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Better than theme park roller coasters, California's twisty-turvy old Highway 1 is one of the most fantastic and scenic routes in the United States. Known as the All American Road or Big Sur Coast Highway, with several portions designated as Pacific Coast Highway, the Cabrillo Highway, the Shoreline Highway, or the Coast Highway, Highway 1 can be an extension of your trip down the Old California Mission Road by car hire or a journey unto itself.
State Route 1 begins at Interstate 5 near Dana Point in Orange County and runs north all the way to Leggett in Mendocino County. There are several easy entry points along Highway 1 with a rental car from Los Angeles Airport or a car hire from San Francisco Airport, as it passes the Bay Area and other coastal Urban areas along its route.
Arguably the most scenic section of Highway 1 runs from San Luis Obispo to Carmel. This section is designated part of the National Scenic Byways Program and includes amazing sights such as Morro Bay and the prehistoric Chumash settlement, San Simeon, Piedras Blancas Light and the elephant seal colony, the Cliffs of Big Sur, Bixby Creek Bridge over Bixby Creek Gorge and the Rocky Creek Bridge.
Spanning 72 miles, the Big Sur Coast Highway offers views of amazingly tall redwoods, crashing ocean waves, cypress trees, and towering canyons. Some attractions worth stopping your cheap California car hire for are Carmel Mission and Basilica, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Monterey Bay Aquarium.