Trip Author

Sarah Bartlett

Roadtrip down Highway 1

San Francisco, CA, USACarmel-by-the-Sea, CA, USAMonterey, CA, USASolvang, CA, USAMalibu, CA, USASanta Monica, CA, USALos Angeles, CA, USA

Highway 1 is a breathtaking route down the coast of California perfect for a road trip! An ideal multi-destination trip that lets you see all the cool things California has to offer. The length of the trip is completely up to you - but ideally add time to explore the San Francisco and Los Angeles as these are bigger cities with a lot to see!


Where it all begins

San Francisco

Grab your bestie, brother, aunt, or in my case, mother, and take an adventurous road trip down the world-famous Highway 1!

Begin your trip by flying to San Francisco and explore what this wonderful city has to offer. 

An abundance of must-sees

Whether you're looking for cultural insight, day-drinking at famous wineries, or seeing a pier full of sea lions, San Francisco will have something for your taste!

Here is a handful of the activities you can embark on:

  • Lombard Street
  • Painted LAdies
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Alcatraz
  • Cable Cars
  • Napa Valley
  • Chinatown
  • Fishermans Wharf
    • Pier 39
    • Sea Lion Center

The majority of the city can be seen within a couple of days, if you have a jam-packed schedule BUT make sure to add extra time to stroll through the streets and take in the various neighborhoods!

Lombard Street
Fishermans Wharf
Painted Ladies
Golden Gate Bridge
Napa Valley

First Stop

Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur

The first few stops on the road trip go to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea two small coastal towns with plenty of history and beautiful viewpoints 🚗

Take a stroll down the old fisherman wharf in Monterey Harbor and explore Pebble Beach by Carmel for the perfect spot to have a picturesque photoshoot. 

💲💲 If you're looking to catch some clothes on sale - pass by the Gilroy Premium Outlets and embrace your inner shopaholic with all the most famous brands at relatively cheap prices.   

Now head towards Big Sur and have your camera ready, because this is a breathtakingly scenic route!

Big Sur

Foodie paradise

If you're looking to expand your palette or simply just want to try a new take on the avocado toast, San Francisco is the place to go! 

Two foodie ventures you ought to try - that also look great on Instagram - are toasts at Mazarine Coffee and acai bowls at Basik Cafe. Both places have set combinations in different shapes and sizes and allow you to mix your own as well!

An extra hidden gem is a French Bistro called Mathilde, serving authentic French cuisine, taking you out of the big city atmosphere and straight to the streets of France. The snails, onion soup, and roasted bone marrow are all highly recommended!
Mazarine Coffee
Basik Cafe
Mathilde French Bistro

Second Stop


Continue the trip down highway 1, with an extravagant view of the ocean. 

📸  Make a stop at Ragged Point for some photos and then exit south of Santa Maria to reach Solvang. 

A must-see for any Dane traveling to California is the small town of Solvang, otherwise described as “A little slice of Denmark”. It was established by a group of Danish travelers in 1911 to create a community that escaped the Midwestern winters and is today known for its numerous Danish icons such as the little mermaid fountain, windmills, and a Round Tower. Get a taste of home in one of the bakeries with a delicious Danish pastry or a plate of ‘Æbleskiver’. 

Third Stop

Malibu & Santa Monica

Make a stop at Malibu Farm - coincidentally another perfect addition to your Instagram - it's placed on stilts, and lets you enjoy a meal on the water with a great view of the sunset.   

To mix things up a bit, embrace your inner child, and try out the attractions on Santa Monica Pier - take a trip in the famous Ferris wheel, buy a souvenir and devour cotton candy until you burst. 

Final Destination

Los Angeles

Known as ‘The city of angels’ and the final stop on this road trip!

Summon your inner socialite and keep your eyes open - it's probably the city in the world where you'll be most likely to randomly stumble upon someone famous. 

Get the typical touristy things done like walking down the Hollywood walk of fame, or cruising through Beverly Hills, and remember to stop for a picture with the Hollywood sign! If you're looking for more luxurious shopping - Rodeo Drive is the place for you. 

End your day at Venice Beach with a stroll down the boardwalk and get impressed by the skaters doing their thing, whilst enjoying a nice view of the sunset. 

Foodie Paradise pt. 2

Los Angeles is very known for being hip and trendy, so it's by far the best place to try out the latest food trends. 

If you want to act like a celebrity for a day or maybe even try spotting one, head to Nobu or Cecconi's both well known for their famous clientele and delicious food.

On the other hand, if fast food is more within your budget, don't forget to try In-N-Out burgers for the regionally known chain that can't be found any other place than Southwestern America!

Last but definitely not least - calling all breakfast lovers, these ones are for you! Alfred Coffee and Urth Caffe, both located in Melrose, offer divine breakfast options! Make it a stop on your list and give their breakfast burritos a try!