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The North Coast Travel Guide

Plan Your The North Coast Vacation

The spectacular coastline between Marin County and the Oregon border defies expectations. The landscape is defined by the Pacific Ocean, but instead of boardwalks and bikinis there are ragged cliffs and pounding waves—and the sunbathers are mostly sea lions. Instead of strip malls and freeways, you’ll find a single-lane road that follows a fickle shoreline. Although the towns along

the way vary from deluxe spa retreat to hippie hideaway, all are reliably sleepy—and that’s exactly why many Californians, especially those from the Bay Area, escape here to enjoy nature unspoiled by the agitations of daily life.

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Updated 1/20/2014

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Scenic coastal drives There's hardly a road here that isn't scenic.
  2. Wild beaches This stretch of California is one of nature's masterpieces. Revel in the unbridled, rugged coastline, without a building in sight.
  3. Dinnertime When you're done hiking the beach, refuel with delectable food; you'll find everything from burritos to bouillabaisse.
  4. Romance Here you can end almost every day with a perfect sunset.
  5. Wildlife Watch for migrating whales, sunbathing sea lions and huge Roosevelt elk with majestic antlers.

When To Go

When to Go

The North Coast is a year-round destination, though when you go determines what you will see. The migration of the Pacific gray whales is a wintert...

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