We would take and have taken HWY1. We have driven it South to North and North to South. We towed a '87, 20' Komfort Lite with a '70 Chevy V-8 auto 1/2 ton pickup 16 yrs old at the time (not me the pickup
) from San Simeon to Santa Barbara (in1986), and Santa Barbara to Monterey & on to Half Moon Bay in a 22' C-class Motor Home pulling a Geo Meto in '97. We also drove from Half Moon Bay to Santa Barbara with a tow in a Ford Ranger pickup in 2004. I would take our Scamp
any time. Just a road with some twists and turns and must see views. Take your time, keep an eye on the road, make stops, enjoy.
We were on our way to Canada in '97. We did most along the Hwy 1 (we took a side tour to Shasta Area then to Crater Lake). We were coming from Canada in '86 mainly on it (took a detour to Davis Area then down 101 to close to San Simeon then over to Hwy 1 then up to San Simeon then down from there). Hwy 1 is about the same all the way up into Washington State. The Big Sur is more than likely the most difficult of the drive. There are many Organ State Parks all along the drive.
If you go up towards Half Moon Bay, there is a neat lighthouse to see at the Pigeon Point Light
Station State Historic Park. Half Moon Bay has a nice state beach with camping as well.
Just up from Hearst Castle (see next paragraphy), we have gotten to see groups of Elephant Seals, very neat, once we got to walk down by them, between them, very neat but I am sure very dangerous. Seems to be fenced off now. But I am glad we got to do it. Lot of people doing it then. This was in '97. Just viewed them from turn offs/over looks the other trips last one in 2004 tent camping.
Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument or Hearst Castle is located on the California Central Coast. Nestled in the hills at San Simeon, the Castle sits halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and is approximately a five hour drive from either of these metropolitan areas (Approximately 250 miles). From Los Angeles - Take U.S. Highway 101 north to San Luis Obispo, then California Highway 1 north about 39 miles. (approximately 4.5 hours). From San Francisco - Take U.S. 101 south to California Highway 46, then west on 46 to California Highway 1 and north about 13 miles (250 miles total, approximately 5 hours). From Monterey - Take California Highway 1 South (about 93 miles) to Hearst Castle®. Please allow extra time for Highway 1 which is windy and narrow. Or take Highway 68 East to Highway 101 South then Highway 46 West to California Highway 1 North to the Castle, about 130 miles total.
A must see for the art and architecture. The San Simeon State Park is close by for camping as well.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located in Monterey at the west end of historic Cannery Row, just minutes from Carmel and Pebble Beach. Monterey is approximately 125 miles south of San Francisco and 360 miles north of Los Angeles. Look for the Monterey Bay Aquarium exit sign. Follow the brown Monterey Bay Aquarium directional signs to Del Monte Ave. On Del Monte, stay in the right two lanes past Fisherman's Wharf then through the tunnel to Foam St. Continue to follow the brown directional signs to Cannery Row parking and the Aquarium. The Aquarium is a unique place, a great place to see. Another must see. http://www.mbayaq.org/
The 17 Mile Drive to Carmel and Pebble Beach is a neat scenic drive as well. One of the most famous stretches of road in the country, this magnificent drive through Pebble Beach tours the dramatic Pacific coastline, offering spectacular views of native wildlife, colorful wildflowers, fabulous homes, world-class golf courses, and the famous Lone Cypress Tree. http://www.pebblebeach.com/page.asp?...=_17_Mile_Home
The Point Piños Lighthouse is located on the northern most tip of the Monterey Peninsula. The stone lighthouse was built 1855 on the point of land that marks the entrance to Monterey Bay. The building, lenses and prisms of the light
are all original and the lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the west coast. Open Thurs. - Sun. 1pm - 4pm. http://gocalifornia.about.com/cs/calightho.../lh_ptpinos.htm
There are some neat bike paths in the area as well. http://www.mtycounty.com/pgs-parks/bike-path.html
North of Monterey at Moss Landing one can get some very good sea food. It is called Phil's Fish Market & Eatery. We stumbled on it in '97 when we were spending a night at Moss Landing State Beach which allowed Enroute Camping with self-contained RVs at the time. Driving around looking for a sea food place we found a small eatery on the side of a fish market over by the docks. It was great. In 2004, we went back. The eatery was enlarged, but the food was still good.
In Santa Barbara, we had good seafood at the FisHouse, close to the visitor information place near the wharf. Situated on Cabrillo Blvd across from East Beach and Stearns Wharf, the Santa Barbara FisHouse is a perfect destination for ocean-side dining, offering patio seating by an open fire pit. http://www.sbfishhouse.com/
There are also places to eat on the wharf with higher prices.
Photo of my painting
Pigeon Point Lighthouse CA