Our Roadside Pit Stops Along Highway 1

One of the advantages of driving from north to south along Highway 1 was that there were numerous pit stops for visitors to pull over and take a break (not so much if you’re coming from the other direction). If it were up to me, I would have pulled over on every single one to take photos because all the views were amazing! But for the sake of my friends’ sanities, I limited my requests. There were still plenty of photo ops, which I realized when putting together this compilation. Be prepared for many photos from various pit stops along our Highway 1 road trip!

Coming out of Garrapata State Park:

California Highway 1

I wanted to get a shot of Bixby Bridge, but we somehow drove past the pit stop where everyone gets a photo of the bridge. So I’d like to think we were unique and pulled over on the next one instead. It’s still there, just smaller and farther in the distance!

Bixby Bridge California
Bixby Bridge

It was really difficult to get decent photos while sitting in a moving car, but here’s one that shows what the highway looked like. In the end, I learned to just sit back and soak in the view without feeling the need to capture it.

California Highway 1 Road Trip
On the way to Andrew Molera State Park

After coming out of Big Sur (which was a nerve-wracking, curvy drive down the mountains), we saw cows grazing out on the hills. Now I know where “free-range, grass-fed, organic” beef comes from! They must have been the happiest cows in the country. While writing this post, I had to remind myself that it’s ok to not have a photo to show for it. I touched on this earlier, but one of the biggest challenges for me when traveling is to put down the camera and to just “live in the moment.” As long as it’s stored in my memory, not having photo proof is ok!

California Highway 1 Rancho Grande

California Highway 1 Rancho Grande

The ultimate road trip photo! Thanks for indulging me, ladies 🙂

California Highway 1 Mountains

California Highway 1

California Highway 1

This next stop was pretty cool. After walking through a patch of desert plants, we came across an open field of grass that bordered the sea. Goodness, this is the kind of field I dream of running through!

California Highway 1

California Highway 1

That day we drove a ton, so I saw a huge variety of geographical changes (which you could probably tell from the photos so far). After coming out of Big Sur/mountains, we finally reached flatter lands in the afternoon.

California Highway 1
Say goodbye to the mountains!

One of the most memorable stops was at an elephant seal vista point. I didn’t expect to see seals at all. Boy was I wrong!

Elephant Seal Vista Point California

These guys looked dead if not for the occasional roll, grunt, and spray of sand on their bodies:

Elephant Seals California

We happened to come at a time when most pups were weaned so the last of the adults were leaving. Thus, I’m guessing that most of the seals on the beach were pups. I still can’t believe that our timing worked out so well!

Elephant Seal Vista Point California

And that’s it!

We stopped in various towns and cities for the rest of the trip, so pit stops became less frequent. While the rest of the drive was still pretty, this leg of the trip had the most diverse scenery and opportunities to stop and admire them. Being a landscape junkie, I loved this part of the journey and can’t get enough. I hope I’ll get to do it again in the future!

Have you ever driven on Highway 1? What/where were your favorite stops along the way?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Read about our next stop in Morro Bay here.

  • Jenny

    I’ve never been out to California… but if I were to drive on Highway 1 I’d also want to stop as much as possible to soak up the BEAUTIFUL scenery. I don’t know why, I have never imagined Cali as being lush and green. I guess my head has been in the sand, haha!
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

    • That’s definitely the way to go! I was stunned by how lush the land was. It’s like paradise on earth :O

  • Gorgeous landscapes.

  • Take me hiking with you. Pleaseeeeee
    these are lovely photographs and your hikes somehow always seem really peaceful and tranquil
    I need some of that

    • Haha thank you! Your comment made me laugh out loud 🙂

      • hahaha I’ glad 🙂
        Have a wonderful friday!

  • I’m so happy I found your blog jpei!! It seems everybody is flocking to tourist attractions and here you are with your girlfriends going on adventures I love it!

    • So glad to hear that! Thanks for checking it out, and I hope it inspires you to try new things.

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  • Anna

    We did the trip South to North, so stopping at vista points was bit tricky but we managed! That’s way we didn’t miss the Brixby bridge one, as we pulled over as soon as we passed it!
    And the seals! oh! I didn’t imagine that we would see so many too! Indeed it was the perfect time because a volunteer guide told us that they come out of the water in December and stay there for about 6 months and the spend the rest of the year in the water!

    • That’s awesome! Great to hear of someone else who did the same trip as us. Still so pleased that we went at such a good time.

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