California Road Trip

My husband and I were fortunate enough to get away for 12 days to California.  From San Diego to San Francisco, here are some of the places we visited, food we ate, and places we stayed along our drive north.  All of our hotel rooms were booked with Hotel Tonight, a nifty app that finds fantastic, last minute, discounted hotel rooms you can book up to a week in advance.  Most of the restaurants and places we visited were recommendations by family and friends.

San Diego and Coronado, CA: 

We spent 3 days with my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Law, two gracious hosts who built our itinerary around food. 

  Tender Greens  was our first stop off the plane in Cali.  We ate delicious, fresh salads and sandwiches.  

Tender Greens was our first stop off the plane in Cali.  We ate delicious, fresh salads and sandwiches.  

Point Loma is a great place to learn more about San Diego's nautical and war history as well as take in stunning views of the bay and downtown skyline.

   Sushi Ota   was one of the best meals I have ever had.  The food was sooooo fresh that some of the things we ate were still moving.     

Sushi Ota was one of the best meals I have ever had.  The food was sooooo fresh that some of the things we ate were still moving.  

 

 The last time I visited the San Diego Zoo I was in high school and so much has changed.  The most exciting and cutest exhibit is certainly the giant pandas.  My aunt told us that they were especially active on this day...sitting up and eating for all the crowd to see.  

The last time I visited the San Diego Zoo I was in high school and so much has changed.  The most exciting and cutest exhibit is certainly the giant pandas.  My aunt told us that they were especially active on this day...sitting up and eating for all the crowd to see.  

 If you are in San Diego head to the   Hillcrest Farmers Market  .  Go for brunch and stay to do your shopping for the week.  I have yet to see a farmers market as eclectic as this one.      

If you are in San Diego head to the Hillcrest Farmers Market.  Go for brunch and stay to do your shopping for the week.  I have yet to see a farmers market as eclectic as this one.

 

 

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Specialty Produce:  A produce wholesaler with an amazing selection of every fruit, vegetable, and herb any chef or inspired home cook could ask for.  Be sure to bring a jacket...it's chilly!

***We stayed at my Aunt and Uncle's home in Coronado.  If you don't have family in the area I recommend the Glorietta Bay Inn or Hotel del Coronado.***

 

 

Santa Barbara, CA

La Super Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara was an awesome surprise.  Simple yet amazing food. 

 

   McConnell's Fine Ice Cream   sure does live up to its name...it was SO yum!

McConnell's Fine Ice Cream sure does live up to its name...it was SO yum!

 

Pismo Beach, CA

   The Cliffs Resort   was the first hotel on our trip.  Waterfront room, great pool, and a paved walk on the cliff to take a sunset stroll.   

The Cliffs Resort was the first hotel on our trip.  Waterfront room, great pool, and a paved walk on the cliff to take a sunset stroll.

 

We toured the Hearst Castle where zebras roam free, there are two amazing pools, and katsup is always on the dining table.  

 

Monterey, CA

  The Spindrift Inn  was pretty spectacular.  Huge room, views of the ocean, a fireplace, and breakfast served to your room in the morning at the time you specify.  Yes, please.

The Spindrift Inn was pretty spectacular.  Huge room, views of the ocean, a fireplace, and breakfast served to your room in the morning at the time you specify.  Yes, please.

 Not to be missed is the   Turkish Grand Baazar   on Cannery Row.  

Not to be missed is the Turkish Grand Baazar on Cannery Row.  

Big Sur, CA

The Big Sur portion of our drive was the most remarkable and scenic.  If you find yourself there you MUST go to Nepenthe.   

 

Half Moon Bay, CA

If you are in Half Moon Bay, you must check out the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay for at least a drink on their patio. The view is spectacular and the food is pretty great too.  

 We stayed at the   Beach House, Half Moon Bay  .  Not quite the Ritz, but the view was great. We had a fireplace, and it was next to a well know seafood restaurant...

We stayed at the Beach House, Half Moon Bay.  Not quite the Ritz, but the view was great. We had a fireplace, and it was next to a well know seafood restaurant...

Sam's Chowder House was packed with patrons and fresh seafood of every kind.  We sat in the bar area which had a fantastic happy hour and lively crowd.  

San Francisco, CA

In the words of my mother, "the best way to get to know a city is to take a trolley tour and get the lay of the land."  So that's what we did.

We stayed at the Pier 2620 Hotel.  Located in the Fisherman's Wharf area, it was a quick walk or Uber ride to everything we wanted to see.

Swan Oyster Depot: Be prepared to wait in line but know that it is absolutely worth it.  Order the Crab Back for an incredibly unique treat.

 

We took an afternoon trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  These were some of the pieces that spoke to me.  :)

 

 There is no picture that can do the   Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel   San Francisco justice.  This is a true, yes, true tiki bar.  I had a mai tai...woah!   

There is no picture that can do the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco justice.  This is a true, yes, true tiki bar.  I had a mai tai...woah!

 

 The hubby and I were so fortunate to eat at the chef's table at   SPQR   in San Francisco.  Chef Matthew Accarrino's food is fabulous.  We were spoiled rotten.

The hubby and I were so fortunate to eat at the chef's table at SPQR in San Francisco.  Chef Matthew Accarrino's food is fabulous.  We were spoiled rotten.

We ate yummy Cantonese egg rolls, chow mein, and roast duck at R&G Lounge in China Town. We also did a little window shopping.

 Did you know that sour dough bread started in San Francisco?  Me either.  Head to   Boudin Bakery   for a sandwich or soup bowl in the original place.

Did you know that sour dough bread started in San Francisco?  Me either.  Head to Boudin Bakery for a sandwich or soup bowl in the original place.

 

Muir Beach, CA

We were thrilled to have a few days to travel with cousins Sarah and Tashi.  They covered impressive ground and kept things exciting with varying modes of transportation— train, car, boat, etc.

We took a beautiful hike up the cliffs surrounding Muir Beach.  There are marked hikes for all skill levels here.  

 

Beach? Check.  English Pub? Check. Lit by candle sticks? Check.  This unusual pub is a MUST.  A short trip north of San Francisco, The Pelican Inn is a treat after a hike at nearby Muir Beach or Muir Woods.

Palo Alto, CA

 Dinner at   In-and-Out  ...my first time.  

Dinner at In-and-Out...my first time.  

Enjoy!
    Emily