San Francisco, California is one of my favourite cities to begin a California road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. Whilst in San Francisco we opted to stay at the Grand Hyatt Regency as it was ideally located in the heart of the city in Union Square. From Union Square we were able to jump on one of the iconic cable cars to Fisherman's Wharf where we rented bikes and rode up and long to the Golden Gate Bridge. The views from the Golden Gate Bridge are stunning and whilst you are riding across the bridge you will be treated to views of the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz Island. The bike ride takes you down to the small town of Sausalito where you can grab a bite to eat before catching the ferry back across the Bay. In San Francisco we also visited Alcatraz Island- this was a really unique and must do experience whilst in the city. We also took a day to visit Muir Woods National Monument outside of the city – Muir Woods is a forest of some of the oldest Redwood Trees in California and certainly worth the trip. On our final day in San Francisco we did some shopping in Union Square at Westfield and admired the iconic Dewey Monument one last time.
The rest of our Pacific Coast Highway journey began as we set off from San Francisco towards Monterey; the drive is absolutely stunning and you will pass viewpoints that are certainly worth pulling over and stopping at to fully take it in, like Big Sur. In Monterey we visited the renowned Monterey Bay aquarium, Cannery Row and Old Fisherman’s Wharf. This quaint town was certainly worth stopping at along our Pacific Coast highway road trip. From Monterey we were also able to go whale watching – this was an extremely fun trip and I would highly recommend it!
Next up on our Pacific Coast Highway road trip through California was Pismo Beach, where we stayed at the Beachfront Sea Venture Resort. This resort was truly beach front and after just a few steps we're on the golden sands of Pismo Beach. Pismo Beach really rivalled Malibu beaches with its beauty, and we were fortunately able to catch a few waves with the local Californian surfers. Before venturing on from Pismo Beach we also went wine tasting in San Luis Obispo County as it was close to our hotel and California is famous for its wines!
The next all along our California Pacific Coast Highway holiday was Santa Barbara, where we stayed at the Mediterranean style Brisas Del Mar Inn. This hotel felt like a Mediterranean Villa with its own pool and lovely breakfast… it also offered free bike rental which we used to explore Santa Barbara. In Santa Barbara we decided to put our hiking boots on and walk to the top of Inspiration Point, where we were treated to stunning views out over the city and the surrounding mountains. After trying some of the most delicious seafood in San Francisco and Monterey we decided to visit Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf where we sampled more of the infamous Californian seafood - if you arrive in early hours of the morning, you can even see the fisherman unloading their fresh catch of the day.
From Santa Barbara we made our way on to Los Angeles where we were able to finish up our holiday. We are avid Disney fans, so of course we had to visit Disneyland California; to really make the most of the two Disneyland California parks (Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park) we spent the night in Anaheim at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel. Of course, we couldn't miss out on the Universal Studios Hollywood experience, so we also visited California’s Universal theme park where we took the tour around the Universal Studios film sets… this was a great experience that I highly recommend! Finally, to get our complete theme park fix in, we also visited Six Flags Magic Mountain! One of my favourite things we did was drive out to Santa Monica pier: where we ate in the iconic Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and rode on the giant Ferris wheel. We didn't have time to do this but in hindsight I would love to spend the day relaxing on the Santa Monica beach as well. A few more highlights of our visit to Los Angeles were walking down Venice Beach Boardwalk to the iconic Muscle Beach Gym, enjoying some California famous In-N-Out Burger, and driving down Rodeo Drive celebrity spotting.
To plan this trip stress free, why not call Charter Travel on 01635 551011 and use the knowledge of our California experts to ensure you make the most of your Pacific Coast Highway California road trip.