My travelling partner and I went off to explore the west coast during a road trip in California. We had the opportunity to make our childhood dreams come true by exploring this mythical state and testing the Californian way of life. We have made the best of this first trip to the US. This journey was far from restful but really enriching regarding the people we met and the things we experienced.
1. Los Angeles
Impossible to visit the west coast without exploring the City of the Angels. I looked forward to see the city everyone knows before even visiting. Everything was as advertised on television from the fancy Beverly Hill to the too cool DTLA.
My advice : Venice Beach is probably one of my favourite place in California. If you want to see more about our trip to Los Angeles, well click here.
Accommodation : Venice Beach 52€/night
It is certainly the west coast’s most famous beach thanks to Pamela Anderson. It is also a beautiful place stuck between mountains and oceans. Surfers from all around the world go there to surf. In my opinion, another good reason to stop and have a look.
My advice : Malibu lagoon state beach, there is a few species of bird to observer in the reserve next to the beach. Alright and surfers too !
3. Santa Barbara
The American Riviera is undoubtedly one of the most attractive cities visited in California. Everything is cute in this haven of peace and you can see its Hispanice legacy in its architecture. It is definitely worth the stop.
To eat : Drunken Crab, 416 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
A seafood restaurant to eat like in Louisiana.
Accommodation : Orange Tree Inn – 69€/night
Built on a Scandinavian model this town was created by Danish colonists. This town is known for its bakeries offering Danish specialities ands its scandinavian restaurant.
To eat : Copenhagen Sausage Garden, 1660 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA 93463.
The perfect spot to eat sausages and drink beer from all around the world.
5. Pismo Beach
This surf spot is also a very pretty seaside town. There is a sand dunes reserve meters away from the beach. You can go alone if you got a 4×4 or pay for an excursion. Once there it’s almost like being Sahara’s desert, I said almost !
My advice : Seat in the middle of the dunes to watch California most beautiful sunset.
Accommodation : Lamplighter Inn & Suites – 63€/la nuit
6. Morro Bay
Morro Bay is a fisherman’s town in the center of the west coast and is famous for its enormous rock in the middle of the bay, Morro Rock. If you are looking for quiet and beautiful landscape it is definitely the right place.
To eat : Bayside café, 10 State Park Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442.
The freshest seafood restaurant on the coast you can even see it going out the boat.
7. Point Lobos
Point Lobos is a natural reserve a few kilometers away from Monterey. Besides its white sand beaches and magnificent landscapes, you can actually get to see seals, sea lions and even whales sometimes.
I recommend to simply stop and wander around it is worth the stop.
I looked forward to arriving at Monterey to visit one of the biggest Aquarium in the world. I was like a kid in Disneyland. Appart from the aquarium, Monterey is a very touristic and livened up town compared to most of those visited along the way.
My advice : You have to see the aquarium and it’s jellyfish room. It is incredible !
Accommodation : Knights Inn Carmel Hill – 58€/night
9. Santa Cruz
We spent one evening in Santa Cruz to party and few hours the next day to visit its famous Boardwalk. Perfect time and weather to venture on a few attractions and enjoy my first Corn dog. Santa Cruz definitely the fun break you need when on a road-trip.
To dance : Motiv, 1209 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
Motiv is the best Nightclub in Santa Cruz if you love urban music.
Accommodation : Americas Best Value Inn & Suites – 114€/night
10. Arata’s Pumpkin Farm
This pumpkin farm visible from the Highway 1 is located in San Mateo’s County between Santa Cruz and San Francisco. At the farm you will be able to see an incredible variety of pumpkin of all sizes and colors. I know you won’t believe this but I did not wear this dress on purpose.
It is the perfect spot to rest your leg after a long drive, it’s pretty cool too.
11. San Francisco
No need to present San Francisco, I am sure you heard a lot about it. We spent 3 days in San Francisco so if want to see the 5 things you have to see while in San Francisco click here.
My advice : Rent a bike and cross the Golden Gate Bridge. It is one of the best we have done on this trip.
Accommodation : Alamo square 100€/night