So here we are... Part 2 of our West Coast Adventures blog post series and we're off from Los Angeles heading up the Pacific Coast Highway towards San Francisco! This was a pretty long drive (around 500 miles!) requiring quite a few stops along the way... but every single one of them was just absolutely breathtaking. We did the drive over 2 days, stopping off at Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea and an overnight stay in the gorgeous Redwood Forest of Santa Cruz. Our first stop was a short one at Santa Barbara, about an hour and a half after leaving Los Angeles. We parked up right by the beach and went for a short walk along the most impressive coastline lined with the tallest palm trees!

Santa Barbara palm trees (and me looking super candid...)

Our next stop was for lunch at the beautiful Pismo Beach. We walked down to the beach and found a little bar right on the sea front called Wooly's. Liam had the most amazing fish tacos and I tried ranch dressing for the first time ever and totally fell in love... seriously it's a game changer.

And our biggest Pismo Beach top tip... if you go you HAVE to get a cinnamon roll from Old West Cinnamon Rolls, I still drool just thinking about how incredible it was...

Sadly the rest of the afternoon didn't go quite as smoothly as the morning had, as we drove about 100 miles further up the Pacific Coast Highway from Pismo Beach to find out that there was a closure due to a rock slide... and then had to backtrack over 30 miles to the nearest diversion. Another top tip... make sure you check the road closures before you head off on a 500 mile long journey! But the extra miles we travelled were totally made up for by the incredible views along the way.

View from the Pacific Coast Highway

After diverting further inland onto Highway 101 to avoid the rock slide, we decided that we still wanted to get back around onto the Pacific Coast Highway to drive through Carmel-by-the-Sea and see the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, before heading up to our stopover Santa Cruz. We were desperate to make it there before the sunset... and we just about made it!

Sunset at Bixby Creek Bridge

We finally made it to Nick's AirBnB in the Redwood Forest of Santa Cruz, much later than we anticipated but it was worth it for all of the amazing views we saw along the way! Nick's place was just incredible, super secluded and romantic surrounded by Redwood trees in every direction. We had breakfast on the gorgeous balcony before heading out to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, famous for its 40 acre grove of redwood trees.

The view from our balcony!

Henry Cowell Redwood Forest

After grabbing a quick lunch in Santa Cruz, we headed off on the final leg of our trip up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco! And so that is where we will pick up in Part 3 of our West Coast Adventures series...

So until then... remember prints from this post are now available from my online shop! And a little sneak peak into what is to come from The City by the Bay... San Francisco!

#Photography #Travel #TravelPhotography #America #WestCoastAdventures #California #PacificCoastHighway #EmilyMaePhotography

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