We continued our Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip from Big Sur, through Pismo Beach, to Santa Barbara and onto Santa Monica. Whenever possible we opted to drive along the coast even if it wasn’t the quickest route. Who else thinks that Google Maps needs a scenic route option!?
Santa Barbara was probably our favorite destination on our trip down Highway 1. SB is the perfect combination of beach town, shopping district and wine country. There’s a little bit of everything that we enjoy on vacation. Plus, we’re both beach people and loved the warmer weather in Southern California. I’m already planning a return visit!
We stayed at the best little hotel, Hotel Milo Santa Barbara right across from the beach and close to the pier. We arrived too early to check in and decided to borrow the hotel’s beach cruisers and pedal up and down the beach soaking in the rays of the sun. We worked up an appetite (who am I kidding, these days I always have an appetite) and biked to the end of the pier where we snacked on fresh crab cakes at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company.
This dress was the perfect one-piece for the breezy California weather we experienced during our stay. I wish I would have packed a little more appropriately for the forecast, but in my mind we were going to be sunbathing on the beach and floating around the ocean for a majority of our time in California… boy was I mistaken! I love the eclectic print of this long-sleeve dress. It is such a unique piece and that’s why BCBG is one of my favorites for patterned pieces. Similar options can be found here, here and here. And I really love this option. They also have some beautiful maxi options – see here, here, here and here.
Later that afternoon we drove over to the Mesa Lane Steps that lead to a secluded beach. Scott and I agreed that we would definitely spend a lot of time on this beach whenever we can make a return visit!
That night we dined at Jane on State Street which we both raved about for the next 24-hours and then we bounced over to Opal for dessert. I highly recommend their brown butter tart with seasonal fruit and fresh berries. It was sooooooooooooooo scrumptious! One of our travel tricks is that we hop around to different restaurants for various courses to get a feel for as many establishments as possible. It may be a server’s nightmare but it’s a great way to try out multiple restaurants if you’re only in town for one night or a short period of time.
The last stop on our road trip was Santa Monica. We enjoyed a ride on the iconic Pacific Pier Ferris Wheel and got in trouble for using our selfie stick on the ride. Oops! (I am a new convert to the selfie stick and really loved having it on our trip. I wish I would have swallowed my pride during our trip to Italy and bought one from one of the million vendors who were selling them during our two week stay last fall – instead of making fun of them. They really are so helpful when you’re traveling as a duo and are sick of solo shots.)
While we were in Santa Monica we enjoyed the people watching on Muscle Beach, inventive ice cream at Salt and Straw in Venice Beach and a long candlelit dinner for our last night of vacation. Luckily we were also able to meet up with Scott’s cousin and have (h)appy hour at The Penthouse of our hotel, The Huntley, which had such beautiful views of the shore.
And before we headed to LAX we had breakfast with our toes in the sand at the coolest little beach café, Back on the Beach. The banana pancakes are pretty tasty!
Although I’m currently on travel restriction since I’m already in my third trimester and this baby boy will be here before we know it, I’m already dreaming of and scheming our next getaway! What are your favorite travel destinations?