Iconic Stops on California’s North Pacific Coast Highway

In Destinations, North America by wanderlost0 Comments

A road trip along California’s North Pacific Coast highway is often a rite of passage for many adventurers seeking a little nature and iconic stops along the way. Check out many of the iconic stops on California’s North Pacific coast highway here!

Glass Beach – Fort Bragg:

This beach is iconic for thousands of pieces of sea glass resulting from years of dumping just north of the area. It is a stark reminder of the impact humans have on the surrounding environment and has resulted in an interesting debate on whether or not glass should be taken. For more information, check the information here at Leave No Trace.

California's Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

The baller Subaru enjoying a photo at the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree

Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree – Leggett, California:

Established in 1937, this iconic attraction allows you to take pictures of your car driving through a 2,400 year old tree. Stop by the souvenir shop and check out the redwood gifts available for purchase.

Where to Stay: Hidden Springs Campground

California's Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

The Beauty of the Lost Coast is unparalleled

Lost Coast:

Situated on largely development-free coastline in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, the Lost Coast provides several opportunities to become one with nature. The road and hikes in the area are extremely windy and often difficult, but provide unparalleled views of the Pacific Coast Highway coastline and Pacific Ocean.

Must see:

Head on up to Eureka after your trekking and check out Old Town Coffee and Chocolates.  Also, check out Lost Coast Brewery for some excellent beer and a tour of the brewery!

California's Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Driving through the Avenue of the Giants with the Subaru for scale!

Avenue of the Giants and Founder’s Grove:

This 32 mile stretch of road is famous for the Coast Redwoods that tower over the road. The road winds along the Eel river and provides several pull outs and stops along the way to check out the massive redwoods. Founders’ Grove is the most-visited grove in Humboldt Redwoods and a major North Coast redwood attraction. It’s convenient location just off the road makes it an easy visit for families, but also means it can get quite crowded. Explore the Redwood National and State Parks and get your fill of these amazing old souls.

California's Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Trinidad State Beach

Trinidad State Beach:

A tranquil beach easily accessed from the town of Trinidad. Explore the colorful tide pools and enjoy the view of the offshore rocks which were declared a national monument.   Finally, be extra careful not to touch the Poison Oak.

Where to Stay: Patrick’s Point

Excellent views of the coastine, magnificent sunsets, and a great place to see some deer!

California's Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Beach below Patrick’s Point Campground

California's Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Walking up the creek in fern Canyon

Fern Canyon:

Located in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Fern Canyon provides stunning views of a fern covered gorge and the resident elk along the beach.  Also, take a walk up Home Creek and see the fifty-foot high walls covered in ferns. It’s no surprise it was used as the filming location for ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’. The loop trail is only .5 miles and you can extend your adventure by checking out some of the local trails where you can see elk, waterfalls, and other wildlife.  Just remember to bring the bug spray!

Where to Stay: Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

You’ll see elk, stay right down by the beach and stay in one of the coolest state park campgrounds around!


If that’s not enough to satisfy your road trip desires, combine this trip with our guide to A Nature Lover’s Oregon Road Trip.


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