On Highway 1 Driving to Fun

The entrance to Hearst Castle displays intricate designs by Julia Morgan, creating a remarkable touch to the grand estate.

Milla Jans, Photojournalist

California has stunning places and sights to see, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Hearst Castle, Carlsbad Flower Fields, and numerous beaches. When planning road trips, these may be the first places to land on the itinerary. While knowing where to go is the principal step in arranging a vacation, ensuring that everything is organized is equally as important for a smooth ride. Being spontaneous can be just as exciting, but several popular sights require pre-booked tickets and certain dos and don’ts. Preparing for a multitude of fun will increase enjoyment in the long run, or in this case, on the drive down Highway 1.

To get started on this excursion, stopping by Carlsbad will be a worthwhile course. This coastal city is near San Diego and is home to relaxing beaches, Legoland, and The Flower Fields. Including the stunning flower fields, The Flower Fields comprises several attractions such as wagon rides, an orchid greenhouse, blueberry picking, a sweet pea maze, and much more. Food and drinks are also offered in case someone craves a snack or meal, including pizza, tacos, ice cream, and fresh kettle corn. Flowers are seen throughout the entire site, and benches can be found in small sections of the flower fields for pictures. 

Tickets are to be pre-bought online and shown upon arrival either on the phone or pre-printed on paper. Refer to The Flower Fields website for more information concerning times of entry, pricing, and special offers. Tourists are able to stay until the closing time once inside the site. Making sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring sunblock, hats, or umbrellas will produce a more pleasant time, as walking is to be anticipated. These seasonal fields are open from 9:00 AM-6:00 PM until Mother’s Day and provide the perfect photo opportunities for memories in the making. 

Hearst Castle is another well-known attraction with several tours and a historical background. The 40,000-acre land was bought by George Hearst and inherited by his son, William Randolph Hearst. He and Julia Morgan, the architect of Hearst Castle and many buildings in California, established the estate people see today. The Grand Rooms tour is recommended for first-time visitors and encompasses the areas that guests of Hearst Castle would spend time in. Tickets cost $30 for adults and $15 for children. Besides the grand rooms, guests can reserve a tour to experience the upstairs suites, cottages, kitchen, and the castle at night. This is another activity that would require walking shoes since visitors roam the grounds. Be sure to arrive before or on time at the designated start time, as buses will be shuttling tour groups to the castle from the visitors center.

I enjoy road trips due to the fact that I am able to see multiple things along the way to my destination, rather than looking out an airplane window.”

— Samuel Kent (9)

Besides attractions that require reservations, taking a walk around Stearns Wharf, checking out the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and driving down the Golden Gate Bridge are leisure activities in California that add an extra layer of gratification to vacations. Road trips are a wholesome source of entertainment and family or friend bonding. Samuel Kent (9) states, “I enjoy road trips due to the fact that I am able to see multiple things along the way to my destination, rather than looking out an airplane window.” Traveling encourages appreciation for the world and enjoyment of well-deserved breaks. California offers plenty of beautiful sights to visit and perfect opportunities for road trips.