I get so happy thinking about this trip!
It was such a DREAM! I would do it a thousand times again if I could!
Here is our itinerary and WAY too many pictures (sorry)...
Thursday night we headed up to Santa Cruz to stay with my cousin. We left around 7:30pm and it took 5 hours.
Friday morning we headed into San Francisco for the day, Casey had some work meetings and we got lunch at my favorite pizza place Pizzeria Delfina then ice cream next door at Smitten.
We then walked down to the Marina and headed back to Santa Cruz.
That night we got dinner and saw a movie with my cousin Taylor and his wife Sheb.
Saturday morning Casey's surfed Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, we got acai bowls and headed to Monterey. We drove through the city up to Pacific Grove and started the 17-mile drive. Casey had us get out at the clubhouse at Pebble Beach of course.
We made it to our hotel, the Normandy Inn in Carmel-by-the-sea around 4pm. We showered, relaxed, got ready and then walked down to the beach- only a few blocks from our hotel. After walking around on the beach and watching the sunset we headed back into the town for an Italian Dinner. Right by the dinner place was the Little Sweets Shoppe where we got some chocolates and continued to walk around the town (cutest town ever).
The next morning we had breakfast at our hotel (included) and headed back to Monterey to the aquarium. We weren't originally planning on this because it is kind of expensive $39/person but it was so worth it! The building was an original fish cannery and there is so much history to learn about! We saw all the tank feedings which was super neat.
After the aquarium we walked through Cannery Row to get some clam chowder and fish and chips at a local fish market.
Our next stop was Big Sur but on the way we stopped by the Carmel Mission to take a picture and it was worth it because it is the prettiest mission I have ever seen!
Right after Carmel is Point Lobos State Reserve. We stopped here to do the Cypress Grove Trail. It was so nice to have our California Explorer State Park Pass because we saved $10 every time we went into these parks. This trail we did was SO pretty! It was only around 2 miles and it takes you out on this point through a grove of Cypress trees.
We then made our way to Big Sur, passed by Bixby Bridge and stopped before to get a good picture. This part of the drive was probably my most favorite. I still can't believe how beautiful the coast is!
We arrived at our cabin, Glen Oaks Big Sur, around 4pm. We started a fire (starter, fire wood, matches all included), popped some corn and Casey streamed the Super Bowl on his laptop. It was nice that our cabin had a kitchenette so we were able to bring our own drinks and snacks.
Than night we had dinner at the Big Sur Roadhouse which is part of Glen Oaks. I had the BEST burger and salad. We shared this pretzel with cheese sauce as an appetizer and it was unreal.
That night we had a fire and roasted marshmallows. I probably slept the best that night in the cabin with the river running nearby.
The next morning we took our time to get up, checked out and made our way to Big Sur Bakery. Best ham and cheese croissant and scones ever! Then we went into Pfieffer State Park to see the redwoods and do the Pfeiffer Falls hike. We had no idea that it was all uphill getting to the falls but it was a good workout! It took us almost two hours to go there and back. Probably not the best hike for kids.
We were going to go to Pfieffer State Beach after this but they wouldnt take our pass and we didnt want to spend $10. So we headed back to highway one and got tacos at Big Sur Taphouse for lunch. They had a general store next door that had great gifts for my mom and the boys.
We then headed down to our next stop, Treebones Resort (still in Big Sur).
We stopped a few times on highway one to take pictures. This part of the drive was so beautiful. We stopped at Sand Dollar Beach and hiked down hoping to find surf but it was too big and choppy. The beach was pretty rocky and the weather was perfect so we trekked to the sand and laid in the sun for a little while.
Treebones was only a few miles south so it took us a few minutes to get there after hiking back up from the beach. Treebones is where we stayed in a yurt. Were were in yurt 16 but if I was to go again I would get yurt 15 because it is closer to the bathroom but still has an awesome ocean view like yurt 16 does. There is also a treehouse made by the guy that builds treehouses on the animal planet tv show. But you cant reserve it online, you have to call.
Treebones resort is awesome because it has a heated pool and jacuzzi overlooking the ocean! We relaxed in the hot tub for a while then went back to our yurt to watch the sunset on our chairs. We then got ready for dinner at the lodge. It was pretty pricey but super good! They have their own garden and everything comes from there except meat/fish/dairy, etc.
It was pretty fun sleeping in the yurt because you feel like you are camping except you are sleeping in an actual bed, have electricity, wood floors, hot water from a sink, doors/windows. We slept pretty good here too with the ocean breeze and sound of waves crashing.
The next mornng we had breakfast at the lodge (complimentary: waffle bar, yogurt and the best homemade granola). We checked out and headed down the coast!
Our next stop was Hearst Castle. I had already been but Casey had not so it was a must see. He loved it! It is one of those things that you have to see in your lifetime. You seriously feel like you are visiting a castle in Europe. Everything is so detailed and the indoor pool is so dreamy.
Right before Hearst Castle is the Sea Lion mating/birthing grounds. There were hundreds of these giant Sea Lions all over the beach yelling and barking. It is so crazy!
After Hearst Castle we were starving and got lunch in Cambria at this really good mexican place called Medusa. We then drove to Morro Bay so Casey could surf. The waves were pretty big but he still had fun.
We both had never been to San Luis Obispo so were were going to stop longer there but ended up just stopping at the Madonna Inn on the south end of town. That place is so crazy! So much pink. I heard the cake was good so I tried the Banana Nut and it did not disappoint.
After SLO are the towns of Avila Beach and Pismo Beach. We didn't stop at these but just watched the sunset as we drove through.
Our final stop was Solvang, another 45 minute drive.
That night we got into Solvang around 7pm, checked into our hotel the Landsby and walked around the town to find dinner. We ended up eating at this Chinese place that was really good. Our hotel had a courtyard with fire pits so we hung out there for a while after dinner then made our way up to our room and fell asleep. The Landsby has a modern, Norwegian design to it and I was kind of in love with everything there!
That next morning we had breakfast at the Solvang Restaurant where abelskivers first came to America. They were the best I have ever had. Their Danish sausage with mustard sauce was pretty delicoius too. We took lots of pictures and walked around the town. Took a stop at Olsen's Bakery to pick up a few Danish pastries then headed back to La Canada to see our babies!!
This trip was such dream! It's been on our bucket list forever and I'm so glad we were able to cross it off! I LOVE planning trips and doing research (as you can see from the details) and I can honestly say that everything we did was what I expected of even better!