Highway 1 Discovery Route

Your Stop on a California Coast Road Trip

If you’re planning a California Coast road trip from San Francisco to San Diego but don’t know where to start, consider mapping out your trip along the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Route 1. The Highway 1 Discovery Route is an iconic and overlooked piece of California history that runs across one hundred miles of scenic Pacific coastline, right through San Luis Obisbo — home to La Cuesta Inn.

You’ll find a number of things to do, see, and explore along the way, including a national marine sanctuary, national estuary, thirteen state parks, monarch butterfly preserves, two historic lighthouses, five historic piers, centuries-old forests, acres of coastal vineyards, white sand beaches, and so much more.

Must-See Destinations Along Highway 1 Discovery Route:

Ragged Point

Found at the gateway to Big Sur, Ragged Point is known as “The Million Dollar View.” Along your California Coast road trip, stop here to experience one of the most breathtaking views of the entire drive. Hike to a secret waterfall or simply enjoy the sunset over the dramatic coastline.

Monarch Butterfly Grove

If you plan your road trip from October through February, Nipomo’s Monarch Dunes Butterfly Habitat is a must-see. Witness the thousands of Monarch butterflies taking shelter for the winter months in this protected eucalyptus grove.

Bob Jones Trail

Venture through Avila Beach and stretch your legs on the Bob Jones Trail, a scenic walk along the San Luis Obispo Creek. Get a glimpse of bridges across the creek, the downtown area, and the Pacific Ocean throughout the trail.

Elephant Seal Rookery

Cross a wildlife spectacle off of your list when you visit the Piedras Blancas Rookery to observe the Elephant Seals. Spend an afternoon on the coast with these large and sometimes loud creatures. Witness the birthing and breeding of these fascinating animals in January and February.

Whether you’re looking to head North from San Diego or South from San Francisco, stop into La Cuesta Inn on your way through the central coast. Our charming boutique hotel is the ultimate retreat after a day of wine tasting, visiting friends, or exploring the town of San Luis Obispo.