When I arrived in San Francisco, I had to survive jet lag. 9h time difference to Germany was not so easy to handle. I forced myself to stay awake until the evening to get straight in and it really worked, even when it was hard. We still had 3 days left in SF then we started our roadtrip to Los Angeles and I was full of anticipation.
I tried to see as much as possible in 3 days, but I didn’t stress myself, because I knew I will be back in SF after the roadtrip. So I had enough time to admire the rest of SF 😉
>>More about San Francisco, the city, restaurants and the best spots can be found in my recent blog “SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL TIPS” !<<
Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea
So our next target should be Carmel-by-the-sea. There were two ways to get there, either via a normal highway route or via the 17-Mile Drive, which goes along the coast. The 17-Mile Drive is the connection between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey. In order to drive there you have to pay an entrance fee of 10.25 dollars. At the entrance you got a map with ten points.
This route was definitely my highlight of the whole trip. I can only recommend everyone to pay the entrance fee and have a look at the route. The landscape, the sea, the villas and residences are a dream. You can also see squirrels there and even feed them.
We planned a quick stop at Fisherman’s Wharf. A visit to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula just isn’t complete without a rendezvous with Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Experience a myriad of:
Great Restaurants, Seafood & Chowder, Unique Shops, Whale Watching, Fishing & Sailing and Bay Cruises.
There’s an option for every budget including fine dining at Old Fisherman’s Grotto to more casual setups at Paluca Trattoria and Abalonetti. Or you can grab something quick at Scales on the Go. No matter where you settle, be sure to get an iconic clam chowder bread bowl and an order of fried calamari.
The BIG SUR
We continued along Highway 1. My idea was that Highway 1 just runs along the sea all the time. But it wasn’t, we drove thru mountains, miles high, looked down on beautiful coasts and passed over 30 bridges on our way straight to the most beautiful and legendary bridge, the Bixby Bridge at the Big Sur.
The Big Sur is a coastal strip in the US state of California between San Simeon in the south and Carmel in the north. It includes about 100 kilometers of coastline and the steep mountains of the Santa Lucia Range behind it.
The Bixby Bridge is definitely the highlight of the route. We arrived just in time before sunset. The view was simply breathtaking. Here you should definitely take a few minutes and enjoy the view and take some photos 🙂
San Simeon and The Piedras Blancas
We had secured a motel in San Simeon. The route to L.A can be done in one go, but we didn’t want to stress ourselves, so we stayed for one night in San Simeon. We got a great tip from a local the next morning: “The Piedras Blancas”, from there you can watch elephant seals in the wild and there were hundreds of them.
We were totally impressed and came at the right time, because between December and March sea elephants babies are born and we actually saw a lot of babies playing with their families, cuddling or just lying in the sun. It was just a wonderful spectacle.
In the early morning we went on to Santa Barbara. The city on the central Californian coast has wonderful Mediterranean houses with white stucco and red tiled roofs. We were hungry, and found a pretty tacos restaurant where we stopped by. Goa Taco provides highest quality of fresh ingredients and hormone free meats. They make all the fillings , salsas, sauces and meats in house. Very delicious.
In the State Street there are numerous upscale boutiques and restaurants where local wines and seasonal dishes are offered. The place is really beautiful. We just had a quick look around and went straight on to Los Angeles.
>More about L.A. you can find on my blog post
„LOS ANGELES – SECRET PLACES“<<
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Since we missed to stop in Santa Cruz when we started the trip, we decided to have a look on our way back. I can only recommend everyone to make a short stop before heading to L.A.
A really nice little place with a funpark directly at Monterey Bay. The retro amusement park at the promenade Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk includes the Looff-Karussel from 1911 and the roller coaster Giant Dipper.
There is no entrance fee, you only have to pay for the rides. Unfortunately, the famous Sky Glider was out of order that day. From here you could have had a great view over the park. As a tip for those of you who planning to stop by 😉
We always stayed in motels or air bnb’s on our road trip. The tour over Highway 1 and the 17 Miles Drive was the most beautiful thing I was allowed to do so far! Even if it was long, but every second was worth it! I would do it again and again. The landscape, the animals – simply everything was fascinating on our tour.
I hope you enjoyed the blog post about my road trip. I would appreciate your comments. Let me know what your adventures have been so far 😉
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