Checked Off My Bucket List: Pacific Coast

I’ve always wanted to drive along the Pacific Coast. Many times at work I would look at the breathtaking images taken from the California State Route 1 and make a mental note to make it there, so I can add my own photographs to the enormous pile that already exists. So as soon as we got off the train we proceeded to rent a car and spend the next 36 hours exploring the Coast, Monterey, Big Sur an everything in between. We returned the car the 450 miles later, 450 miles of the best-looking scenic drive in the country. Even though we had to hurry through the area pressed by the vacation plans, we weren’t disappointed. We drove through a cloud, ate ice cream in Santa Cruz, spent a night in Monterey where we visited the Cannery Row and the best Aquarium in the country, stopped to take photos of elephant seals and a waterfall. But most of all it was about enjoying the view and loving the ride.

On the unrelated note, cars that don’t use ignition keys are highly overrated and annoying. I hope it’s not a trend.

There is a hostel next to the light house and 20 years ago there wouldn’t be a better place for me to stay. Now I feel too old to enjoy a stay in a “male dorm room for 6”.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is probably the most intelligent in the country, informative and without cheap gimmicks. Tickets sold at our hotel were good for two days but we didn’t return. Definitely worth another visit.

This is a seahorse.

Checking out the next flyby victim.

People actually live there and wake up to the view.

There is a waterfall in this one.

  • Donna Allen Wood

    Shades of John Steinbeck! I always wanted to do this one too, but unless I get a different husband, it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Nick

    What’s next…photos of the countless overly ornate, surprisingly diminutive rooms of Hearst castle?
    (though for my money the pools and the view were the best thing about the place)

    • Lucky for you we didn’t go to the castle, we passed by but didn’t have time or desire to tour. Elephant seals were a lot more fun for free. There is one more installment about San Francisco and you are done.

      • Nick

        woot! I HEART The City!

  • Years ago my lovely employer sent me to SF for training. As such, I ducked out and drove down highway 1. When I stopped at a public beach to enjoy the view, I was met with a sign that said “Sand contaminated with raw sewage. Do not come into contact.” Sort of put a damper on the whole experience.

    • It’s one of those look, don’t touch things. I saw people on the beaches along the way, also a ton of rented RV’s, something I haven’t seen around here.