Northern California Highway 1 road trip

highway 1 road tripTouring San Francisco, Marin County, Monterey, Big Sur, and San Simeon, CA.

Day 1: Drive to starting point of San Francisco, CA. Stay in nearby Mill Valley, CA at the Acqua Hotel adjacent to the Muir Woods National Monument.

Day 2: Drive from Mill Valley along California Highway 1 to Monterey CA. Check into the Portola Hotel and Spa and tour Monterey by bike or hiking trails. Enjoy the Monterey Aquarium or Lover’s Point beach, or take the historic walking tour.

Day 3: Leave Monterey for Big Sur, CA. Stop at nearby Point Lobos to hike and explore tide pools, then discover hidden beaches along Highway 1. Arrive in San Simeon, CA and check into the Morgan Hotel near Hearst Castle.

Day 4: Wake up early to tour Hearst Castle in San Simeon, then head back up Highway 1 back to San Francisco. (Alternatively, if you’re tired of windy roads, no matter how scenic), opt to return to the Bay Area via more direct Highway 101.) Check into either a Pier 39 hotel, or a Financial District hotel near cable car lines. Our picks: the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf or Omni San Francisco.

Day 5 and Day 6: Explore all the kid-friendly San Francisco attractions the city has to offer. Be sure to allow ample time for Golden Gate Park and Pier 39! Allow kids to shop along the pier and tourist zones for artwork, kites, and hand stamped jewelry!