While we previously had opportunity to visit California in the Long Beach/Los Angeles area, this time we were going to see an entirely different region of California – the Monterey Peninsula. Flying into Los Angeles would have meant a 6+ hour drive north via the freeway to Monterey. Flying into San Francisco and heading south, required only 2 hours 45 minutes according to Google Maps -that decision was easy; we’d fly into San Francisco and head south.
First thing on our to-do list was to see the beautiful California coast that we see in the photographs and in the movies! We didn’t see it south of L.A., but it turns out the picturesque California coastline is actually between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Leaving San Francisco behind, it took no more than ½ an hour from the airport before we were standing in awe at the beautiful coast line and the deep blue Pacific Ocean. This is EXACTLY what we thought it would be like – but far better. Pictures and video don’t do it justice.
Not long into our journey, we decided to stop at a visitor’s center in Pacifica (Pacifica Visitor Center – Rockaway Beach). Our decision yielded 15 minutes of completely invaluable travel advice as we were enthusiastically informed about the area by Melissa – there are so many attractions and destinations that it would take us weeks to visit all of her recommendations – our heads were spinning, but we were grateful to have learned about the best of what we should see.Heading back out onto Highway 1, we stopped constantly to take pictures. Fortunately the road was relatively quiet, so there was no fear of traffic jams with other tourists doing likewise. For the entire length of our trip to Monterey, the highway had dozens of places to park your car so that you could safely stop to take in the scenery. Along the way there was what seemed like hundreds of beautiful empty beaches with white sand, gigantic strawberry farms that you couldn’t see the end of, rugged rocky coastlines being beaten by the huge waves, and beautiful pastures where the cows have the very best views of the ocean … and we now know why they say “Happy Cows Come from California”! At times we had the sea to our right and steep mountains to our left – we found if very reminiscent of Hawaii. After our week in this Region of California, my wife and I agreed that we’d come back here long before returning to Hawaii for a vacation. It’s just as beautiful – and a lot cleaner, with little or no garbage along the side of the road unlike many parts of Hawaii that we experienced.With all the stopping and starting, we took a total of 5 ½ hours to drive the route from San Francisco to Monterey. I estimate that ‘normal’ tourists would shave at least an hour off that trip (including a stop for lunch). Although the speed limit is 55 mph along most of the highway, there are no overtaking areas, so if you get stuck behind other rubber-necking tourists, you’re in for a long journey. Fortunately most people out for the view are pulling off frequently to take pictures, so there are plenty of chances to make up time.
Related Articles: Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey & Carmel-by-the-Sea – California / Whale Watching – Monterey, California
About TravelBloggers.ca Iain Shankland & Gail Shankland started blogging in order to inspire and motivate people to travel the world from their perspective – specializing in having the most fun while using the least amount of money, travelling on the cheap without sacrificing comfort. Copyright © 2013 Iain & Gail Shankland / TravelBloggers.ca (at)Gmail.com This original, copyrighted material may NOT be copied, used in whole or in part in any way, cut and pasted, published or otherwise reproduced in any form or in any medium – which means DO NOT post this on another website or BBS. If you want somebody else to see this, please send them a link or post a link to this page.