Some of the most iconic scenic drives in California are along the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), which runs from San Francisco to Santa Monica, passing through Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties along the way.
California State Route 166, which starts off in Guadalupe in northwestern Santa Barbara County and heads east towards Santa Maria, the largest city on its eastern journey. It then joins with U.S. Route 101 for the last few miles in Santa Barbara County before crossing the Santa Maria River and splitting off in San Luis Obispo County.
U.S. Route 101, which runs parallel to the Pacific Coast Highway for most of its length in California, but inland through the valleys and hills of the central coast. It passes through Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties, serving cities such as Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Salinas and Gilroy.
California State Route 1, which is also known as the Cabrillo Highway in some parts of the central coast. It branches off from U.S. Route 101 near San Luis Obispo and follows the coastline northward through Morro Bay, Cambria, Big Sur and Carmel-by-the-Sea before rejoining U.S. Route 101 near Monterey.
California State Route 68, which connects Monterey and Salinas in Monterey County. It passes through the historic Monterey Peninsula, home to attractions such as Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
California State Route 156, which connects U.S. Route 101 near Prunedale in Monterey County with Interstate 5 near Los Banos in Merced County. It passes through San Benito County, serving Hollister and San Juan Bautista.
California State Route 152, which connects U.S. Route 101 near Gilroy in Santa Clara County with Interstate 5 near Los Banos in Merced County. It passes through San Benito County, crossing the Pacheco Pass and offering views of the San Luis Reservoir.
California State Route 17, which connects Santa Cruz and San Jose in Santa Clara County. It passes through the Santa Cruz Mountains, offering scenic views of the redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean.