Not much beats a balmy summer day on California’s Pacific coast: a long stretch of highway hugging emerald green cliffs and rocky outcroppings ahead, and to the left, a bright summer sun glinting off the water.

Searching for the perfect summer road trip? A drive from Los Angeles to Pebble Beach via Highway 1 could be just the right fit. We’ve crafted a leisurely itinerary that takes in all the sights, with luxurious accommodations to look forward to each night.

Day 1: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

To kick off the trip, start from SoCal’s urban metropolis and head west toward Highway 1, connecting in Long Beach. Once en route, stop for lunch in scenic, celebrity-favorite Malibu, then continue along the coast toward Santa Barbara.

Though known for its temperate Mediterranean climate and convenient proximity to both L.A. and San Francisco, Santa Barbara—called the “American Riviera”—has a culture all its own. Take in the Spanish-colonial architecture and explore the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, featuring 65 acres of native flora. Then, enjoy dinner at bouchon Santa Barbara, an upscale farm-to-table take on French cuisine with Californian flare.

When you’re ready to settle in for the night, a stay at the Belmond El Encanto—the only Forbes Five-Star resort in the city—will leave you feeling refreshed for the next leg of the journey tomorrow.

Day 2: Santa Barbara to Big Sur

Feeling well-rested? It’s time to get an early start for this lengthiest portion of the trip—and be sure to get gas before leaving Santa Barbara city limits.

Continue along Highway 1 through Cambria, a good halfway point to stop, stretch out, and take in some beach views. Then, about 12 miles past, stop to see the elephant seal rookery in San Simeon, and grab a bite at Sebastian’s, a burger bar featuring Hearst Ranch wines and an ocean-view patio.

From there, it’s 65 miles ahead to Big Sur, your destination for the night. Accommodations at Ventana Big Sur await, boasting rustic charm with a sophisticated edge. Tucked amid California redwoods, this eco-friendly, adults-only resort is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of coastal cruising. Grab dinner on the property at The Sur House before turning in for the night.

Day 3: Big Sur to Pebble Beach

Quintessential California coastal views will cap off this short, last leg of the journey from Big Sur to Pebble Beach, about 30 miles. Gas up, grab a pastry at Big Sur Bakery, and hit the road.

Along the way, be sure to take in postcard-worthy views of Bixby Creek Bridge—an iconic landmark along the Pacific Highway. Then, stop for photos at scenic Point Lobos State Natural Reserve before the final 8-mile stretch into Pebble Beach.

(Photo courtesy of Pebble Beach®)

And finally—you’ve arrived. It’s time to hit the links or enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment at Pebble Beach Resorts® to cap off three days of cruising California’s legendary Highway 1. You’ve earned it.

Visiting in June? Plan to catch the 2019 U.S. Open from June 13–16 during your stay. Inspirato has a select number of reserved day passes for members. Contact your Care team for more information.


  • William jacobs says:

    I can only say that you stop the trip way too soon. Take the time to drive all the way up along the coast and dont be afraid to cross a state border or two. Choose bay Oregon is not shabby at all and there are plenty of places along the way to see and do things as well as spend nights comfortably along the way. My wife and I have driven the roads more times than i can count. Dont be in a hurry and buckle your seat belts because the coastal highway up north has more cut backs than you can count and if your doing 35 mph through them you are probably going to fast.

  • John says:

    You forgot the beautiful city of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The charming English Village atmosphere, where Clint Eastwood was past Mayor. It’s located next to Pebble Beach.

  • Tanna says:

    It is beautiful but I’m not ready to crown it the MOST beautiful because there are a lot of really beautiful road trips to be had in America. I will say though that it’s ONE OF the most beautiful rides in America!

  • Anita says:

    Don’t miss Monterey!

  • Yves Samuel says:

    Outstanding scenery, breathtaking. I would love visiting some day. Great picture

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