Drive. Dine. Walk. Gawk. Find joy. Explore 735 gorgeous miles of the iconic road with these essential stops along the way
Highway 1’s route through San Francisco isn’t lovely. Downgraded to 19th Avenue, it’s 4 miles of red lights. But wait. Soon it pulls you across the Golden Gate Bridge, then on the Marin side twists west to bring you back to the Pacific. Here beside Tomales Bay is Northern California keeping nature and civilization in equilibrium: the $20 locally sourced salad balanced by the beach you stroll for free. The highway runs up the Sonoma Coast, following the San Andreas Fault, which has shaped the cliffs and coves it bends to. The world is wilder—steep green bluffs, coffee brown rocks, cold blue ocean with distant sprays from a whale’s spout.
Miles: 82 | Golden Gate Bridge Toll: $6 | Miles of trails at Point Reyes National Seashore: Nearly 150 recorded | Shipwrecks off Marin County: 100+