After spending 4 wonderful days in Los Angeles the anticipation was building to continue with our 2 week trip exploring California.
Driving north from Los Angeles we were surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and vineyards. A stop in the Santa Rita Hills area was a must. Located about 2.5 hours north of LA, this is the land of Pinot Noir! There are many very well known wineries here. A few of my favorites: Foley, Melville, and Babcock. The views were phenomenal and the Pinot Noir was wonderful.
After a few tastings we stopped for lunch at a super cute and casual eatery with a lot of character – Industrial Eats. The place is very casual but the highlight here is the awesome food - wood-fired veggies and flatbreads, sandwiches, salads, and the most delicious shrimp in butter and garlic sauce I have ever had.
Now on to the Pacific Coast Highway… the views of the cliffs, beautiful ocean and vegetation are incredible. Make a quick stop at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and take a short walk to McWay Falls. These are the only falls on the California Coast that sometimes fall directly into the Pacific Ocean.
We stayed in Monterey, which is absolutely beautiful and visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But Carmel, about 15 minutes from Monterey, is one of those places that always leave quite an impression. I visited Carmel almost 20 years ago and fell in love with this quaint little town. I loved it just as much during our visit last month. Carmel has a beautiful beach, fairytale cottages, fine galleries, shops, wine tasting rooms, and really great restaurants. I could live there! Lunch at La Bicyclette was exquisite!
Along Big Sur you also have many options of luxury boutique hotels, especially for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. These hotels offer stunning views, relaxation and unparalleled service.
For the golf lover, no visit to this part of California is complete without visiting the exclusive Pebble Beach. Even if you don’t golf, lunch at the restaurant on the 18th hole is quite a treat. Our lunch consisted of views of the golf course right on the Pacific, a glass of wine (or 2), and gourmet flatbreads.
Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter where I’ll share our experiences in Yosemite!
Sometimes we travel around the world and don’t enjoy the beautiful places we have in our own country. Contact me today to start planning your trip to the beautiful state of California.
I work with my clients on creating personalized travel itineraries while consulting on everything from destinations to excursions and logistics of the trip. Through my personal travel I seek unique activities including private guides and tours for exceptional experiences. More on Belkys