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The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most iconic road trips in the United States, known for its stunning coastal views, picturesque towns, and abundance of outdoor activities. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, planning a trip to the Pacific Coast Highway can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to make the most of your time.

Travel guides are an essential tool for planning your trip to the Pacific Coast Highway. They provide valuable information on how to navigate the route, what to see and do, and how to stay safe while exploring. In this post, we’ve handpicked some of the best travel guides for the Pacific Coast Highway to help you plan your visit. These guides offer more than just information found online, they provide insider tips and tricks from seasoned travelers who have explored the route in-depth. So, whether you’re looking for the best scenic drives, the best places to spot wildlife, or the quietest spots to take in the coastal views, these guides have got you covered.

We are a big fan of Lonely Planet! We use Lonely Planet Travel Guides for basically every destination that we visit. This Lonely Planet is focused on the Pacific Coast Highways.  Featuring four amazing road trips, plus up-to-date advice on the destinations you’ll visit along the way, you can journey through verdant redwood parks or follow bewitching ribbons of coastal highway, all with your trusted travel companion. Jump in the car, turn up the tunes, and hit the road!

Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip is the ultimate guidebook for anyone planning a road trip along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. This guidebook provides detailed information on the entire route, from Seattle to San Diego, including flexible itineraries that can be tailored to your individual needs and interests. Whether you’re looking to drive the entire three-week route or take shorter getaways to cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, this guidebook has got you covered.

One of the great features of this guidebook is the extensive lists of the best beaches, views, restaurants, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to cruise by sky-scraping redwoods, misty green rainforests, and the black sands of the Lost Coast, while enjoying fresh-caught oysters, authentic street tacos, or craft beer. Additionally, you’ll find information on the best local experiences such as dancing down rainbow-colored streets in San Francisco’s Castro District, touring Seattle’s underground old city, and seeing the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The guidebook includes 48 easy-to-use maps to keep you oriented on and off the highway, along with site-to-site mileage, driving times, detailed directions for the entire route, and full-color photos throughout. Additionally, it is written by Californian Ian Anderson, who shares his love of the open road, and provides practical tips on how to avoid traffic, tips for driving in different road and weather conditions, and suggestions for seniors, travelers with disabilities, and road trippers with kids.

Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip is the perfect guidebook for anyone looking to hit the road and explore one of America’s most scenic drives. If you’re looking for more road trip inspiration in America, check out The Open Road. Moon Travel Guides are written by local, expert authors to empower independent, active, and conscious travel.

This quirky illustrated book covers historic routes up and down the West Coast by showcasing roadside attractions, beloved landmarks, hidden history, and other offbeat delights for armchair travelers and road-trippers alike. It’s the perfect inspiration for a trip along the coast, or to simply savor as a love letter to the region. This charming illustrated book features both the coastal route via historic Highways 101 and 1 (the PCH) and an inland route up Highway 99, highlighting the natural beauty along the shore while also connecting the traveler to major cities and other attractions.

In case you want a guide that covers a little bit more than just the highways, this Loneley Planet is your best travel guide. Lonely Planet Coastal California is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Get to know the rocky Big Sur coast like the locals do, hug the world’s tallest tree in Redwood National and State Parks, or take a tour of biodynamic vineyards and sample new vintages in the Napa and Sonoma wine country -all with your trusted travel companion.

An unprecedented book showcasing the California coast via the Pacific Coast Highway and beyond. As America stands to the rest of the world, so stands California to America—a shining promise of endless possibility. California is both dream and reality. Coastal California is for anyone who has felt the lure of a Pacific sunset. From the physical beauty of Monterey to the grandeur of Southern California, photographer Jake Rajs displays his skillful command of capturing the coastline and Pacific Ocean in every season and the land that is affected by it.

By reading up on history of our travel destinations we can better understand the behaviour of those living in the places that we visit. Every place that we visit has its own unique history. The United States’ West has a long and rich history. Although the islands’ history is too extensive to cover in a single book, this book does a good job in summarizing centuries of history in an easy to read accessable book.

This book has prompts for you to fill in each day for start time, mileage, place of stay, places visited, weather, highlights of the day and a space for a photo. There are enough pages to cover 30 days with two pages per day. 

It can also be using in the planning stages to fill in the night stops ahead of time, and there are also some lined pages at the back for further planning notes or to record additional memories.  Filling in the book creates a diary enabling you to reminisce at your leisure!

The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas is a full-color illustrated travel guide that will take you on an adventure along the historic highways of the West Coast. This guidebook is perfect for anyone planning a road trip this summer, covering must-visit roadside attractions, beloved landmarks, hidden histories, and offbeat delights on Washington, Oregon, and California’s historic highways, including the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

From San Diego, California, up to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, this guidebook is packed with unusual facts, hidden history, epic Americana, and off-the-beaten-path adventures up and down the coast. It includes route maps for the coastal route via historic Highways 101 and 1 (the PCH) and an inland route up Highway 99, city guides for San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle, and over 30 itineraries and side trips to places like Catalina Island, Joshua Tree National Park, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, wine country, Crater Lake National Park, the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Rainier National Park, the San Juan Islands, and Vancouver, BC.

Additionally, The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas includes travel tips on safety, rules of the road, wise planning, and packing lists (for the traveler and the car), wildlife checklists, an index of places, parks, and attractions, and resources such as navigational aids, travel information, passes, and permits, books, websites, and films. This guidebook is a one-of-a-kind resource that tells the story of the diversity and depth that created the West Coast we know and love today; it is a must-have for anyone planning a road trip along the West Coast!

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