Girls Trip: Central Coast, CA

One of the most beautiful scenic views that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing has been along Highway 1 up the Central Coast. My friend Melissa drove us up from Morro Bay up to Big Sur. I learned there were many places to stop for views, delicious food, beach walks, and you can even stop to see huge Elephant Seals in San Simeon or drive by zebras near Hearst Castle. August 19-22, 2021 was definitely a memorable day trip.  

Update 1.7.22 - So sad to learn that the arch at Montana De Oro State Park crumbled due to all the winter rain of 2021. According to historians, the arch on the left was standing for 500 years! RIP little arch. 

Day 2 of our trip consisted of hiking 1.8 miles of the Bluff Trail at Montana De Oro State Park. Violent waves crashed onto the rocks as we looked down from the cliffs above. 

It was amazing to see arches and caves along the beach. There were lots of seaweed and flies on the sand, but that didn’t deter us from exploring.

I thought it was so cool seeing the arches on the beach. 

I learned that Bluff Trails are my new favorite type of hikes since they’re flat and right next to the ocean. We even discovered a picnic table overlooking the waves crashing into the cliffs at Montana De Oro State Park. My buddy Omar said that my photo below was “poetic.” 

Day 3 of our trip consisted of "Jim's Circuit" which was an adventure where every stop was a surprise. Melissa’s husband Jim enjoys this circuit whenever they’re in the area for their annual Thanksgiving vacation. 

First stop was up to Big Sur, where Melissa introduced me to Banana Lattes at Ragged Point. 

It was nice hearing the live band playing while we sipped on Banana Lattes and looked at the crashing waves. 

It was also cool to see the fog as it added a creepy ambiance lol. 

After enjoying the views, Melissa took me to see some Elephant Seals. The smell was pretty potent and strong lol. 

After the Elephant Seals, we made our way to William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach where we walked along the pier. The waves made the pier shake a bit so that was a little terrifying. We saw lots of people fishing and kids in their wetsuits enjoying the waves.

At this location, I learned about whale blubber being turned into oil. 

Transcribed: "This 200-gallon iron vat or try pot was found here on San Simeon beach. Captain Clark and his crew melted slabs of blubber from the whales hunted offshore. Imagine the stench of black smoke filling this cove as the blubber was rendered into oil." 

Walking so much worked up an appetite so, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill was a great stop where food was affordable, delicious, and cocktails were cheap! I ordered a mojito and fish tacos. I gobbled it all up while enjoying the ocean view. Outdoor seating was a must. I’m still thinking about how good the jalapeño crema was.  

After eating tacos, we walked along Moonstone Beach. It made for a relaxing walk, despite all the gross flies that were on the sand due to the seaweed that washed onto shore. Flies aside, the rocks on the beach were so colorful and smooth. I even collected a few for my desk to remind me of this trip when I’m working from home.

The photo below reminded me of Terranea in Palos Verdes in Los Angeles. It was a great Preserve and too bad I can't tell you where it was because it's a little hidden gem and I want to keep it that way. 

Walking along the boardwalk made for great views, fresh ocean air, and vitamin D. 

I was somewhat prepared for this trip since one my favorite travel vloggers (California Through My Lens) posted the video below: California Road Trip: 6 Days Exploring the Central Coast).

I definitely need to go back to do the following things: 

Order clam chowder served in a bread bowl from Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach. 

Apparently, there's also delish cinnamon rolls from Old West Cinnamon Rolls in Pismo so I'll need to try that as well.  

Get a drink at the bar at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.

Paddle Board in Morro Bay.

Try Brown Butter Cookie Company samples in Cayucos

Eat fish tacos in Cayucos at Ruddell's Smokehouse 

Try a slice of Olallieberry pie in Cambria

Take a 2 hour tour of Hearst Castle 

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