California’s dream drive: highway 1

Visit California is showcasing one of the world’s iconic road trips, with the imminent “grand reopening” of Highway 1, the coastal drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The famous road has been closed for more than 12 months, after a series of landslides in the Big Sur region which impacted the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge — the region’s only connection to the north. The epic road trip will once again be possible after extensive maintenance, giving visitors the opportunity to experience more than 1,000km of uninterrupted highway.

Billed as California’s Dream Drive, the trip takes in majestic redwood forests, hidden coves and stunning scenery, interspersed with more than 20 wine regions as well as art galleries, hotels, campgrounds and restaurants. Evocative stops along the way include Malibu, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Monterey and Santa Cruz, as well as Big Sur. Properties will be eager to welcome guests after a year which saw some take such extreme measures as chartering helicopters to bring in supplies and visitors.

The reopening of Highway 1 will also underpin a wider drive tourism strategy encouraging Australian visitors to take in less explored regions of California. To that end, some travellers may be interested in the newly launched Mighway RV Platform, a system that matches RV owners with travellers. Mighway is owned by NZ-listed Tourism Holdings Limited and Thor Industries, and sets itself apart by offering full emergency road service, $1 million in liability coverage and a price match guarantee.