My husband and I just got back from a trip to Monterey, CA. We drove all the way down Highway 1 and onto Highway 101 down the California and Oregon coast line. What an absolutely fabulous drive full of some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in my life.
If you are planning to take this road trip bear in mind it will take a lot longer than map quest leads you to believe. Our total driving time according to map quest was 21.5 hours. It took us approximately 10 more hours. The reason? We definitely can blame it on Highway 1 starting right outside of San Francisco. The road is very narrow and quite windy up the mountainous terrain. The most amazing views are seen here as you drive along this road, but many times you feel like you are holding on for dear life. There are several signs warning vehicles longer than 35 feet not to take the road. Even with those warnings we saw a few big delivery trucks making the trek.
Much of Highway 1 you can’t go more than 15 to 25 miles per hour. As a child I would always get motion sickness on our family trips pulling the trailer to various campgrounds across Idaho and Utah. I don’t remember one single trip that I did not puke. Even as an adult I have suffered with the same problem. I remember driving in Northern Idaho on a mountainous windy road and having to pull over and throw-up on the side of the road. I was very concerned about being ill during this road trip. However I am happy to announce I didn’t get sick for even one minute. What was the difference? It was the little Mazda Miada roadster that we drove.
Highway 1 is a roadster’s dream. With the top down all of my senses were stimulated. I could smell the ocean, tree’s and even wild flowers along the way. I could hear the waves and wind. I could see unobstructively from side to side and even up into the sky. The way my little roadster hugged that windy road was absolutely unbelievable. There was no wobbling side to side or bumping up and down on a truck chasy. To top it off it was FUN to drive!
Highway 1 turns into Highway 101 right around the Oregon state line. The Oregon coast drive does not hug the coast like the California highway. It is along side of the coast, not as windy, and you can usually travel 55 miles per hour on double-laned roads. The tree’s and foliage are breath-taking, however, often times it is foggy, overcast, and cool. I am from the Seattle area so am used to this and there is beauty found in all types of weather. However, I prefer the California coast line with the contrast between the yellow rolling hills and green trees (that you don’t see anywhere but California). Plus California has he Red Wood Forrest. They don’t mess around with a pine tree. Theirs are huge!
Would I take this trip again? That would be an absolute YES! My advice to you is to take your time, pull over and enjoy attractions along the way, and most importantly live in the moment!