This year, Alex and I took a trip that we’ve talked about for years: a road trip along the coast of California. It’s been a dream of ours to rent a convertible and drive the eight hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This was such a cool week, and I’m so eager to share everything we did and ate with you!
Here’s our California road trip itinerary.
- We flew into LAX and picked up our rental car – a Ford Mustang.
- Then, we drove to Santa Monica where we checked into the Palihouse Hotel. This was our splurge of the trip, and well worth it. The hotel is so beautiful, with spacious rooms and 2 beautiful courtyards.
- We walked down to Santa Monica beach (a quick walk from Palihouse) and explored the area. We stopped at Blue Plate Taco for dinner, and had the best fresh margaritas. After, we walked the Santa Monica Pier and then headed home along the beach as the sun set. Magical.
- We had breakfast at Palihouse and drove (top down!) to Malibu for the day – a place I’ve wanted to visit for so long.
- We spent the morning hanging around Malibu Pier, and then headed to the Malibu Country Mart for lunch. (More about our day in Malibu here!)
- Mid-afternoon, we drove back to Santa Monica to shower and get ready for our dinner reservation at Malibu Farm. For a change of scenery, we opted to drive through the Santa Monica Mountains, and they were magical.
- We went back to Malibu for dinner at Malibu Farm and it was so incredible! The food was so fresh and interesting. Totally exceeded my expectations.
- We had a reservation at Gjelina for breakfast (which was incredible), so we drove into Venice early in the morning.
- After, we drove through downtown LA to hike to the Hollywood sign. The hike goes through a charming residential area, and the views are stunning. We brought some dried fruit as a snack and sat above the sign, taking it all in.
- We spent the afternoon back in Santa Monica. There are so many cute coffee shops and areas to explore. We grabbed some caffeinated drinks at Demitasse and walked around the 3rd Street Promenade.
- We headed for the beach and hung out some more around the pier until it was time for dinner – once again at Blue Plate Taco. It was too good the first time, and even better the second time.
- On our way home, we sat on the beach and watched the sun set. A true core memory.
- We started our 12 hour day driving up the coast. Check out this post on everywhere we stopped along the PCH!
- We checked into our hotel in Napa Valley, about a 10 minute drive outside of Downtown Napa.
- We had breakfast at our hotel and then head into Downtown Napa. We grabbed a couple flavoured lattes at the Le Paris Cafe.
- After some strolling around, we visited Oxbow Public Market for lunch. There are tons of great meal options here, and the outdoor seating is lovely.
- Then it was time for our first wine tasting at JaM Cellars! The vibe was super cool (it looks like a recording studio) and the wine was great. We followed it with ice cream from Anette’s Chocolate & Ice Cream.
- Our second tasting was a wine and chocolate pairing at the Vintage Sweet Shoppe – such a cool concept!
- We ended the day with a delicious dinner at Oenotri.
- We checked out of our hotel in Napa and hung out in Sonoma for coffee and lunch. Then, we made our way to our final stop: San Francisco.
- Our SF hotel was another Palisociety property – Palihotel San Francisco. Another beautiful spot in a lovely area!
- We explored the Cow Hollow neighbourhood, then met friends for Mexican food at Flores. (If you’re wondering, yes – all we ate this trip was tacos and margs lol!) Post-dinner drinks were had at Mauna Loa Club.
- Every good day starts with good bagels: we grabbed two at Beanstalk Cafe in Nob Hill and wandered around the area.
- We meandered down to Pier 39, where we watched sea lions for half an hour. Then, we made our way to North Beach (Little Italy) for an amazing lunch at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.
- We checked out Pacific Heights (seriously beautiful), grabbed a drink at The Snug SF, and had the most unique ice cream at Salt & Straw.
- Since we were in the area, we had to stop by to see the Painted Ladies.
- Dinner was delicious and the atmosphere was chic at Camino Alto.
- Our last full day and our legs were sore! But we headed to the Presidio to hike from Baker Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge. The views from the GG Bridge are lovely; it took half an hour to walk each way.
- We headed back to Cow Hollow for lunch at Palm House (because we loved this area SO much). After wandering around and popping into some cute shops, coffee at Reveille was necessary.
- We had a chill last night with one final margarita + taco combo!
And that’s our full California coast itinerary! Have you visited any of these spots?