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The Seven Best Under the Radar Highway 1 Pit Stops

Pick strawberries, eat smoked salmon, and frolic by tide pools on your way to SoCal.

Highway One

Highway One 

 

With road trip season almost here, it’s time to hash out that summer bucket list. Taking Highway 1 to LA tops it for many. While the city of Angels has its charms, for a drive that’s more about the journey than the destination, here are our seven picks for pit stops along the way.

Admire the tide pools around the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
This nature reserve in Moss Beach is home to some of the most diverse tide pools on the coast, teeming with neon sea stars, mollusks, sponges, and more otherworldly marine curiosities. The Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve offers guided tours or has a self-guided brochure you can download to your phone.  

Picnic at Bean Hollow Beach
One of the most underrated beaches on the coast, this little gem is a favorite for its picnic tables on low-lying bluffs overlooking a mellow cove. And it just so happens to be a five-minute serendipitous drive to Arcangeli’s famous artichoke bread, the perfect snack for this little seaside perch. 

Pick strawberries in Davenport
Veer from Highway 1 in Davenport to Swanton Berry Farms, where you’ll find your own refuel station with homemade berry pies and strawberry lemonade from their farm stand. If you have time, ask for a basket to pick your own fresh strawberries from their picturesque coastal fields. 

Lunch at Big Sur Bakery
Tucked beneath the coast’s towering redwoods, and next to an unassuming gas station, the loaves of bread and scones alone at Big Sur Bakery’s charming converted ranch house are worth the drive (sorry, Tartine). Also on the menu: wood-fired pizzas with ingredients sourced from local farms. 

Snack at Ruddell’s Smokehouse
The smoked salmon sold over the counter at this salty Central Coast joint has a cult that's formed around it—and for good reason. Creamy salmon with hints of smoke comes wrapped in soft tortillas with chunks of apple and a secret house-made sauce. Eat it on the beach, right next to the Ruddell’s 

Relax on Stearns Wharf
Seriously. Recently, Santa Barbara’s biggest tourist trap has redeemed itself with upscale wine tasting rooms like the Deep Sea Tasting Room with oceanfront views, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center recently had a facelift, and peel and eat shrimp and crawfish at the Shellfish Company. 

Hike Point Dume State Beach
Stretch your legs along Santa Monica Bay, tracing the sand dunes and craggy bluffs of Malibu’s Point Dume State Beach. On the east side of the preserve, you’ll find a staircase that leads to an isolated beach—a rarity in L.A. 

 

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