Northern California Coast Road Trip: What to Do & Where to Visit

Nothing completes your Northern California Coast road trip to Sea Rock Inn quite like making the scenic route down the Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California. Driving down Highway 1 North from San Francisco, the most beloved drive on the Golden Coast brings you closer to the laid-back lifestyle and the stunning allure of our state. On your journey, you’ll be greeted by the rolling fog from the cliffs, the towering redwood forests, and the possibility of whale sightings in the distance. Whether you’ve made this drive before or it’ll be your first time, bring your camera and spirit of adventure with you! 

If you’re having difficulty creating the idyllic Northern California Coast road trip, request a copy of our complimentary Vacation Guide. You’ll find our top choices for things to do and activities to enjoy on your way to the romantic ambiance of Sea Rock Inn. Get your free travel planner today!

Why You Need to Plan a Northern California Coast Road Trip

When you’re searching for the best adventures on your Northern California Coast road trip, review our free itinerary (link above) and our list of featured attractions below. We hope you enjoy your time on this scenic highway!

Towns to Visit: Spotlight on Bodega Bay

As you consult the Northern California coastal towns map, explore a variety of cliffside communities to explore. One of the most popular places to visit remains Bodega Bay in Northern California. For the film enthusiasts, tour the St. Teresa of Avila Church, the film site of “The Birds” – a beloved cinematic masterpiece directed by the talented Alfred Hitchcock. This destination also made famous by an iconic photograph by Ansel Adams.

For the food connoisseurs, reserve your table at the exceptional restaurants like Spud Point Crab Company and The Tides Wharf Restaurant & Bar. These locations offer regionally inspired cuisine, an excellent menu of libations, and ocean-view dining of our scenic region.

For the outdoor adventurers, explore breathtaking places such as Doran Regional Park. This nature reserve offers the perfect place to stretch your legs. And, you may enjoy activities like picnicking, beachcombing, kiting, and spotting native wildlife from the shore. Whatever way you decide to enjoy this town, you’re sure to have a marvelous time!

Meander Through Nature

Supplement your experience with a visit to a California Redwood Forest. These majestic trees tower over the serene landscape and remain some of the most iconic entities of a Northern California road trip. While you’re looking for the perfect places to enjoy a picnic or to sightsee, explore one or two of these breathtaking places including:

In addition, you may also wish to explore the serene shorelines tucked at the base of the towering cliffs. Each of these coastlines offers an idyllic place to admire the peaceful Pacific Ocean, hear the waves meet the sand, and enjoy the splendid weather of our region. Delight in your time at one or more of these locations:

Historic Sites to Explore

Your journey will not be complete without a tour the many historical places in Northern California. Perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in our region is the Point Cabrillo Light Station, a stunning feature adorning the North Coast of California. Once serving as a beaming structure for incoming sailors, this iconic location kept ships safe. Now, tour this well-preserved place and learn more about the history of the grounds. Other top sites include:

  • Fort Ross Compound
  • Kelley House Museum
  • Grace Hudson Museum
  • Mendocino Presbyterian Church
  • The Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum
  • Point Reyes Shipwreck
  • The Time & Maiden Statue

Recharge at Sea Rock Inn

Before you make Sea Rock Inn the final destination of your Northern California Coast road trip, we recommend checking road and environmental conditions. Once you arrive at our cliffside bed and breakfast, feel instantly relaxed by our gorgeous property and our deluxe amenities. We invite you to browse our charming selection of luxurious accommodations and reserve the ideal retreat for your romantic getaway. After you book, wake each morning to a gourmet breakfast in our oceanfront Breakfast Room. We look forward to hosting you on your travels to Mendocino!