I’ve always been an adventurous sort and last year I finally had the opportunity to take the San Diego to Los Angeles drive along Pacific Coast highway (Highway 1) alone It is the perfect route if you’re looking for a relatively short road trip along some of the most awe inspiring scenery in the world. I enjoyed every minute of the beautiful crystal blue waters of the Pacific and surfers catching waves, orange groves, vineyards and best of all; the bright lights and star studded venues in the Los Angeles area and San Francisco; the West Coast at its finest.
First of all, what’s not to love about San Diego? Sunny beaches, laid back atmosphere, fun beach bars; you name it San Diego has it and some day I wouldn’t mind living here, or just about anywhere along the coast, and turning into a “California Girl”. Anyway day dreaming aside, San Diego was the start of my driving trip up the coast and things just continued to get even better from there.
Just a few miles away from San Diego I stopped in La Jolla, a hilly, gorgeous seaside community filled with gorgeous high end homes, trendy shops and restaurants along sandy beaches. I enjoyed a pastry and cup of coffee at an intimate cafe overlooking rocky shorelines and lavish parks; lots of photos ops here! Before driving off I stopped by La Jolla Cove, which I was told is one of the most visually stunning areas in Southern California and I’d have to agree. On the way out of town I made a stop at Seal Beach to check out the seals relaxing under the warm California sun; priceless!
Next along the way was San Clemente, known for its gorgeous ocean and mountain views, Spanish/Colonial architecture and California’s premier surfing spots. Close by is beautiful Dana Point known as the “Whale Capital of the West” offering the same kind of California beauty that prompted me to make this drive in the first place.
San Juan Capistrano
I’m a bit of a history buff so one of the stops I had planned along the way was San Juan Capistrano to see their mission that dates make over 200 years. I took a tour of the grounds, feed some koi fish and even panned for gold; you can’t get more “California” than that.
I love, love loved Laguna Beach! It’s an eclectic seaside and artist’s community, just a short detour from highway 1 and worth every minute. It’s a great place to visit vintage and thrift shops of which I happen to be a big fan. I also browsed some amazing art collections that were set up on the beach and visited pottery shops filled with colorful treasures created by local artisans.
I finally made it to Los Angeles, not quite the end of my amazing road trip. There are tons of things to do in LA. I checked out Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, checked out the seemingly endless amount of muscle men on Venice Beach, did some window shopping along Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive (which was a bit out of my budget), and enjoyed an afternoon of people watching over a light lunch of California veggie wraps and a smoothie, trying to spot a celebrity or two.
Hungry for a little lunch I stopped by the Enterprise Fish Co, right off highway 1 and ate some of the best and freshest oysters I’ve ever had in my life! It’s also a really fun, laid back restaurant and a great place for a slightly road weary girl to rejuvenate herself.
Finally the last city of my trip!! I had a list of places I wanted to visit since I was a kind, so I booked a cheap hotel in San Francisco for the night and spent two days checking out all the cities top tourist attractions like Fishman’s Wharf, Chinatown (the biggest outside of China) and of course Golden Gate Park and the magnificent bridge itself.
In closing I have to say my road trip alone along California’s Pacific Coast Highway last year is one I’ll never forget and that I would do again. I have no double that on every trip I’d find new things to do and see, even the second and third time around.
About the author of this article
Erin Kingsley, is a travel blogger at cheaphotels.com. She traveled through California last year. During her trip she collected the best memories in her life!