Be sure to read Part One of Jenn’s trip report, which details how and what she packed.
After finding out my husband would be in southern California for work, we decided to take advantage of having a paid flight and make it our vacation for the year. We did a cross-country road trip to the Pacific Northwest last year and fell in love with the Pacific Coast, so driving Highway 1 seemed like the best way to take in as much as possible in our 10 days. Normally, I would have planned our stops better but some unforeseen house problems at home (that nearly cancelled our trip) tied up all of my free time until the night before I was scheduled to fly out. Let’s just say, thank goodness for the chatty gent sitting next to me on the plane, who happened to have a fierce love for his home state!
First Stop: San Diego, California
Drinks: Champagne cocktails at Cody’s La Jolla.
Eats: The Cottage in La Jolla and Bistro D’Asia in Coronado.
Sights: We spent the better part of a day walking around Coronado. The homes are stunning and the Hotel del Coronado should not be missed—its architecture and beachfront make it a beautiful setting!
Second Stop: Ojai, California
Stay: There are some amazing Airbnbs here; however, Ojai Rancho Inn is fantastic with its own bar and pool with a relaxed vibe.
Eats: Everything at Hip Vegan Café was amazing, and being able to order anything on the menu doesn’t happen often for me.
Drinks: The Ojai Beverage Co. is a triple threat of bar, liquor store, and restaurant. Chris loved their fish tacos, which were highly recommended.
Sights/Activities: Bart’s Books, an open-air bookshop. The Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market on Sundays is potentially the best market I’ve ever been to—you can’t beat the variety! Last but not least, all the thrift stores!!!
Third Stop: Morro Bay, California
Drinks: Presqu’ile Winery is actually half way between Ojai and Morro Bay. My knowledge of anything wine-related is pretty much non-existent (craft beer is another story) but I loved their Sauvignon Blanc. The view was pretty lovely as well!
Coffee: Top Dog Coffee Bar. Can’t go wrong with a coffee shop that also has beer on tap! It’s inland a few blocks from the bay, which is probably why it felt more like a local spot.
Eats: Shine Café, another vegan spot, with kombucha on tap! Fish and chips from Giovanni’s was a recommendation from our Airbnb host that Chris was pretty happy with.
Sights/Activities: Morro Rock is the main draw of this fishing town turned vacation spot. We took a morning stroll through the Elfin Forest; the views of the bay here were some of my favorite at this stop. Once again, thrifting scene!
Fourth(ish) Stop: Big Sur, California
We didn’t actually spend the night anywhere in Big Sur but it highly deserves its own mention. We stretched a 3-hour drive into an 8-hour day with all our stopping to take in the views.
Fifth Stop: Monterey, California
Eats: Crêpes of Brittany has delicious food but for me it was their almond milk chai—the best I’ve ever had!
Drinks: Alvarado Street Brewery—Chris liked their Citraveza so much he flew home a 4-pack. Their rotational sour didn’t disappoint either!
Sixth Stop: San Francisco, California
Drinks: 21st Amendment Brewing Co. is among my top favorite breweries and they serve their Hell or High Watermelon with a slice of watermelon. It’s perfection, especially after hoofing it around the city. Hi Dive is a fun hole in the wall if you’re on your way to AT&T Park for a game. And last but not least, margaritas from Mijita’s in the Ferry Building Marketplace.
Eats: We went to an Eat Drink SF event our first night in the city. You’ll pay a fee to get in and then have unlimited food, wine, and mixed drinks. The restaurants showcased some of their most popular dishes; unfortunately for me, that meant a lot of meat…so I ate some of the produce displayed throughout the venue and got my money’s worth from the beverages. It was still a blast and Chris was able to sample some of the best places and dishes from around the city. Sausalito Bakery and Café was a great brunch stop after taking the ferry across the bay.
Sights/Attractions: Pier 39 for the sea lions! I was a sucker for those guys the whole trip! We also took ferry rides around the bay. We weren’t able to do an Alcatraz tour so that was as close as we got. We’ll definitely be doing a tour during our next visit.