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A drive down the Californian coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles is worth the few hours added to your trip as you hop from one scenic destination to the other.
At approximately 240 miles, the trip will take you four to five hours. With some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, Highway 1 – or the Pacific Coast Highway near Los Angeles and US Route 101 by San Francisco – offers beach-side stops, little wooded eateries and heart-stopping bridges from cliff to cliff.
If you’re heading south, stop by Pismo beach for coffee in the morning and catch your most breathtaking views of the cliffs of Big Sur. Hold your breath for the Bixby Creek Bridge, a crossing hundreds of meters above the Bixby Gorge – a few moments suspended in mid-air.
Lunch at Nepenthe in Big Sur is a good idea: a great view of the coast and a typical sandwich-based menu. For truly West Coast burgers and road trip food, stop into In-n-Out, the best burger joint, well, arguably in the world.
Enjoy the picturesque coastline from Santa Barbara through Malibu, and finish off your trip with a nice dinner on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade or at the scenic Santa Monica Pier.