Take in the birthplace of modern skateboarding, Santa Monica on the first leg of this most beautiful drives. The film Lords of Dogtown is based on the Z boys, a group based in Venice Beach that revolutionized the sport in the 70s.
From Santa Monica, head to Malibu where the drive up gives you palm trees and sandy beaches on one side and hilly greenery on the other.
Making your way up to San Maria, if you’re hungry you’ll be pleased to note that it’s known for its excellent variety of BBQ. Make sure you try the tri-tip steak with all the sides.
With a colony of elephant seals over 7,000 strong, we recommend stopping off at vista point around San Simeon and taking in the amazing sights, sounds and smells. Keep an eye out for the squirrels too!
Pass through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and you really can’t miss the impressive McWay Falls, where the water drops directly into the waves lapping up onto the shore.
But really, this passage of the trip is all about the beauty and tranquillity of Big Sur in general….drink it in. The place has everything; bridges over ravines, cliffs that fall into the sea and unparalleled panoramic views.
From Big Sur, we head to Monterey. Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck grew up in nearby Salinas, and set a number of his novels in or around the city.
Monterey Jack cheese perhaps unsurprisingly originates from the area, made by Mexican Franciscan friars since the 19th century, while in Monterey Bay, whales, dolphins and porpoises can be seen throughout the year.
Continuing north along the PCH, Santa Cruz is home to some of the best beaches and most renowned spots for surfing in the world. Keen surfers can test themselves on 11 world class surf breaks.
Santa Cruz is home to the oldest boardwalk on the west coast, having been developed in 1907. Having delighted in this little slice of history, on the final leg of your trip up to San Francisco we recommend checking out the picturesque Pigeon Point lighthouse. From there, it’s on to the bright lights of San Francisco….
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