California Coasting: Spring Break Travel Diary


Over spring break I got to explore a lot of the California coast. As El Niño finally subsides and the hills bloom with life, California is looking like an absolute dream this spring. I drove up and down Pacific Coast Highway, stopping every chance I got to admire the ocean, the mountains, and everything in between.

Day One: Cambria, Harmony, San Simeon

Rocky beaches, elephant seals, beautiful boardwalks, and the cutest little town. (Harmony's population: 18!) We collected pretty pebbles and threw them into the water, watched adorable elephant seals snuggle in the sand, napped on a cliffside looking over the ocean, strolled along Moonstone Beach, and explored the town of Harmony. 

Day Two: Ragged Point, Big Sur, and Fort Hunter Liggett

Jim and Maura, of, a website I got to work on these past few months, took me up the coast to Big Sur and showed me some of their favorite spots along Highway 1. We grabbed coffee at Ragged Point, browsed the shops and enjoyed lunch at Nepenthe, stopped at scenic River Inn, and drove up Nacimiento-Fergusson Road past hidden campgrounds and Fort Hunter Liggett, home to an U.S. Army Training Center, as well as Hearst's Hacienda and Mission San Antonio de Padua. Thanks, Jim and Maura, for a wonderful day trip and taking the time to share with me your favorite part of California.

Day Three: Carlsbad, San Diego County

My sister and I only had one overlapping day of spring break, so we drove down to Carlsbad to see the brilliantly colored ranunculus buttercups bloom at the Flower Fields. Imagine frolicking through 50 acres of flowers (not as easy as it looks), watching people come and go on tractor wagon rides, and wandering through artist gardens complete with chirping birds. Afterward, we stopped by Carlsbad State Beach, because what is San Diego without a trip to the beach?

Day Four: Santa Barbara and Isla Vista

I met up with my friend Christine for a day in Santa Barbara on the drive back up to San Luis Obispo. We got bagels in Isla Vista, toured UCSB, and walked along Stearns Wharf during the most magical time of day. The palm trees and beachy atmosphere...SoCal's where its at.

Springtime California, you leave me speechless.