17 Mile Drive & the Lone Cypress
Whilst staying in Pacific Grove, we drove with the roof down through the toll and down 17 Mile Drive to check out Pebble Beach, spot the famous golf courses and admire/envy the huge mansions dotted down the coastal road. We also managed to spot the Lone Cypress, apparently the most photographed tree in North America, so obviously I had to Instagram it too…
In the past, if ever anyone would talk about Big Sur, I would always imagine Bixby Bridge and think of The OC and that song by The Thrills, or just The OC in general (I loved that show)! Seeing Bixby Bridge for real was cool and I have since learnt that Big Sur is a large coastal area and driving with the top down all the way along it was a pretty epic experience. Our California playlist was made for driving along that coastal road…
In my last post I spoke about amazing views, and McWay Falls was probably my favourite and definitely the prettiest. It’s a waterfall that flows straight into the ocean. It’s part of an inaccessible beach, which is a huge shame as soaking your feet in the water down there would have been pretty awesome!
We would have missed Pfeiffer Beach altogether if it wasn’t for the guy who sold us a vintage Californian number plate… he asked us if we’d been to the beach with purple sand (!) so as we were heading to Santa Barbara after packing up in Pacific Grove, we managed to find the sharp turn off for the beach and headed 2 miles down a pretty windy country road. When we got there, the sand was honestly purple in patches, and the guy on the entrance booth told us it gets more purple at different times of year! The big rock with crashing waves through the middle was a very dramatic scene to take in and I can imagine it’s even more amazing at sunset.
Pacific Coast Highway
We took the PCH1 pretty much all the way down to Santa Barbara and had to make a few stops. My absolute favourite being the viewpoint for the Elephant Seals near San Simeon. There were hundreds of them chilling out on the beach below, flicking sand, fighting, playing and sleeping. You could smell them before you could see them as soon as you stepped out of the car, but it’s so worth it! I think I was a little bit awe struck as I couldn’t stop filming and taking pictures of them! Check out one of my videos here.
This was our longest drive in one day, taking us about 8 hours to get down to Santa Barbara by the end of it, but we had stopped a few times that day. It’s a gorgeous coastline to witness and as long as you have good music, a bag full of american sweets and spicy nacho Doritos to keep you going, it’s worth making the trip.