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    Thread: West Coast folks - best parts of Pacific Coast Highway?

    1. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 6th, 2000
      2012 A3, 2015 Q5
      02-21-2012 01:42 PM #1
      Doing a road trip in the next few months - flying into LAX and driving to Seattle. Google isn't helping me nail down the best/most scenic sections of Route 1, so thought I'd ask here. Going to take highways where it doesn't make sense to hug the coast.


      Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.

    2. 02-21-2012 10:31 PM #2
      IMO San Luis Obisopo to Santa Cruz Calif. not been on that route n. of SF IT may be nicer but subject to fog.....well it's all subject to fog come to think of if......

    3. Senior Member Lwize's Avatar
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      Dec 4th, 2000
      Los Angeles
      15 Rav4
      02-24-2012 01:04 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by mauslick View Post
      IMO San Luis Obisopo to Santa Cruz Calif. not been on that route n. of SF IT may be nicer but subject to fog.....well it's all subject to fog come to think of if......
      The Oregon coast is supposed to be the most scenic.

      I never saw it, however, when I drove the coastal highway in August 2008.

      Salt Lake City was not discovered by Dracula and the shark people.

    4. Member
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      Oct 24th, 2011
      Eugene, Oregon
      traded a 2006 TT for a new MK2 TT.
      03-02-2012 01:26 AM #4
      From San Francisco go across the Golden Gate Bridge and then head for the coast, Highway 1.

      A beautiful drive all the way up the coast, past Mendocino, past Fort Brag and then on to Highway 101.
      Quite a long drive, will take at least 6 hours to get to Eureka,Ca. You can continue up to Oregon and cut over to Grants Pass and take Highway 5 if you want. Do Not miss Redwood National Park.

      Any questions, just ask.

    5. 03-02-2012 02:19 PM #5
      I drive that pictured stretch of coast in the photo above all the time........closer to oxnard, ' the big sand slide'.........my family is in santa barbara so when I arrive at LAX instead of the freeway adrenelin I use lincoln blvd (hwy 1) and go through santa monica on through malibu.......
      I would say that part is probably not the most beautiful part of the coast hiway but better then jumping on the 405 with jet lag

    6. Member zideman's Avatar
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      Oct 23rd, 2004
      Southern CA
      2010 VW GTI 4D WHT
      03-05-2012 05:56 PM #6
      Its all really except for some parts of OC and Lower LA. Just head north like you plan and Santa monica pier up to ventura and Santa barbara are super pretty. Malibu is nice but Traffic can suck but since you're there to take it in it could be fun. Then once you get out of SB all the coastline there, and upward are some great bridges cliffs and coves all the way up through pismo beach. Pismo and the 1 are right on the water. Some great restaurants and hotels for lodging. Big Sur area is frigging gorgeous and so is Monterrey Bay and that upper portion of the bay towards Santa Cruz. There's killer sand dunes and from each end of the bay, on a clear day, you can see the other end and the whole bay wrap north or south. Tons of greenery and huge trees up that way too. SF and the golden gate and the whole forest north of the GG bridge aka the Marin Headlands is gorgeous coastline as well. Best of luck and take time to take it in.
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    7. Member slirt's Avatar
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      Oct 5th, 2004
      Moz Angeles, Califas
      '07 Z4 Coupe (2012-), '86 VW Cabriolet (2009-); '97 Audi A4 1.8tq (2003-12), '85 VW GTI (1995-2003)
      03-07-2012 01:37 AM #7
      From LAX to the Bay Area is all good, SLO to Monterey (incl Big Sur) especially; Golden Gate to the Columbia River STUNNING, with far-northern CA & southern OR being least populated & most scenic (Eureka CA to Newport OR is the section i strongly recommend).

      Hwys 1 and 101 cross & merge & diverge several times over this route. How much time you got? If you did it all, California would be at least 4 FULL days, and Oregon another 2; Washingtonton coast really not that scenic until it dead-ends you on the Olympic peninsula, so best to just head inland around the Sound to get to Seattle.

      But really it's hard to go wrong, so have fun! It is so not the East Coast
      Last edited by slirt; 03-07-2012 at 01:40 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ryukein, April 4, 2017 View Post
      Well, I was wrong.

    8. Member ttvick's Avatar
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      Aug 15th, 2007
      Richmond, VA
      2000 S2000, B6 A4 Avant TQM
      03-14-2012 03:46 PM #8
      The part between LA and Oregon

    9. Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      May 24th, 2002
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      03-21-2012 05:55 PM #9
      The bad thing with 101 vs. the interstate (I5) is the distance between the two. There really won't be many, if any, opportunities to bounce back and forth once you're in Oregon.

      That said, take 101 north to Oregon. Here's where you have options.

      Are you planning to do this drive in one day? Or plan on stopping for the night?

      If stopping, then try to make it to Depoe Bay/Newport. Then from Depoe Bay, head north on 101 to Tillamook (cheeeeeeeeeese) and stop for the plant "tour". Then go through Astoria (Goonies!), cross the Columbia River, and take a right and go until you hit I-5 around Longview, WA. Then head north to Seattle. It'll take about 7 hours. There's nothing to see on Washington's coast, unless you want to go to the very tip of the state. And if you're going up I-5, take the detour to the Mt. St. Helens Johnston Observatory. To think I climbed that mutha.

      If you don't want to go all the way up to Tillamook, cross over to McMinnville and visit the airplane museum (the Spruce Goose is there). Then head to Portland, I-5, and north to Seattle. About 5/6 hours, w/o stopping.

      Sightseeing points
      Cannon Beach, OR- The famous Haystack Rock
      Tillamook, OR- mentioned
      Newport, OR- Aquarium
      Heceta Head, OR
      Sealion caves
      Florence, OR - Sand dunes
      McMinnville, OR - Air & space museum, pretty cool. In Seattle you could hit the Museum of Flight for comparison.

      California folks can/have give you better ideas. I'd definitely hit the Golden Gate, Big Sur, and the Redwoods north of San Fran and in N. Cali.
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      I find your answer vague and unconvincing.
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    10. Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      Sep 7th, 2004
      morgan hill, ca
      E46 320, MK IV GTI
      03-23-2012 02:21 PM #10
      Everything seems nicer when you are leaving LA.

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