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Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur, McWay Falls, Highway 1.
On Monday we left San Francisco to drive the scenic route, Highway 1. This road follows the West Coast past a number of iconic stops.
Our first stop about an hour away from Silicon Valley was Santa Cruz.
Known for it’s surfing, it also made for a fun lunch break along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Ben had a quick ride on the 5th oldest rollercoaster in the US – The Big Dipper, before we grabbed some tacos and panini for lunch.
Back in the car, we had a little break at a quaint village called Carmel-by-the-sea. If we had more time, it would have been nice to see more of the cute little shops but instead we chose to have our first taste of the Pacific Ocean…and it was chilly!
Up ahead were lots of windy roads along Highway 1 but the views were frankly breathtaking. We wound down the windows and took it all in!
A few stops along the way were Bixby Creek Bridge and McWay Falls in Big Sur Park.
Then it was only a couple of hours onto our hotel for the night – a comfortable Best Western in a small coastal town called Morro Bay. We checked in, grabbed a take-out pizza from a bustling local place and got to sleep.
Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica Boardwalk, Muscle Beach, Venice Beach.
After a complimentary breakfast (where Ben was way too excited to make his own waffles), we had a quick glance at the sea and a rummage in a quirky junk shop called Junque Love.
From Morro Bay, we continued further south along the coastal highway.
We had planned to drive through Santa Maria but as we had Santa Barbara in the satnav, we accidentally drove right past the exit. But a lunch stop in Santa Barbara was well worth-it.
I tried the local wine as we were now officially in the wine regions of California!
Our final stretch of driving took us through the gorgeous sights of Malibu beach and then finally Santa Monica.
We checked in our hotel for our evening in Santa Monica and headed back our for an evening along the beach and pier.
The famous Santa Monica pier is the end of Route 66 (the drive to Chicago), lots of shops and amusements, as well as The Pacific Park – where we got on the Ferris Wheel and the coaster.
We appeared to have timed it perfectly as watching the sunset along Santa Monica pier and Venice Beach was amazing.
To finish our evening, we hired more electric scooters (it’s a thing we do now, obviously!) and travelled from muscle beach to Venice beach as the sun was setting.