Drive. Dine. Walk. Gawk. Find joy. Explore 735 gorgeous miles of the iconic road with these essential stops along the way
Thomas J. Story
The northernmost stretch of Highway 1 is moody. One hour it’s fog-wrapped and brooding. An hour later, a gentle sun gives highway, forest, and ocean a brilliant sparkle. The road skirts coastal towns that hug cliff tops (Elk) and pose tidily on bluffs (Mendocino). Rivers—the Navarro, the Little, the Big—curve beneath bridges as they meet the sea. This remains a working coast. Fort Bragg’s still a fishing port, and you may share the road with a logging truck. Above Rockport, Highway 1 bends inland toward its terminus at U.S. 101 at Leggett. Before that, linger among the redwoods that line its final miles: They’re stunning, unforgettable, like Highway 1.
Miles: 90 | Most recent value of year’s catch from Fort Bragg: $6.8 million | Number of B&Bs in Mendocino Village: 46 | Steps up Point Arena Lighthouse: 145