Pacific Coast Highway, CA

Saying goodbye to Yosemite was pretty tragic. How could we leave such a beautiful piece of earth?? I was heartbroken. It was rough to say the least…..but seeing the sunrise as we ventured out of the forest made the departure a little less depressing. Our final destination was Los Angeles to visit some friends who recently relocated to the area and the thought of seeing them helped push me along.

We started driving directly west from Yosemite towards the Pacific Coast Highway since we knew we would eventually reach the ocean and from there we would be guided south. We totally took the long route to ensure we didn’t miss any views along the way. At the first glimpse of the Pacific, we pulled over to dip our toes in the crystal blue water at Monastery Beach. This beach was breathtaking — wide open and not a person in sight. After 4ish hours in the jeep it felt so good to finally be on the west coast with my toes in the sand. It was just as beautiful as my dreams…..!!!

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After spending most of the morning stopping at every beautiful sight along the way, we decided to search for the restaurant Nepenthe in the Big Sur. We met this really inspiring dude on our flight to San Francisco and he pretty much made us swear we would stop there. I guess you get to know someone pretty well after a five hour flight and we trusted him and you gotta listen to people you trust, right?? And I’m glad we listened. This was by far the most significant sight I have ever witnessed in my entire life. It is hard for me to compare beauty to beauty to more beauty but just to get perspective, this view was like the most significant painting I have ever seen times a ba-gillion times a million to the fifteenth power. My mind could not process what my eyes were looking at…..we could see into infinity and beyond. Gazing into this view with a bloody mary in one hand and my love’s hand in the other was truly a dream.

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THIS VIEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




This is a magical fountain (video above ^^^^). I still do not understand it….but it proves MAGIC IS REAL PEOPLE!

After eating some delicious grub and taking in all the magic the Pacific Coast was already throwing our way, we started venturing down the PCH in full force. It was truly a dream to finally be here at this moment driving down this Highway with the most amazing person I have ever met in this world (Andrew…for those of you who are lost, he is the amazing man in my life). I could not stop gasping at every beautiful sight we past, which was pretty much every second of this entire day, but Andrew kept driving us safely along the way….

A few miles down the road from Nepenthe we noticed a bunch of cars parked along the Highway, so we decided to park the Jeep up and started wandering to locate a trail. We figured there had to be something good here if so many people were swarming…..AND THEY WERE RIGHT. We followed a dirt road directly off the Highway and behold the beauty of McWay Falls !!!!! It was breathtaking, beautiful, magical, every piece of happiness I have ever experience all in one glance. My happiness kind of came to a sudden halt when I tried finding a way onto the beach to prance under the falls. I quickly came to realize the beach under the Falls were not secure enough for access (see sign below “stay on trail” preventing me from accessing the beach) So that was kind of a buzz kill…. but it did not take away from the views.

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Every which way we looked was rockiness, beautifulness, fresh air, happiness and windy roads one after another and another guiding us along our journey. It was such a wonderful welcoming to the west coast. Many times we really had to force ourselves (sometimes physically) to continue driving and not stop at every “wow” moment or we would not have had enough time in Los Angeles. This was where team effort was key!!!

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The Big Sur was by far our most favorite discovery yet…..mostly because it brought us to……dum de dum……………….Sand Dollar Beach….the most beautiful beach in all the land!!! We really had no idea what we were about to get ourselves into when we pulled over to stop at this beach. Personally, I love sand dollars so the name of this beach caught my eye and at that point we HAD TO STOP HERE. I was in California and I needed a sand dollar, end of story. We pulled off the Highway and parked the Jeep and started walking along the path towards signs that said “Sand Dollar Beach”. I was getting more and more excited as we were following the path, because I could tell it was super remote…. kind of like a secret gem waiting to be discovered. At the end of the path we finally reached a fairly steep staircase that we continued on down to the sandy shoreline! It was magnificent. Even better than McWay falls, because as I mentioned earlier you couldn’t walk directly on the beach at the Falls. But, here we were free to run around the entire beach!!!! I felt such a wave of excitement and then peace rush over me. It was heavenly and it was perfect. It was endless….

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Like they say, everything good must come to an end and sadly it did. I snapped myself out of dreamland and we pulled ourselves off the most beautiful place I have ever been in my entire life and jumped back in the Jeep to get a few more hours closer to L.A. The Highway started straightening out which put us directly next to the ocean. The late afternoon sunshine was glistening all over the ocean and I was gazing out at the endless sea dreaming of becoming a mermaid until we started to see a crowd of people alongside the ocean staring out onto Morro Beach. We pulled over and came to realize there were hundreds…maybe even thousands of elephant seals onshore! They were hilarious because they were flapping around and sun bathing right on the beach. I wanted to just hang out with these little creatures all night…..

The daylight was coming to an end and we figured we should start thinking about where to spend the night. We passed a few campsites along the way that were directly on the coast, but they were all full capacity. We didn’t really plan this part of the journey out so we were just going with the flow. I looked up beach-side hotels in the area and found a few that had available rooms so we ended pulling off at Pismo Beach and stayed at the Seacrest Oceanfront Hotel. This was such a good find because our room had the most amazing view. It was pretty remarkable how the entire day just worked out the way it did. It truly felt out of our control how we were guided so perfectly along the Highway to end up at such a beautiful moment. That night we slept like baby angels and the next morning would be the start of the last leg of our journey…………………….

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Author: Christen

As a writer by nature, my goal is to inspire and connect with other kindred spirits by sharing my journey through storytelling and photographing my experiences on this blog. I always come from a place of understanding positivity, so please feel free to add to the conversation and share your story too!

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