Planning a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway? Whether you have less time to explore or are just looking for a for quick break from the car, these places are easy to squeeze into your Pacific Coast Highway road trip with a minimal time investment and big payoff.
Pigeon Point Light Station
Parking can be tough, but this picture perfect lighthouse is worth a stop. There are some trails that lead to a beach on the other side if you want to stay a while and explore.
Swanton Berry Farm
This quirky roadside organic berry farm offers jams, pie, strawberry cider, coffee and the best strawberries you’ve ever tasted. Stop to pick up some of your favorites for the road or stay and eat in the picnic areas. This place only accepts cash.
Fort Ord State Dunes Park
Located a few minutes off the Pacific Coast Highway, before you get to Monterey, these sand dunes are incredible. Parking is free and the trek down to the beach will only take you a few minutes but you will be rewarded with some amazing scenery. Stop to see the dunes and beach or stay and explore.
No Pacific Coast Highway roadtrip would be complete without a stop at this iconic waterfall that flows directly onto the beach in Big Sur. You can park in the Julia Pfeiffer McWay parking lot for $10 or just find parking along the road. The walk down to the viewing area will take you a quick 5 minutes. You can stay and explore the area or hop back into the car and continue on.
Located in Laguna Beach, this beach is home to the eerie but beautiful “castle”. Definitely worth a stop, check the tide levels before going. The water can get pretty rough here and the tide can come in pretty far. To get here, park on Nyes, which is right off the Pacific Coast Highway, and walk under the PCH via tunnel to Victoria Dr. This will lead you to a quiet neighborhood with lots of homes that may leave you wondering, where is the beach? The entrance is slightly hidden in between homes but the walk down to the beach is easy with stair access. They are located at 2713 Victoria Beach. Once you get to the bottom, make a right and be prepared to climb over some rocks to see the tower. Just gorgeous! If you want to stay a while, the actual beach itself is beautiful with soft sand or jump back in the car to keep exploring!