The Pacific Coast Highway, which runs 655.8 miles from Dana Point to Leggett, is arguably the most iconic road trip route in the USA. And while there are plenty of hotels within proximity to the CA-1, if you don’t want to veer off course, the move is to book a hotel on the PCH.
So, before you pack up the car and hit the road, make a reservation at these Cali properties that definitely warrant pit stop. Just don’t be surprised when you want to extend your stay.
Surf & Sand Resort
Set on 500 feet of pristine shoreline, this AAA Four Diamond-rated resort literally puts the surf and sand at your fingertips. And the seaside charm doesn’t end there. All 167 accomodations flaunt ocean vistas. At night, the lull of the tides drifts you off to dreamland. In the morning, awaken with the sun as it rises over the water. Carve out a few daytime hours to hang by the Insta-worthy pool. Hungry? Splashes Restaurant serves up a tasty fish dishes. In need of a little R&R before you head off to your next adventure? Book a beachcomber body melt at Aquaterra Spa.
1555 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Seeking a surf-centric escape? You’ll be stoked to stay at this SoCal hotel, situated just one block from the beach. Besides a prime location, it boasts coastal decor and local art. And did we mention each of the eight rooms is named after a nearby break? Guests also have access to stand up paddleboards. Of course, the lure of the swells is a major draw. Though, we’ve got to admit that after sitting in the car for hours on end, a flexibility-boosting yoga session is pretty appealing. Need to stretch your legs a bit more? Hop on one of the complementary cruiser bikes and ride around town.
960 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Nobu Ryokan Malibu
The word “sanctuary” is oft inaccurately used, but this is not one of those instances. This luxury ryokan is in a league of its own. It’s so zen that upon arrival a sense of calm instantly washes over. Teak wood is everywhere—planks line the floor and beams shape the architecturally impressive ceiling. Plus, you can soak away your stress in handcrafted tubs. Sliding glass doors open onto ocean-view decks, furnished with cloud-like loungers and a large umbrella that provides the right amount of shade. The sand is so close you can reach out and touch it, while crashing waves and salty breezes bring the picture-perfect postcard to life.
22752 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265
Ventana Big Sur
As you turn off CA-1 and onto Ventana Big Sur, the sounds of vehicles are replaced by the wind whistling through the trees. The atmosphere is warm and woodsy. And guest quarters epitomize that. Cool nights call for cozying up by the fire, followed by some time in your private outdoor jacuzzi. Or, if you prefer, there’s an indoor tub in what is certainly one of the sexiest bathrooms we’ve ever seen. Other noteworthy amenities include morning yoga and happy hour. (Think: vino and classic board games.) After a day spent exploring, savor locally sourced American fare and epic mountain panoramas at The Sur House.
48123 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
The Surfrider has a warm, laid-back atmosphere that makes you never want to leave. And after spending hours in the car, it doesn't get better than hanging on the guests-only roof deck and sipping a cocktail. We recommend the “Endless Summer,” a vacation-in-your-mouth coconut margarita. If you’re feeling peckish, the fresh ceviche and market board are delicious options. Perhaps, active pursuits are more your speed? There are complimentary surfboards and stand up paddleboards to get you into the Malibu spirit. Then again, you could always just chill in your hammock and watch the waves lap the sand.
23033 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Post Ranch Inn
This homestead turned couples-oriented oasis delivers an exceptional five-star experience in a totally serene and scenic environment with tons of history. Accommodations pay homage pioneering families that were part of the Big Sur community. Speaking of, there are 39 stunning options—ranging from stand-alone huts with slate terraces to treehouses—plus a private home. What you won’t find? Televisions or alarm clocks. The property also puts hiking numerous trails within reach. While you’re there, be sure to schedule a garden. On-site plant whisperer Anton will guide you through the rows of herbs and edible flowers used by chefs at the award-winning restaurant Sierra Mar.
47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920