

You can plan a weeks vacation along this route in terms of the number and quality of amenities available. There are seven state parks along the way, a state reserve, a botanical area and many historical areas of interest. At anyone of these state parks you will find many opportunities for hiking and beach exploring. Monterey California offers a walking tour as well the Cannery Row district with its restaurants, museums, and aquarium. Pacific Grove is known as Butterfly USA due to its choice as a winter home to a vast number of monarch butterflies coming in from as far as Canada. Carmel-by-the-Sea offers shops, cottages, galleries, restaurants, and a preserved 18th century Spanish mission. You will also cross the much photographed Bixby Bridge (you've probably seen this bridge in a few movies, postcards or TV commercials). It arches 256 feet above the meeting of the Bixby Creek and Pacific ocean. Tours of the lighthouse in Point Sur State Historic Park are offered on most weekends. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers outstanding hiking trails leading to many waterfalls and trout filled streams. Don't miss one of California's most visited tourist site - Hearst's paradise. This mansion/castle was built for publisher William Randolph Hearst at the beginning of the 20th century; taking nearly 30 years to be completed.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Monterey Bay Area Guide

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October 15, 2013
2 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport
Hands down the best ride I've ever been on, I started in monterey and ended up in pismo ca. I've done this ride 3 times since 2007 I'm from fresno ca and it's a must do ride every couple years. This year I plan on a week of camping from frisco to Santa Barbara along highway 1 partying and relaxing along the way. The views are breathe taking the people I've met are cool and I love my state I'm so glad to have this place in my backyard
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December 20, 2016
5 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
There's just something special about motorcycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, so that's how I started my southbound tour on Highway 1. My advice is that once across the bridge get off of the marked Hwy 1 and over to the coast by taking Geary. This is a lovely part of San Francisco's seafront and much better than staying on 19th Street. You'll see the famed Cliff House and the remains of Sutro's baths as you join the coast.
Once through the tunnel just south of Pacifica, use the viewpoint parking and enjoy the first views of how rugged the Pacific Coast can be. The tunnel was bored to eliminate traveling under the frequent rock fall of the notorious and sometimes deadly Devil's Slide. (I was almost killed in a rockslide here while attempting a 50 mile "Kennedy Walk" in the early 1060's)
On my tour I had my wife on the back of my CTX700 and we timed our ride to be at Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing for an early dinner. This is one of those always crowded eateries that serves simple meals that are reasonably priced, yet astoundingly good. After dinner we spent our first night in Monterey where Cannery Row, the Monterey Aquarium and hanging out on the coast watching the otters swim by are our favorites.
This was a sight-seeing trip and the next day was a short hop to Morro Bay. This is the very best of the central coast. Twisty, well paved asphalt, wide open views of crashing waves and the misty, salty spray that they leave behind lay in front of you for mile after gorgeous mile. Big Sur, the Bixby Bridge and every turnout offer something new. A tour of Hearst Castle near San Simeon is a must do, and we enjoyed ours immensely. You'll park your moto and take the 15 minute shuttle up the mountain to the castle while enjoying a variety of animals that occupy the property. I didn't expect to like this as much as I did and enjoyed the surprise.
Once in Morro Bay we enjoyed the lively waterfront bars and restaurants and the casual, relaxed feeling of this coastal jewel. Morro Rock, a volcanic plug sticks out of the sea and offers photographers the opportunity to shoot fabulous sunset photos. (best taken 30-45 minutes after sunset) I like to stay at the Inn at Morro Bay which is just inside Morro Bay State Park. The harbor views and the view of Morro Rock are perfect from the Inn's property.
The next time I do this tour, I'll spend two nights in Santa Barbara. I think it is the most beautiful and upscale small town on the central coast. There are plenty of eateries, bars, a nice wharf and a boat shuttle that goes between the harbor and wharf for wide open views of town.
Our tour took us down to Ventura and out to the desert through Mojave and then up Highway 395 through Lone Pine, Mammoth Lakes and then up and over Monitor Pass, Luther Pass and Echo Summit back to where we began our tour at our home near Sacramento. Just under 1,200 miles of pure moto-bliss!!
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May 21, 2014
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
As good as it gets. I've ridden 1 from Washington all the way down to LA....Favorite spots are right at the Oregon/Cali border and around Big Sur.....All is absolutely beautiful though. Bucket list ride!!! Blessings
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