Cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway is considered one of the most beautiful road trips on earth. Naturally, I couldn’t just let that opportunity slip. So, lé boyfriend and I rented a car, loaded the trunk with food and clothes and cruised off into nature…and WOW, is all I can say really. WOW after every turn Peete the Passat took because it offered new, breathtaking views over the ocean. WOW at the sunsets because, lets face it, sunsets over the California coasts might just be the most beautiful thing in the world. WOW at the green hills and the powerful waves and the cute little villages we passed along the way. So, I think you should WOW too! I think, you should take a roadtrip! To convince you, and make planning the trip easier, here is your ultimate guide for a three-day-long roadtrip during which you will pass all that is worth seeing!
Stop 1: SF to LA
Due to time constraints, we drove straight down to Los Angeles on Highway 5 and were there within 6 hours. The city was smoggy but warm and amazing nonetheless. Hit up Beverly Hills to marvel at the mansions that you might be living in one day. Or, you know, recognize in a TV reality show. Then move on to the Hollywood boulevard. I really don’t know what it is but for some reason, the stars on the sidewalk make you feel so much closer to your idols than movies ever do. It’s like: “Yaaay, Johnny Depp stood RIGHT HERE, get your phone and Instagram!!!”
Then find a look-out point from which you can see both the Hollywood sign and the city’s skyline. In our case, you really didn’t see much. Dammit, smog. But, mind you, it was February and we could easily walk around in shorts and tops. Fat bonus point!
End your day at the Santa Monica Pier. Great nightlife, many bars, restaurants and street food vendors and the lights from the pier just make you feel like a seven-year-old again. Have some funnel cake. Dip your toes into the ocean. Enjoy life. Go to sleep.
Day 2: From LA to Monterey
Now, this day was my favorite one by far. I liked LA but it’s a very wide-spread, overhyped city that got nothing on my beloved San Francisco. So, good-bye LA, hello Highway 1!
First, we started our morning with a swim in Malibu. Point Dume National Park only has six available parking spots but on a Sunday morning you might be lucky and enjoy one of the most secluded, yet most beautiful, little lagoons I have ever seen. That’s what I’d call Paradise!
The water here is cool but crystal clear
Point Dume National Park.
Say Hi to Oscar the starfish, proud residant of Point Dume Beach
Santa Monica Beach at daylight
On to El Matador State Beach. Beach hopping like a boss! This beach has lots of people, dogs and surfers and fun!
Back onto the road. A mandatory stop for me was Arroyo Grande. Why? Because my dear Co-Author of this blog has spent a year there during high school. Pismo Beach is windy, which makes it perfect for kite surfing, btw!!
We drove for a while before hitting Hearst Castle and the sea elephants that chill next to the highway. Hearst castle is only worth it if you’re not European. Because, if you are, chances are you have lived in a castle at some point in your life. They are that common over there. Also, it’s $75 to see the entire castle property and $25 to see certain parts of it. I’d like to call them out on that bull!
On to Big Sur and the famous Bixby Creek Bridge!
We hurried like crazy to see the sunset over the McWay Falls in Big Sur. We succeeded and the scenery was so beautiful, that I got incredibly sentimental. Words cannot describe, so GO GO GO!
Day 3: Monterey to SF
So, it’s the final roadtrip day and, since you’re in Monterey already, you might wanna check out its acquarium– because that’s what they are most famous for! The jelly fish are insanely cool and entry is $40 (student discounts exist, so take an ID!!)
On to the Scenic-17-mile-drive that leads to Pebble Beach and Carmel. You gotta pay (I believe it’s $7) but by then nature will have lured you in so much, that you’ll be happy to pay whatever it takes to see more of California’s magnificent coast line. Along the way, you’ll see the famous Lone Cypress.
After that: Carmel-by-the-Sea. I really wanted to stop there after I had seen the town being featured in an American Eagle Photoshoot. So we did. WORTH IT!! The town has a very European flair with its adorable little houses and playful decorations and stores located in backyards. It looked like a Disney town, only that people were serious about it. I absolutely loved Carmel. Have lunch (or early dinner) at Porta Bella on the main square:
Last stop before going back into the city: Santa Cruz. This laid-back surfer town close to San Francisco has an adventure pier and..well..LOTS of surfers. Take a stroll on the beach and watch the sunset. Know that you just did the most amazing of roadtrips and that life is beautiful and that you will never never ever forget this magnificent piece of land that is called California!!