Road tripin’ up the CA coast


A few months ago TJ and I started planning my 30th birthday trip. Different ideas were thrown into the bag… Paris, New York, Vail, Salt Lake City, Vancouver… we couldn’t find the right balance of adventure, time, and money. I can’t remember when, or how, but the idea of a road trip up the California Coast, “The 1,” sounded like a perfect way to end my 20’s and roll in a new decade. It’s a trip with a multitude of options. LA, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Carmel, San Fran, Napa, Santa Cruz… I guess I could go on and on. It was a trip Allison and I had done several times growing up and I thought it would be an amazing experience to share with TJ. So the planning began and today we’re sharing some of the moments from the trip with you!

Our first stop was in Santa Barbara where we stayed at The Cannary Hotel right in the heart of State Street.

IMG_1658{LOVE the decor of the hotel. This was shot while we relaxed at their rooftop pool and bar}


IMG_1642{An amazing hike to Inspiration Point… challenging and stunning views}


downeys{One of our favorite dinners was at a small family owned restaurant called Downey’s. It’s farm to table and the service is impeccable. TJ had the decadent goose and I enjoyed the melt-in-your-mouth salmon.}

IMG_1690{Wine tasting at our favorite spot SAARLOOS&sons}

IMG_1703{After two full days in Santa Barbara we embarked upon our longest leg of the trip up to Carmel. En route we stopped in the Seal and Seashell capital of CA; Morro Bay.}


coastal{The views along the winding highway 1 are absolutely spectacular! It’s a must do/see!}

IMG_1736{The drive took about 6 hours, so when we finally arrived in the quaint town of Carmel, we only had a couple of hours of sunlight! Since we were there less than one day, and absolutely loved the little town, we are returning in February! L’Auberge was our humble abode for my last night in my 20’s!}

lauberge beverages{A scotch & whisky bar greeted us in the lobby, while milk and cookies were waiting upon our return from dinner!}

IMG_4141{So, here’s where things get interesting! Allison and my parents were wine tasting in Sonoma, unbeknownst to me. TJ had arranged to have them surprise me in San Francisco for my actual birthday. While we were cruising up PCH, they were enjoying a few days of wine tasting in beautiful Sonoma before heading into the city for my birthday. Sneaky people!}

IMG_4361{Beautiful views while tasting at Chalk Hill}

IMG_4143{Pizza and Pinot at Chateau St. Jean… I have to admit… a little jealous I missed out on this one!}

IMG_4570{SURPRISE! They showed up at Top of the Mark and we enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails and then headed over to Park Tavern for a delicious celebratory dinner! The next few photos maybe fuzzy… they are iPhone shots}

IMG_4574{Poulet Noir… No words can describe this delicious indulgence. Period.}


The next day, Allison and the family headed home to celebrate New Year’s, while TJ and I continued on our merry way up to Napa.


boce ball{The Hotel Solage is an absolute MUST. It’s chic, quaint, and perfect for rest and relaxation. Enjoy their world class spa, sip wine while you play some bocce ball, or relax in your spacious cottage. We opted for all of the above PLUS taking the bikes out for some local wine tasting!}



mumm{I’m never one to turn down champagne tasting. I love the coasters at Mumm!}



IMG_1798{We stopped by Bouchon Bakery to pick up some macaroons for our New Year’s Eve celebration. This consisted of massages at the spa, pizza ordered to the room, champagne, and dessert!}


solage night

IMG_1897{We hit up Dean & Deluca on our way home for some healthy breakfast and lunch… it was time to STOP indulging!!}

This was truly an amazing trip and I can’t recommend it more! The only suggestion I would make is to stay two days in each spot. We felt too rushed in gorgeous Carmel and would have liked one more day in the city. Yet, the beautiful part is, we can always revisit these spots again! And trust me, we will!


  1. Annette Roberts says:

    Beautiful pictures and sounds like such a happy time !!!

  2. What a wonderful trip with some of my fave spots too!

    Next time you’re up in the Bay, the both of you need to pay us a visit! xoxo

  3. John Roberts says:

    Great capture of a great trip to so many great places!! Love the picture of your dad!

  4. This trip sounds wonderful! You stopped at so many of my favorite places it is making me want to take a road trip too. Thank goodness I will be back in Los Olivos soon or I would be entirely too jealous to leave a comment 😉 Happy 30th!


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