Romance on Highway 1

Ignite romance on Highway 1, where coastal ambiance meets idyllic experiences for two. Explore oceanfront dining, secluded beaches and awe-inspiring sunsets all along this scenic coastal byway. Stroll along the sand, discover local wildlife, wine taste or indulge in a relaxing couple’s massage—Highway 1 is your oyster. Whether planning an anniversary trip or intimate weekend away, there’s no shortage of romance to be found on Highway 1.

Table of Contents

Discover Romance on Highway 1

Scenic Drive

Share memory-making photo ops to last a lifetime on Highway 1. Embark on a scenic drive along this famous coastal route and marvel at breathtaking views at every turn. The iconic stretch of coastline between San Simeon and Cayucos is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, with towering cliffs, panoramic ocean vistas and charming lighthouses dotting the way. With plenty of convenient viewing areas located along the route, enjoying the journey is easy.

Highway 1 also presents beautiful preserves, trails and wide open spaces to explore. Discover lush terrain together: Hike to a pristine black sand beach complete with shimmering waterfall, find vibrant tidepools or hunt for moonstones along the sand. For those looking to celebrate an anniversary or proposal, a road trip along Highway 1 is ideal. Along the way, couples are welcome to traverse miles of uncrowded coastline backdropped by stunning blue horizon, majestic redwoods and coastal wildflowers.

Dream Drive San Simeon
Breathtaking views along the Highway 1 coastline

Bike Ride

Cycle along Highway 1 together for a magical outdoor excursion. With epic bike routes hugging the coastline, gear up for a romantic couple’s ride with a view. Along the way, find coastal bluffs, painted mountains, unique beach towns, vineyards and more. Plus, there’s a cycling route for every couple, regardless of skill level. While advanced cyclists flock to Highway 1 for challenging routes winding along the cliffs, there’s plenty of gentler routes geared towards casual and beginner riders.

Spin from forest to sea on the Bob Jones trail in Avila Beach, a flat, easy ride that runs through bucolic creek habitat to a white sand beach. Easily rent bikes at a number of locations along Highway 1, allowing couples to pack light and go with the flow. Bike the green hills of Cambria’s backroads, take in the ocean views of Cayucos and stop to visit wine tasting rooms along the way in Edna Valley. Whether you’re up for a long-distance ride jam-packed with sights or simply crave a quiet sunset spin, find the perfect route for two on Highway 1.

Biking Cambria Couple
Cruising the coast together for a day of exploring

Wildlife Views

Embark on a coastal safari on Highway 1. Home to diverse habitats, couples can expect to encounter a colorful array of wildlife, including a vast number of bird species. View Elephant Seals sunbathing on the beach in San Simeon, find otters at play in Morro Bay and watch for whales spouting along the horizon in Cambria. Couples can also enjoy whale watching from Highway 1’s many piers, hiking trails and lookout points, all promising the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime breach.

When it comes to animal sightings, couples should expect the unexpected along Highway 1. Hearst’s mysterious zebras are known to graze along the roadside, descendants of the late publishing mogul’s original herd. Meanwhile, thousands of Monarch butterflies take flight in Pismo Beach, providing a whimsical display. Birdwatching couples are sure to find a slice of heaven among Highway 1’s many preserves and parks. Stroll along a Nipomo boardwalk leading from forest to dunes, watching for feathered friends along the way. Couples can also go deeper by hopping in a tandem kayak and paddling lively estuary waters.

Taking a moment to catch the views along the trails

Cliffside Stroll

Couples climb higher on Highway 1, where towering cliffside adventures abound. That said, not all of these scenic strolls are strenuous. Find an easy, after-dinner walk at Ragged Point Inn’s elevated “Million Dollar View” or embark on a number of rugged hikes offering up unbeatable views of the coast, rolling hills and sea. Montana de Oro State Park provides a range of cliffside excursions suited to fit every skill level. Couples can tackle the challenging Valencia Peak or simply meander along the park’s wildflower-dotted Bluff Trail dunes together.

All ages and abilities can find cliffside adventure on Highway 1. Enjoy a restorative nature walk along the Boardwalk Trail at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, home to easily-accessible cliffside views and lush flora and fauna. Meanwhile, the Estero Bluffs trail in Cayucos reveals a breezy elevated path leading to a secluded beach, tidepools and secret shipwreck site below.

Black Swift Falls Trail
Enjoying the scenery while hiking through the hills

Beach Stroll

Stroll hand-in-hand along Highway 1’s most romantic beaches. Fiery sunsets, plentiful wildlife and beautiful views await couples of all walks of life. With miles of unspoiled coastline to discover, savor countless opportunities to enjoy a special stroll along the sand. Hunt for shiny moonstones at Cambria’s Moonstone Beach or hit the nearby Moonstone Beach Boardwalk for close proximity to amazing oceanfront dining.

In fact, most of Highway 1’s coveted beaches are located mere steps from popular sightseeing destinations and attractions. At W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach, couples can enjoy oceanfront wine tasting with the option of a long leisurely stroll along the water. Watch off-leash pups play in the surf after antiquing in Cayucos or explore Avila’s white sand beach before hopping in a kayak and paddling to the historic Point San Luis Lighthouse. For the ultimate serene beach experience, head to the undulating Oceano Dunes, an impressive sight to behold.

Cambria Moonstone Beach Boardwalk
Meandering along the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk in Cambria

Pier Stroll

Savor simple pleasures along Highway 1’s iconic piers, a time-honored tradition for locals and travelers alike. An array of piers can be found all along this sublime coastline, providing the perfect place to unwind together. Soak in the sights, sounds and smells, from the salty sea air to the fresh catch of the day. View fishermen casting a line into the water below, whales traveling the horizon and surfers in motion. Romantic sunsets are also exceptional when viewed pierside.

Highway 1 piers are as diverse as the communities they serve. For this reason, many travelers opt to stop at a number of piers along the route. Enjoy fresh seafood or a cocktail at Harford Pier in Avila Beach or launch a stand-up paddleboard from Baywood’s calm back-bay planks. Meanwhile, the Pismo Beach Pier features food, photo opportunities and nearby boutique shopping.

Baywood Pier
Toasting to a beautiful sunset on the Baywood Pier

Forest Stroll

Experience the enchantment of Highway 1’s protected open spaces and preserves. Keeping conservation in mind, couples can freely stroll forested areas, fields of flowers, majestic mountains, coastal bluffs and pristine beaches. For a unique trek, visit the ancient pygmy oak trees at the Elfin Forest in Los Osos’ Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. For a relaxed date, pack a picnic and behold the beauty of Monterey Pine trees in Cambria, nestled within the scenic Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

These cherished habitats continue to flourish along Highway 1 thanks to ongoing conservation efforts and mindful visitors. Enjoy a romantic nature walk, invigorating hike or rugged mountain bike ride through Highway 1’s precious landscape. Thanks in advance for helping preserve these important spaces by keeping to the path and packing out any litter. Also be sure to check posted regulations regarding dogs, noise, open hours and wildlife.

Los Osos Baywood Couple
Walking the tree lined paths of the nature preserve

Couples Spa

Relax with your partner on Highway 1, home to top notch spa services. Whether you indulge in a couple’s massage or enjoy a yoga class together, there’s plenty of ways to share some much-needed TLC. Soothe sore muscles in Highway 1’s natural hot springs, a centuries-old remedy. At Sycamore Hot Springs in Avila Beach, natural mineral spring tubs are perched on a wooded hillside and couples can sip local wines while admiring overhead oak branches.

For a truly indulgent couple’s self care experience, book a side-by-side service along Highway 1. Whether you release tense muscles at Nest Day Spa in Cambria or enjoy the benefits of the eucalyptus steam room at Sandalwood Spa in Nipomo, a renewed glow is sure to follow. From purifying facials and body wraps to reflexology and sound baths, discover new, innovative ways to recharge together on Highway 1. 

Sycamore Mineral Springs
Taking a relaxing soak at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

Sunset Picnic

Pack a sunset picnic for two along Highway 1 and watch the sparks fly. With miles of secluded beaches, there’s no need to battle the crowds for a great picnic spot. Not only is this date night option free of charge, it’s also one of the most scenic ways to experience the coast. Highway 1’s natural tapestry of forest, sea and sky are all you need to create a memorable picnic ambiance. For those looking to pop the question or celebrate a special anniversary, there’s no better way to mark the moment. 

Share a cherished sunset overlooking the ocean at Ragged Point, where elevated views create the illusion of sitting on top of the world. Pack your own food and wine or purchase provisions from the Ragged Point Inn Restaurant, located on site. Relaxing together on the inn’s lawn overlooking a cliffside beach, sit back and watch the color show begin.

Blendfest Couple Beach Picnic
A romantic beachside picnic for two

Wine Tasting

Cheers to love on Highway 1, where couples can wine taste at some of the most romantic locales on the coast. Choose from dozens of incredible SLO Coast wineries producing award-winning reds, whites and unique blends. Edna Valley is home to a collection of top tier tasting rooms flanked by lush vineyards and rolling hills. Spend the day exploring the region’s famous cool climate varietals, including world class pinot noir and chardonnay.

For a sunny wine tasting experience, sip and swirl along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, which includes scenic Highway 1 beach communities. Plus, find delicious wine pairings and epicurean delights year round on the coast. Be sure to check local winery calendars before heading out, as local tasting rooms are known to host seasonal winemaker dinners, concerts and events. With a dreamy combination of vines and barrels, romantic ambiance is uncorked daily along Highway 1. Needless to say, marriage proposals, weddings and anniversaries are heightened by Highway 1’s wine country magic.

Peacock Cellars Wine Tasting
Wine tasting through the vineyards of Edna Valley

Dinner for Two

Savor the fresh catch of the day served with an ocean view. With no shortage of romantic Highway 1 dining options to choose from, find enticing oceanfront restaurants serving local seafood and farm-fresh produce. Dine along the ocean in charming Cambria or hit the bustling Morro Bay Embarcadero, where diverse eateries line the water. Sip a cocktail while enjoying a pierside view at Mersea’s in Avila Beach or delve into the local wine list at Lunada Garden Bistro in Cayucos.

From charcuterie plates to after-dinner sweets, treat your partner to a meal to remember. When dinner calls for turf, head to Nipomo’s famous steakhouse, Jocko’s, for juicy steaks charred over fragrant oak coals. An array of romantic farm-to-table, sushi, Italian and French restaurants can also be found along Highway 1 as well as Michelin Star-rated establishments.

Lunada Garden Bistro
A dreamy dinner at Lunada Garden Bistro


Spend an hour or a day shopping along Highway 1. Explore diverse boutiques offering everything from artisan wares and gourmet snacks to unique gifts, local jewelry, premium wine and garden art. For couples who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, find no shortage of bygone treasures at Cayucos’ collection of antique stores. In Cambria, discover a vibrant patchwork of art galleries and artisan shops featuring fine soaps, clothing and handmade goods.

Shopping local is easy along Highway 1, where independently-owned storefronts thrive and create colorful downtown character. Whether you’re looking for a gift to treat your partner or a souvenir to bring home, find an array of hidden gems off the beaten path. Additionally, local farmer’s markets provide a romantic setting for couples to shop and stroll. Find local produce, honey, olive oil, lotions and more at markets unfolding weekly in Baywood, Cambria, Avila Beach and beyond.

Shopping The Place
Browsing through the boutiques along Highway 1

Beach weddings

Host your wedding along Highway 1, where sunny weather, coastal scenery and oceanfront accommodations unite. Exchange vows on a dramatic cliff or opt for a casual, barefoot ceremony on the sand. Nearby oceanfront guest accommodations allow everyone to enjoy the event as well as the great coastal views.

From grand celebrations to intimate gatherings, Highway 1 coastal wedding venues offer an ideal setting to tie the knot. Pristine beaches and secluded coves create a picturesque backdrop for wedding photos and cherished memories. With dozens of diverse coastal wedding venues to choose from, beach weddings on Highway 1 are as unique as they are romantic.

Cayucos beach wedding
A picturesque oceanfront ceremony