central california.

Travel Blogger at El Colibri Hotel in Cambria California driving Highway 1my gal pal, felicity, and i were having a bit of the winter blues and looking for a quick but fun getaway for a few days this month.  we realized we’re always talking about going abroad, and kind of neglect for easy trips that are just as magical out west.  neither of us had driven highway 1 and after chatting about dreamy Central California, we decided to jump on it!

spring is a great time to do the drive because the roads are clear of that summertime traffic  and the sea life is really active.  we flew to Los Angeles for our first night and stayed in Santa Monica with her cousin. they introduced us to BIRDING.  (hands down, coolest thing of 2018.)  after a day of literally cruising around, we rented a car and hit the road to Cambria with Pacifica Hotels.

Travel Blogger Driving on Highway 1

{ how gorgeous is highway 1? }

travel blogger stays at El Colibri Hotel in Cambria California. Driving Highway 1

{fresh breakfast in bed every morning}

we pulled up to the cutest little boutique hotel, El Colibri in Cambria, California, and met the kindest hotel staff.  seriously, everyone we talked to couldn’t have been friendlier or more accommodating.  they were really helpful with pointing us in the right direction for the day.  there is so much to do in that area, it’s just north of San Luis Obispo, but we had two solid days exploring and wanted to make it count.  their recommendations were spot on!

Hearst Castle Highway 1 California Roadtrip

{Hearst Castle}

Hearst Castle Gold Pool. Highway 1 California Roadtrip

{this indoor pool is lined with tiles and painted in gold.  talk about a hollywood pool party}

foggy palm trees at hearst castle in cambria california

{the fog rolled in making it so mystic at the top of the hill!}

Elephant Beach Highway 1 California Coast

{LOOK at that face.  i want one}

Elephant Beach Highway 1 California Coast

{i spy a ton of elephant seals!}

Day 1.
breakfast in bed – we started our morning off right.  El Colibri offers breakfast in bed and it was perfect to lounge in our robes while planning our day out.
work session – we are both #girlboss entrepreneurs and needed to get a quick few hours of work in before exploring.  felicity took the comfy hotel room and i posted up in the adorable lobby to crank away for early hours.
hearst castle – we hit the road north to see Hearst Castle! this insane mansion at the top of a hill, which took almost 30 years to complete, is breathtaking.  it’s now a museum with everything untouched from the 1940’s, during the heyday of hollywood. the swimming pool tiles are  painted in gold – insane in the membrane.
ragged point inn – after the tour, we drove north again to Ragged Point Inn for a late lunch and to take in the views of the coast.  true story, we thought we caught an engagement happening and got really emotional about it.  i, of course, started taking pictures and when i told them congrats, the gal laughed and said “we’re married, he just does this everywhere we go”.
elephant seals – on our way back to Cambria, we stopped to see the elephant seals! oh. my. god. i think they are my spirit animals.  first of all, they are hilarious just gawking non-stop, and the way they use their little flippers to move was so damn cute.  i highly recommend stopping to see these guys at the elephant seal vista point, Piedras Blancas.

travel blogger stays at El Colibri Hotel in Cambria California. Driving Highway 1

{cozy fireplaces during the california rain makes for the best coffee spot}

travel blogger stays at El Colibri Hotel in Cambria California. Driving Highway 1

{took full advantage of the cruisers.  shop my travel look here}

{moonstone beach}

{bubble gum alley – shop this look here}

Day 2.
breakfast in bed, again– another amazing breakfast in bed with the hotel!  fresh fruit in california is just on a different level.
cruisers– the hotel has cruisers that we took them out to explore Cambria.  UGH, the charm is beyond!
moonstone beach – just a stone’s throw away from the hotel, we took the cruisers to the beach.  you need to put your toes in the water at least once.  it’s a rule.
san luis obispo – this town has been high on my list and it lives up to everything anyone has ever said about it.  a beautiful, and sleepy college town, with the sweetest walking downtown.  we had to check out this Bubble Gum Alley and add our own personal contribution – gross and also hashtag artsy-fartsy.
cocktails – we stopped by Sidecar for fancy pants cocktails.  i’m not much of a cocktails gal, but i’m more adventurous in new spots, and this menu was full of concoctions to try!
dinner – being near the ocean, we wyoming ladies were craving fish!  Goshi brought me right back to my time in Japan.

Carmel California CoastlineDay 3
shopping – on our way out of Cambria, we stopped by antique stores on the adorable downtown stretch.
wineries – you can’t go to Central California and not stop at a few wineries! we drove through Paso Robles and stopped at Niner Wine Estate (personal fave!), followed by lunch and more flight tastings at Aron Hill which was out of this world amazing.
Carmel – due to there still being a road closure on Highway 1, we had to get onto Highway 101 for the final stretch to Carmel.  it takes you through vineyards and rolling hills with so many stops along the way.
downtown Carmel – we stayed at the most gorgeous house (think Big Little Lies) and pretty much posted up there to take in the serenity.  we ventured to downtown Carmel which is next level adorable for back to back italian dinners at Little Napoli and then Casanova, both which are so romantic!
Pebble Beach – throw on some tunes and hit the 18 mile stretch of Pebble Beach.  crystal clear waters connect the road from Monterey and Carmel.  the perfect afternoon drive!

all in all, i’d love to go back for an even longer highway 1 drive.  all of central california is so quiet which is crazy, considering it’s smack dab between LA and SF, but finding that out made it that much more special.  keep in mind that as of march 2018, part of the scenic route is still closed due to landslides so make sure to check on it before your trip!

this post was sponsored by Pacifica Hotels