My parents and I went on a road trip from Los Angeles California to San Francisco by way of Yosemite National Park and Napa Valley. Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway for all its stunning views is still a massive undertaking due to the sheer number of stops one can make.
To start the trip we flew in Los Angeles as our starting point, I know that a lot of people start in San Diego but we didn’t have enough time to do all the stops we wanted on the way north if we added the extra time in Southern California.
Los Angeles – Venice Beach & Canals, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Griffth Park Observatory, Rodeo Drive, Mulholland Drive and Hollywood
Malibu – Malibu Pier (Malibu Farms… typical Instagram Fueled Millenial) and El Matador State Beach
Santa Barbara – Harbour and the Town
Pismo Beach – Beach and Pier
San Luis Obispo/San Simeon – Hearst Castle, Elephant Beach
Big Sur – Ragged Point, McWay Falls, Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park (Pink Beach), Bixby Bridge, Nepenthe (Restaurant with an AMAZING view)
Carmel by the Sea – Pebble Beach and 18 Mile Drive
Monterey – Whale Watching
Sausalito – FOOD jk. we just drove through Sausalito on our way to Napa, but we did stop and walk around the waterfront
Napa Valley – Opus One Winery, St. Helena (Small Town), and a couple other Wineries
Yosemite National Park – Tunnel View, Bridaveil Falls, El Capitan, Sheeps Meadow, Mirror Lake, Lower Yosemite Falls and Redwoods!
Palo Alto – Stanford ( We just drove through but it was fun to see the campus)
San Fransico – Golden Gate Bridge, Chrissy Field/ Presidio, Ghiradelli Square, Fishermans Wharf, Lombard Street, Chinatown, Nob Hill, Union Square, Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies, and Haight Ashbury.
Here is my google map with everything we saw or wanted to see: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l6LeuxrYRJ3OrWx-AqnHO0LXfMI&usp=sharing
If you are planning on doing a similar road trip, my advice would be to see and do everything you possibly can. With forest fires, landslides, erosion, and overall climate change you don’t know if what you want to see will be there in a year or two (example, Bixby Bridge).
My favourite place was hands down Big Sur, it’s simply breathtaking and uniquely Pacific Northwest.
Enough talk some of my favourite pictures are below (yes there is a lot, I can’t narrow them down for the life of me) and there are more up on my Instagram if you want to see the full collection!