Even if you limited your drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to just a few scenic stops, the Bixby Creek Bridge would deserve to be one of them. This historic bridge, dating back to 1932, is one of the most photographed manmade structures on the Pacific Coast, and certainly one of the most elegant, too.
Before its completion, the area south of Bixby Canyon was severely isolated from the civilized world. A drive down the dirt Coast Road could take a day or two, since the bumpy road would have to cut inland, in order to circle around the canyon. (The old Coast Road is still drivable, and can be accessed at the north end of Bixby Creek Bridge, though you might want to take a 4 wheel drive vehicle).
Not far north of the Bixby Creek Bridge, you’ll cross the Rocky Creek Bridge. It is also a concrete arch bridge, completed in the same year: 1932. And while it’s beautiful, too, the Bixby Creek Bridge ends up with most of the attention. I, too, am guilty of this discrimination — I drove over the Rocky Creek Bridge without stopping.
At this point, you’re only about 13 miles away from the Monterey Peninsula. But there’s plenty more to see between here and there.
Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, into the Monterey area: