February 08, 2024

Pacific Coast Road Trip Guide

Pacific Coast Road Trip Guide

There are songs about it and books about it for a reason! The Pacific Coast is one of the dreamiest places in the US and in honor of our Pacific Sandalwood candle, we wanted to share a few of our favorite stops along Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles!

Carmel By The Sea

Our favorite on the list and within 1 hour of your visit you will see why! It’s the perfect little coastal town where you feel like you have been dropped into a European countryside city, but are only 1 hour from San Josè Airport. Between the prime location near Pebble Beach Golf Links, the dog friendly beaches and the DELICIOUS food, you will never want to leave! Oh yea, while you are there don’t forget to stop at The Cheese Shop and ask for Kent. Just trust us on this one! 

Big Sur

About 45 minutes south of Carmel By The Sea you will approach one of California’s most photographed bridges, The Bixby Bridge, and know you are quickly approaching Big Sur. However, as you are driving to Big Sur from Carmel By The Sea, make sure to take Highway 1 slowly and enjoy ALL the views it has to offer. As for food, settle into a seat along the counter on the deck and behold one of Big Sur’s definitive views as you bite into Nepenthe’s iconic ambrosia burger. If you are looking for a scenic sunset on the beach, we couldn’t recommend Pfeiffer Beach more!

San Luis Obispo

As you continue your journey from North to South on the California coastline, don’t skip over San Luis Obispo. It is known historic architecture, vineyards, and hospitality. The Hearst Castle is a must-stop destination to have on your list. The castle is home to centuries-old sculptures, paintings, tapestries—even an ancient Roman sarcophagus dating back to about 320 A.D.! SLO (as the locals call it)  is a charming place to just walk around and kill some time in, whether having a sangria on the patio of Luna Red, browsing records at the very cool Boo Boo Records (a local institution), or picking out a dried flower arrangement at Idlewild Floral

Santa Barbara

Between the  Mediterranean-style white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs and the upscale boutiques and restaurants offering local wines and seasonal fare line State Street, Santa Barbara is a California dream! If you have the kiddos with you don’t forget to stop at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to visit the  kid-sized cavern to an outdoor playground! Another family fun stop is the Santa Barbara Zoo, It’s a top notch spot starring elephants, lions, leopards, and giraffes! 

Santa Monica

Once you spot for famous Santa Monica Boardwalk off HWY 1, you can know you are officially in Los Angeles County! The iconic boardwalk has been drawing tourists for over 100 years and there’s a reason why! The rides, the ambiance, and the food make it a destination that is perfect for folks of all ages! If you decide to venture off the coast, hit up the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. This strip has some of the best shopping and people watching the city has to offer. Another bonus of spending time in Santa Monica is that you are sure to sight a few celebrities and you are in close proximity to other California hot spots including Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood!