California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 12

H I G H W AY O N E R O A D T R I P

former Old Hollywood playground. Take one of the shorter tours

releases you back to Pacific views near Malibu. Beach estates on the

because you have two more stops: A moment to stretch your legs in

right, the undulating Transverse Ranges on the left. By the time you

sleepy Cambria's Moonstone Beach and then an overnight in Pismo

get to sparkling Pacific Palisades and fashionable Santa Monica, you

Beach, where the highway is now nearly level with the sea. Like in

might need a breather. Stop at the Santa Monica Pier for a quick

Santa Cruz, you'll probably lose count of the number of surf shops,

bite and a photo before you head south. Take your time as you drive

but you'll be glad to have soft sand between your toes again. Stroll

through the colorful and wonderfully informal surf centers of Venice,

as much as you like-you're here for the night to fill up on fish tacos

Manhattan Beach, and Seal Beach on the way to Huntington Beach.

offered all over town. One of the newest hotels comes by way of the

You might see signs that say you're on the Pacific Coast Highway by

modern and beautifully designed Inn at the Pier, right at the center

now, but no worries. It's just a rose by another name. The waterfront's

of all the action, so leave the car keys back in the room for now.

sun factor is similar to Santa Monica's, so break out that towel and

You've got about two more hours of inland and ocean highway

swimsuit-perhaps at SeaLegs at the Beach, a concession-style

ahead of you in the morning until you land in downtown Santa

restaurant with classic nautical and lifeguard trimmings right off the

Barbara. The Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and high-end

shoreline's bike trail. Fill up on poke nachos, and then get horizontal on

shopping are longtime favorites amongst such other attractions

a lounger before the journey to Dana Point.

as the historic Mission and glamorous waterfront nicknamed the

The Orange County harbor is full of character with its action-packed

American Rivieria. On the other side of the tracks, in the Funk Zone

marina, tide pools teeming with ocean creatures, and the Ocean

neighborhood, stop in at a few of the dozen-plus tasting rooms that

Institute, where the curious kid in you will go ga-ga over everything

let you sample from the surrounding area's wineries. You won't catch

from plankton to sailing history. Think of it as your last field trip before

a whiff of stuffiness; instead, chalkboard menus, tattooed proprietors

checking in at one of Dana Point's cushy stays, such as the remodeled

behind the bar, and crisp Ros├ęs that, yes, you could drink all day.

Monarch Beach Resort. The property has its own private beach with all

You're done driving for now anyway. And a Marrakesh-inspired room

the accoutrements (umbrellas, water toys, chairs), or you can simply

at the Hotel Californian is within walking distance.

take in the view from your room. Tomorrow, follow the road to its

Emerge from the jewel-box resort and give the coast a long hug,

end just off Capistrano Beach, or scooch onto I-5, a freeway that still

through more under-the-radar towns like sunny Ventura-the Channel

manages to lick the waves all the way down to nature-loving Carlsbad

Islands on the water's horizon-until Highway 1 veers inland toward

and San Diego's family-friendly attractions. Either way, you can safely

the mountains, where many of the area's new cult-favorite wines are

say that you've seen it all-and done it with care and respect for the

being grown. Finally, just past the tasting rooms of Oxnard, the route

coast's fragile and ever-evolving beauty.

12
VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

PHOTOGRAPHS: (CARMEL BY THE SEA) MARK BOSTER, (DANA POINT) AARON SCHMIDT/TANDEM STILLS + MOTION

C AR M E L- BY-T H E - S E A


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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 3
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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover3
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