Category: Destination Updates

Big Sur’s “Heartbreak Road”

Big Sur’s “Heartbreak Road”

(Originally published June 7, 2017; last update on July 19, 2018.)

A half-century ago, in 1967, San Francisco experienced the “Summer of Love.”

A year later, I lived through a personal “summer of love” when on nearly every weekend from June through August I drove California’s scenic and fabled Highway from Monterey, through Big Sur, and down to Pacific Valley to see my girlfriend who was working as a summer hire for the U.S. Forest Service.

While you’ll be able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” this year in San Francisco, mud and rock slides and damage to a bridge on coastal Highway 1 means that you won’t be able to “do” the drive down the entire Big Sur coast south from Monterey as in years past.

(Davide D’Amico Flickr Photo)

But the good news is that enough of the road is open at its northern and southern ends to provide ample things to see and do in this part of California.

(Update, October 14, 2017: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the rebuilding of a bridge over Pfeiffer Canyon on Highway 1 near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has been completed so residents and tourist can now drive south from Carmel to Lucia at the Monterey-San Luis Obispo County line. Unfortunately, the highway south of that point remains closed due to mudslide earlier this year and is not expected to reopen until late in the summer of 2018 at the earliest. So “doing” experiencing the scenic drive up that entire stretch of California’s Central Coast is still not possible.

Update, May 1, 2018: The San Francisco Chronicle now reports that the highway south of the Monterey-San Luis Obispo County Line will probably not re-open until mid-to-late September of 2018, effectively precluding summer visitors from traveling the entire length of the “Big Sur Coast.”

Update, June 14, 2018: The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports that the section of Highway 1 south of Ragged Point is now expected to re-open by the end of July, much earlier that originally anticipated, and allowing Big Sur Coast visitors to drive the length of the famous coast highway at least during the last weeks of summer.)

Update, July 19 2018: As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Highway 1 is now fully open, end-to-end. View this video of cars driving the newly-reopened road. But will the news of the reopening of the highway flood it was cars, making the scenic drive a trip from Hell? It may be best to wait until September, when weather along this stretch of coast is more likely to be fog-free, with fewer cars traveling it after school-age kids have returned to their studies instead of counting “99 Bottles of Beer on The Road” with their parents behind the wheel.

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Living It Up in Lively London

Living It Up in Lively London

As this hyperlapse video shows, London is a vibrant city.

Of course, in “real time,” the pace in the United Kingdom’s capital city is just a wee bit more sedate.

If your timing is right, you can be “Queen For A Day” and go on a “Royal Day Out.”

# 5 – Throne Room, Buckingham Palace (Derry Moore Photo)

And you can “shop until you drop” there.

And, as we explained last year in a series of stories about travel to Europe, London is a great place to begin a trip to that part of the world.

(London was the starting and ending points for two month-long trips across Europe by Tales Told From The Road editor, Dick Jordan.)


Preserving Pismo’s Scenic Ridgelands

Preserving Pismo’s Scenic Ridgelands

(Originally published April 11, 2017; updated February 15, 2018)

For Northern Californians, Pismo Beach, about 180 miles north of Los Angeles, is an eclectic little town that offers a convenient and scenic stopping point along Highway 101 for breaking up one long day’s drive to Greater L.A. into a more manageable and less stressful two-day trip.

But what most travelers don’t know, is that the ridgelands above the town will eventually turn Pismo Beach into a nature-lover’s destination, not just a road warrior’s respite.

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