June 23, 2017
California’s Highway 1 is arguably the best road trip destination in the US. The sinuous highway hugs the Pacific for more than 650 miles, past misty redwood forests and secret coves, above wildflower-strewn cliffs which tumble down to the shore.
One of the most legendary stretches of Highway 1 is the section between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but recent landslides on the Central Coast have closed a portion of the route for up to a year. Despite this setback, the vast majority of the road is still open for business, while the subsequent diversion throws up a host of lesser known attractions in what the authorities are terming the ‘Best Detour Ever’.
Our map below shows the inaccessible portion between Ragged Point and Big Sur Ranger Station. Zoom in for a closer look at the inland re-routing along Highway 101. Driving this route takes about the same amount of time as driving Highway 1, even allowing for the sections where you’ll need to double back on yourself. So don’t think twice about changing your plans – just prepare yourself for an unexpected adventure.
Ready for your road trip? All restaurants, art galleries, campgrounds, hotels and gas stations are open as normal, as well as everything listed below:
If you’re starting from Los Angeles you’ll find Highway 1 open all the way to Ragged Point, around 15 miles north of San Simeon. Highlights along the way include:
The section of Highway 1 below Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea is accessible all the way south to Big Sur, including all of the famous landmarks and state parks below:
The inland detour through the rolling hills of the Central Coast opens up a range of new sights and attractions:
Virgin Atlantic operates daily flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco from London Heathrow. For up to date information on the status of Highway 1, visit the official tourism website at Visit California.