We decided to drive the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco and it was a great experience. After waking up early in Los Angeles we headed to the airport and picked up a car, a brand new Dodge Challenger with less than 25 000kms on the clock to make the drive.
The car was sweet, a classic American muscle car with plenty of get up and go. The first stop for us was the outlets at Camarillo. It may seem like we have done nothing but shop to loyal followers of my blog, but our trip to the outlets in LA was strictly business. The temperature when we land in Calgary will be a toasty -6. So despite all of the clothes that we have, we thought perhaps a ski jacket for that extra bit of warmth would be worthwhile.
After grabbing our jackets we headed off on our drive to our first stop on the road. As we drove along we saw some great scenic views, the mountains and the sea. When we got to Santa Barbara we stayed in a quaint little Inn that had the feel of a country town. It was really quite a pleasant way to spend out of the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities. We got in quite late, so we really just relaxed and enjoyed some Thai food for dinner.
The next day we went to check out the Mission Santa Barbara monastery. This was such a peaceful place, something we noticed as soon as we stepped into the secret garden inside. The whole place had such a relaxing aura about it, and as we made our way through we learned a little about the Christian missionaries who first settled in this area. It was a serene place to visit and a great way to start the day.
We then set off for our second destination – recommended by our Sydney friends from Vegas, Ragged Point. We enjoyed another pleasant drive through the winding roads of Route 1, taking in the magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains along the coast. As we were driving we stopped to admire the beautiful sunset over the horizon before we arrived at our accommodation. We stayed in Ragged Point Inn in cabins that sat on the cliffs that overlooked the Ocean. The view from our window was spectacular, and this town certainly had the feel of a relaxed town, as it was in the middle of nowhere miles from the nearest large city. It was great.
After spending a relaxing night in this accommodation we awoke the next morning to miserable weather, nuisance rain and grey skies to finish our journey to San Francisco. We were again treated to wonderful views as we drove the winding roads North. For people wishing to make this popular drive the views of the coast are spectacular! After stopping for lunch in a little city called Monterey Bay we made the final leg of our journey into the city.
Unfortunately we probably picked the 2 worst possible times to be on the roads in LA and San Francisco when we arrived. Both peak times on a Friday. Although I can say that traffic in San Francisco was worse than anything that we experienced in LA. It was horrific, it took us nearly 2 hours to finish the 40km into the city. The traffic literally crawled along as I thought that SF traffic may in fact be one of the 7 circles of hell.
However eventually we made it to our hotel, managed to (eventually) find a car park and checked in. The views were spectacular, and the drive was quite pleasant through the winding roads along the coast.
People driving 20miles under the speed limit on open roads, I guess this happens everywhere.
The guy with the bumper stick that read “I will keep my guns, My money and My freedom – the government can keep the change” we gave this guy a wide berth.