March 29, 2017

central california coast

Lone Cypress, Pebble Beach, California

Lone Cypress Letdown in Pebble Beach, California

If you don’t do your research and show up in search of the solitary Monterey Cypress standing sentinel on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, what sticks with you after your visit may not be the warm memories of a leisurely drive along a spectacular stretch of coastal California. Instead, you may be left reeling from sticker shock.

 
Hiking in Big Sur, California

Big Sur: Natural Beauty on the California Coast

Rocky cliffs with long, luscious views of the Pacific Ocean, magnificent mountains cloaked in fog and covered in evergreens, and nature in perfect harmony with itself. I sincerely can’t think of a more visually captivating place than this stunning stretch of the California coast between San Simeon and Carmel.

 
Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

Hearst Castle: Scenes from San Simeon’s Shangri-La

This is Hearst Castle: opulent, obsessive, and almost obscene. It’s a must-see stop in San Simeon along California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

 
Northern elephant seals fighting

Wildlife of Coastal California: The Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

Just a few miles north of Hearst Castle along the Pacific Coast Highway–if you’re driving with the windows open–you may catch a bit of a strong, “organic” scent on the wind. I’m not talking about the salty, seaweed-y aroma of the ocean. The smell I’m describing is worse. Much worse.

 
Relax. You're in Morro Bay.

Mesmerized by Morro Bay, California

Gorgeous balmy weather. Cool sea breezes. Waves made for surfing. Beachfront bungalows. Oceanfront campsites. An artistic community. People so chill they actually take time to talk to perfect strangers. More than any other place in I’ve been to in the Golden State, Morro Bay embodies the essence of California cool.