Ok so this is what you need to do:
-grab a piece of paper and a pen
-write 'Things To Do: Take a road trip up the California coast'
-pack a bag
Ever since moving to California a little over two years ago I had been dying for the chance to take a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway so when getting an invite to a wedding in Carmel I thought "yasssss - the time has come!!" Between not knowing north from south and being an excessive planner - I sat down before putting the car in drive to plan out our stops along the way.
In case breath takings views and uh-mazing photographic moments don't sound appealing to you let me sell you on the real perks of taking a road trip: 1. not having to limit your packing to a suitcase (I went a little overboard in this area) 2. Snacks ... because calories don't count when you are driving for hours - right?
Pictures along with tips and tricks for the trip are below.
I would love to hear from you if you have taken the trip / are planning to.
Send me pictures! Comment below!
Safe travels! xx, Chels
Starting point: we left the Santa Monica area on a Wednesday afternoon and had no traffic problems *thank you sweet baby jesus* Our first stop was in Morro Bay - it took us just shy of 3 hours to get there and made it just in time for sunset. After checking in to Bayview Inn (perfect for a one night stay) we walked down to explore the little town area, watch a beautiful sunset and wind down with an ice cold beer and some delicious calamari.
Anxious to get to our next stop - we were on the road by 6:30AM. If driving that early in the morning please be cautious as the fog mixed with darkness made it pretty hard to see the road. About 30 minutes outside of Morro Bay is when cell phone service went MIA. For the rest of drive our phones said 'No Service' (yes, that is a real thing) so make sure to have an off line playlist set up prior to the drive because who can road trip without singing their hearts out?!
Our first stop of the day was Pfeiffer Beach. The service road going down to Pfeiffer Beach is very easy to miss and is not marked at all. When coming south, about 1/4 mile before you get to the Julia Pfeffier State Park entrance there will be a yellow caution sign and you will take that sharp turn and follow that road for about 2 miles until you run right into the entrance and parking for the beach. The gates to the park don't open until 9AM - plan accordingly. Also, it's a $10 entrance fee so make sure to have cash on you. Be forewarned, that the “purple” sand, it was nothing like the photos you may have seen on social media. Seems as if the lighting and or photo enhancement plays a big role in that.
The historic Bixby Bridge was built in 1932, and connects Carmel to the rest of Big Sur. It’s also one of the most famous spots along Highway 1. Photo moment tip: turn left, just before the bridge if you are headed south. If you are headed north, turn right, immediately after the bridge. This will take you to a road that goes up into the mountains. Follow the road just a little ways and you will be at perfect angle to shoot towards the bridge and the ocean to create a total framer!
When arriving to Carmel I felt as if we just drove into a real life quaint and adorable postcard. I sounded like a broken record that kept spitting out the words "this is so cute!' every 15 seconds. Downtown Carmel is full of yummy restaurants, a beautiful beach, shopping, plus a long list of to do's. We were lucky enough to have friends that lived in the area so we stayed with them however we spent a ton of time at La Playa Hotel and I would highly recommend it. We checked off the 17 mile drive,Pebble Beach golf course, a hike at Point Lobos (a must do) horseback riding on the beach and of course raised our glasses to love at a gorgeous wedding at FolkTale Winery.
After a busy five days, I'm happy to be back in Los Angeles with unpacked bags but I can't wait for the next adventure.