Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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78 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A CA.ROAD TRIPS Hop in the Car and Go Explore California's highways and byways BY JOHN FLINN JEROME KUNDROTAS/SHUTTERSTOCK . OPPOSITE: ASIF ISLAM/SHUTTERSTOCK ; SUPPAVUT VARUTBANGKUL ; RADOSLAW LECYK/SHUTTERSTOCK Californians didn't invent the car, but they like to think, with some justification, that they invented the automobile lifestyle. With drive-thru grocery stores, drive- thru pharmacies, drive-thru churches and even drive-thru mortuaries, one gets the feeling that if Californians could only invent a drive-thru delivery room they could happily go from cradle to grave without ever having to pull over to the curb. California is a land of supersized dis- tances, jumbo landscapes and big-gulp vistas, and the best way to see it all is on a road trip, or, better yet, a series of road trips. Here are a few of our favorites. Up the Coast Northern Californians call it "Highway 1" and Southern Californians call it the "Pacific Coast Highway"—or, simply, the "PCH"—but there's no doubt that the road that hugs the state's remarkable coastline, often close enough to feel the salt spray, is one of the world's classic driving trips. From the sun-splashed Southern Cali- fornia beaches to the misty redwood forests near the Oregon border, the journey, which includes a few stretches on other highways, is a touch over 1,000 miles. The sights are so numerous we can barely scratch the surface: The Hotel Del Coronado, where Marilyn Monroe frol- icked in Some Like It Hot; classic surfing beaches made famous by the Beach Boys; star-studded Malibu; Riviera-like Santa Barbara; Hearst Castle; Big Sur; Santa Cruz, with its old-timey beach boardwalk; San 17-MILE DRIVE This scenic coastal drive around the Monterey Peninsula hugs the Pacific and passes legendary golf courses including Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Cypress Point. Because most of it is owned by the Pebble Beach Company, there's a nominal toll for non-residents, but it's the best way to see this dramatic peninsula.

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