Real Simple

CALI COAST ODYSSEY

-

Restore the soul with a 10-day ride down California’s Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. Highway 1).

DAY 1: SAN FRANCISCO, HALF MOON BAY & MONTEREY

Spend the morning in San Francisco exploring the Painted Ladies and Union Square before merging onto the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Make a pit stop in Half Moon Bay for lunch at Sam’s Chowder House and a lap around Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest in the U.S. Pull over in Capitola, a candycolor­ed town that will make your Instagram feed pop. Then check into the beachfront Monterey Tides (from $229 a night) for that first Cali sunset.

DAY 2: CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA & BIG SUR

Get breakfast at the Tuck Box in button-cute Carmel-by-the-Sea. You could spend hours in nearby Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, but you’ve got places to be, so just hike the Cypress Grove Trail (it’s a loop less than a mile long) for rugged coastline and wildflower hillsides as far as the eye can see. Then start your drive down the majestic Big Sur portion of the PCH. Hit the Garrapata State Park trails for views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Lucia Mountains. Stop for a photo op at famed Bixby Creek Bridge, then beeline to Big Sur Bakery for woodfired pizza. Spend time at McWay Falls—an 80-foot cascade into

emerald Pacific waters—and look for sea otters floating among dense kelp beds. Kick it on the porch of your glamping suite at Ventana Big Sur (from $240 a night) before sleeping among giant redwoods.

DAY 3: SAN SIMEON, CAMBRIA & MORRO BAY

Head out early for the approximat­ely two-hour drive to Hearst Castle, a towering estate built by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Drop off your bags at Cambria Beach Lodge (from $219 a night), a revamped 1960s motel, and make a round-trip jaunt to quirky harbor town Morro Bay. Have lunch at Dorn’s Breakers Cafe, which offers views of sea otters and Morro Rock, a volcanic offshore behemoth. Swim in the cool waters or take a glassbotto­m-boat tour.

DAYS 4 & 5: SOLVANG

Drive less than two hours to Solvang, an adorably odd Danish-inspired town in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Check into the Vinland Hotel (from $219 a night) and spend the next two days popping around town on an electric vehicle called an eMoke. The Book Loft is a cute indie bookstore, Oneder Child curates kids’ toys and gifts, and Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery serves delicious kringles. Make time for a daily wine-centric outing, like a 90minute horseback tour of the Santa Ynez hills via Vino Vaqueros.

DAYS 6 & 7: SANTA BARBARA

In about 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at the Palihouse Santa Barbara (from $325 a night). Grab nitro cold brews at Dune Coffee Roasters, peruse the shops on State Street, and explore the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Hang out in the Funk Zone, a hip district with wine-tasting rooms, and get barbecue at Barbareño.

DAY 8: MALIBU

Grab your sunnies: You won’t want to squint through the 75-minute cruise to the ’Bu. After settling into the bungalow-beautiful Surfrider (from $325 a night), sip agave lemonade at Malibu Farm Cafe. Watch surfers catch swells at First Point, then browse Malibu Country Mart before a toes-in-the-sand dinner at Paradise Cove Cafe.

DAYS 9 & 10: PALM SPRINGS

Savor the 21/2-hour ride—this is the home stretch. The Moroccan-style Sands Hotel & Spa (from $299 a night) practicall­y begs you to lounge poolside all day, but don’t. Hike Palm Canyon, visit Moorten Botanical Garden, or get in a little shopping at the Frippery (Cali-cool caftans galore) and the Shops at 1345 (midcentury-inspired home decor). Cap the trip with live music, crunchy taquitos, and blood-orange margaritas at Las Casuelas Terraza.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States