DAY 1 – San Francisco to Monterey
We’ll meet bright and early to begin our escape to the sun-drenched coastline of Monterey Bay. On the way, you’ll pass through the ‘salad bowl of the nation’ so make sure to keep an eye out for produce stands filled with everything from fresh artichokes to juicy strawberries. Depending on the time of year, you may even catch the famous super blooms, an explosion of wildflowers that yields a vibrant scene of poppies, primroses and lilies. Upon reaching Monterey County, you’ll stop for your first chance at spotting marine wildlife at Elkhorn Slough, an estuary known for being critical habitat for sea otters, harbor seals, cormorants and brown pelicans.
Around lunchtime you’ll be met with expansive ocean views as you arrive to beautiful Monterey Bay. A crown jewel of the Central Californian coast, Monterey has a range of activities to pick from. Choose to explore the coastline and 17-mile drive on an e-bike tour or get right onto the water in search of more sea otters on a kayak. If you’d rather get a closer look at what is beneath the water (like the world’s largest octopus), head over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Of course, you’ll have to check out historic Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf where adventure, history and clam chowder await. Once you’ve enjoyed the best of what this picturesque city has to offer, stay overnight within Monterey County at a nearby comfortable hotel.
DAY 2 – Full Day Big Sur
Strap on your walking shoes and pack your camera, today you’ll trade in the small-town charm for the brilliant beauty of the rural Big Sur coastline. As you drive south on the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll stop for photos of the dramatic scenery and famous landmarks. Don’t forget to watch for whales too, depending on the time of year you can see Gray and Humpback whales even from the highway. Venture through the lush greenery in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where nestled in a beachy enclave of emerald water, you’ll see one of the most photographed waterfalls on the Pacific Coast, McWay Falls. Ready to wrap your arms around a mighty redwood? You’ll also get the chance to hit the trail and wander among the most southern habitat in the U.S. for these coastal giants.
After a full day exploring this memorable stretch of coastline, you’ll make your way back to San Francisco. Depending on the time of year, make a stop at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for classic Americana culture or in the quaint town of Half Moon Bay to grab a bite to eat. With hints of saltwater still on your skin, you’ll arrive back to the twinkling lights of San Francisco by 9pm.