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Destination Travel Photographer- Pacific Coast Highway, California 2016

Well hello there, just sliding back in with another American travel blog, yes it has been a lonnnng time. Go catch up on the start of this trip here: Salt Lake City, Utah/Arizona, and Vegas/San Fran. Run quick! Meet ya back here soon…

Welcome back… This brings us to one of my favourite legs of the journey, our Pacific Coast Highway road-trip! Two of my sisters and I rented a car and hit the road out of San Fran down State Route 1. There is a much faster inland highway if you’re driving down to LA but we wanted to spend a few days exploring the coast and boy was it worth it!

We stopped for one night in Monterey, one in Cambria and one in Santa Barbara (if I remember correctly) before arriving in LA. This was the perfect amount of time explore along the way. Many spontaneous times were spent pulling over on the side of the road to admire the beaches, cliffs and incredible views. It was Autumn at the time and not super chilly but not the ideal swimming weather either (especially in Northern California) so we didn’t actually dip into the sea until we reached Malibu.

Day 1- San Fran-Santa Cruz-Monterey

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Day 2- Monterey-Big Sur-San Simeon-Cambria

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Rocky Creek Bridge + Bixby Bridge!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

McWay Falls! A definite highlight, I mean, how beautiful?! Such a tease though, there is no access from the road, only by boat. It’s illegal to climb down the cliff, although some have tried. Not gonna lie, I was tempted… but will have to come back on a little kayak next time!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Ragged Point-

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve + Seals (sleeping!)-

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

San Simeon-

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Hearst Castle– Wow! I considered doing a separate blog on this because it was seriously amazing and a massive highlight of the trip. I am not usually one to have guided castle tours at the top of my list but I am so glad we did this. Hearst Castle is up in the hills of San Simeon and was a residence for William Randolph Hearst between 1919 and 1947. An American businessman, politician, and newspaper publisher, media company king basically. He hosted guests from Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford to Marilyn Monroe. Guests enjoyed many facilities from pools, a private airport, wine cellar, theatre, tennis courts and it’s own zoo. It became a California State park in 1954 and opened to public visitors in 1958. The whole story and history is fascinating and mesmerising so definitely look into it if you are interested.

On arrival, you watch a film in the large on-site cinema about the history of the castle, then jump on a bus up the hill to go look around. You have to do a guided tour, you can’t just wander about inside the castle yourself. All the guides are helpful and interesting and it’s totally worth it. I’m pretty sure we did the Upstairs Suites tour, there are a few to choose from but we loved this one.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Can’t get enough of the palms as you can tell…

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

The Neptune Pool was unfortunately under restoration (and I’m pretty sure it still is as I publish this) when we went, but you can look up photos of it in it’s full glory and also see it in this Laga Gaga music video.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Spot the hummingbird!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

The Roman Pool is jaw-dropping- how tempting does that look to jump in?! The tiles are real gold.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer We left completely mesmerised by this magical place and I was dreaming about what an incredible wedding or photoshoot venue it would make, right??! I am so grateful the family decided to let the state host these tours so we could enjoy it but also it seems crazy that no one actually lives there or uses it, swims in the pools etc. Unless you are Lady Gaga I guess! William Randolph Hearst’s great-granddaughter, Lydia Hearst actually had her hens party there a few years ago, dream location much! Anyway… you can tell I’m obsessed! Definitely put it on your list if you are doing a PCH road-trip soon.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Day 3- Cambria-San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo. I mean… it’s pretty disgusting!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

More beautiful palms in Santa Barbara!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Some creative homeless people on the beach… we were in USA just before the fated 2016 election.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Day 5- Santa Barbara-LA

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We stopped for a swim in Malibu on the way before checking into our Venice Beach accommodation and returning our rental car… the last part of out trip – LA, San Diego and Palm Springs up next!! Check out our Instagram hashtag to see more photos from this trip!

Well hello there, just sliding back in with another American travel blog, yes it has been a lonnnng time. Go catch up on the start of this trip here: Salt Lake City, Utah/Arizona, and Vegas/San Fran. Run quick! Meet ya back here soon…

Welcome back… This brings us to one of my favourite legs of the journey, our Pacific Coast Highway road-trip! Two of my sisters and I rented a car and hit the road out of San Fran down State Route 1. There is a much faster inland highway if you’re driving down to LA but we wanted to spend a few days exploring the coast and boy was it worth it!

We stopped for one night in Monterey, one in Cambria and one in Santa Barbara (if I remember correctly) before arriving in LA. This was the perfect amount of time explore along the way. Many spontaneous times were spent pulling over on the side of the road to admire the beaches, cliffs and incredible views. It was Autumn at the time and not super chilly but not the ideal swimming weather either (especially in Northern California) so we didn’t actually dip into the sea until we reached Malibu.

Day 1- San Fran-Santa Cruz-Monterey

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Day 2- Monterey-Big Sur-San Simeon-Cambria

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Rocky Creek Bridge + Bixby Bridge!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

McWay Falls! A definite highlight, I mean, how beautiful?! Such a tease though, there is no access from the road, only by boat. It’s illegal to climb down the cliff, although some have tried. Not gonna lie, I was tempted… but will have to come back on a little kayak next time!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Ragged Point-

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve + Seals (sleeping!)-

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

San Simeon-

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Hearst Castle– Wow! I considered doing a separate blog on this because it was seriously amazing and a massive highlight of the trip. I am not usually one to have guided castle tours at the top of my list but I am so glad we did this. Hearst Castle is up in the hills of San Simeon and was a residence for William Randolph Hearst between 1919 and 1947. An American businessman, politician, and newspaper publisher, media company king basically. He hosted guests from Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford to Marilyn Monroe. Guests enjoyed many facilities from pools, a private airport, wine cellar, theatre, tennis courts and it’s own zoo. It became a California State park in 1954 and opened to public visitors in 1958. The whole story and history is fascinating and mesmerising so definitely look into it if you are interested.

On arrival, you watch a film in the large on-site cinema about the history of the castle, then jump on a bus up the hill to go look around. You have to do a guided tour, you can’t just wander about inside the castle yourself. All the guides are helpful and interesting and it’s totally worth it. I’m pretty sure we did the Upstairs Suites tour, there are a few to choose from but we loved this one.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Can’t get enough of the palms as you can tell…

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

The Neptune Pool was unfortunately under restoration (and I’m pretty sure it still is as I publish this) when we went, but you can look up photos of it in it’s full glory and also see it in this Laga Gaga music video.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Spot the hummingbird!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

The Roman Pool is jaw-dropping- how tempting does that look to jump in?! The tiles are real gold.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer We left completely mesmerised by this magical place and I was dreaming about what an incredible wedding or photoshoot venue it would make, right??! I am so grateful the family decided to let the state host these tours so we could enjoy it but also it seems crazy that no one actually lives there or uses it, swims in the pools etc. Unless you are Lady Gaga I guess! William Randolph Hearst’s great-granddaughter, Lydia Hearst actually had her hens party there a few years ago, dream location much! Anyway… you can tell I’m obsessed! Definitely put it on your list if you are doing a PCH road-trip soon.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Day 3- Cambria-San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo. I mean… it’s pretty disgusting!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

More beautiful palms in Santa Barbara!

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Some creative homeless people on the beach… we were in USA just before the fated 2016 election.

Pacific Coast Highway Destination Photographer

Day 5- Santa Barbara-LA

California Destination Photographer California Destination Photographer

We stopped for a swim in Malibu on the way before checking into our Venice Beach accommodation and returning our rental car… the last part of out trip – LA, San Diego and Palm Springs up next!! Check out our Instagram hashtag to see more photos from this trip!

Comments

  1. LA, San Diego, Palm Springs Destination Travel PhotographerLydia Rachel Photography

    August 15th, 2018 at 9:36 am

    […] Palm Springs! Sun, sand, palms, pink walls, cactuses, oceans – ALL the good stuff! After an epic road-trip down the Pacific Coast Highway (check out that post here if you missed it!) we arrived in la la […]

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