I went down the coast of California with my amazing friend & hair stylist Rachael. Here is a brief recap of some of the important stuff: what we did and where we ate!
We started our trip in San Francisco. Our time there was limited so first thing was first: Day dreaming about Jon Stamos outside of the Full House house.
If you’re looking for something a little different to do in San Fran, we went to the Japanese Tea Room. You can walk around the grounds and get a taste of Japanese culture.
We satisfied our greasy cravings with fried grilled cheese sandwiches at Straw, a circus themed restaurant. Sitting in a cute remodeled tilt a whirl seat we snacked on spicy pop corn and drank moscato mules.
The next morning we headed to the Golden Gate bridge. A cop recommended Hawk Hill when he saw us taking basic pictures at the park’s entrance. The drive all the way to the top of the hill was worth it – the view was insane. You can see the entire bridge and city.
Half Moon Bay
A quick stop in Half Moon Bay was the perfect place for lunch. After walking around the eclectic boutiques and shops we had sandwiches at San Benito Deli. As a Jersey girl my bar for sandwiches is set pretty high. Their fresh baked bread was to die for – truly one the best sandwiches I have ever had.
Santa Cruz has a super cute board walk. We went in December so they only had a couple of rides running. But they also had a small ice skating rink set up on the boardwalk and snow machines to set the holiday mood. I definitely recommend making a quick stop here!
We had one of the most delicious breakfasts at the Wave Street Café and just shopped around this super cute town.
A lot of people say the aquarium is a must, I have to admit I skipped it but people definitely gave me a hard time about not going. At night we went to Sly McFly’s for some drinks and live music. The crowd was a little older but we had fun dancing, the band played some Bruce Springsteen for the Jersey girls.
We stopped in Carmel for some brunch on our way to Big Sur. This town was absolutely beautiful. We had breakfast at From Scratch. They are famous for their cheddar cheese biscuits, and for good reason they were delicious. It is located in the cutest shopping plaza.
Big Sur has a completely different pace than all of the other coastal towns. There is something magic about this place, almost as though someone has dropped you into Never Never Land. We assimilated quickly into the culture and joined the lost boys.
In addition to limited cell service there there aren’t too many places to stay. There are some very expensive resorts and a lot of campsites. We stayed at the Fernwood.
There is so much beauty to be seen in Big Sur. My favorite was the purple sand at Pfeiffer beach. The locals look for jade on the beach which I thought was way cooler than what I look for on the beach: eroded litter otherwise known as sea glass.
If you want some cool pics the Bixby bridge is a great photo stop. If you like to hike and be outside in nature this is the place for you.
There are a lot of truly wonderful people in Big Sur who truly want to help and share the place they love with you, so stop and get to know them.
San Luis Obispo
SLO is a great college town and one of my favorite places on our trip. There are a lot of great bars, live music, and fun places to go out dancing at night. We went to SLO Brew the first night we were there. There was a great band playing that night even though it was a Monday.
We stayed at The Granada Hotel and Bistro, right in the middle of town. This boutiquey hotel is rustic and beautiful. Even if you don’t stay there I recommend stopping at their restaurant while you’re in town.
San Luis Obispo is a great place to walk around and shop and if you need anything done to your hair stop into Bluebird salon – it is SO CUTE.
We had some of the best sushi of our lives at Goshi. Afterwards we went to Blast 825 taproom. They have so many different beers to try if you like beer definitely make this one of your stops. And to finish off the night we went to The Library. It was Karaoke night and even though The Library isn’t the ‘nicest’ bar in SLO it was one of the best nights we had there.
There is a lot to do outside of SLO especially in Templeton and Paso Robles. There are a bunch of wineries and breweries to check out. We took a tour of the Firestone Walker Brewery. It was cool to see how the beer was made.
One night we had a beer and some appetizers at an Irish pub called Pappy McGregor’s. The food was delicious but the atmosphere was better. It was a relaxed Tuesday night and someone was there playing guitar and singing. One of the guys drinking there said he had his flute in the car. The two played music together for the rest of the night and we got to enjoy it.
On our trip from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles we stopped in Solvang. It felt like we stepped out of the car into Germany. We sat down for a couple of delicious pastries and then headed off to LA.
LA is much more metropolitan than any other place we had been. There is so much to do, but I had to stop at SUR in honor of my guilty pleasure show, Vanderpump Rules. Stassi isn’t lying when she says how good the goat cheese balls are they were amazing. Tom Sandoval poured us a shot – my friends made fun of me for watching that trash – it was a success.
Afterwards we went around the corner to the Doheny Room, a bar with a cool atmosphere to dance a little and have a drink.
If it is your first trip to LA you should definitely stop by Rodeo drive. We had a great brunch at a super cool restaurant called Café Stella’s. If you walk around the restaurant you can find some really cute vintage boutiques and shops.
Laguna beach is one of my favorite towns. Check out my next blog post to find out more
I have been on a lot of trips but this was one of my absolute favorites. If you’re planning on taking a trip like this I suggest that you plan each day as it comes. We had a basic idea of the cities we wanted to go to and some reservations for places to stay but for the most part we figured it out on the way. The spontaneity of the trip is part of what made it special.
Some of the prettiest places we saw were when we got lost or just pulled over on the side of the the Pacific Coast Highway.