California Coast Ranges mountains provide excellent drive trips and the perfect (and sometimes only) way to see the coast that stretches approx. 1,000 miles throughout California. When you fly between major cities in California such as San Diego or Los Angeles in the south to San Jose or San Francisco in the north, you are often treated to spectacular window-seat views of these mountains. From a bird’s eye view you can recognize them when you see the blue Pacific Ocean that lines these mountains that look like they roll gently to the sea.
Pictured is the Big Sur Coast and view from Highway 1 in the Santa Lucia mountains, part of the South Coast Ranges region of the coastal mountains. This spectacular drive allows you to experience them up close and personal. During this road trip you can stop and dine at Nepenthe, Gorda Springs by the Sea, or even Lucia, where you’ll also find hotel accommodations with ocean views.
South Coast Ranges parallel to the Pacific Coast between San Francisco Bay to the north, the California Central Valley to the east, the Transverse Ranges to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Among the mountain ranges within the southern portion are Berkeley Hills, Mount Diablo, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Gabilan Range, Santa Lucia Range, and Temblor Range of the Central Coast. On the southern end they extend to where the coastline turns eastward along the Santa Barbara Channel near Point Conception.