The Pacific Ocean is seen from the shore along California Highway One near Cambria. From Cambria to Monterey in the north, a distance of about 90 miles, the scenic highway hugs the shoulder of the mountains with essentially no exit.
This is one of the Cambria area's residents. There are hundreds of these begging for food along the side of the road. If you're not careful, they will climb on you or your car.
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is home to a year-round colony of 7,500 elephant seals. Fenced observation areas are available for visitors.
Two elephant seals engage in a friendly exchange of words on the beach near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.
Near Gorda, steep cliffs and rocks provide a sanctuary for elephant seals and birds. Its vistas are perfect for watching the annual migration of whales.
Great offshore rocks punctuate the dramatic meeting of land and sea near Lucia. Beaches are few; strong currents, waves and cold water make swimming hazardous.
Five miles south of Lucia is perhaps one of the most eye-catching views along Highway One. The crystal clear water and white sand beach, with Big Creek Bridge carved into the hillside of the Santa Lucia Mountains, makes for a great shot for all photographers.
Situated in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, McWay Cove features a waterfall that is accessible only by foot through a thin tunnel, which opens out to the ocean on the other side.
McWay Falls is easily the most beautifully situated waterfall on the California coast. Dropping some 80 feet into a picturesque cove opening out to the Pacific Ocean, it is a great place to be when the warm glow of the setting sun shines on this remarkable scene.
The second most visited area in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is Partington Point, where several short paths wind around a grassy promontory for good views up and down the coast.
Here is a closeup of McWay Rocks at Partington Point in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Point Sur Lighthouse is seen from atop a dramatic volcanic rock just off-shore in Big Sur. A National Historic Landmark, Point Sur is the only complete turn-of-the-century light station open to the public in California.
Sea otters are frequent residents of the beach around high bluffs and coast near the Bixby Bridge, just 13 south of Carmel.
Bixby Creek Bridge was one of the largest single-arch concrete bridge in the world when it was completed in 1932.
Just north of Bixby Bridge near Carmel, many beaches in Point Lobos State Reserve and Sand Dollar Beach feature incredible waves and rocks just off the Highway One roadside.
Two seal lions nap in the early morning sun on the docks of Monterey Bay. Along the piers near Fisherman's Wharf, a honking sound can be heard throughout the bay. Hundreds of seals make the rocks along the pier a favorite resting spot.
The marina at Monterey Bay features the Monterey Aquarium, Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf. On the wharf, visitors can go dolphin and whale watching on board a charter boat for two-plus hours for just under $45.
On California Highway One, Pigeon Point Lighthouse is 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 27 miles north of Santa Cruz. The 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse has guided mariners since 1872.
One of the best things about driving up the California coast is finding hidden things of beauty like Hole-in-the-Wall Beach. Located just a mile south of Davenport, the bluffs surrounding the beach are farms growing onions.
This is the Hole-in-the-Wall that the beach is named after. There are several holes like this with the tide crashings through. The tides are hazardous and water is ice cold. The cove has many large rocks and a cave with a running stream.