Coast, Castles, and Courses|
The Central Pacific Coast Highway Tour
Article and Photos by Epstein LaRue - American Roads Travel Magazine
The exhilarating feeling of ocean breezes whipping your hair, the sound of waves crashing onto the shore, the sight of the blue water meeting the golden sand, only to blend with the green sides of towering trees that cover the mountains that reach up towards the heavenly skies, and the unique smell of the ocean. All these things - sights, sounds, & smells - blend in a truly unique beauty that only can be found while cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Pacific Ocean Coastline
Our adventure starts out just north of Santa Barbara in a little place called Morro Bay. The most striking feature that you will find at Morro Bay is Morro Rock, which is actually a great conical rock jutting out into the Pacific. Not far from Morro Bay State Park you can visit the 18-hole golf course, go deep-sea fishing, or visit the museum of natural history.
In the winter, Morro Bay is host to the Winter Bird Festival. The Morro Bay’s bird sanctuary is home to more than 200 species of birds that live off of what the ocean and the surrounding areas provide.
Crashing Waves and Rocks
Moving up the coast, we find San Simeon and the infamous Hearst Castle. Built by media and publication mogul William Randolph Hearst, the castle is made of marble, exquisite pools, priceless paintings and sculptures. It truly is a sight to behold. Although it took quite a shake in the San Simeon earthquake of 2003, the castle received only minor damage; a true test of the quality of workmanship that went into building this magnificent place.
Further up the coastline you will find such State Parks as Limekiln, Julie Pfeiffer and Andrew Molera. These sites of historical significance are great places to stop and gaze at the beautiful ocean view. Each one has it's own unique history.
Big Sur has captured many inspirations for novels and paintings. For ships traveling the coast after 1889, the Big Sur Lighthouse was a shining star in the midst of darkness. Big Sur is host to a winding river that is a nice and relaxing way to eat lunch, on to take a mid-day break. There are several choices for lodging and food including campgrounds in the woods or at Riverside.
If golf is your game, then you won't want to miss our next stop through Carmel and down I7-mile drive. This is home to the infamous Pebble Beach Golf Course. Also along this drive, you will find Seal Rock, the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock, and the most amazing homes. Three other golf courses make their home here: Spyglass, Spanish Bay, and Poppy Hills.
Pacific Grove and Monterey line the coast on the Monterrey Peninsula. Pacific Grove is the home to ''the poor man's Pebble Beach" - Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course. The view is totally awesome and staff is very friendly.
Deer on the Course
While the men are golfing, wives spend their time shopping on Cannery Row. In the 1940's, this was the crown jewel of the Pacific Coast fishing market. Approximately 20 canneries work overtime to produce tons of fish every year. Now that the fishing industry isn't as strong as it was in the early 1940's, it is now the host of numerous hotels & shops. Monterey is also the host of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and fisherman's wharf.
Our last stops on our Central Pacific Coast Highway tour brings you to Marina and Moss Landing and antique shops, sport fishing, and windy beach, which are great for hang gliding. Special launch ramps can be found at Marina State Beach. While there, we stayed the night at the Marina Dunes Campground. They treat you like family there with fire on the fireplace in the clubhouse or your own private fireplace at your campsite. Don't miss out on the homemade cookies that were baked every afternoon. We stayed there five nights, and truly enjoyed ourselves.
Just a short drive from Marina is the small fishing community named Moss Landing. Named after a fisherman, Charlie Moss, this small community is home to blocks of antique shops, fresh artichoke stands, and a working harbor. We went out on a deep-sea fishing venture provided by Tom’s Sportfishing on the Kahuna. Our hosts, Scott and Carol, took special efforts to make our fishing episode a real adventure. Not only did we find the best spot for rockfish, but also extra time was taken for whale watching as the gray whales were making their way from the cold north to the warm waters of Baja California.
Deep Sea Fishing
Pacific Coast Highway - a sight that no one should miss. My dream of cruising down Highway One in my Mustang Convertible became a reality in the year of 2003. When will you cruise down this highway of your dreams?
Hearst Castle: http://www.hearstcastle.com/
Marina Dunes RV: http://www.marinadunesrv.com/
Pacific Grove Municipal Golf: www.ci.pacific-grove.ca.us/golf.html
Toms Sport Fishing: http://www.tomssportfishing.com/
Calfornia State Parks: http://cal-parks.ca.gov/
Epstein LaRue is a travel registered nurse and published author of “Love At First Type”, “Crazy Thoughts Of Passion”, “An Aquatic Oasis”, “Success In The Publishing World”, and “Internet Marketing The Right Way.”
Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.