September 14, 2016

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: Part 2

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I’m back sharing our California road trip! You can read part 1 (LA, Santa Barbara, and Big Sur) here!

Days 4+ 5: Carmel-By-The-Sea

After the ridiculously gorgeous drive from San Louis Obispo to Carmel-by-the-Sea, we stopped for a few days in Carmel. I think this was our favorite stay of the trip  – we loved Carmel and all the adorable city had to offer. We bought artwork, ate yummy meals, hiked, went whale watching, and even ate breakfast with the mayor (that part was unplanned 😉 )! Tip: Some of the state parks charge $10, but if you pay for one, you can reuse that pass at other parks during the same day. You can also buy a year long pass for $80.

Carmel-By-The-Sea Favorites:

+ Breakfast & coffee at Carmel Coffee & Cocoa Bar. 

+ Hiking at Point Lobos State Reserve (its $10 a car, but the views are gorgeous and the sea lions are adorable).

+ Art shopping at the Dr. Seuss Art Gallery.

+ Yummy fish dinner at Flaherty’s in downtown Carmel.

+ Cinnamon pretzels & tea at the Carmel Bakery (the oldest business in Carmel).

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Drive: Carmel to San Francisco

This drive was a little shorter (around 3 hours) and still ridiculously gorgeous. There were several great stops along the way, including the 17 mile Drive, which ends at Pebble Beach. We loved our stop at Half Moon Bay – the sights were gorgeous and we walked around for over an hour.

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Days 6+7: San Francisco

Our trip ended in San Francisco. We arrived mid-afternoon and checked into our hotel before setting out to explore the Ferry Building and Chinatown. We absolutely LOVED SF and had some of our best meals there. The hills were a little crazy and we joked that we did more hiking in the city than anywhere else on the trip ;). On this trip, we didn’t focus on doing the wineries. We plan to come back for another wine trip, but this trip was more focus on the hiking and city views.

San Francisco Favorites:

+ We ate the best fried rice & vegetable clay pot at Hong Kong Clay Pot in chinatown. This was recommended by a friend, had no sign, and was up the dirtiest set of stairs I have ever laid eyes on. But the food was fantastic.

+ Dinner at Tawla: This is a new middle eastern spot in SF that I read about on several websites. Our meal here was incredible and if you go, be sure to order the roasted cauliflower dish!

+ Breakfast at Wise Son’s Bagels & Delicatessen (Best sesame bagel with mounds of cream cheese. The coffee was good too.)

+ The Plant Organic Cafe. I grabbed a salad to smuggle into In-And-Out Burger with AR. And yes, I have no shame.

+ Viewing the Golden Gate Bridge from the Battery Spencer.

+ Hiking with the redwoods at the Mur Woods & Mount Tamalpais.

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That was our trip! Thanks for following along and let me know if you have any recommendations for next time!

September 13, 2016

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: Part 1

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Y’all, I can’t wait to share the details from this trip. We had so much fun exploring California, and as you can see from the photos, we saw a little bit of everything.

Prior to our trip, I made a massive literary with things to visit, stops to make, and restaurants to try. While we didn’t stay glued to the list, it gave us a starting place in every city.

We also made a Target run on day 1, and filled a cooler with sandwich stuff and snacks. That way, we could stop and eat when we felt like it.

Days 1+2: Los Angeles

We flew into LA and arrived by noon (the time change worked to our advantage!). After checking into our hotel and getting our car, we headed down to Santa Monica & Venice Beach for the rest of the day. The second day, we went to Rodeo Drive, saw the Hollywood sign, and shopped on Melrose Avenue. Honestly, LA was our least favorite part of the trip, and 24 hours was plenty of time for us. We were anxious to get on the road and out of the city!

LA Favorites:

+ Breakfast at Toast Cafe & Bakery in West Hollywood.

+ Amazing salads and juices at Flower Child in Santa Monica (my favorite meal in LA).

+ Juices at Kreation Kafe in Venice Beach.

+ Matcha lattes at Alfred’s Coffee & Kitchen on Melrose… and a photo at the pink wall, obviously 😉

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Drive: LA to San Louis Obispo

In the afternoon, we took the 3.5 hour drive to San Louis Obispo for our next stop. We divided the entire road trip into three equal driving days, which made it totally manageable. On this section, we had two favorite stops: El Matador State Beach, where we played in the water and ate picnic sandwiches on the rocks, and McConnell’s ice cream in Santa Barbara.

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Day 3: San Louis Obispo

We only stayed one night here, but the location was perfect (thanks AirBNB!). We woke up early the next morning and grabbed coffee at Scout Coffee (The city has an adorable downtown and some amazing wineries) before heading out to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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Drive: San Louis Obispo to Carmel-by-the-Sea

On the 3 hour drive, we stopped so many times. This was by FAR our favorite drive and it took all day. There are tons of places to pull off on the road, and we stopped every 15-20 minutes for a while. The views were just so breathtaking! Our favorite stops included:

+ Moonstone Beach in Cambria– this was only a few minutes outside SLO and we took our coffee here for a morning walk.

+ Touring the Hearst Castle, which was unbelievable. Budget a couple hours for this, but it was totally worth it.

+ Hiking San Simeon Beach and watching the elephant seals. 

+ Exploring Big Sur National Park – and grabbing coffee at the cute inns on the way!

+ The Bixby Bridge, which was even more magical than I expected.

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I’ll be back later this week to share part two, which included our favorite stop on the whole trip, and our time in San Francisco!
August 30, 2016

California Packing List

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Tomorrow AR and I head out to California for our Pacific Coast Highway road trip. Packing my suitcase has been a bit of a struggle though…. Why? 1) road trips require comfy clothes, but I also don’t want to look like a slob, and 2) the weather will vary from 85* to 55*. Thats quite a span.

After exploring my closet –  – I made a detailed packing list, that hopefully includes hiking clothes, beach clothes, boating clothes, driving clothes, and dinner-date clothes. The key pieces I’m including are:

|1| Denim jacket. Love this trend and I think the weight of the coat will be perfect for the San Fransisco weather. I snagged mine from J.Crew recently and plan to pair it with white jeans and a top for a casual look, and over a dress when we go out at night.

|2| Baseball cap. When you are driving with the top down on the pacific coast, a baseball cap just seems like a must 😉

|3| Comfy leggings. I live for these lululemon pants and plan to wear them in the car and probably hiking through the redwoods too. Packing multiple pairs.

|4| Sweaters. I’m packing this sweater and pairing it with white jeans to keep it summery, but cozy. Perfect for Sonoma wineries.

|5| My favorite white jeans. These skinnies from The Loft are so reasonably prices and some of my favorites.PicMonkey Image

Road trips = minimal to no makeup (at least in my opinion!). I’m embracing my natural hair and skin and sticking to my two favorites: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue during the day and Bumble & Bumble UV protector and primer.

What is on your road trip packing list??
August 25, 2016

Vacation Plans: Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

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A couple of months ago, AR and I were having cocktails at the bar down the street and we started talking about dream vacations. Iceland, Paris, and Africa all came up.

On both of our lists? A road trip on the pacific coast highway. 

Over the next couple weeks, we kept on talking about how much fun the road trip would be. Finally, we decided to look at tickets to California. After finding some great deals around Labor Day, we booked a flight into Los Angeles, and out of San Fransisco, with plans to stop along the way.

Since then, we have read a million articles on must-see Highway 1 destinations. We rented a car, found several hotels and AirBNBs in between, and I headed to another photography class to work on my landscape photos. California road trip, here we come! 

Our plan is to start in LA, and drive along Highway 1, stopping at Big Sur, Carmel, and finally, San Fransisco. We are packing comfy clothes and hiking shoes, with plans to see over 5 national parks while on the road. I’m looking forward to seeing the red wood trees at Mur Woods National Park, sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, and exploring Big Sur.

If you have any road trip tips or California destinations, let me know!

I’ll be sharing my packing list and must-see spots as I go – feel free to follow along on Instagram! (username: Hannah.R.Roberts

beautiful california map via