Are you craving a leisurely coastal California ride with pristine beaches, endless ocean views, and plenty of twists to challenge the most experienced motorcyclist? Exploring the Highway 1 route from San Francisco to Santa Cruz on motorcycle may be just what you need. This enjoyable ride offers countless opportunities for exploring and will suit bikers of all levels.
Starting Point on Highway 1 in the City by the Bay
To start the route, take Highway 1 from San Francisco and head south. You could probably ride this 75-mile route in under two hours petal to the metal, but it will take you at least half a day if you make a few stops and spend some time in Santa Cruz.
You can take this trip year-round, although in the height of summer you might experience dense fog along the coast. In winter, there is every once in a while the risk of rain. On the other hand, many fall and winter days are exquisitely crisp and clear and if you’re lucky, you can glimpse dolphins and whales off the coast. Check the weather forecast before you set out and always grab an extra layer to wear.
Where to Stop When You’re Riding From SF to Santa Cruz on Motorcycle
The coastal Highway 1 route from San Francisco to Santa Cruz on motorcycle offers so many points of interest that it would probably take you more than a day to explore them all. Here are our top five picks.
1. Pacifica and Mori Point
Mori Point in Pacifica offers a little over a 100 acres of gorgeous ocean viewpoints, beaches, and rugged bluffs. You can try a few of the hiking trails or just walk straight to the beach. While you’re in Pacifica, you can also spend some time on the popular Linda Mar Beach.
2. Moss Beach Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a fantastic spot to visit if you’re a fan of marine life. This compact but vibrant reserve stretches out for three miles of beaches and tide pools hosting sea urchins, mussels, crabs, starfish, and octopuses. Of course, you’ll need to plan your stop for low tide to visit the pools.
3. Pescadero Beaches
The tiny town of Pescadero abounds with scenic beaches, natural preserves, and quaint farms. The main local attraction is probably the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, built in 1871. The space offers sweeping ocean views with an occasional glimpse of whales and seals. You could also make a detour to the Año Nuevo State Park and watch northern elephant seals in their rookeries.
Stop for a glimpse of the famous Shark Fin Cove and a stroll along the craggy Davenport Landing Beach. If it’s the right season, you could opt for strawberry-picking at the Swanton Berry Farm or just swing by the farm for some artisanal baked goods.
5. Santa Cruz for Reggae, Bars and the Beach Boardwalk
The charming laid-back town of Santa Cruz is the perfect end to this carefree day trip. Spend some time lounging on the Beach Boardwalk (and take a turn on the historical Giant Dipper if you love roller coasters), grab a scoop or two of ice cream at Penny Ice Creamery, and watch the sun dip into the Pacific on the iconic Santa Cruz Wharf.
Law Tigers: Protecting Bikers’ Rights in the Golden State and Nationwide
Have a safe ride as you explore the route from San Francisco to Santa Cruz on motorcycle. A motorbike accident is probably the last thing on your mind when you set out on a weekend trip, but if the worst happens, Law Tigers can protect your rights and help you seek compensation in California and across the USA. Call 1-888-863-7216 24/7 for a free case evaluation.