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Pacific Coast Highway just beyond Big Sur

Pacific Coast Highway, USA

The initial main goal of the Pacific Highway, as far back as 1910, was to create a quality road from Canada to Mexico.  Today, the road does indeed lead from Vancouver, BC to Tijuana, Mexico and it makes for scenic driving for locals and tourists.  This route will take you along a coastal adventure through California, Oregon and the State of Washington before reaching the Canadian boarder.

Planning your Pacific Coast Highway road trip

If you would like to do a real road trip, Why not book yourself a one way car rental in San Diego and drive up to Seattle?  Non-stop driving means that this route would take approximately 24 hours to complete but you will need to stop and rest along the way so allow yourself at least a week or two if you want to spend time in various cities along the way.

Seeing as though this is a highway road, there should be more than enough filling stations along the way.  That being said, make sure that you fill up every chance you get, just to be safe.  At each stop you are bound to find a shop with food and snacks.  They don't always have healthy options so make sure you keep fruit and other healthy snacks in a cooler for the ride.

Places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway

The first main stretch is from San Diego to Los Angeles.  Feel free to roam around, explore, experience the sights and do visit popular beaches like Long Beach and Malibu.  Other LA attractions include the Griffith Observatory, the California Science Center and of course Universal Studios Hollywood.

Next up is San Jose and San Francisco where you simply have to see the famous Golden Gate Bridge with your own eyes and perhaps even go on a tour to Alcatraz among other things.

The California State Railroad Museum and California State Capitol and Museum are located in Sacramento which makes this city worth spending some time in too.

As you pass through Redding, you can stop at the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area before driving on to Oregon. 

Attractions in Medford, Oregon include rafting along the Rogue River, Upper and Lower Table Rock and Medford Railroad Park.  Top lakes in the area are Applegate Lake, Howard Prairie Lake and Diamond Lake.

Continue driving via Grants Pass and plan to stop in Roseburg to visit Watson Falls, the Douglas County Museum of History & Natural History, the Abacela Winery and other lovely local wineries.

Your next main stop in Oregon before entering Washington State is the city of Portland.  Here you can visit the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington Park, the Pittock Mansion and many more amazing natural sights and landmarks.

This marks the final part of the drive as you enter Washington State.  The main city you will want to visit is, of course, Seattle.  The ferry rides are quite famous and it's the perfect way to get a real coastal view of the city while a trip up the Columbia Center Sky View Observatory or Smith Tower will provide you with the most amazing aerial views and photo opportunities.

If you are able to continue on all the way to Vancouver, then you have even more to enjoy along the way.  Otherwise, if you are strictly travelling the US, you still have plenty of roads to explore from here!  Perhaps a cross-country drive is in the cards followed by a trip down the East Coast?