A drive along California Highway 1 not only offers the ultimate view of the rugged coastline, it hosts some of California’s most unique and exquisite hotels. Highway 1 technically begins at Mendocino County in the North and ends at Dana Point in the South. It runs concurrently with US 101 and is called by different names at various points (Cabrillo Highway, Pacific Coast Highway, Shoreline Highway).
The spectacular California Highway 1 drive, coupled with a stay at one of these top hotels, make an epic road trip or couple excursion. We’ve listed the hotels for you below, from San Francisco to San Diego. Take a look and let us know which one you’d like to try!
Top 10 Hotels Along California Highway 1
1. Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco
The Four Seasons San Francisco not only features new decor in shades of grey, blue and white to symbolize the city’s fog, redwood trees and ocean. It also offers easy access to the wonders of SF. Walk a few blocks to elite, world-class shopping at Union Square, hop on a cable car to sample culinary delights at the Ferry building or visit unique museums and historic sites. Work up an appetite discovering local delights, then you work up an appetite, enjoy locally sourced California cuisine and 180° city views at the MKT Restaurant – Bar.
2. The Lodge at Pebble Beach
Golfers from all over the world flock to the ocean view course at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, located on 17-Mile Drive just outside Carmel. Guests staying at the lodge receive special golf booking privileges. At the same time, non-golfers have plenty to do with nearby activities including: an equestrian center, tennis club, Big Sur hiking trails and the Laguna Seca Raceway. After an exhilarating day of golf and other activities, guests are welcome to rejuvenate at the lodge’s award winning spa.
3. Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
The Post Ranch Inn, with panoramic ocean and mountain views provides a peaceful space to replenish body and soul. Spa treatments, natural beauty, star gazing and accommodations without television or alarm clocks encourage guests to reconnect with themselves and each other. In addition, Falconry, sound journey meditation, guided nature hikes and infinity meditation spas make this a special place you will never forget.
4. Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Located about 30 minutes outside of San Francisco on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean sits the beautiful Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. Not only is the hotel’s decor designed to showcase the majesty of the ocean below; outside guests can enjoy world class golf. Half Moon Bay offers several activities like surfing, hiking, horseback riding, shopping and wine tasting. Those looking for relaxation are to find the perfect treatment in one of the hotel spa’s 15 luxury treatment rooms.
5. Ritz Carlton, Bacara, Santa Barbara
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is set on acres of oceanfront natural beach. However, ocean view rooms are just the beginning of this hotel’s amenities. Guests looking for more can visit the wellness center or discover the area’s activities, specifically hiking, sailing, horseback riding, surfing. California history buffs will enjoy a visit to the “Queen of the Missions”, Santa Barbara Mission, which is about 20 minutes away, by car. At the hotel, experience wine tasting in a private room or dine in one of 6 restaurants. After a day of play, rejuvenate in the award winning spa or ocean view pools.
6. Hotel Casa Del Mar, Santa Monica
Santa Monica’s Hotel Casa Del Mar features panoramic views from Palos Verdes to Malibu, offering a stunning way to experience the beauty of Southern California. The lobby, originally an exclusive 1920’s beach club, still features soaring ceilings and windows from the original structure. Oceanfront Casa Del Mar sits right on the sand, presenting the ideal getaway for beach lovers. Toast to the good life at the Terrazza Lounge or regain a sense of peace at the Sea Wellness Spa.
7. Montage Laguna Beach
There is nothing like the seaside luxury of the Montage Laguna Beach. Discover new experiences like whale watching, sailing, surfing, stand-up-paddle-board and golf. Dine at the Studio, featuring delicacies from chef Benjamin Martinek. Finally, relax at the Montage Spa Elements of Wellness with eucalyptus steam rooms, ocean air whirlpools and a full menu of massage therapies, facials and other treatments.
Celebrities and Royalty come to Montage for award-winning accommodations, specifically those listed below:
- Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Rating (2013-2018)
- AAA Five Diamond Award (2013-2018)
- Orange County Register Best of Orange County “Best O.C. Resort” (2017-2019)
- Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award “Top Hotels in Southern California” (2016-2018)
- Travel + Leisure “The Best Resort Hotels in California” (2016)
8. Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
The luxurious AAA FIVE-DIAMOND Monarch Beach Resort sits on a hillside overlooking the coast at Monarch Beach. The restaurants offer breathtaking ocean views, not to mention world class dining. Active visitors have access to numerous activities like whale watching and hiking trails. Ask for a Resort Experience Planner to schedule the perfect vacation for you, whether whether you prefer oceanfront golf, premier pools or a spa day. Those visiting for the purpose of relaxation will enjoy a package at Miraval Spa with massages, facials, meditation and yoga to get back to center.
9. Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado
Built in 1888, San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado, aka “The Dell”, offers modern luxury coupled with iconic architecture. Inside, rooms decorated in ocean blues, gold and warm tan welcome guests to their own beach getaway. Outside, Coronado Central Beach offers activities galore, including a beach to take your beloved pup, just in case he needs to wet his paws. The Coronado served as the backdrop for various television and movie projects, in addition to hosting celebrities, royalty and presidents. Plenty of beach activities await guests, including holiday events and everyday celebrations.
10. L’Auberge Del Mar, San Diego
San Diego’s L’Auberge features estate-style guest rooms together with mesmerizing ocean views. The hotel overlooks the quaint Village Del Mar, with shopping, hiking, golf and art galleries nearby. Guests are invited to explore surfing and cycling the coast, then reward themselves with a trip to the hotel’s ocean-inspired spa.
So, schedule your coastline getaway on California Highway 1. Stay at one of these hotels and let us know what you think. If you have a favorite spot that’s not on the list, mention it in the comments so that I can check it out!