During our California road trip (August 2015) we went from Los Angeles to San Francisco through the Pacific Highway. It wasn’t the fastest route, but we wanted to enjoy the trip as much as possible, go to the beach, enjoy the views and relax. We slept two nights on motels located in small towns next to the highway, and while we don’t regret any of it, I assume that August was probably the most expensive month of the year to do this.
At the beginning of our trip we stopped in Santa Barbara for some beach time under the sun. It was a nice place, and we had lunch right there, next to the pier, for a very good price. After that we drove through the Pacific Highway a few hours more, with some stops for coffee and maybe some pictures.
The next touristic stop during our trip was Hearst Castle. It’s hard to describe this place with words. It’s probably the most excessive display of luxury I’ve ever seen in my life. Hearst tried to imitate the style of European palaces and Cathedrals from the Mediterranean, but the place mixes so many different styles (from different historical periods) that the final result is just awful. Still spectacular though, and worth visiting.
We slept our fist nigh in a motel next to San Luis Obispo, and we payed about 75 dollars for the room. Up north, still through the Pacific Highway, we got to Big Sur. But before reaching the famous cliffs area, we saw some sea elephants in the coast, changing their skin under the sun. It was a spectacular sight and we stopped to take a few pictures.
Big Sur was really beautiful, a great coast line filled with cliffs, small beaches and simply amazing landscapes. Make sure you fill your tank before getting there, though, since the prices of the gas stations in the area are much higher (and there are very few of them so you can’t really be picky). Since it was August pretty much every cafeteria and restaurant was crowded, so if you can afford to visit during another month, I would recommend it.
After a whole day driving through Big Sur, we slept our second night in a motel in the town of Santa Cruz, and we had to pay 95 dollars for it. I guess it might have been cheaper if we had made the reservations earlier. Driving for 2 days between LA and San Francisco was a last minute decision. Overall, even though August wasn’t the best month for it, spending two nights in the Pacific Highway was absolutely worth it. Beautiful natural landscapes, some very unique places and even some nature to admire. You can’t really ask more of a road trip.