Road Tripping The Pacific Coast Highway

May 17, 2017
pacific coast highway

Despite the little hiccup we had regarding my health during our trip to California, my favorite part of the entire trip was road tripping the Pacific Coast Highway. Luckily Hannah was a trooper and drove the entire way. So we hopped in our Jucy van and made our way from Lake Tahoe to Santa Cruz. From there we spent the night at a small hotel in town and drove to Monterey to check out the 17 mile drive. After that we had to take a detour as Big Sur is sadly closed off due to landslides.

That afternoon we stopped at the Pismo Beach sand dunes for sunset and then spent the night in nearby Lompoc. In the morning we drove to Santa Barbara for a quick pit stop before heading down the coast to LA. It was an epic drive, filled with gorgeous landscapes. And I definitely need to make it back there when Big Sur opens back up!

Stops Along The Pacific Coast Highway

Santa Cruz – Shark Fin Cove

pacific coast highway

Talk about the most epic sunset I’ve ever seen. There are pink sunsets and then there are golden sunsets. And this one was a truly gorgeous golden sunset. The light was just perfect and luckily we had our new friends Braden and Tanner there to help capture it. Shark Fin Cove is a really cool spot to catch the sunset as the coastal view is insane.

Monterey -17 Mile Drive

pacific coast highway

Pay $10 to visit the 17 Mile Drive from Monterey to Carmel. If you’re a fan of Big Little Lies I’m sure you already have a stop in Monterey on your itinerary, but spend some extra time doing this coastal drive through Pebble Beach. There are some really gorgeous pull off points and it really is worth the money.

Pismo Beach

Sometimes I have a hard time getting inspired by all the places I visit. It’s bound to happen. But when we finally made our way to the sand dunes in Pismo Beach, I was blown away. The landscape is insane there and you can hear the waves crashing in the distance as you climb over tall sand dunes, reminiscent of the Sahara Desert. Hannah and I decided that we would play with some smoke bombs here and I’m so glad we did because it was the perfect backdrop.

Santa Barbara

We knew we had to make a quick little stop in Santa Barbara. I don’t have any photos from here because we were only there for an hour to stop for coffee and fresh juice (and a little shopping), but it’s definitely a place I’d love to spend the weekend in!

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The places you should stop during your Pacific Coast Highway Roadtrip!

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  • Lia June 3, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Gorgeous photos! I’d also highly recommend Morro Bay, just north of Pismo Bay. And of course Big Sur if it wasn’t closed currently 🙁

    • June 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      thanks for the tip! I will have to add it to the list for next time!

  • Harmony, Momma To Go June 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I’m pinning this because we are planning to do this with our family. Hubby and i have done 17 mile its amazing! And I spent three summers in santa cruz, I cant wait to get back with the kids.

    • June 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      ahhh have the best time! I loved every minute of it and I’m sure you will too!

  • Rosi C. June 3, 2017 at 11:05 am

    So want to visit. I heard about closing. I hope it opens again when I visit. Always good to see other things…. be creative. Nice places to visit.

    • June 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      I hope it’s open when you go too!

  • tracy June 3, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I am hoping to spend a long weekend in Santa Barbara in Sept! I hear it is such a cute town. This looks like a wonderful road trip!

    • June 3, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      it was so lovely to walk around!

  • Jean June 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Oh it looks like an amazing place to road trip! Glad you got to have some fun despite the hiccups along the way.

    • June 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      it was great!

  • C-Ludik June 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Lovely photos, brought back memories. I drove on the scenic Highway One: Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, San Simeon, Santa Barbara, and finally Los Angeles… Carmel-by-the-Sea, stretched along a beautiful beach, is a retreat for artists of all kinds, painters, writers, and poets… After Carmel, great outdoor spaces, the rugged coastline, and the ocean blue as far as the eye can see. The mountain is on one side, covered with a forest of sequoia, and the coast, a line of carved reliefs on the other…

    • June 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      that all sounds like magic!

  • Greta June 3, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    This is awesome! Makes me want to go on a road trip 🙂

    • June 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      you should! I’m itching to go on another one!