Must-See Views and Stops on the Pacific Coast Highway

Must-See Views and Stops on the Pacific Coast Highway

Traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway is one of those classic, don’t-miss American road trips. Starting in San Diego, California, and ending in Seattle, Washington, this drive features miles upon miles of ocean views and must-see stops along the way. 

It’s the perfect road trip to take in your Bowlus because you can cruise the route in whatever vehicle you choose and stop wherever you want without worrying about booking a hotel room. It’s the type of road trip that we designed our luxury travel trailer for, and it showcases why it is considered the ultimate in land travel. Here are some of the must-see views and stops as you travel the Pacific Coast Highway in your luxury travel trailer.

Olympic National Park

An absolute must-see stop on your Pacific Coast Highway road trip is at the Olympic National Park, an enormous, million-acre wilderness full of diverse ecosystems and over 70 miles of coastline. From its glacier-capped mountains to its temperate rainforest, the national park is full of opportunities for campers to get out and backpack, hike, boat, and fish.

There are also a few unique opportunities to enjoy—for instance, tide-pooling. With so much rugged coastline to explore, tide-pooling is an outdoor activity where people walk the shoreline looking for the wildlife that is left behind as the tide goes out. You’ll be able to see all kinds of fish, invertebrates, and plants that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to see so up close and personal. Mora’s Hole in the Wall and Kalaloch Beach 4 are the two most popular areas for tide-pooling.

Olympic National Park is a great place to park overnight, as well. Not only are there multiple campgrounds that are perfect for parking your Bowlus, as they are off-limits for other travel trailers that depend on hookups, the national park is also home to one of the few Night Sky Programs in the country. With 95% of the park officially designated as wilderness, making it off-limits for human-caused light, you’ll be able to view the night sky as you probably have never been able to before. You can even join a Master Observer for an evening of guided star-gazing and astronomy at Hurricane Ridge. 

When you’re ready to head back to your luxury travel trailer for the night, you can take your pick of campgrounds that have sites to fit up to 31-foot trailers. We love South Beach Campground, located on a bluff that looks out over the Pacific Ocean. It not only offers some of the most spectacular views, but it also provides beach access to Kalaloch Beach so that you can go tide-pooling much more easily. 

So when you’re done checking out all the ocean life and wading through the tide pools at the beach, you can head back to your Bowlus and enjoy a long, hot shower. The luxury travel trailer was designed to provide a constant flow of hot water from its Italian marine showerhead so that you don’t have to wait for hot water only to have it run out just minutes later. You’ll get the shower that you deserve when you travel in one. When you’re done, you can relax in the spacious, bespoke living room and never feel cramped.

”Dune Country”

In opposition to the stunning ocean views of the Olympic National Park, “Dune Country” goes on for around 50 miles on US-101 south of Florence, Oregon. One of the easiest access points to see the majesty of the dunes is at the Umpqua Dunes Area, which is located in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The area is home to two of the best viewing areas in the entire region, which are accessible when camping at the nearby Eel Creek Campground. 

From your starting point at the Eel Creek Campground, you can take a three-mile walk that will take you through some of the tallest dunes in the entire world (between 300 and 500 feet high!), conifer groves, small marshes, and eventually out to the sea. The John Dellenback Trail is slightly longer but offers similar, impressive views.

There are also opportunities to rent dune buggies, which you can take out on your own if you are experienced or enjoy on a guided tour if you’ve never ridden one before. It’s one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the dunes while having an experience you’ll never forget.

When you’re done taking in the sandy beauty of the dunes, you’ll want to head back to the comfort of your luxury travel trailer. Spending all day outside in the sun can really take it out of you, so why would you want to sleep on anything less than a comfortable memory foam mattress with eco-linen sheets in the privacy of your own Bowlus? While Eel Creek Campground offers much in terms of amenities, you won’t need them when you travel in your luxury travel trailer. You’ll sleep like a baby and wake up well-rested and ready to continue your Pacific Coast Highway road trip.

Astoria, Oregon

Another must-see stop on your road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway is Astoria, Oregon. The city is the oldest in the entire state, as it was founded in 1811. It combines the best of both worlds: newer places to visit like their growing microbrewery scene and older, historical museums like the Flavel House Museum and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. It’s an opportunity to choose your own adventure in a city with an immense amount of history. 

There are also plenty of places to sample the fresh seafood that the area is known for. If you’d rather cook your own meal, just grab some fresh fish from any of the local markets and head back to your Bowlus to make your own meal. With a kitchen just begging to be cooked in, and a two-burner Italian cooktop that runs on propane gas, you’ll be able to whip up something great in no time. 

If you’d rather grill your fish, you can do that as well! The outside of each luxury travel trailer is designed to turn into an outdoor kitchen, with both a 110 volt and propane outlet so that you can bring with you any extra cooking tools you want (like a propane barbeque). 

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is located in San Simeon, California, and is one of the most unique stops on the Pacific Coast Highway. Hearst Castle was conceived by publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst and was built in 1919 after being designed by a female architect named Julia Morgan, at a time when women in the profession were rare. The castle has 115 rooms, which includes 38 bedrooms, and must be seen to be believed.

When visiting the castle, you can start at the small, free museum before taking a tram right up to visit the house itself. There are also paid tours that you can take to help introduce you to the history of the house. 

After you’re done visiting the opulence of the Hearst Castle, consider staying at night at the nearby Hearst San Simeon State Park in your very own luxury home-away-from-home. The state park is one of the oldest areas of the California State Park system and includes unobstructed views of the coastline. There’s also a three-mile hiking trail and unique areas like the Elephant Seal Boardwalk, where you can observe huge colonies of northern elephant seals from a safe distance. 

End your day sitting with your loved ones in your comfortable, high-quality Bowlus living room. With a charging station perfect for charging all of your tablets, laptops, and cell phones and a private WiFi network with an embedded mobile router, you’ll be able to relax and upload all of those stunning photos you took on your adventure. 

In Summary…

The Pacific Coast Highway road trip is one that everyone should take at least once in their lives. Although there are nearly endless views and stops that you can make on your trip, make sure to check out at least one of our favorites. They each offer something special, from stunning coastlines to sandy dunes to an enormous castle. Your Bowlus makes this trip even better, amping up the luxury so that you can see the world the way you deserve.

 

Sources:

https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw/recarea/?recid=42597

https://hearstcastle.org/

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=590 

Bowlus®