Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. This is the thought that passed my mind when I drove on the pacific Coast Highway in California.The United States is filled with an array of road trips, whether taking the historic Route 66, driving through National Parks or along coast sides. But there is one that eclipses them all and that is taking a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Though I have read about the rest, I did the Pacific Coastal Highway this year in April.
From San Diego to San Francisco you’ll find breathtaking views, quaint towns, delicious food, fun activities and, of course, California wines. You can spend just two short days doing the drive or more than a week.You can drive both ways or just one. You can get in the water or just enjoy the view. You can hike along the coast and hillsides. Road tripping along the Pacific Coast Highway offers the perfect getaway for just about any interest and timeline.
La Jolla Cove Beach
While there are benefits to doing the drive either up or down the Pacific Coast Highway, for me there was no choice but to start from San Diego due to my travel Itinerary.
In San Diego there are plenty of beautiful sandy beaches and opportunities for some of the best snorkeling and kayaking in Southern California. Visit La Jolla Cove for a chance to witness sea lions gathering up on the beach
The route from San Diego to Los Angeles is pure, Southern California, coastal beauty. Passing through relaxed beachside towns like Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Oceanside means there’s plenty of surf and sand to enjoy along the way. Even though the trip was only a couple of hours, there’s so much to see and do that we made it into a whole-day affair. As you can see from the pictures that the day was not very sunny but the scenic beauty and fun on the way left us longing to stay at each point more and more.
It helps if you keep in mind that LA’s intense car culture means lots of traffic, so make sure you’ve got snacks and that your road trip playlist is long enough to account for some slow spots on the drive. You also make sure you pack appropriately, remember a swimsuit, and it never hurts to bring a sweater, because things really cool off when the sun goes down. There’s really no bad time to visit, the weather is pretty consistently awesome, but the beach and the sun attract crowds across Southern California during warmer months. But the greatest part about road tripping from Los Angeles to San Diego? No matter the crowds, the weather, or even the time of year, you’ll find the vacation vibes you crave.
Every half an hour gives you reasons to stop and the drive merges with some walking, trekking, eating, singing and watching the sun go down. There are many resorts on the way to stop and spend the night if you want to make it a long drive.
Dana PointYacht Club at Dana Point
Santa Monica Beach
And like all good things, the adventure must come to an end! To keep things coastal, I decided to end the journey in Santa Monica. LA has a lot of great attractions to offer (particularly if you’re a first timer), but staying in Santa Monica will keep you outside of the hustle and bustle so you can continue to enjoy the California laid-back lifestyle. I spent enough time exploring many fantastic attractions at Los Angeles which I shall cover separately in another article but the end of the journey was as coastal as the beginning. If you have another two days, take the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The coast keeps getting interesting and more beautiful as you head north and as I had less time, I flew from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I know what I missed and that gives me all the reasons to go back to this amazing highway for another dreamy drive.