Travel Guide to California

2017 Travel Guide to California

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40 2 0 1 7 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A You're in the Driver's Seat Explore the golden roads of the Golden State BY JOHN FLINN JMICHAEL URMANN/SHUTTERSTOCK . OPPOSITE: ASIF ISLAM/SHUTTERSTOCK ; ANDREASFINK/SHUTTERSTOCK ; LUCKY-PHOTOGRAPHER/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, offers one of the world's classic driving trips. From sun-splashed Southern California 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 surf breaks 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 Francisco; Point Reyes National Seashore; artsy Mendocino; Redwood National Park. CALIFORNIA BRIDGES The Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, above, is emblematic of California's rugged coast and Highway 1. Completed in 1932, it remains one of the tallest single- span concrete bridges in the world. Other notable structures in California include, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Bridge, a breathtaking workhorse linking SF and Oakland. ROAD TRIPS

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