5nights, 5 hotels, 448 miles… and a whole lot of fun!
I had been wanting to visit California for as long as I could remember! The movies show the glamorous lifestyle, lovely weather and varied views. So I decided to cram as much in as possible on a recent visit to California, driving up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and spending time in Hollywood, Santa Barbara, Cambria, Monterey and San Francisco.
Our flight took us to LAX (via Chicago) and we returned from San Francisco. The drive covered about 450 miles. This was a nice distance to cover over five days and meant that we had time to explore each location.
Here’s the low down on day one:
Day 1 – Hollywood to Santa Barbara
We arrived very late in the evening and due to the time difference we were shattered – so went straight to the hotel, checked in and slept. By morning, we were refreshed and headed straight down to Hollywood Boulevard. It was just a short walk from the hotel (we stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn Hollywood). What I liked is that all the sites are so close together – the Chinese theatre was right there on Hollywood Boulevard with all the stars.
We grabbed a good American breakfast at Mel’s Drive In and then got an Uber up to the Hollywood hills. It was a little confusing trying to find out the best place to see the Hollywood sign from. I’d read the best place was Hollywood Bowl (not true!) and a lady had a tough time explaining to us the best place to go. In the end we cracked it – I recommend driving/Ubering to Sunset Ranch and then following the walking trails from there. The address to use is Griffith Park, 3400 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA. Although the path is steep at times, it’s wide and obvious – theres no chance of getting lost!
It wasn’t the clearest day, but hiking those hills in the sun would be really hard work, so I didn’t mind. Note: if trying this you should probably wear more appropriate footwear!
This took us to lunchtime and it was time to head back to the airport to pick up our rental car. We used a comparison site and ended up renting from Enterprise. They had the car we wanted and at a good price. Our car was of course…. a new, red, convertible Ford Mustang. Here’s my other half (and driver) stood with the car at the Camarillo Premium Outlets.
If you’re wanting some US bargains while you’re travelling the PCH, I’d recommend the outlets. They were so quiet when we were there on a Thursday lunchtime and it broke up the journey a little too, without much of a detour. You can see an up to date list of the stores here.
Once we were all shopped out, we drove the final stretch to Santa Barbara, which I will cover in my next blog post.
Other stops on my Californian adventure: