Pacific Coast Highway offers some of the best glimpses of The OC and its gorgeous coastline.

Pacific Coast Highway is truly the ultimate road trip, complete with stunning views, memorable outdoor fun and activities, and plenty of delicious restaurants to stop and dine. We’ve put together an awesome itinerary for the ultimate coastal adventure.


Our journey north up the scenic PCH starts in Dana Point with breakfast at Stacks Pancake House, which is known for having Southern California’s best Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes, complimented by its famous coconut syrup. It’s a sweet way to start off a day of adventure.

Photo credit: Stacks Pancake House

After breakfast, head further north to Laguna Beach, where you’ll find one of SoCal’s biggest hidden gems. Tucked away below hundreds of stairs off 9th Street is 1,000 Steps Beach, a majestically serene, secluded beach that is one of the best in the state. Be sure to venture to the south end of the beach, where you’ll find a beautiful sea cave.


Photo Credit: Ed Olen

You’re sure to work up quite the appetite after heading up the stairs from 1,000 Steps Beach back to the highway. Hop in the car and head north on PCH to Downtown Laguna Beach, where you’ll find many restaurants, as wells as dozens of boutique shops and art exhibits. There’s tons to explore in Laguna Beach’s “HIP District” which stretches down Pacific Coast Hwy from Anita Street to Bluebird Canyon.

Next up, head over to Crystal Cove State Beach, which is home to over three miles of sandy beaches with coves, sea cliffs, reefs, canyons and tide pools, plus land for hiking and biking.

Continue north on PCH toward Newport Beach, which offers a variety of great activities to spend your afternoon. Book a whale watching tour, or head over to Balboa Peninsula, where you’ll find stunning views along the boardwalk. For lunch, check out the Lighthouse Bayview Cafe, a waterfront restaurant with menus as fantastic as its views.


Photo Credit: Eric Lo

As the day begins to wind down, keep heading north on PCH to arrive in Huntington Beach. Known around the world as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach is a world-class city with amazing beaches, great international and local cuisine, and an abundance of outdoor activities.

Head over to the world-famous Huntington Beach and catch a stunningly beautiful view of the Orange County sunset. Walk with the family down to the beach and roast s’mores around the bonfire, a relaxing end to a day of adventure.

Photo credit: Tanner’s Huntington Beach

For dinner, choose from the many delicious options at Pacific City on PCH. Enjoy a seasonal menu of California-inspired fare at Bluegold, or have dinner at Tanner’s Restaurant followed by a cocktail or two upstairs at its rooftop Treehouse Lounge, where ocean breezes highlight the relaxing environment.