Two must-see spots on Highway 1

Two must-see spots on Highway 1

Escaping the cold always seems like a good option. If you love nature and adventure and are looking for something different to do this summer, a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles via Highway 1 might be perfect. Although there are many beautiful scenic spots along the way, these two are so hidden that they are often overlooked: Point Lobos Nature Reserve and Cala Lili Valley.

Point Lobos Nature Reserve

About two hours south of San Francisco, you’ll reach Point Lobos Nature Preserve. Here you’ll find landscapes, geological formations, birds and sea lions! There are several different trails you can hike, but the entire loop is 6.7 miles long.

Antonia Bedding/North by Northwest

The parking fee is usually $10 if you want to park inside, but you can also park outside and pay a $1 entrance fee.

If you look closely enough, you’ll notice unique geological formations throughout the reserve.

And of course…sea lions! This route tends to be a bit crowded, so getting up early may be a good option. This reserve is also an excellent place for diving and snorkelling, especially during the summer. Other activities include hiking, photography and nature study.

Cala Lili Valley

Below Highway 1 you will find Calla Lily Valley. This valley is located a 12-minute drive south of Point Lobos.

Although there are no signs indicating the beginning of the journey, Google Maps or any application on your phone can serve as a guide. This trail is about 0.5 miles (round trip) and is free.

After parking, the walk to the beach is short – about 0.3 miles. You’ll have the ocean to your left and wildflowers to your right.

There will be a staircase at the end of the path that leads to a small valley filled with calla lilies.

There you will find people taking photos and enjoying the view.

The valley will end when it meets the ocean. You can then enjoy a day at Garrapata Beach. I personally recommend going there during sunset and having some snacks! This is the perfect place for a picnic.

Antonia Bedding/North by Northwest

Although it’s just these two locations, I’m sure there are many other beautiful places along Highway 1. Yes, getting to Los Angeles is very exciting. But, this is definitely the kind of trip where the journey is more interesting than the final destination. Allow yourself to make spontaneous stops along the way. All you’ll need is good company, some good music and of course a car. I promise it will be the trip of a lifetime.

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