California 1

California 1 is the Pacific Coast Highway and Cabrillo Highway, following the coastline from San Juan Capistrano in Orange County in Southern California north to Leggett in Mendocino County in Northern California. One of the longest state routes in California (after Interstate 5 and U.S. 101), California 1 sees some of the most beautiful terrain the state, making many "Best Drives in the U.S.A." lists. In addition to following the coast and passing through the beautiful Big Sur, it is also the route to the Hearst Castle, passes over the Golden Gate Bridge, is a freeway bypass route around Monterey, and enters the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Highway Guides

California 1 scenes
While not directly on California 1, the Pacific Coast Highway comes close to the Discovery Well at Signal Hill Field (Alamitos #1). Tapped in 1921, the oil well yields hundreds of barrels of oil a day at its peak. This plaque was placed in 1952 by the Shell Oil Company to commemorate the finding of this well and its impact on the economy of Southern California. Oil wells abound in the Signal Hill - Long Beach area, some of which are situated in parks, backyards, and vacant lots due to the oil reserves several thousand feet below the ground. This particular oil well is located at the intersection of Hill Street and Panorama Drive in the city of Signal Hill. Photo taken 02/13/11.
Hilltop Park, which is located in the city of Signal Hill at the intersection of Skyline Drive and Dawson Avenue, offers a 270-degree view of Greater Los Angeles. This series of photos offers some of the views to the south, west, and north. Downtown Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, the Pacific Ocean, and downtown Los Angeles are visible on a clear day from this beautifully landscaped park. An oil derrick remains in operation near the restroom building. Although this was a somewhat smoggy day, the views toward the south included the offshore islands and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Photos taken 02/13/11.
Now in Santa Monica, eastbound Colorado Avenue approaches its intersection with Seventh Street, one block west of Lincoln Boulevard (U.S. 66 and California 2). Turn right (south) on Seventh Street to the onramp for California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) north to Malibu and Oxnard. Continue straight ahead one block to Lincoln Boulevard and access to Interstate 10/Santa Monica Freeway. Photos taken 10/30/05.
This view looks south (east) on California 1 as it emerges from the McClure Tunnel and becomes the Santa Monica Freeway. After the Main Street arch bridge, California 1 will depart the freeway; Interstate 10 east begins at that point. Photo taken 10/30/05.
These pictures show the arch bridge that carries Main Street over the Santa Monica Freeway (California 1). Photo taken 10/30/05.
Now looking east from Main Street toward the Santa Monica Freeway and offramp to California 1 to Lincoln Boulevard, we see the slip ramp that carries California 1 from the freeway to Lincoln Boulevard. Photo taken 10/30/05.
This view looks west from Main Street toward the McClure Tunnel, which connects the Santa Monica Freeway with the Pacific Coast Highway. Photo taken 10/30/05.
A plaque commemmorating the efforts of Robert E. McClure in developing the Los Angeles Freeway System and the Santa Monica Freeway in particular is posted on Ocean Avenue near the point where the tunnel passes underneath. Although the plaque shows a dedication date of April 1970, the tunnel itself was built in 1935 per the Caltrans Bridge Log. Photo taken 10/30/05.
California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) bask in the evening glow of a colorful sunset as it passes by the Santa Monica palisades and cliffs. This view looks north from the Santa Monica Pier. Photo taken 10/30/05.

This California 1 trailblazer sign is posted on westbound Clark Avenue in unincorporated Orcutt south of the city of Santa Maria. Photo taken 09/29/07.
Westbound Clark Avenue enters downtown Orcutt. Photo taken 09/29/07.
Another California 1 trailblazer sign is posted on westbound Clark Avenue upon leaving Old Town Orcutt. Photo taken 09/29/07.
Westbound Clark Avenue meets California 1/Cabrillo Highway at this intersection in Orcutt. Photo taken 09/29/07.
This California 1 trailblazer sign is posted on northeastbound Walnut Street prior to Santa Rosa Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. Turn left on Santa Rosa Street to follow California 1 northwest to Morro Bay. Photo taken 02/02/08.
View of Hearst Castle on top of hill as seen from the Hearst Pier just west of California 1. Photo taken 08/18/03.
California 1 shields (looking east) as seen from the motel circle in San Simeon, south of Hearst Castle. Photo taken 08/18/03.

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Page Updated March 13, 2011.

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