For more than 80 years, California’s iconic drive has called to adventurous travelers, and after more than a year of not being fully accessible, the roadway is fully reopened — and better than ever.
To help celebrate this historic milestone, an unprecedented convoy of more than 80 automobiles from the 1930s to today will drive down the coast – from Monterey County to San Luis Obispo County.
Visit California and Central Coast area destination partners celebrated the reopening of Highway 1 with a historic convoy of more than 80 cars representing eight decades – from classic vintage, to sleek and modern, to hydrogen-fueled and electric models.
The iconic highway reopened in late July after more than 18 months of roadway closures, which resulted in tremendous economic losses for businesses along the iconic corridor, especially in northern San Luis Obispo County as travelers rerouted their trips en masse.
The caravan highlighted the iconic highway's historic past connecting California's northern and southern regions on one of the world's most spectacular coastal drives.
Nearly 200 tourism industry leaders, media from around the world and automotive enthusiasts participated in the Dream Drive, which kicked off at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey with a commemorative lap around the raceway track. The convoy proceeded down Highway 1, across the new $54 million, quarter-mile mudslide repair, before ending with a sunset beach barbecue in the shadow of Morro Rock in the coastal town of Morro Bay.
The event was presented by Visit California in partnership with Caltrans, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit SLO CAL, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, AAA, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Avis and Hertz.
Highway 1 has served as a main throughway for Central Coast locals since the 1930s, and as a scenic drive and tourist attraction for visitors from around the world since the route's more formal incorporation and official numbering in 1964. The highway is designated as an "All-American Road," and at 665 miles is the longest state route in California.
CA Highway 1 Reopens
August 9th, 2018
San Simeon, Calif.
Morro Bay, Calif.
1. Aerial view of Dream Drive convoy of over 80 cars over Bixby Creek Bridge near Monterey, Calif.
2. Convoy arrives at Hearst Memorial Beach
3. Staffer directs classic car where to park
4. Pan to wide shot of parked cars
5. Wide shot of three classic cars
6. Decal of Highway 1 Dream Drive
7. Soundbite (English) Carolina Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California
“People from around the world decide if they want to take a California vacation just based on driving on Highway 1 and so with the opening we really wanted to do something special. What a great idea to just bring all the cars that have been produced since the beginning of when the road opened over 80 years ago. “
8. Soundbite (English) Carolina Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California
“So we're super excited that we are able to share in this event today because what it really signifies is highway 1 is open for business. The communities are so excited to welcome all these great tourists back into their areas. And we just want to share that with the world. “
9. Various shots of memorial wall at Hearst Memorial Beach, “The Legacy of The Hearst Ranches”
10. Soundbite (English) Jim Saunders, Owner, Hearst Ranch
“Well I was approached by California dream drive to see if they could do a pit stop here. And of course we welcomed everybody we thought it would be a great place for everybody to stop the visit and walk around a little bit after that nice drive down Highway 1 and just see what we're all about here in Old San Simeon and of course I think we were approached because this place was hit so bad from the lack of traffic that we experienced through the closure of Highway 1. “
11. Scenic view of Pacific Ocean from Highway 1
12. Car to car shot of Dream Drive participant.
13. Aerial view of Finale Rally at Morro Rock, Morro Bay, Calif.
14. Pan from Morro Rock to cars, ground view
15. Soundbite (English) Chuck Davison, Visit SLOCAL President and CEO
“You know we could have chose a lot of great places to end this event today but there's only one rock on the California coast. Morro Rock. And we stand in the shadow today of the strength and the resilience that this rock holds and it really is a compliment to the strength and the resilience of this community as they push through the closure of Highway 1 and we now get to celebrate the reopening and start looking forward to the future of this destination continuing to grow as a tourism mecca. “
16. Line of parked cars at Morro Rock.
17. Guests mingling at Finale Rally
18. Soundbite (English) Tammy Blount, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO
“Having Highway 1 reopen right before Car Week from Monterrey is huge for us. We have enormous car culture. And so that car week starts at WeatherTech Raceway with the free reunion events and then continues on through the week with car shows and auctions and tours and parades and then concludes with the full reunion races at WeatherTech Raceway as well as Tour d'Elegance and the Concourse d'Elegance at Pebble Beach so it is an enormous car culture for us. Highway 1 couldn't be more important.”
19. Band performs at Finale Rally
20. Surfers at Morro Rock
21. Line of parked cars with Morro Rock in the background.
22. Soundbite (English) Dan Harvey, Dream Drive participant and Visit California Board Member
“Every single turn that we came around there were people taking photos, waving to us. I mean it was an all-day adventure. We had helicopters flying over. We had drones taking pictures. We had motorcycles zooming by at high speeds taking pictures of us. I mean it really did feel like a celebrity day driving down the coast.”
23. Soundbite (English) Keith Malone, Dream Drive participant
“They talked about the importance of Highway 1 for tourism and the economy. You know I understood that and I thought it was great but it wasn't until I got to drive it. You could see these these views that they are more than just iconic. I mean they're part of the character of California and you realize how important it is when other people come here and they want to see the California coastline and this is what the California coast line is. “
24. Soundbite (English) Jamie Irons, Mayor of Morro Bay
“But the dream is living here and being here to welcome all of you to celebrate today. That's the real dream.”
25. Soundbite (English) Carolina Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California
“To dreaming big!”
26. Soundbite (English) Chuck Davison, Visit SLOCAL President and CEO
“We’re all open for business.”
27. Soundbite (English) Carolina Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California
28. Classic fire engine leaves rally, camera pans up to finish line.