our california road trip

Posted on 05 August 2014

If you ever find yourself with a free week and a full tank of gas, put on a good mix tape and head down the coast of California. Highway 1 is one of the most beautiful drives in the country and one that should definitely be added to your bucket list.

Growing up, road trips were a standard part of each summer. We would spend our time reading books, making friendship bracelets, and stopping for lots and lots of ice cream. But taking a road trip as an adult is an entirely different experience. It's less about getting from point A to point B, and more about taking in the moments that happen along the way. There's a calm that comes over you when you're looking out over cliffs and beaches that disappear into the ocean for miles and miles. It's an overwhelming sense of appreciation that something as beautiful as this actually exists. And it's those moments that make the trip so memorable.

Nate and I took three days getting from Seattle down to San Luis Obispo, stopping at all the vista points and farm stands along the way. I've included some of our favorites for when you find yourself on your own road trip down the coast.

  • Avenue of the Giants-stop in the groves along the drive to wander around and see some of the old growth trees.
  • Glass Beach in Fort Bragg-this little cove used to be completely covered in worn sea glass after years of dumping in the area. Although it's been somewhat picked over by tourists over the years, it's still a beautiful spot.
  • Spend a day in Bodega Bay and stay at the Valley Ford Hotel. It's the sweetest little inn, with just a few rooms and a favorite local restaurant downstairs. Bodega Bay is a small coastal town, with a lot of spas, art galleries, and wineries.
  • Santa Cruz Boardwalk-of course the amusement park is fun for everyone, but head out onto the pier and walk down the stairs that are about halfway through to watch the seals underneath. They're just too much fun to watch.
  • As you make your way down the coast, make sure to stop at the local farm stands along the way! We had some of the best strawberries, nectarines, and plums that we picked up from the side of the road.
  • There's a section of Carmel called The Seventeen Mile Drive that has some amazing views and houses to dream about. If you're a golfer, there's a course that I'm sure would be a game to remember.
  • The stretch of Highway 1 between Monterey and Morro Bay is unbelievable. Take your time, pull of at all the vista points, and enjoy the view.

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