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Road trip California – From San Francisco to Santa Barbara in 9 days! part 1

28 September 2013

Road trip California: San Francisco – Carmel – Morro Bay (part 1 of 4)

Living in NY is the best! But even when you live in New York you want to travel from time to time ;-). A real American road trip was always on our bucket list! So last week we travelled to California and discovered the West Coast. In the next 4 posts I will tell you all about our road trip adventure!

Day 1 in San Francisco

Today we start our road trip in California in the exciting city of San Francisco! We managed to get a room at the bed and breakfast Country Cottage in the hip neighbourhood Mission Dolores.
Coming from 28 C (80 F) in NYC we’re shocked how cold it is. I thought California has this Mediterranean temperature? Ah well, first thing first then: shopping! :) Some of the boutiques in the neighbourhood Mission and Castro definitely have some nice stuff. A lot of vintage btw.

Too bad it’s a little bit too cold to sit in the Dolores Park (suppose to be quite a scenery of crazy but funny locals). So we make a stop at the small brewery Cerveceria de MateVeza on the corner there. Cool place.
San Fran - Cerveceria

On Valencia street we drink great wines (ok not cheap but the quality is a whole lot better than from what we get in NY!) and order cheeses at Mission Cheese. What a great spot!
Mission Cheese

For dinner we eat the best pasta we had in a while at Farina.

Off to Carmel-by-the-sea!

The next morning our road trip really starts!
Tip: Rent your car from Hertz in Emeryville, it’s cheaper than the airport and it’s easy to get there with the Bart train. And if you’re crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, don’t forget to pay the toll before you cross it!

From Half Moon Bay (where we have lunch) we take highway 1, famous for its gorgeous views. We make a stop at the Pie Ranch. They serve mouthwatering cute little pies and coffee and tea. And you can buy all the fruits and veggies fresh from the fields. Make sure you don’t miss this one!
Pie Ranch

We spend the night in Carmel-by-the-sea. The Lonely Planet describes it as a place for the “newly wed and nearly dead” crowd and I couldn’t agree more! :) With its white-sand beaches and cute center it’s definitely a beautiful little town though. We buy a bottle of wine (not expensive at all here and sooo good!) at the supermarket and enjoy it at a romantic sundown at the beach.


On our way to Morro Bay!

The next day we continue our road trip.
The scenery of highway 1 is absolutely beautiful! When driving through Big Sur you’ll see the magnificent coastline. One of the most famous sceneries is at the Bixby Bridge. Just be sure you don’t miss it! Like we did… :(
Bixby Bridge

Seven hours later we arrive in Morro Bay.
Morro Bay is one of many small towns you pass when driving on highway 1. There is not really much to do here besides eating, drinking and going to the beach. And spotting some stinky sea lions at the harbor (a funny but smelly scene). Most restaurants and bars close between 8 and 9 pm. I must say this is the first time I have ever exercised at 9am. On a holiday!
Morro Bay

For dinner we buy a bottle of wine, fresh fish (scallops, lobster and clams), veggies and use the BBQ’s at the beach. Our first own BBQ of the year!
Morro Bay

For part 2 click here »
PS: more hotspots are in the New York Little Black Book. A city guide to New York with the best restaurants, shops and things to do. Every week I will post new adventures on Your Little Black Book so stay tuned for the latest gems I spotted!

This is B.!

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a 30 something in New York? Follow the weekly diary of Bianca! A girl from Amsterdam living as an expat in New York. In her personal diary B. tells you all about her latest hotspot discoveries, shopping adventures and events not to miss.

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