Pacific Coast Highway Stop 5: Santa Monica

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Pacific Coast Highway Stop 5: Santa Monica

Leaving Santa Barbara heading down the PCH to beautiful Santa Monica my favourite place in the states and the last stop our trip was bittersweet.

Our first stop in L.A. was the Hollywood sign, as the last time my Mum went it was missing an O so it seemed only fitting that we make a trip up through the hills to check out the sign.

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We arrived fairly late in Santa Monica so we headed out to Third Street for some food and a wonder, it was so nice to be back in Santa Monica.  I love the promenade it’s always so buzzy, I especially love the street performers the ones third always seem to have a unique angle to others around the world.

The next day I convince my Mum that we should hire some bikes and cycle down to Venice.  I wanted to see if it had changed in the three years since I’d last been and also to see how it changed since my mum last went.

It had changed a lot even in three years, there were a lot more homeless there and a lot less street vendors than usual.  It still had a good vibe though and I got a few cool souvenirs.  There wasn’t anyone at Muscle Beach this time, which was a shame, I love watching the guys working out there makes me feel like I’m properly in L.A.

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Our second full day was spent on third street, literally shopping until we dropped.  With a few stops at the many Coffee shops on third street to reenergise before we headed back out and spent some more money.  My best purchase was a pair of personalised Converse from the Converse shop, not sure where else you can get them so I always make sure to stop off there.

I also made a stop at my favourite shop on Third Brandy Melville another only on third street store that is a must for anyone who love their clothes a little bit quirky and original.

Our last day we went down to Malibu and had dinner in this amazing restaurant where the pacific was literally outside the window, I could see the waves crashing as I ate my dinner.

This was the night of Brexit so we got taxis down and back from Malibu and surprisingly for American’s they knew what was going on and how the vote was going.  Mum and I were sat in the restaurant looking at the results coming through in a little bit of shock.  It suddenly got more expensive in to be in the States.

All in all we had an amazing time, it was so good to spend some quality time with my Mum in my favourite place and get some Summer, New Zealandswinter is fairly harsh especially in Wellington when you add in the wind chill.

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Pacific Coast Highway Stop 3: Pismo Beach

On our way down from Monterey we stopped off briefly at Mckensie Falls part of the Big Sur national park.  It was stunning and so cool, this being California in the aftermath of an earthquake the debris were pushed into to sea eventually creating a beach.  Meaning the falls stopped falling into the sea and onto a beach, Mother Nature is pretty damn impressive!

This was the view from our hotel room… Walked into the room after another stunning drive along the PCH and I decided that I was never leaving a place with views like this.

Our only full day in Pismo we walked along the beach from our hotel to little Pismo town, it was fairly similar to Monterey but on a smaller scale, lots of cute little shops. 

We had dinner that night at the Ventana Grill which had the most incredible view, we got a table by the window which over looked the water and it was like a shelf of water that went on for mile and miles. Beautiful we were lucky enough to arrive just as the sun was setting which made the view even more incredible. The food was pretty god as well.

All in all Pismo was a lovely chilled middle point to our trip.  Next stop Santa Barbara.

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Pacific Coast Highway Stop 2: Monterey

We left San Francisco early and got our first real glimpse of the PCH in all it’s glory!!  It was a stunning drive, we drove past so many beaches on the way out of San Fran not something I’d ever associated with NoCal before.

We got to Monterey early evening after a few stops along the way to take photos of the glorious scenery, after checking in to our hotel we went for a wonder down to Old Fisherman’s wharf to find some food and see what Monterey was all about.

This was both of our first times in Monterey and after San Fran felt much more like we were on holiday.  We had dinner in a restaurant with amazing views out over the marina where the cutest little otter was swimming around.  All in all a great start to our couple of days in Monterey.

Next morning we headed to aquarium – because when in Monterey go to the aquarium – it was fascinating there was a massive exhibit(?) on jelly fish I had no idea there were so many different types!! Although the highlights had to be finding Dory, the Otters (so cute) and watching the penguins swim under water it was so cool!!

We wandered back into town via the Cannery row, Monterey was famous for sardines once upon a time.  There were some cool shops and monuments dedicated to all the factory workers.

That afternoon we went into Carmel which is the next city over, it’s beautiful like stepping back in time it’s a complete time warp so quaint with some lovely vintage shops and a stunning beach.  Just a shame it wasn’t quite warm enough to go for a swim.

The famous 17 mile Pebble Beach connects Carmel to Monterey so we drove back that way and saw some amazing beaches and massive houses was an insight into how the other half live.

The next day we left Monterey and head down to Pismo Beach stop 3 on our trip.