With the recent rains bringing wildflowers and lush greenery, Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful and diverse scenery with a drive on the Central Coast. From crashing waves and rocky cliffs along the coast to rolling vineyard hills and wooded areas, the central coast has a little of everything, and these drives showcase the best of what the area has to offer.
The coastal drive along Highway 1 is one of the most famous drives in the area, and for good reason. The stretch between Morro Bay and Big Sur winds along the steep rocky cliffs by the ocean, going through the hills and offering breathtaking views of the hills, ocean and uninterrupted shorelines.
2. Tepusquet Canyon- Santa Maria Wine Country
The river valley east of Santa Maria offers beautiful wineries with views of the grape vines in the rolling hills against the background the Los Padres National Forest. Tequsequet Road will take you up into the western side of the Los Padres National Forest with huge stretches of woods and greenery.
3. Pozo Loop, Santa Margarita
In contrast to the rolling hills and rocky shorelines, the Pozo Loop offers views of the lesser-known farming community in Santa Margarita. Fields of crops, old barns, weathervanes and windmills stand against a backdrop of sturdy oaks, horses and cows. The the road is a bit worn and dusty, it’s well worth it for the views.
4. Nacimiento-Ferguson Road
Located north of San Simeon along the coast, this tricky road is full of steep drops and inclines and hairpin turns. Though the drive can be a bit difficult to navigate at times, you’ll be rewarded with unbeatable views of the untouched coastline and natural reserves. If you prefer to get a bit of exercise, there are also hiking trails available at the base of the summit.
5. San Marcos Pass
Near Santa Barbara, San Marcos Pass winds through the danish town of Solvang and through the hills near Lake Cachuma. The highlight of the drive comes when you reach the peak of the hills, where you are greeted by a panoramic view of Santa Barbara and the coastline stretching all the way out to the Channel Islands.