Driving Highway 1

What's more iconic than a drive up Highway 1 in California?

Ain't Big Sur just spectacular??

As you know I am on a Griswold-style road trip in the Western US with the family, and we have seen a lot of things.  So much that it's hard to keep track (though thankfully I take some pictures).  We started at our home in Austin, TX and are currently in Oregon, before we head up to Washington State for a bit.  Then it's time to go home.

One thing we were really looking forward to was the drive along Highway 1 in California.  

On the beach in Fort Bragg, CA

Fort Bragg, CA

It has a reputation as a famously beautiful drive, and it's earned it.  It is beautiful.  Since we were coming from Texas, we came in at about San Simeon, California where we spent the night and toured the Hearst Castle the next day (I still need to work on the pics from Hearst).  From there, we meandered along the coast up to Carmel with several stops in the Big Sur area.  That place is gorgeous - what an incredible stretch of coastline.

Fort Bragg, CA

After that it was the 101 through San Francisco and up into northern California, eventually getting back on Highway 1 in the Fort Bragg and Mendocino area, where we spent a couple of days (and when we left, we took the highway hugging the coast all the way into Oregon).  It was our first visit to this area, and we loved it.  It seems like Mendocino gets more press than Fort Bragg, but we really liked Fort Bragg.  Whereas Mendocino feels a little more "fancy", it seemed like Fort Bragg was more of the "salty dog", and I do love the salty dog places.

While there, we did a fair bit of meandering around the coastline in the area, despite having just spent the better part of a long week driving across the country.  Isn't it interesting that you can be so tired of driving, but if there is something beautiful or interesting to go see that you forget you are sick of being in the car?  Such is human nature.  A little excitement can overcome a lot.

The harbor in Fort Bragg, CA

So today's photos are those that I collected after leaving San Simeon, driving up Highway 1 through Big Sur, and in and around Mendocino and Fort Bragg.  If you had asked me a month ago if I preferred mountains or beaches, I would have said mountains for sure.  And though I probably still do, finding beaches like these (and the ones I have explored in Oregon) are pretty dang hard to beat.  I just love a rocky beach with sea stacks and other things to explore.  I find them beautiful and endlessly interesting.

Well that's it for today my friends.  Thanks for stopping by, and more stuff from this trip coming soon!

Jug Handle State Reserve, between Mendocino and Fort Bragg, CA

Big Sur

Big Sur

Mendocino, CA

At Point Cabrillo

Big Sur

Somewhere north of Fort Bragg, CA

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, Mendocino

At Point Cabrillo

A boat leaving the harbor in Fort Bragg, CA

Big Sur

Bixby Bridge in Big Sur

A secluded cove along Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg, CA - loved this spot!!

More from that same spot just looking South instead of North

And more from there but looking West this time into the never-ending Pacific Ocean

The coastline in Mendocino

And more from Mendocino

Next to the lighthouse at Point Cabrillo

And there's the lighthouse

One last look along the rocky Pacific shore - so awesome!