Have you ever dreamed of taking a motorcycle trip along California’s famed Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Route 1? The state’s possibly most scenic route, only a stretch of the majestic road, begins in Monterey and ends in Morro Bay, and is cited repeatedly as a prime example of a classic American road trip. Travel magazines, books, and websites are all in agreement, as is the U.S. Department of Transportation, who selected the route as an example of an “All American Road,” a designation only given to 30 other stretches of highway nationwide.
But, along with the awe-inspiring coastal scenery, and the picturesque inland scenery on the opposite side of the road, which includes jaw-dropping waterfalls, flowering meadows, lush valleys, rolling hills, and coastal mountain ranges, what else can be experienced along the way on your motorcycle trip on PCH? Where can you stop for an afternoon and enjoy some time away from home? Well, plenty of spots off of Route 1 offer entertainment and recreation, and here is a breakdown of four of the most interesting places to visit:
- Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove is a small community located in Monterey County at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, easily accessible by motorcycle Pacific Coast Highway adjacent. Once Life Magazine’s “Most Romantic City in the United States,” it is known for its Victorian downtown, pristine coastline, and its identity as a known winter home for a large colony of Monarch butterflies that travel from as far north as Canada. This “overwintering” season begins in November and peaks in early December, so it is best to visit during that time, though some butterflies stay as late as March. To see their glory, the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in town is free and open each day from sunrise to sunset with docents available to answer all your questions.
- Bixby Bridge
Bixby Bridge is the Big Sur area’s answer to Frisco’s Golden Gate, and it is nearly just as famous, having been seen in several TV commercials and series, movies, and depicted in countless works of art. The concrete span is now also known as the most Instagrammed feature along the well-traveled by motorcycle Pacific Coast Highway, and with good reason. It is, after all, one of the highest bridges on the planet, at an amazing 256 feet above the Bixby Creek where it eventually meets the Pacific Ocean. The creek carves out a steep canyon, which you can view from the various turnouts at which you can pull over. And, the views at the south end of the bridge at sunset are beyond exquisite.
- Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
This beautiful park contains a small, but attractive network of trails winding throughout its 1000 acres, many of which lead to trout-filled streams and gorgeous waterfalls. The park is also the site of the southernmost redwood habitat along the Big Sur coastal area, and the park provides an ample place to take in their cathedral-esque beauty and deep shade on a hot day.
Just remember, many of the trails have recently been closed because of the 2018 forest fires and the resulting floods. Simply check the park’s website or Facebook page to see which trails are open when you visit.
- Hearst’s Castle
This mansion is so unlike others in the central California area, as it has more in common with a castle than a large homestead. It was designed by Julia Morgan, California’s first lady architect, for publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, in 1947, and erected after 30 years of construction.
Currently, the 165-room castle and its surrounding 127 acres of land are at the centerpiece of one of California’s most visited and beloved state parks. Adorned with multiple pools, fountains, and terraced gardens, seeing the castle makes for quite a day trip. You can choose from the many daily tours of the main house, or choose from one of the several special tours of the surrounding former guest cottages. If you arrive in late November or December, you will also get to experience the glory of seeing the castle dressed up in its holiday décor.
These four sites are just a few of the glorious stops that you can take while taking your motorcycle trip on PCH. It’s always good to remember that there are awesome places to visit that are just a little off the beaten path, and worth taking the time to get to know. So, rent a motorcycle today from URentMe and pull off the famed highway and explore the greater area! URentMe offers the top makes and models for any ideal road trip, so call us today.