Santa Monica is the birthplace of modern skateboarding and the first stop on this beautiful drive. The film "Lords of Dogtown" is based on the Z-Boys, a skateboarding team based in Venice Beach that revolutionized the sport in the '70s.
From Santa Monica, head to Malibu where the drive provides palm trees and sandy beaches on one side and green hills on the other.
If you’re hungry you’ll be pleased to note that San Maria is known for excellent barbecue; try the tri-tip steak with all the sides.
Stop at Vista Point around San Simeon to see an estimated 17,000 elephant seals. Take in the amazing sights, sounds and smells and keep an eye out for the squirrels, too!
Pass through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and to see the impressive McWay Falls. The water drops directly into the ocean waves lapping on the shore.
This passage of the trip is all about the beauty and tranquillity of Big Sur, which has bridges over ravines, cliffs that fall into the sea and unparalleled panoramic views.
From Big Sur, head up the coast to Monterey. Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck grew up in nearby Salinas and set many of his novels in or around the city.
Made by Mexican Franciscan friars since the 19th century, Monterey Jack cheese unsurprisingly originates from the area. Whales, dolphins and porpoises can be seen throughout the year in Monterey Bay.
Continuing north, Santa Cruz is home to some of the best beaches and most renowned surfing spots in the world. Surfers can test themselves on 11 world-class surf breaks.
Santa Cruz also is home to the oldest boardwalk on the West Coast, which was developed in 1907. On the final leg of your trip to San Francisco, check out the picturesque Pigeon Point lighthouse. From there, it’s on to the bright lights of San Francisco.
If you find yourself in New York in the autumn with a day to spare, consider this a scenic drive north.
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