Traveling California Central Coast via Motorcycle
Almost any Highway 1 will be an epic motorcycle road, yet California Highway 1 manages to be #1 among #1s. California Highway 1 runs from suburban Dana Point (between Los Angeles and San Diego) in the south, to Leggett, about 200 miles below the Oregon border.
A wide variety of riding is available along California 1 – which runs over 700 miles end-to-end – yet, the crown jewel of this majestic highway is the world-renowned 120-mile segment from affluent Carmel-By-The-Sea, south to sleepy Morro Bay.
Between these two points, a vast array of attractions await on the endlessly fascinating two-lane Cabrillo Highway along the rugged California coast.
Heading south from Carmel, the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge arrives within a dozen miles, with its unforgettable 320-foot concrete arch span.
Big Sur, long a counterculture Mecca, is the next anticipated destination. If it is mealtime, a break for sustenance at Nepenthe Restaurant is a must.
Heading south from Big Sur, some serious kinks are worked into the road, and that is where you are engaged in a constant battle between keeping your eyes on the road and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. It is one of those places where being a passenger might just be more fun than working the bars.
Next, State Park after State Park then greets you as you continue, along with a few tiny hamlets offering expensive supplies and gasoline.
At the southern end, there is the legendary Hearst Castle (reservations usually required) and extensive marine-mammal watching (seals, otters, whales) at San Simeon Bay.
The aptly named Pashnit Tours takes riders on Cabrillo Highway, along with many of the less well-known roads to the east and north, giving riders an opportunity to fully experience the vast Central California coastal regions, starting from Saratoga in the southern San Francisco Bay area.
Taking advantage of peak riding season, Pashnit’s three-day guided tour runs in mid-April and mid-October to match excellent weather with avoidance of summer traffic.
Local motorcycle rental companies‚ offering everything from Spyders to sport bikes‚ are available for riders who prefer to leave their personal bikes at home.