Happy Monday friends! I took an unintentional break from the blog on Friday after a hectic week at work, an event than ran a little later than I was anticipating on Thursday and getting sucked into 13 Reasons Why on Netflix - I decided it was okay to just be. I'm finishing up the #CaliforniaRoadTrip today with a broken down itinerary! After we got back from our trip, this was the most requested post I have ever been emailed about - so here we go!
When researching the Pacific Coast Highway and the trip up and down the coast, I was having a hard time figuring out how long to stay in each spot, what to see and do & which stops were worth an overnight stay (or longer). The more time I spent researching the more I found that people took 7 days or less to do the trip, which worked out for us because we tacked on 2 days on the tail end of our trip for San Francisco, getting us to a total of 10 days in California.
The first thing to consider is whether you'll be doing the trip from North to South or South to North - based on ticket prices and wanting to relax in Napa before the end of our trip - we decided flying into Los Angeles and departing back for Boston from San Francisco made the most sense for us. Everything else is honestly up to your personal preference. For example, if you're an outdoorsy person then Big Sur is going to be a larger part of your trip because there are national forests to explore and hikes that you can take. For us, this wasn't a big draw, so we didn't plan an overnight around Big Sur - which is a good thing since the national park was closed due to weather. We also didn't add time into relaxing on the beach on the drive - there are a lot of beaches that you can pull off the road to enjoy, but it wasn't something we wanted to spend time exploring - we decided it was more important to us to actually sight see in the cities.
I was surprised to find that there wasn't any major traffic back ups on Highway 1 - occasionally you would go a bit slower because you're taking in the scenery, but for the most part it's still a highway and you can have increased speeds. My biggest piece of advice - if you can, rent a convertible to drive the PCH. It's worth it! And with that - I am officially done recapping our California Road Trip. If you have any questions about any of the planning feel free to comment below or email me!
Is the trip do-able in 7 or even 5 days, absolutely - but I do think you'll find yourself rushing through stops and even deciding against certain stops because you just don't have enough time. Even with 10 days, I felt like it wasn't enough time to explore so I would absolutely go back and explore some of our favorite cities like Santa Barbara and Carmel-by-the-Sea again.
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