Highway 1 along the Central California coast is one of the most scenic drives in America. Start your vacation off right and settle into a relaxing drive with jaw-dropping views on your way to Morro Bay. Whether traveling by SUV, car, convertible, or motorcycle, you'll love this spectacular drive.
Big Sur to Morro Bay
If you are traveling to Morro Bay from the north, you will experience cliff-side driving, ocean vistas, and coastal hikes. Wildlife spotting opportunities abound, and charming towns offer historical landmarks and refreshments.
If you're traveling from the north, you'll experience the thrill of cliff-side driving before arriving at Ragged Point. Ragged Point is home to the Million-Dollar View, and drivers can enjoy panoramic views of the cliffs and the Pacific Ocean.
Adventurous visitors can take the Cliffside Trail to the exquisite purple-sand beach. Once there, visitors can admire the Black Swift waterfall that runs down the cliff and into the ocean.
Elephant Seal Rookery and the Piedras Blancas Light Station
Check out the Elephant Seal Rookery and watch thousands of Elephant Seals. The Boucher Trail can be accessed and provides a nearly two-mile walk to the Piedras Blancas Light Station. The walk meanders along the coastline and offers beautiful views.
Just south of the Piedras Blancas Light Station, take a slight detour off HWY 1 to visit Hearst Castle, built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hearst Ranch is home to zebras descended from those in Hearst's private zoo.
Hearst San Simeon State Park
At Hearst San Simeon State Park, visitors can enjoy an oceanside trail with scenic overlooks. Whales are often seen from this vantage point, so bring binoculars and keep a lookout.
Moonstone Beach and Piedras Blancas Light
Next, you'll reach Moonstone Beach. Take the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk and watch for seals and marine wildlife. This is an excellent place to stop for a picnic or grab lunch in one of Cambria's restaurants.
To the east of Moonstone Beach, visitors will find Covell's Clydesdales, a 2,000-acre horse ranch. To the south of the beach, visitors will find the Piedras Blancas LightHouse Lens on display.
Estero Bluffs, Cayucos, and Morro Bay
Estero Bluffs State Park runs alongside HWY 1. Stop at one of the pullovers and enjoy the expansive views. The quaint town of Cayucos offers a beautiful beach, pier, and plenty of restaurants. Finally, your trip ends in the beautiful city of Morro Bay.
Santa Barbara to Morro Bay
If you are coming from the south, HWY 1 offers a variety of historic landmarks and beautiful vistas from Santa Barbara to Morro Bay.
Santa Barbara Mission
The Old Santa Barbara Mission was established in 1786 and offered an idyllic retreat. The mission features lovely gardens and a historic cemetery.
Nipomo features farm fields and cattle ranches. In addition, visitors can check out Ocean Dunes, one of the most extensive dune landscapes in the world.
The scenery is spectacular as you drive to Pismo Beach. Dramatic coastal hills part to allow drivers to see the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. This classic beach town features surf shops, cute beach cottages, and the vintage Pismo Beach Pier.
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo is wine country, and visitors will love checking out tasting rooms and enjoying vineyard landscapes.
Discover Highway 1 to Morro Bay
While the drive to Morro Bay is fabulous, the destination will exceed your expectations. Settle in for the trip of a lifetime and check out Morro Bay family-friendly activities. Enjoy the ride!