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Best, most beautiful, unmissable sections of highway 1 on the CA coast

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My husband and I are on a mission to deliver our friend's car to him in LA. We're driving from Providence, RI along a northern route and will be entering CA at the very top to spend our first evening in Klamath. We will wake up in Klamath on the 22nd and we are flying home from LAX the evening of the 25th. It is my goal to make it to San Francisco for the evening of the 22nd and to get to LA no later than noon on the 24th. We're planning on spending the night of the 22nd in SF with friends.

Neither of us has been to California nor seen the Pacific, two life-long dreams, and we want to make the most of our limited time. It was my original intent to drive the entire coastline of CA, but it's just going to take too long to do so, so now we're planning to drive sections of the coast and sections of 5. I'd really like to pass through some of the coastal cities like Santa Monica, and I know we must drive through Big Sur, but the rest of it is a wide-open, delicious mystery. What sections of the coast should we try our best to drive along, and what sections are best to take inland? We'll be traveling from San Francisco to LA on my birthday as well, so I would love to see something spectacularly special-- as if just being there isn't enough.

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