Highway One: Road Trip of a Lifetime

It's like a fantasy book coming to life.

There's that red barn in the middle of the wide green field and a family of four walking towards their truck. 

There's that old theater and an old bookstore and an old cafe where several teens were hanging out with colorful hooded jackets just by their waiting bikes. 

There's that old man tending to his garden who insisted I pause to have a glass of white wine. 

There's that old road, barely paved and fully shaded by thick rich trees.

That's what a road trip through Highway One is. Wide open spaces with endless greens, unobstructed view of the sky and fresh clean air. 

It's where the quiet is. A journey for the soul.

Making the most out of Highway One

Because we had work, we left on a Thursday afternoon and returned Sunday. Highway One was the journey and the destination. Unlike others who "pass by" Highway One on their way to San Francisco, we spent the entire trip stopping at different places along Highway One.

There aren't any parties or theme parks. Highway One is about the scenes, some good hikes and biking spots.

We stopped at:

  • Sta. Barbara
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Big sur
  • Monterey
  • Carmel

If we had more time

There's a lot more to do. Big Sur, for one, is a destination in itself. Given more time, I'd like to spend a night or two in Big Sur to hike, bike and walk. 

I also would like to hike in each of those cities. We only got to hike in San Luis Obispo. 

I would like to go to museums and gardens. 


The biggest expense was gas and the car. I am not one for expensive food but I like trying local cuisines and local restaurants but within reason. Since we were on the road frequently, gas was the biggest expense. We do rent out a car for our out of town trips. 

To save some money, we bought some grocery to get us through snack. 

Here is what we spend per head: 

Car Rental - $80 (4 days with basic insurance)
Gas - $150
Hotel - $200
Food - $120
Hearst Castle - $25
Sta. Barbara Museum of Art - $10
TOTAL = $585


Here are some things to do to make sure you save money and enjoy Highway One.

  • Book your hotels in advance. We ended up getting a $200 room because we didn't book in advance. You can easily get a $80 room if you book in advance, 
  • If you are going to rent a car, rent a hybrid car. That thing is sooooo gas efficient
  • Take your time. Highway should be your journey and destination. 
  • Talk to people. They will share some incredible stories about settling in that area. Many of the people I met did relocate to other parts of the US before settling or settling back to somewhere in Highway One. After the city tire them out, they returned home. 


Most of the photos I took are gone. I don't know where I put them. Nonetheless, here are some I have left. 


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