One of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world is Highway No. 1. The heart and probably most beautiful section lies between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here you will find the most beautiful beaches, places and coastal landscapes of the USA. I was allowed to cross the most beautiful part of this coastal road on my west coast road trip.
On the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles we crossed this beautiful section of Highway No. 1. During the passage and the stops we made in some places, I always asked myself: What is more beautiful? I can tell you a lot about it here and show you pictures of my trip, but the feeling that I had when I stood there is simply indescribable. Beautiful beaches and cliffs where the waves break and leave nothing but silence in between. The sea has for me since I can think something totally fascinating and somehow I get a feeling of freedom when looking at the waves.
We made our first stop in the coastal town of Monterey. The urban area has a size of 30.4 km² and lies directly on Highway No. 1. The city has about 27,000 inhabitants and is located at the southern end of Monterey Bay. The peninsula Monterey, which is bordered on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, offers windswept beaches for surfers but also calm bays. Monterey is home to the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is one of the largest public show aquariums in the world. 35,000 animals live here, from starfish and jellyfish to the great white shark. Until 1850, sardine fishing was the central source of income for the region. Today Monterey is a popular tourist centre and you will find many hotels and restaurants here.
The privately managed road that winds between Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach leads through a cypress forest to a rocky coast. Driving on this road is free by car, walking or cycling. Along the coast are some of the most beautiful houses in the world. When driving along this road, one does not know where to look first. On one side the coast and the sea and on the other side the beautiful houses and the probably most famous golf course of the world, the Pebble Beach. It makes sense not to drive faster than walking speed, otherwise you would miss too much.
Of course we also made some stops along the coastal road at the 17-Mile Drive. The first stop was at Bird Rock, a rock towering in the sea, where thousands of birds and sea lions cavort. There are binoculars set up here, so that from the beach one can observe the hustle and bustle on the rock more closely. There are numerous bird species, such as pelicans, seagulls and cormorants.
Probably the most photographed tree in the world is the Lone Cypress. It has been standing on a rocky promontory directly on the coast for 250 years and resists the Pacific storms. It is irrigated by the salt water mixture which the waves carry upwards. This tree species, the Monterey Cypress, grows only in two places, here and at Point Lobos. The tree is the symbol of the Pebble Beach Company.
Carmel by the Sea
In the late afternoon we visited the city of Carmel. Carmel by the Sea is a small town with about 4080 inhabitants. The city became famous by the actor Clint Eastwood, who was mayor here for several years. Many famous authors or artists lived here for a while, e.g. the writer Ernest Hemingway. The high quality of life today is also appreciated by many celebrities. Here you can meet Jennifer Aniston or Brad Pitt. In Carmel by the Sea there are neither post boxes nor house numbers. The residents have to pick up their mail from the post office box. We visited the Carmel Plaza. An open-air shopping mall that extends over three floors. From shoe shops to high fashion labels to restaurants you can find everything, even Tiffany & Co is represented here.
This part of our journey was a very special one. The coastal road on Highway No. 1 is a place to fall in love with. I will never forget the pictures and impressions I was allowed to take with me from here. The stay at Bird Rock was especially beautiful. To observe the many animals was something special. What could be sweeter than a sea lion romping around in the water. 🙂