Few things can display just how magical the state of California is like the Big Sur roadtrip to San Francisco. And let's throw in Sequoia National Park because hey - we like to switch things up a bit.
Here is how we road tripped from Newport Beach, CA to San Francisco with a one-night stay.
We really didn't mean to.
We really didn't mean to road trip that late into the afternoon. We really didn't even mean to road trip that day at all.
But as my boyfriend and I lay on the couch with Netflix cued we decided, why not now? It won't take long to pack and the weekend was ours. We swore we'd be on the road by early noon. But packing took longer than it did - as it always does. And when we finally hit Pacific Coast Highway, a solid five minutes from our starting point, our tummies growled. We couldn't help put pull over at Harbor House off of PCH in Huntington Beach. We made it a good 20 minutes into our road trip before stopping.
Fast-forward thirty minutes later and add in a few milkshakes and a few of the world's best Avocado BLT's and we are finally on our way. We are, for real, this time on the road. We planned for a fantastic sunset as we coasted along Pacific Coast Highway. But again our timing was off and we were in thick of the not-so-dreamy part of Long Beach as the sunset hid behind tall, eluding hills in the distance. So much for coastal views.
It was time to face the music (which was also an issue since our car didn't have a working auxiliary cord - radio tunes it is) that we were going to need a place to stay sooner than we planned.
I whipped out my phone as my boyfriend peered into the highway where dusk had officially settled and the headlights grew brighter.
Thank goodness for the wonderful app, Hotel Tonight. If you travel bugs haven't heard of it, it is an app that gives you great deals for last minute bookings on a wide range of hotels.
I began reading out loud to him the name, ranking and pricing of hotels and lodges. Some were crossed off our list from the name alone and yet, we ended up basically choosing our stay for that night based on the name alone - Beach Bungalow Inn in Morro Bay. And folks, it was magical.
The owner was extremely pleasant as we booked over the phone. He was willing to match the Hotel Tonight price at $82 for the night. We were asked to place breakfast orders as it would be delivered to us in the morning. A few hours later we pulled into the quiet, coastal down nearing midnight. We lowered the volume on our Bose Mini Soundlink speakers that were propped on the dashboard (our solution to the lacking auxiliary cord).
As we entered the cottage we were floored. We had two complete rooms with plenty of space, tv, air conditioning, fridge and fireplace. We were able to unload and park right in front of our little cozy cottage and were five minutes from the bay, where we grabbed coffee and pastries the next morning.
The following photos begin in Morro Bay, where we stayed the night, then make a random coffee stop at Top Dog Coffee not far down in Cayucos Bay. We later roll through Big Sur where we stopped at Nepenthe for some good food and libations. A couple hundred miles later we finally enter San Francisco at dusk where we crashed with a friend for the weekend. I drag locals to Buena Vista Cafe because they have never been before and they discover those are some damn good Irish Coffees. The following days we visit Provender Coffee Shop, serving Sightglass Coffee in Portero Hill in SF. And then we stroll through the Marina for some amazing crab and fried shrimp with live music. The next day we quickly pop into the mothership of Sightglass (7th Street location) and then decide last minute, we won't be taking the same route home. We will drive more inland and visit Sequoia National Park just in time to catch some photo ops with General Sherman, the world's largest tree and beat the sun leaving us in the dark.
We really didn't mean to. But man, we are so glad we did.
If you liked this post, spread the love and give this a like by clicking the heart below. :)