When visiting the West Coast of the USA it is nearly impossible to miss that California is situated in the Southern part of the United States- 1000 mile long coastline of the Pacific Ocean. And by far the best way to explore it properly is to take a drive down the famous Pacific Coast Highway. Which officially stretches about 600 miles(from San Diego to San Fransisco. However, as far as I'm concerned it goes all the way along the coast, sometimes by merging into 101, all the way to the State of Washington!
Driving via PCH is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The combination of cities, nature, rugged coastline, and beaches is so unique to California, you can not find anything like it anywhere in the entire world. If you take the traditional PCH from San Diego all the way to San Francisco, you will most likely drive with the view of the ocean on the left, for about 80% of the time! That alone provides endless opportunities for most inspiring California photography for professionals, amateurs, and also if you wish to snap a selfie to post on your Instagram account.
The most impressive Coastal California photography comes from photographing the sunsets by the Pacific Ocean. Sunsets are usually captured in tandem with some other objects like Piers, palm trees, lifeguard booths, beach scenery, rugged cliffs, dunes, or bridges.
"Refreshment" Fine Art Photography by Jongas
While traveling California along the coast you will encounter at least 3 major US cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (and some smaller ones in between). Those are some of the largest populated cities in the whole country and each of them has very unique qualities when it comes to a variety of cultures, architecture, and very distinct climates.
San Diego is the smallest of the three, situated in the most southern part of California. It happens to be the home to the second-largest Naval base in the USA, the famous Coronado Island, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, and many other places of interest and activities.
Few miles down from San Diego, USA borders the country of Mexico. Therefore the city is heavily influenced by Mexican food cuisine, music, and culture. To the point that in some parts of the city it feels like you are actually visiting Mexico!
Coronado Bridge - "Hopeful Morning" - Fine Art Panorama Print
Further North, when you pass the City of Los Angeles, on the way you will encounter the city of Santa Barbara, as well as smaller Coastal towns like Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Cayucos until you finally reach one of the most desired California travel destinations- Big Sur.
Big Sur is a rugged California coastline stretching for about 70 miles, where tourists drive along a serpentine road on top of the cliffs, overlooking the endless Pacific Ocean. Big Sur offers many hiking trails, campgrounds, otter sanctuary, beautiful views, and a sense of thrill you won't experience anywhere else.
Passed the Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway will bring you through several more Coastal towns like Carmel By The Sea, Monterey, Santa Cruz. All filled with unique local eateries, cafes, art galleries, until you reach another California giant - San Francisco.
San Francisco is an amazing mega town with lots of city photography opportunities.