Pacific Coast Highway Stop 4: Santa Barbara

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Pacific Coast Highway Stop 4: Santa Barbara

Both my mum and I had been to Santa Barbara before, she had loved it me not so much so we were both curious to see how we felt about it second time around.

On the way down from Pismo along another beautiful stretch of the PCH we stopped off at Solvang a random Danish village right in the heart of California, that had been originally created by some Danish pioneers in the 1700s,  It was pretty touristy, but had some cutesy souvenir shops and we had a nice traditional Danish lunch in one of the restaurants. Definitely worth stopping at in you’re in the area.

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We arrived in Santa Barbara to beautiful Southern California sunshine,late afternoon on what happened to be the Summer Solstice.  We decided to have dinner at our hotel as the restaurant overlooked the water so we could see the sunset over the pacific on the longest day of the year.  It was so worth it (see picture above) mother nature put on an amazing display.

The next day we decided to have a wonder along the pier and the waterfront, it had changed a lot in the 4 years since I’d been there and in the 20 years since my mum had been it was a lot different. There was a Sunday market which had some cool artsy nick nacs which is how my mum remember Santa Barbara being like very arsty (think all those artsy types are now in Venice) it’s pretty up market these days.

Our second day we decided it was time to hit the shops and see if State street had changed much, it hadn’t apart from a few different shops, it was still as Spanishy and beautiful as we both remembered.  It’s not very often these days that you get reminded that California was once a Spanish colony but parts of Santa Barbara and State Street especially make you feel like you could be in Spain.

Day three was a beach day to make sure we perfectly tanned ready for the last stop on our road trip Santa Monica.

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Pacific Coast Highway – Stop 1 – San Francisco 

I’ve been extremely lax in updating this blog about the adventures I’ve been having whilst in NZ.  To make it up to you I’m finally getting around to blogging about my recent PCH (Pacific Coast Highway in California) road trip for those of you who follow me on Inst (86Kates) or Twitter (@justagirl08) here are the stories behind the pictures.

As little background information I did this two week road trip with my wonderful Mummy who I hadn’t seen since April last year.  She flew in from London, I flew in from Wellington and it was so lovely to see her and felt like no time had past It was also my Mum’s second time doing this particular road trip she and my Grandma had done it in the 80s so for her it was interesting to see how things had changed in 30 year.

We had 3 nights in San Francisco so our first full day was spent shopping – when in America – we hit all the Union Square shops and got some good bargains in the morning.  Then we sent the afternoon down at Fisherman’s Wharf which was heaving, this was my third trip to San Fran and I had never seen it so busy down there. It was obviously a lot busier than my Mum remembered but we still had a good wonder, saw the Sea Lions and my mum tried some of the Clam Chowder (I don’t eat meat or fish).

Our second and last full day in San Fran we got our tourist on and did an open top tour of the city, to get around as I wanted to do the bridge and my Mum wanted to go to Sausalito a city just over the bridge where we stopped and had a coffee.  It was a really fun day we got to learn a bit more about the city drive over the Golden Gate bridge and see Sausalito which is a beautiful little city just the other side of the bridge, where you get stunning views over the bay to San Fran, and obviously not forgetting ‘The Rock’ that is clearly visible in the middle of the bay.

Our next stop was Monterey.