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9montereycarmel8ENDMI 650point lobosgarrapata state park1big sur7julia pfeiffer burns state park6piedras blancas5 cambria14 san luis obispoLOCATION3 pismo beachCalifornia's west coastbutterfly groveROUTESanta Barbara – MontereyLENTH230 mi (380 km)TIMEOne day is enough to reach Montereyfrom Santa Barbara, but why rush? Takea few days to enjoy the many dreamysights along this route.UNITED STATESSan FranciscoChicagoLas VegasYOU'LL LOVEThe sweetness of California and thesuperb panoramas from the jaggedcoasts.26DallasHouston

NORTH AMERICAPACIFIC COASTTHE CALIFORNIA DREAM ROADFROM SANTA BARBARAT0 MONTEREYStretching a total of 650 mi (1,000 km) between San Diego and SanFrancisco, California State Route 1 (or Highway 1) is part of a select club ofUNITED STATESHIGHWAYthe most beautiful roads in the world. Experience the California way of lifeas the state’s beautiful coastline unrolls in front of you.The stretch betweenSanta Barbara and Monterey offers spectacular scenery between twocharming towns. Depart from Santa Barbara, among the palm trees, to takeEl Camino Real, the route of the old Spanish missions. Farther on,Highway 1 continues in solitude. Sprayed by the waves of thePacific, the road rises, twisting up the side of the coast,hugging cliffs, and winding past hidden coves with goldensand and forests of sequoias. A true ode to wild California.start-end of road tripla purisima2stopsolvanglandmark or point of interestroadSTART1230 mi1road tripMI 01 santa barbaraPacific Coast Highway27

1SANTA BARBARA, THE AMERICAN RIVIERAIt all starts in Santa Barbara (1). The journey begins on the promenadealong East Cabrillo Boulevard, in the shade of palm trees as tall asskyscrapers. Joggers and rollerbladers slide past each other along theconcrete ribbon that meets the wide sand carpet of East Beach. Beachvolleyball players give it their all against the backdrop of the Pacific. Atthe end of the beach, Stearns Wharf, the oldest (1872) and longest pierin California, reaches into the sea with its 2,300 ft (700 m) of planksresting on a forest of 2,307 wooden pillars. On the other side of thepier, West Beach, wide as an airfield, welcomes the outrigger canoesof the local clubs.Marching away from the ocean, State Street forms the backbone ofdowntown Santa Barbara. From the very first steps, Spanish colo-nial-revival style buildings, built after the devastating earthquake of1925, assert the city’s Hispanic heritage. The old Arlington Theater,with art deco touches, echoes the nearby County Courthouse and itsSpanish influences. Down the street you’ll find the Presidio, one of thefour strongholds of Spanish California, built in 1782, with its authenticadobe walls.A stone's throw away, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art houses works byChagall and Matisse. Captured by the 1980s soap opera Santa Barbara,the city, which saw the birth of American cinema before Hollywood, ishome to one of the highest concentrations of high-income earners in theUnited States. . . Over the years, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, LeonardoDiCaprio, and Kirk Douglas have been among them.CALIFORNIA, LAND OF MISSIONS28A stopover at Mission Santa Barbara (1820)opens a window to the past. Travel back in timeas you take in the neoclassical facade deckedout in pink columns, and the interior of heavybeams, colorful stuccoes, and depictions of crucifixions. Water gurgling in a mossy fountainalmost sounds like prayer.through the forced conversion of the indigenouspeople who lived here. Between 1769 and the1820s, 21 missions were built along the CaminoReal, the “royal road,” each about a day's ridefrom each other. Today, many major cities beartheir names: San Diego, Santa Barbara, SantaCruz, San Francisco, and more.As early as the 16th century, the mythicalCalifornia invented by the conquistadoresproved to be a disappointment. A Franciscanpriest, Junípero Serra, continued their conquestMost of the missions have survived centuries and earthquakes. To the north of SantaBarbara, near the vast flower and strawberryfields of Lompoc Valley, La Purísima Mission(1812) recreates the daily life of yesteryear, withits sheep and chickens.The reddish tile roofs and light pink wallsenclose the dormitories of the soldiers whowatched over the monks, the apartments oftheir commander, and the craft workshops. Theindigenous people, forcefully converted, workedthere day after day for the “salvation” of theirsouls. . . Don’t be surprised if this place feelshaunted.

23PISMO BEACH, KINGDOM OF BUTTERFLIESPlanted inland, at the foot of the wooded sierras of Santa Ynez, whereroasdsters roam, Solvang (2) stands out in the Californian scene. Awindmill, half-timbered houses, bakeries, clog-makers, and a replicaof Denmark’s Little Mermaid statue. . . . Is this a movie set? Almost.This town, founded a century ago by Danes, has become a must-see.Stop by for some a pea soup, and continue your drive north.Route 101 returns to the Pacific Ocean at Pismo Beach (3). It’s a typically Californian resort town, with wide, straight avenues, motels, fastfood restaurants, and RV parks home to snowbirds (retirees fleeingcold winters of the northern states).They’re not the only ones who make the trip. At the Monarch ButterflyGrove, the eucalyptus trees, bathed in the smell of minty dry leaves,are home to hundreds of the orange-and-brown butterflies who returneach November. The monarch is part of a special phenomenon: Eachautumn, it travels between 600 and 3,000 mi (1,000 and 5,000 km)to reach the grounds where it will spend the winter. Traveling 20 mi (35km) per day on average (with peaks of 80 mi/130 km!), the butterflytakes between one and four months to reach its final destination.The population born east of the Rockies reaches as far as the MexicanSierras. The ones born in the west fly down to the Californian coast.The butterflies stay there until February or March, before starting theirlong ascent back up north, which the next four or five generations willcontinue. Their genetic memory is astounding.Pacific Coast Highway29

45HEARST CASTLE, THE PALACE OF CITIZEN KANEIn San Luis Obispo (4)—also born around a Spanish mission—Highway1 branches off to the north. Progressing between the ocean and grassyrolling hills, it reaches the pleasant village of Cambria (5), another greatplace to stop. The town features brick buildings, antique shops datingback at least to the Nixon era, a saloon, and an art deco liquor store .The next day, reservation in hand, knock on the door of Hearst Castle. Onthe itinerary: a visit to the incredible second home of William RandolphHearst, newspaper magnate of the last century. Perched on a ridge atthe end of a winding road accessible only by bus from the visitor center,this sprawling estate holds 115 rooms (including 38 bedrooms and 41bathrooms). Construction began in 1922, and it had yet to be completedwhen Hearst died in 1951.30The castle overflows with masterpieces gleaned from all over Europe.It’s eclectic, over-the-top, and bombastic, with its Roman swimmingpool with blue mosaics and its personal zoo where antelopes, kangaroos, giraffes, and zebras frolicked. Hearst Castle was such a sight thatplaywright George Bernard Shaw described it as “what God would havebuilt if he had had the money!”Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Cary Grant all dragged their bootshere . . . and of course, critics of the house still showed up, rain or shine.Hearst’s life was also one of the main inspirations for Orson Welles’sCitizen Kane.

6PIEDRAS BLANCAS ANDITS ELEPHANT SEALSIt’s 6am at Piedras Blancas Beach (6). Thesun has barely risen above the Santa LuciaMountains, a refuge for the last condors inCalifornia. Down below, a few elephant sealsare already basking. Females and pups, longand plump, huddle together at the foot ofthe slope.One after the other, the come onto the sand.Glistening with cold water, they observe thescenery for a moment, then make theirway across the sand, wiggling their bodies, to crowd together in the rays of therising sun. Farther on, at the edge of thesurf, two juvenile males mimic the fightsthey’ve seen adults perform: Face to face,they throw themselves on each other, tossing their heads and bodies in large, suddenmovements.In a few years, once the animals havereached their full-grown size, this fight won’tbe so playful. Elephant seal males can weighup to 4.5 tons and grow up to 20 ft (6 m)long! For the time being, most of the largemales are offshore, waiting to come back toshore to molt.Elephant seals were hunted for their fat—almost to the point of extermination—in the19th century. They took refuge on Mexicanislets, and they have gradually reconqueredthe North Pacific. In 1990, about 20 elephant seals took possession of this isolatedbeach at the foot of the coastal road. Now17,000 of them frequent the place at onetime or another during the year, particularlyin late January, late April, and late October.Pacific Coast Highway31

789BIG SUR, VERTIGO ON THE ROADAfter Piedras Blancas, the most adventurous stretch of Highway 1begins. Completed in 1937, the road here winds along the side of acliff, crossing a succession of steep valleys, capes, and peaks. Theview is plunging, the Pacific omnipresent, the vertigo constant.When winter storms kick in, it’s not uncommon for landslides to getin the way. Sometimes, a few days of work are enough to restore thetrack. Sometimes months of hard work are needed. A few years ago,Route 1 was cut off in two places for four months, effectively turningBig Sur into a makeshift island.Shortly before reaching this point, a stopover is essential. At JuliaPfeiffer Burns State Park, the McWay Falls look like they’re straightout of a movie scene. The falls, more plentiful in spring, flow from awooded promontory onto a beige sand beach, lining the bottom ofa peaceful cove. From the coastal path, perched high above underthe leaves of eucalyptus trees, the view is breathtaking—and thesmell intoxicating.Finally, here is Big Sur (7), an artists’ haunt since Henry Miller fledcivilization for solitude here. Fir trees and sequoias cover everything.Roofs protrude from between the peaks, overlooking the ocean.A narrow road descends slowly toward Pfeiffer Beach, another paradise: a wild immensity of gray sand, punctuated by black rocks andan islet pierced by a keyhole. In the morning, the cliffs are envelopedin fog, formed when the temperatures from the cold ocean makescontact with the warmer land.CARMEL AND 17-MILE DRIVEHead to Garrapata State Park for a chance to see frolicking otters.Otters were once hunted for their fur, and though the population wasdecimated, they are gradually reclaiming their old domain here andin Point Lobos, where they share the waters and coves with seals andsea lions. The float on kelp beds—large clumps of algae that can reach300 ft (100 m) in length—moor themselves to the seaweed, and breakshells with their expert paws.Carmel (8), between pines and cypresses, is home to a wealthy population. The town’s cute mission, among the oldest (1770), is surroundedby an abundant, serene garden of tall trees, wisteria, and a gurglingfountain. This is where Junípero Serra, the infamous missionary, choseto rest for eternity.Take in a view through tree branches of the rocky, brittle coast, hemmedby the white foam of a not-so-peaceful ocean, along the famous 17-MileDrive. In sight: Monterey (9), the endpoint of this lovely drive.Take your time to wander the beautiful Victorian homes of Pacific Groveand the old canneries of Cannery Row, passed down to posterity thanksto John Steinbeck. A can’t-miss stop is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, apioneer in the field of modern super-aquariums. And the mischievoussea lions of Fisherman’s Wharf are endearing, too.32Big Sur

PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP visitcalifornia.com Before yourvisit, go to the official tourism siteof the state of California. dot.ca.gov Check the CaliforniaDepartment of Transportationwebsite for state map and highwayinformation before planning acoastal road trip.HOW TO GET THEREPLAYLISTThe Mamas& The ��BREAKFASTIN AMERICARed HotChiliPeppers–PACIFIC COASTHIGHWAY CALIFORNICATIONIt’s easy to get here: In additionto Los Angeles and San Franciscoairports, you can also land in SantaBarbara or San Jose. You can easilyreach Highway 1 from any of theseairports.RENT A CARYou need a car to enjoy this drive.Alternatively, you can take theGreen Tortoise minibuses, which,offer 1-2 monthly 3-day trip (oneway) between San Francisco andLA along Highway 1 ( May-Sept;approx. 260) .WHEN TO GOIn Southern California (SantaBarbara through San Luis Obispo),the sun shines all year round, evenif the thermometer drops in winter(46-64 F/8-18 C). Farther north,it’s rainier in the off-season, andthe temperatures drop a couple ofdegrees due to the cold currentsthat run along the coast. It is notuncommon for fog banks to cling tothe coasts, even in summer.ACCOMMODATIONSWhile you can typically find amotel for 60-80 in the off-season,prices go up on weekends andskyrocket on holidays and in themiddle of summer. To lower thebill, you can bet on camping: Findcampsites it all along Highway 1,especially in state parks, whichare often very pleasant. There arealso B&Bs , which are often verybeautiful and sometimes set upin historic homes—but, of course,prices are going up. If you do visitin high season, be sure to book inadvance.A BOOK FOR THE ROADCannery Row,John Steinbeck, Viking Press, 1945.Pacific Coast Highway33

Jasper National Park\aE²jasperEND916\ MI 2008athabasca fallsEmedecine lakeyEmont edith cavell7maligne lake» T\ »93ª»²6» §\ M²athabasca glacierstart-end of road tripLOCATIONstopWestern Canada, in the heart of theRockiesROUTEBanff – JasperLENGTHAbout 200 mi (300 km), including140 mi (230 km) on the famousIcefields Parkway (Highway 93).landmark or point of interest1roadroad trip1detourTIMEA day if you’re in a hurry, but that wouldbe a shame! One week will let you takeadvantage of the many stops for hiking,rafting, and more, in gorgeous nature.CANADAYOU'LL LOVEThe grandiose landscapes, the floraand fauna, the great ronto8

CANADIANROCKIESFROM BANFFT0 JASPERNORTH AMERICAAT THE HEART OF THEBanff to Jasper is a traveler's dream! The crossing of the Rockies follows oneunforgettable panoramas of chiseled and grandiose landscapes follow oneanother, looking perfectly plastic: sparkling blue lakes, rivers,CANADAof the most beautiful roads in the world. Covering nearly 200 mi (300 km),forests as far as the eye can see, peaks with sharp ridges, waterfalls,and glaciers. The land is also home to varied and abundant5 columbia icefieldwildlife—bears, caribou, elk, and more. The stage is set foran unforgettable road trip in a land of pioneers,»\11where the magic of the greatoutdoors is still alive.saskatchewanriver crossingE² ²YohoNationalPark952lake louisemoraine lake3»X93E1² »Em\» 1t93KootenayNational ParkBanff National Parkbanff200 mi1§v934 peyto lakeSTARTMI 0At the Heart of the Canadian Rockies9

1BANFF: GATEWAY TO THE ROCKIESGateway to the Rockies, 75 mi (120 km) fromCalgary, Banff was born from an unexpecteddiscovery: In 1883, workers on the transcontinental railway stumbled upon a cave withnatural hot springs. To take advantage of thepopularity of hot spring treatments, Canadadecided to create the country’s first nationalpark. This was the beginning of a successstory that continues today: With more than3 million visitors a year, the charming mountain resort of Banff (1) is one of Canada’smajor tourist destinations, but not so muchfor hot springs anymore. The original thermal10baths have been transformed into a museum(Cave and Basin National Historic Site) andonly one swimming pool remains open tothe public: the Banff Upper Hot Springs,where you can splash around (water at104 F/40 C) in the open air on the slopesof the aptly named Sulfur Mountain.Today, people come to Banff for the exceptional natural setting of the UNESCO-listednational park, its relaxed village lifestyle, itssummer festival, and the countless routes inthe surrounding area, which you can cross onfoot, by bike, or by canoe. No less than 800mi (1,300 km) of marked trails of all levels areavailable to hikers in Banff National Park—enough to recharge your batteries beforeembarking on this magnificent road trip.notto bemissedTo take it all in, hop on the BanffGondola, a cable car that rises2,300 ft (700 m) in 8 minutes. Fromthe top, you’ll see a breathtaking360-degree view of six mountainranges, the Vermilion Lakes, andLake Minnewanka, as well as thetumultuous Bow River, where youcan go rafting once back on land.Banff Upper Hot Springs

23LAKE LOUISE: THE JEWEL OF THE ROCKIESOn the road 36 mi (58 km) north of Banff, Lake Louise (2) appears.It’s a popular tourist destination, but above all, it’s a Canadian icon.Instantly recognizable, this mountain lake perched at an altitude of5,680 ft (1,731 m) looks like it was pulled directly out of a landscapepainting, so harmonious are its shapes and its setting. Its turquoisewaters, in tones that vary according to the seasons and the light, restat the base of a circle of mountains covered with fir trees, against abackdrop of glaciers and eternal snow. This beautiful, almost unreallandscape has drawn crowds during summer since the constructionof the imposing Fairmont Château Lake Louise in the early 20thcentury. It’s advisable to arrive early in the morning—spend the nightthere if possible—and hike up to a viewpoint first thing: Take the pathup to the Big Beehive (a superb panorama), or even hike to the spectacular Victoria Glacier, which overlooks the lake. Less famous thanLake Louise, Moraine Lake (3), 7 mi (12 km) to the south, holds itsown against its illustrious neighbor. More isolated—completely inaccessible in winter—it is bordered by severe rocky cliffs that plungeinto bright blue waters, contrasting with the deep green of the surrounding conifers. An unforgettable, eminently romantic spectacle.Moraine LakeAt the Heart of the Canadian Rockies11

Lac Peyto456ON THE ICEFIELDS PARKWAYFrom Lake Louise, the famous Icefields Parkway heads north toward Jasper, a route through splendid scenery that lives up to its reputationfor 144 mi (232 km). Every bend in the Icefields Parkway looks even more beautiful than the last: a feast of pristine lakes including thesublime Peyto Lake (4), glaciers, and mighty mountains, all framed by wide valleys. Only a few rudimentary hostels, campsites, a handful ofhotels, and a gas station dot the road. At times you’ll drive without passing another car for miles, and you’ll feel like you’re completely alonein the world. At the end of 75 mi (120 km), the forests give way to lunar landscapes, which serve as a prelude to the spectacular ColumbiaIcefield (5), an field of ice that extends over more than 100 square mi (300 square km) and is more than 984 ft (300 m) thick—the equivalentof the Eiffel Tower—in some places. It includes eight large glaciers, the most famous of which is the Athabasca Glacier (6).focusThe Columbia Icefield’sSpectacular Athabasca GlacierLocated on the watershed, this imposing glacier has the uniquefeature of feeding rivers whose waters flow into three oceans: thePacific, Atlantic, and Arctic. The Ice Explorer, a bus with hugewheels, allows you to travel along the ice and reach to the glacier.It can be crowded with tourists, but it’s still a special experience!If you don't want to ride the bus, you can admire the glacier onyour own as you approach it (there’s a parking lot across theroad, opposite the Icefield Center). Warning: It is forbidden anddangerous to walk alone on the glacier!12

icefieldsparkway.ca Info on the road. banfflakelouise.com Banff Lake Louise Tourism Board.Info and downloadable brochures. tourismealberta.ca Alberta Tourism Board.NORTH AMERICAPREPARE FOR YOUR TRIPHOW TO GET THERE789IN JASPER NATIONAL PARKContinue alone the Icefields Parkway. Themust-sees along the way include Mount EdithCavell (7) (with many athletic hikes) and theimpressive Athabasca Falls (8), 100-ft-high(30-m-high) waterfalls that tumble down anarrow canyon. The road ends in Jasper (9).Surrounded by impressive mountains, thissmall town is a paradise for hiking, cycling,mountain biking, kayaking, and rafting. Atthe gateway to the city, the Jasper Skytramcable car takes you up to nearly 8,000 ft(2,500 m) to The Whistlers and its superbpanorama of the region. A little farther north,the open-air Miette Hot Springs are worth visiting. But above all, you will be able to explorethe splendid national park itself. Headingsoutheast about 30 mi (50 km) from Jasperis another must-see wonder of the CanadianRockies: Maligne Lake, arguably the mostintimate of the region’s lakes, set against abackdrop of snow-capped peaks. It’s a landscape with the serenity of Japanese prints,sure to inspire contemplation.Along the way, you will pass Medicine Lake,which is oddly dry in winter. It is fed by theunderground water network of Maligne Lake,which overflows in summer. When the waterlevels withdraw, the lake becomes a plainstreaked with streams of water. It’s like agigantic natural bathtub that has been magically emptied.LOUER SA VOITURERent your car in Calgary, and eitherdo a loop or return it in Vancouver.Car rentals are also available inBanff and Jasper.CANADACalgary International Airport is theclosest large airport to Banff.ACCOMMODATIONS- Banff Centre: 107 TunnelMountain Drive, Banff. banffcentre.ca An astonishingplace that brings together a culturalcenter, a campus for resident artists,several performance venues, andalso a hotel and three restaurantsfor all budgets (Three Ravens DiningRoom is very good).- Hotel Athabasca: 510 Patricia St.,Jasper. athabascahotel.com A good hotel in the heart of Jasper,open since 1929. Vintage vibe.WHERE TO EAT- The Maple Leaf Grill:137, Banff Ave., Banff. An elegantbistro with fine cuisine based onlocal products (Alberta beef , bison,salmon, etc.).- Evil Dave’s: 622, Patricia St., Jasper.Generous and hearty options, goodcraft beers, modern decor, and greatservice.At the Heart of the Canadian Rockies200 mi- Bruno’s Cafe & Grill:304, Caribou St., Banff. Burgers,pizza, wraps, sandwiches—a wholerange of options at low prices.13


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