The mythology of the American highway is as deep and long as the Grand Canyon.
The vast, varied landscapes, small towns and big cities that fly-drivers pass through make the practical matters of hiring and insuring a car, driving on the right and learning a few new laws well worth it
The route along the Pacific coast between Dana Point, north of San Diego, and Leggett, in the heart of northern California’s redwood country, is an easy but exciting introduction to American road culture.
Though the road skirts Greater Los Angeles and its legendary gridlocks, it does pass through Long Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara’s wine country, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, San Francisco and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Route 101, with which Route 1 occasionally merges on its 745-mile coast-hugging journey, finally takes over completely near Leggett. If you enjoyed Sideways and like to be beside the seaside, this is the one to do.
There are enough pop songs to soundtrack a lifetime of coast-to-coast drives and the challenge may well be to turn off the myths – and turn down the music – and make your own experience out of the journey.