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Going South – Touring California when you study ESL abroad at EC San Francisco

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Most students, when they study ESL abroad at EC San Francisco,

Pelicans at State Beach on Highway One (photo by Patricia Leslie, artist / author)
Pelicans at State Beach on Highway One (photo by Patricia A.Leslie, artist / author)

want to make the trip south to visit Los Angeles if they possibly can.  As the “other city” in California, it’s probably worth the trip, but there is a lot of California in between, and you miss most of it if you go the fast way, on Interstate 5, or, worse yet, fly.  For those who want to see California, and not just two cities, U.S. Highway 101, or, better still, California Highway 1, are far better choices.

Driving south from San Francisco on Highway 1, you pass many State Beaches, the developed areas of Half Moon May and the UC town of Santa Cruz, and then drive along scenic Monterey Bay to the tourist destinations of Monterey and Carmel.  Going south from there, the scenery transforms from merely lovely to spectacular, and the sheer drop to the sea, the winding road (some curves are only 15 miles per hour), the hidden valleys and beaches, and the towering trees of Big Sur make the drive memorable.  You may look at Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame” and go “ho hum,” but nobody forgets the drive south on 1.

Highway 1 also goes north from San Francisco, and is equally lovely, but that’s a story for another day.

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