WA to CA Road Trip


I just completed, without a doubt. The best road trip of my life. My mom, pup and I drove down the scenic coastal route from Seattle to Los Angeles, and my jaw has never gotten so much cardio from dropping so much.

Here is the play by play, and if you don’t read another sentence of this post, please read this one: Figure out a way to drive this trip at some time in your life. Road trips rock.

So here is my attempt at a somewhat brief synopsis of our relocation to LA trek down the 101 and 1:

Day 1: (Seattle to Oregon The Oregon coast – half day) 

I had one last breakfast burrito and hazelnut americano at my favorite spot in Seattle: my beloved 60th Street Desserts. Then we drove down to Cannon Beach.

Day 2: (Cannon Beach to Bandon Oregon)

We spent the morning walking on Cannon Beach in what was Kili (my puppy’s) first official beach outing. She could be off leash, and it was a sunny, somewhat warm, pinch me is this real life kind of morning. One of the best breakfasts of my life at the Lazy Susan Cafe followed, then we hit the road (Hwy 101). However, I pulled over about every few miles or so for the “vista points” aka pull over so you don’t drive off the road it’s so gorgeous here areas.

Next beach stop: Agate Beach state park. Another wide flat, beauty where my dog ended up felt very spoiled, and tired (good combo). There was also a swell rolling in. Yeah, Oregon surf is no joke…and not crowded. Good combo. 

Day 2 came to an end in Bandon, Oregon. AKA the home of my Dad and older brothers’ favorite golf spot. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to tee it up. Unless we golfed at night. Which would’ve been freezing.

Day 3 (Bandon to San Fran)

This might’ve been my favorite day of them all. If I had to choose. We woke up and went for a walk on the beach at Face Rock State Park. The terrain was like something out of Lord of the Rings. I swear Frodo Baggins was going to walk up and ask if he could pet my puppy. Add in some morning fog….yeah, It was inspiring and invigorating, to say the least.

We reunited with the 101 (which was an unbelievable scenic reunion), stopped at the border for a photo op…and voila, we were officially in Cali. And Northern Cali happens to rock. That is, If you like gynormous redwoods, a gorgeous coast, and some fun looking waves.

Note: when Driving a Chevy Silverado through The Shine Drive Thru Tree on the Avenue of the Giants…be sure to read the No Trucks Allowed sign before driving through ( yes, this was a blonde moment). We literally had an inch to spare on each side. But with the guidance of my mom, made it through without a scratch. These trees and that forest make you feel oh so small and tiny, in the best way possible.

After winding through the mountains, forests, and finally, wineries, Day 3 came to an end just north of San Fran.

Day 4 (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

After driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, we stopped in Half Moon bay to glance at Mavericks in the distance, and let the pup log in some more beach time. I was thoroughly impressed when a set wave swept up the beach and took someone’s entire setup for their Sunday beach day out to sea. Somehow, I don’t think that family was too thrilled. 

Next stop: the 17 mile drive between Monterrey and Carmel. It costs $10 to drive these miles, and is worth every penny. If it’s nice and you had a bike, that would be pretty sweet too. The Lone Cyprus lookout is rather impressive, as well as Seal Rock. Somehow I feel like going swimming at seal rock isn’t the best idea though. 

We stopped at a less crowded beach just south of Carmel, then hit the road, and climbed above all the clouds to Big Sur. Literally. Where we stopped along the road, there was a pool of clouds below us. Too cool. Too many fun photo opps.

Lunch at the River Inn in Big Sur, and quick Beer in an adirondack chair down by the river were a must, then we cruised back above the clouds for one of the more gorgeous sunsets I’ve ever seen. Big Sur’s aesthetic is hard to describe. But when you get mountains, clouds, ocean, steep cliffs, a neon sunset and not a lot of people…it’s an ethereal combo.

Driving down the windy road south of Big Sur in the dark, when the radio station kept switching between the NFL Playoff game and Mariachi music, was also entertaining.

Alas, day 4 came to an end in San Luis Obispo. And amazingly no one got carsick with my driving.

Day 5 (San Luis to LA – Last day/Half Day)

Our last day started…at the beach. I know, what a shock. Pismo Beach was gorgeous, and did not disappoint.

Next up was Santa Barbara, home of one of my new favorite parks: Palm Park. A park that, you guessed it, was full of palm trees. There’s fun little bike dealios that lvaguely resemble a golf cart, my Mom and I shoud’ve rented one, but yeah, we were on a mission to be in LA by 2 pm. I saw some girls paddling out to surf in just bikinis…and really hoped they were planning on not falling.

We drove by Rincon, through Ventura, by Oxnard, and planned on stopping in Malibu for a fun “we made it” pic, but there was a swell, and no parking. So LA welcomed us at the end of our long 1,500 mile trip, with open arms, in the form of…rush hour traffic.

It was a great trip, to say the least. Not only for the scenery, time spent with my mom, laughs, and memories, but in now knowing places like this exist and are achievable, just by hopping in your car and taking advantage of an opportunity…for a good ‘ol Road trip.

O’neill Beanie // Roxy Down Jacket // Rails LA plaid shirt // Kore Swim Pipes Surf Leggings // Brooklyn Grace Bracelets // Roxy Pinecone Slippers // ESC Cardigan … and a partridge in a pear tree.

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