With the school semester dwindling down what better way to unwind from the semester then to take a long weekend trip up the California Coastline on HWY 1. Hit the open road to discover the beauty and charm the California Coastline has to offer from the twisting road in Big Sur, to the long stretch of sandy beaches, the journey will be just as good as the destination. Lets begin our trip by stopping at Hearst Castle nestled in the rolling hills of San Simeon…
Located half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco stands the majestic and historic property known as Hearst Castle. The estate, once own by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, offers tours of its grand 165-room mansion, flourishing gardens, guest homes, swimming pools and collection of antiques and art pieces. Hearst named the estate “La Cuesta Encantada” meaning “The Enchanted Hill,” which is fitting because Hearst Castle will no doubt leave visitors enchanted by its Mediterranean architecture mixed with European elegance, spectacular hilltop views, and one of a kind works of art within a masterpiece in and of itself.
As you continue your drive up HWY 1 you will travel through the scenic 90-mile stretch of Big Sur, a beautiful stretch of coastline atop rugged but lush cliffs. The lacing road, which was California’s first scenic highway, will wind you along its majestic region, which also contains hiking trails, campsites, cabins, and restaurants. One restaurant in particular with spectacular views is Nepenthe Restaurant, the property that was once owned by Orson Welles and his wife Rita Hayworth. Stop by to enjoy a meal overlooking the natural beauty of the piney mountains and serene ocean coastline.
Next stop on the trip is Monterey Bay, which has beautiful sandy beaches in a charming town that offers an array of hotels and restaurants that you can choose from. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see the creatures of the sea. Or, since Monterey Beach is the home to many sea otters, seals, and dolphins, you can view these marine mammals in their natural habitat.
The final stretch will take you to Santa Cruz, located 65-miles south of San Francisco. Either take a stroll on the Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park, where admission is free, take in the art and history at the town’s museums, or simply soak in the sun on the sandy beaches. Also, during the summer months, Shakespeare Santa Cruz holds evening performances featuring Shakespearean and contemporary plays at UCSC Performing Arts Center, which includes a whimsical outdoor arena and indoor main stage. Santa Cruz offers many activities that you can participate in to get you ready for the final 65-mile journey.
Finally you will reach San Francisco, which contains endless eclectic charms with its mix of Victorian and modern architecture, historic monuments, trendy restaurants, and breathtaking attractions. The undeniable beauty and culture of San Francisco will be well worth the trip up the California Coastline.