There is only word to describe the central California coast: stunning. The 5 days we spent driving from San Francisco to Santa Barbara were among the most scenic of our lives. Santa Cruz, Pebble Beach, Monterey Bay, Big Sur, Santa Barbara… each was more beautiful than the last. The hardest part of making the video for this segment of the trip was choosing which photos to cut.
Santa Cruz is a lazy little beach town about 75 miles south of San Fran. Its most prominent feature is an Atlantic City-eske boardwalk right on the beach, full of carnival rides and deep fried American goodness. We spent one day there, which was perfect.
Pebble Beach is one of the premier golf courses in the world and home of the US Open. By dumb luck we showed up there during the Concours d’Elegance, often said to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile. Millionaires and billionaires come from around the world to buy, sell, and show off some of the rarest cars on the planet. It was quite a treat to see. All we could afford to buy at Pebble Beach was lunch, which still ran $100.
Monterey is home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, which happens to be an Infosurv client. Jared’s contacts there were very kind to welcome us as their guests. The aquarium is unique in that mainly houses animals from the local Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, stretching across 276 miles of central California shoreline. What we liked most about the aquarium was their passion for conservation. After spending a few hours admiring their animals we took a beautiful, if chilly, evening cruise through the bay on 65 foot sailing vessel hosted by the aquarium.
From Monterey we drove to Big Sur, a picturesque 90 mile stretch of untouched California wilderness. We stayed in Cambria, one of the few small towns that dot the coastline, which is mostly protected by state parks. It takes a long time to drive through Big Sur, not due to traffic or the distances involved, but because every turn of the cliffside highway is straight off a postcard. Jared pulled the car over every few miles to take another photo, sometimes only to realize that he already took one from there the day before!
We ended his portion of the drive in Santa Barbara, which was beautiful but a bit anticlimactic. Santa Barbara enjoys perfect weather, perfect beaches, perfect shopping, and perfect multi-million-dollar homes. It’s so perfect that we found it boring in its perfection. The highlight of the 2 days we spent there was Jared’s kiteboarding lesson. Many thanks to Tom at Ventura Kiteboarding for letting Jared crash his kite a few times 🙂
From Santa Barbara we drove to LA, which will be included in the final post of our 3 part series on California. For now, please enjoy our latest video. We think it’s the best one yet.