From Las Vegas we headed further west towards the Pacific coast. We had initially planned to drive through Death Valley and heading north through Yosemite National Park before reaching San Francisco. Unfortunately we were not able to visit either due to weather restrictions we were not able to visit Yosemite so we changed our route and headed in a more southerly direction instead.
From Bakersfield we drove towards Santa Barbara through the orchards outside Bakersfield and the Los Padres National Forest. The drive through the forest was beautiful and the drive on the winding road down the other side of the mountains was spectacular, if a little nerve-racking at some points.
We finally hit the ocean when we reached Santa Barbara. We stopped by the beach to eat lunch and the sea air before heading on our way again.
We decided to make a small detour away from the coast and head to a city called Solvang, which a friend had recommended we visit. The city is a Danish colony and many buildings have traditional facades. We popped into a bakery for a quick treat and a coffee before going off and exploring. We spent a little while wandering and window shopping in the quaint stores before we had to go on our way.
Our overnight stop for this portion of the drive was in Morro Bay, a small tourist town. It may have been because we were travelling out of season but we really struggled to find somewhere to eat in the evening. It wasn’t even that late and the vast majority of restaurants had already closed. We ended up at The Libertine, if you happen to be in the area be sure to see if you can spot our “We Packed Our Bags” dollar bill! After checking out in the morning, we walked back down to the harbour to see the “Rock” and to see if we could spot the seals we’d heard the previous night.
We then made our way to the coastal state road heading north towards our next port of call, Monterey Bay. We were lucky enough to see a large breeding colony of elephant seals. We had no idea we would be in for such a treat and were so happy to see all the little babies enjoying the sunshine with their mums and dads.
Our last activity before reaching Monterey Bay was to drive along the scenic 17-Mile Drive. The road takes you through the gated community of Pebble Beach and you get a map with different points of interest to stop at. The entrance fee is $10 but you can recoup this cost if you dine or shop within the community.
Finally, here are a few of our favourite photos from our trip.