It's no secret.
We love road trips. And we've taken some pretty incredible ones, both here and abroad. But nothing has been quite as incredible as the one we took down the California Coast. It was spontaneous, it was hot, it was cold, it was terrifying, it was exhilarating, it was beautiful, it was perfect.
While Dave and I both would like to drive the entire coastline at some point, for this trip we focused on the portion of the PCH that would take us from Carmel (where we spent a few days) back home to LA, stopping along the way to check off a few bucket list items, like Brixby Bridge and McWay Falls, just a few casual spots you may or may not have heard of and/or seen floating around all over social media. Dave had never done the drive and I did it a long time ago, back when I was too young to fully care or remember much, so, outside of a few old photos it's almost as if I'd never gone. Suffice it to say, we we're both beyond excited.
Summer tends to be the high season, for obvious reasons, so we opted to do the drive on a Tuesday, and we couldn't be more glad we did. All the popular stops were still a bit crowded, but nothing that wasn't manageable (or that made it hard to take photos, for those of us that care about gettin' the 'gram). And, outside of the busier popular stops, the rest of the drive was smooth, easy and relatively empty. Many of the other pull-off spots had very few cars, if any at all.
Traffic talk aside, let's chat about about the look-out spots, because there are there a lot of them. Like a lot, a lot. And you're going to want to stop at them all. Because, I mean, the views! Oh the views! There's nothing like them. They're breathtaking, beautiful, stunning and epic all rolled into one. Make sure you have those cameras ready. As you can see, we did ;)
What's one of your favorite road trips you've ever taken?
First Stop // Point Lobos
Between the views, the hikes and the wildlife, you could easily spend a full day here. We opted for one of the shorter hikes (I think it was around 3 miles round-trip, but the trail was flat, wide and shaded so it was relatively easy.) to check out the view of all the seals. And I do mean alllll of them. That picture you see below, yeah, that doesn't do the seals justice. In fact , that's only a very small portion of the seals that were hanging out at the lookout point. So, needless to say, if you want to see some seals, the this is the place to be. FYI, we parked on the road, but for a small fee you can drive through the park and then stop and park at various areas throughout the property. Obviously, this is a quicker and easier option if you're crunched for time (or just don't feel like hiking). They also have a few picnic areas throughout the park, so before we hiked back to our car, we stopped and enjoyed lunch with a view of the ocean. Not bad for the cost of a few picnic items!
Second Stop // Bixby creek Bridge
Unless you've been living under a rock, this bridge needs no introduction. However, the spot to pull off and check it out does sneak up on you. So if you see a lot of cars parked on the side of the road, know that you're in the right spot and you should pull over immediately.
Third stop // Point Sur State Historic Park
Ok, technically we stopped we didn't stop AT the park, but we did stop on the side of the road so we could take pictures of it. Basically the same thing, no?!
fourth stop // big creek bridge
Fifth Stop // Mcway Falls
Yet another stop that needs no introduction. Similarly to Bixby Bridge, this spot will creep up on you, so when you see an abnormally large amount of cars pull over on the side of the road, you'll know you're in the right area (also, the sign for Pfeiffer Park will be on the opposite side of the road).
Sixth stop // DINOSAUR Caves at Pismo Beach
Ok, I'm kind of cheating here because technically we did this stop on the drive up, but they would also make great stops if you're driving south so that's why I'm including it here.
This area had some of the coolest rock formations, and, as you can see, plenty of pelicans. We also happened to spot some baby seagulls, which were just the cutest little things.
Seventh Stop // Morro Bay
Just like the previous stop, we actually pulled over here as we were driving north. The sun was setting and the light was just too good to not stop. But sunset or not, driving north or south, I highly recommend pulling over here to take in the view or even lay out at the beach for a few hours.