A top bucket list road trip to do in your lifetime is driving the Pacific Coast Highway along the central coast of California. The highway is famous for running along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the country. There are so many cute little towns you can stop on the way, along with breathtaking photo ops. Here is my adventure from Los Angeles:
Minutes from historic, downtown San Luis Obispo is the Madonna Inn. The Inn has 110 individually decorated whimsical rooms, each with it’s own theme and color. Throughout the interior there are hand carved wooden sculptures that are integrated as architectural elements, bronze statues, custom textile designs, unique glass fixtures, a dining room with pink booths and oversized fake roses, and kitchy details everywhere you look. There’s even a pink tennis court!
Next, I recommend stopping at McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It was the MOST beautiful view with the bluest water I’ve ever seen. You can park along HWY 1 and it’s just a small hike down the hill to reveal an 80 foot waterfall and a surreal view.
In my opinion, the best sunset in all of California is found down a narrow, one-lane dirt road at Pfeiffer Beach. For a few weeks each year during the Winter Solstice, the sunset casts an ethereal glow through Keyhole Arch on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach that is absolutely breathtaking.
After Big Sur, there are even more opportunities to pull over on PCH and stand in awe. Carmel Beach is a great beach to get a colorful contrast of nature and ocean. Bonus if you get to check it out in a convertible!
At the end of the day, there are so many places to stay: Carmel, Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, or even continue up to San Francisco. Here is the view from the cabin in Carmel Valley, I mean does it get any better than this?