Collected by Lauren Staggs
48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a bookshop–cultural center dedicated to the bohemian author who once called Big Sur home. It has become a hot spot for concerts by the likes of Gillian Welch and Arcade Fire and a Thursday night summer...
71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
46800 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Although the Big Sur Inn is a fantastic place on its own, the claptrap dining bus at the gas station has some pretty great food. There are fantastically fresh sandwiches and pastries and they do a mean espresso. And eating them in a fun and funky...
Sycamore Canyon Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Driving up the California coast to Big Sur there are a lot of beautiful beaches, but I had my eye set on Pfeiffer Beach because of the photos I saw online. It is very hard to find - you take a narrow side street with little signage for 2 miles...
Bixby Creek Bridge, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Featured in songs and films, the Bixby Canyon Bridge is a spectacular welcoming to Big Sur. My friend had been talking to me about it non-stop before our trip to the area. It wasn't until we were sat together on a cliff looking at the marvel that...
Point Sur, California 93940, USA
On a craggy rock in north Big Sur, the Point Sur lighthouse has beamed through furious fog, rain, and wind since 1889. Volunteers lead moonlit tours from late April through October that allow visitors access to the lighthouse tower, old housing...
Paso Robles Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
All my life my mom was trying to drag me and my dad on a trip to Hearst Castle, and we always told her no. I probably wouldn't have appreciated it anyways in my younger years. However, before I moved to Hong Kong for work, I took a trip with my...
CA-1, San Simeon, CA 93452, USA
These zebras on the San Simeon ranch are the remains of Hearst's last herd of zebra, some of the many exotic animals Hearst once had on his lavish estate. It was so cool to see zebras roaming about on the California coast. You can also see giant...
1306 Tamson St # 201, Cambria, CA 93428, USA
Cambria is worth a brief stop when driving between San Francisco and L.A. on the Route 1 Pacific Highway. It's best known for its proximity to Hearst Castle and the sun bathing seals at Piedras Blancas, but the town itself has a cute main street...
Piedras Blancas, California 93452, USA
Piedras Blancas was one of my favorite spots on our driving trip down the Pacific Highway in California. I could have spent hours watching the elephant seals sun bathe while the young pups clumsily try to wedge their way into the huddle.
Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, USA
Bask in the beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley, Foxen Canyon Road is not as well-known as Napa & Sonoma; however, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Also, the surrounding area offers a great selection of restaurants and wineries, and my favorite...
5995 Stagecoach Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
This tavern was built as a stagecoach stop in 1886 and is located in the mountains above Santa Barbara. In the evening, dining here is romantic but during the day, you can see the beautiful views driving over the San Marcos pass. On a clear day,...
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
I took the long way home from Palm Springs yesterday. The winter holidays in California are strange to those used to snow and ice. But the over-the-top Madonna Inn, a pink palace of kitsch, goes all out this time of year. Step inside and you...
1141 Chorro St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA
596 California Blvd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
My fearless taco-eating companion and I finally made it to San Louis Obispo, and the fatigue was starting to plague us. While we yearned for nourishment in the form of anything that was not a taco, we were devoted to this mission, and ordered...