pacific coast highway

trip of my dreams. up the california coast. here is the recap - along with some visiting tips!

this adventure was a lot of fun with the husband, best friend + her husband. the spots we hit up along the way were san diego, los angeles (more specifically venice), santa barbara, morro bay, big sur, a drive through carmel/pebble beach/monterey, santa cruz and on through to san francisco...more on that part of the trip later!

first stop: san diego

we had a list a mile long of places to eat so we did our best to hit up the recommended spots. we stayed in pacific beach - a very college-y part of san diego. hence the oversized pacificos and unintended nightclub we found ourselves in the first night out. oops!

 cheers! (where are we?!)

cheers! (where are we?!)

our first full day out we decided to hike torrey pines. i would highly recommend this activity - the terrain is beautiful and unexpected with its sandy cliffs, beautiful pacific views and cacti galore. it is $15 for parking, and you can either park straight away and walk up or drive up to another point where you can do some additional hiking at the top and make your way down to the water. this is what we opted for!

post hiking, we worked up an appetite, so we made our way to board and brew in del mar - the original location of the famous sandwich shop. this was one of the most recommended stops, so we made sure to grab some delish sammies and head to la jolla to enjoy them while overlooking the water. (order the turkado with extra sweet & sour on the side!)

post lunch, we decided to head to downtown san diego - more specifically the gaslamp district. this seemed to be a bit more touristy but plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping can be found here - good for walking and exploring! we ended up at a rooftop cocktail bar for a sunset drink and headed to get our mexi fix at the blind burro afterwards. get the cheesy corn if you go here - a must!

for a nightcap, we made our way to the speakeasy craft cocktail bar, noble experiment. note - this little spot is tiny! tucked away inside of a bar, you enter through a door made of beer kegs. no sure to call ahead to make a reservation.

sunday in san diego called for may be getting the hint that we like to eat on vacation! snooze is great - located in hillcrest, you can fuel up at this brunch spot. afterwards, we took to ocean beach to walk around, take in the surfers and salty air. there is plenty of beachside up and down san diego...below we are on the pier in pacific beach. later that evening we enjoyed some tacos...seriously tasty tacos! if you make your way to oscars, go with the fish taco.

the next leg of our trip took us to los angeles. we hit up hipsterville, silver lake, for some delish vietnamese food and walked around the area taking in the coffee shops, boutiques and overall vibe of the area. pretty sure we spotted kate bosworth must have a celebrity sighting in the city of angels, no? we stopped at the lacma to get a glance at the huge boulder placed atop a walkway. "levitated mass" by michael heizer is open to the public.

next up: venice beach. we loved walking the boardwalk and seeing the skaters and street performers. venice beach is so alive and just a world of its own. i had fun snapping pics at the skate park.

we made our way to abbott kinney for some shopping. the street is full of great stores and boutiques as well as restaurants. it was bustling even for a monday. we stopped for a quick drink at the otherroom - a sister to the nyc establishment.

for dinner we made the very wise decision to check out scopa. i will say this was the best dinner of the whole trip. the italian food was amazing and the drinks were well made cocktails that satisfied. loved this spot and would go again! here we are eating donuts for dessert. we were already stuffed but couldn't resist...

next up! santa barbara. beautiful - full of colorful blooms, mediterranean architecture and gorgeous weather. i can't give too much info on this spot since we just went for the afternoon, but i will say i would love to go back for more exploring. i have heard only good things about the vineyards there and can say it lives up to the coined nickname of 'america's riviera'.

we continued the drive north in order to get closer to big sur for our big hike the following day. we decided to spend the night in morro bay - an unexpected cute fishing town on the coast. we saw a beautiful sunset and had an easy evening. the small town reminded me of a place you would come across on the coast of the northeast.

next up was big sur. the beautiful national park situated right on the coast of the pacific. we hiked through the redwoods alongside some creeks and really got our work out in. the reward was at the end when we made our way to mcway falls where the high waterfall meets the sandy beach and edge of the cliff overlooking the pacific. what a view.


we then made our way through carmel by the sea, monterey and pebble beach. we took the 17 mile drive continuing our trip up the coast. what beautiful scenery this was. also, if you are a golf fan, it is basically heaven on earth for you...drew was loving this area! we spent our last night in santa cruz before making our way to san francisco.

california, all i have to say is, you are beautiful.