The California State Route 1 coastal drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco has 2 distinctive parts: one is flat with beautiful dune beaches and wide coastal plains; the other is mountainous with twisted roads and a picturesque shoreline.
Halfway through the drive, a few miles after Cambria and San Simeon, just after passing the sea lions’ beaches at Piedras Blancas, the road takes a turn inland and goes uphill. At this point you do not see or expect anything, but when you reach the top of the hill suddenly a very different view unfolds in front of you: a completely open landscape with the straight road and the mountains as a backdrop. This view serves as a reminder what awaits you over the next few hours.
This spot is definitely one of my top 10 favorite travel photography locations along California State Route #1.