Road Trip: Pacific Coast Highway

This is the last post about my Californian vacations back in March and the most exciting one: road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway from Cayucos (where we spent the night after our visit in the Sequoia National Park) up to Carmel. I must admit that it’s probably the best coast route I’ve ever seen. Surely enough I’ve driven next to the sea before and my home country has some scenic routes, but none like Pacific Coast Highway!

We started off our day by walking along the beach in Cayucos, which turned out to be a really nice place! Our next brief stop was at Hearst Castle where we decided not to take a tour up to the castle because we honestly didn’t have the time. I would  have liked to see the house from the outside and the gardens, but you can only get there with a tour and not on your own! The good thing though is that we got a leaflet from the castle’s reception about the Coast and its points of interest along the Highway which proved very useful!

Next stop: San Simeon  and more specifically Piedras Blancas beach where sea lions spend half of the year; from November/December until May. So that means, that our road trip couldn’t be better timed! We saw so many sea lions sunbathing and lounging and making noises! It was incredible as we hadn’t seen any in the wild before! We also came across a lady who was a volunteer guide and gave us many information about the sea lions’ habits! Here you can find more information about the sea lions as well as a web cam!

Big Sur was up next, which is an area with many places of interest. The McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer National Park are definitely worth a visit. The beach is inaccessible on foot, but there is a trail from where you can marvel at the beach and of course the falls!

Another place of interest that we spotted thanks to the pamphlet was Pfeiffer beach. What lured us there was a sunset photo, shot through a cave in the rocks (you can see that cave in the top right photo). Of course sunset hour was far away, but we did marvel at the waves crashing on the rocks and passing through that narrow opening!

The route to the beach is not marked and we did a little bit of backtracking in order to find it! Tip: it’s a paved, unmarked road between the Big Sur Station and Big Sur Post Office (on the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles).

After fooling around the beach (it was windy) and writing on the sand, we set off for our next stop: Bixby Bridge. The bridge was built in 1932 and is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world (source).

Carmel was our last stop along the Pacific Coast Highway. We arrived there before sunset, walked around the main road and headed for dinner. From my photos you can easily guess that we dined at Flaherty’s! I got fried coconut shrimps which is my favorite dish lately!

As it was getting dark, we made our way towards San Francisco, passing through Silicon Valley and making a stop at Apple and Google!

So…this was our fun little road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Have you ever taken that road trip? What do you think about it?

Read the rest of my California posts: 12 Fun Things I did in Los Angeles, 15 things you shouldn’t miss in San Francisco, Visiting the Sequoia Park

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