10 California Coast Towns Along Highway One

california coast

Highway 1, which spans more than 650 miles, has long been the best way to take in all the sights of the California coast. Thinking of the West Coast, you are probably familiar with beach attire and images of surfing culture.

Cities like San Diego and San Francisco are likely to come to mind. While it is perfectly acceptable to conjure up these images of the coast, not all about the California coast are big cities and bigger personalities.

The California coast offers visitors its unique Californian-style relaxation in picturesque towns and cities, which are the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or extended holiday. Forests improve these towns and towering mountains, which form the backdrop for the blue hues that create the ocean. The best thing about these coastal towns is they are all easy to reach on Highway 1.

Here are ten coastal towns to explore on your road trip along the California coast and spark adventure.

Fort Bragg

Compared to some other villages and towns on this list, Fort Bragg does not exude the same quaintness as those that come, but it is worth visiting. Here you can enjoy views of the coastline, the variety of flowers and grasses in the Botanical Gardens of Mendocino Coast, or hunt for a new favorite wine at Pacific Star Winery.

Mendocino Village

This hilly peninsula is surrounded by bluffs on three sides and houses many Victorian houses. Within the village, artists come together as a community with galleries and various shops.

Capitola Village by the Sea

This hot spot is one of the oldest vacation destinations on the Pacific coast. With a Mediterranean atmosphere, the downtown is built with colorful buildings, Victorian homes, and many boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Read here to learn more about what you can see and do while visiting.

Moss Landing

With around 200 people, Moss Landing is the quintessential quaint town. In addition to the arts, the city offers access to Slough Reserve, one of California's largest wetlands. Here you can gaze at the sky and spend hours spotting birds.


Monterey may be a destination you want to discover in more than one day. The town is most famous for its aquarium and 17 Mile Drive, a private road that twists and turns the coastline.


With a village-like atmosphere, this coastal town is sure to sweep you off your feet. There are luxury inns and hotels to pamper you. Additionally, enjoy Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, a museum with extensive knowledge of the mission. You will also find a well as a peaceful garden where you can get lost in your thoughts and meditate.

Santa Barbara on the California Coast

Santa Barbara, California, Driving Cabrillo Boulevard

San Simeon

Within the relatively small town, two major attractions are worth checking out. Hearst Castle allows you to explore the hilltop estate of media giant William Randolph Heart. The other attraction is the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, where many seal mammals come atop the rocks to breed, molt, give birth, and get much-needed rest.


Here, you can enjoy rugged coastal views from the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, or stroll down Moonstone Beach and explore the unique translucent stones that seem to illuminate the shoreline.

Morro Bay

One of the few remaining fishing villages along the coast. Explore Embarcadero, the town's central waterfront boardwalk, or take part in a harbor cruise that allows you to catch a glimpse of sea creatures in their natural habitats.


Although Oxnard is more urban than quaint and quiet, the western side of town offers visitors a sandy beach with many dunes and walking paths. A portion of this beach is known as Hollywood Beach due to the abundance of celebrities living there. Oxnard is also known to produce the country's sweetest strawberries.

Are you ready to book a trip to the California Coast and plan a road trip that will allow you to take in each of these impressive coastal towns? If so, be sure to call today, and we can help make your seaside dreams a reality.