Posts Tagged With: hwy 1

Pacific Coast Highway – Day II

If you missed my post about Day 1 you can see it here: Pacific Coast Highway – Day I.  The next day we headed north of Santa Cruz. Everything we did this day was thanks to the advice of my blogger friend at Weekend Campervanning, and it turned out to be such a fun day!

Our first stop was at Ano Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals. Wow! So many seals and they make such interesting sounds. Check out my YouTube video below to hear them yourself.

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Beginning of hike to go see the elephant seals; beautiful views along the way!

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So many elephant seals all in one place!

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These seals migrate to this beach twice a year to breed and to molt. At this time of the year they are there to molt or shed their first layer of skin. I found it so interesting that they migrate thousands of miles each year. How do they know to keep coming back to this exact location? Fascinating! I could have literally sat there and watched these animals all day long, but after about an hour or so my people were getting anxious to move on to something else.

Our next stop was at Bean Hollow State Beach to check out the tide pools which were very cool!

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On the way back down towards Santa Cruz we stopped at a couple of beautiful view points. Notice how some pictures have clear, blue skies while others are foggy? It’s very strange how we can drive just a few miles down the road and the skies go from completely foggy to clear!

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Our last stop was at Swanton Berry Farm to pick fresh, organic strawberries. Yummy!

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While we were in this area we stayed at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA campground. This was a very expensive campground and not what we normally spend, but it seems everything in this part of California is expensive so we had to splurge. This KOA though is one of the nicest we have ever been to. Our campsite had a deck/patio in back, a great place to relax! The activities for kids at this place were awesome! The kids loved the bounce pad the best.

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The pool was under construction, but it was too cold when we were there anyway so we didn’t mind that it wasn’t open yet. They had a very nice playground, mini golf, a climbing wall and scheduled activities each day including bingo which we loved.

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One of the scheduled activities included a hole-in-one contest at mini golf that Jesse won. His prize was a free bike rental so we tried out the four-seater bike to ride around the park.

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We enjoyed our stay at that KOA so much and really enjoyed visiting the nearby areas along the Pacific Coast. After we left there we went to stay at a Thousand Trails park for free for 2 weeks to offset the cost. 😉 I know, it’s not technically free since we had to buy the membership to Thousand Trails, but if we stay at enough of those parks throughout the year it really makes camping cheap, and helps to offset the more expensive places we go.

 

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pacific Coast Highway – Day I

If you read my last post about Yosemite, you might remember I mentioned our unfortunate truck incident that turned out to be a blessing because of the rental car we were able to use to drive the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. After Yosemite we headed to the coast to visit the areas of Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz. These areas are pretty congested with lots of traffic and tight parking spaces so we were pretty happy to have a smaller car for this!

On day 1 we explored from Monterey south on Highway 1 until we couldn’t go any further due to road closures.

Our first stop was at the Dennis the Menace park in Monterey. The boys loved this! What a unique and fun playground!

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Then we headed on down to the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach. It costs $10 to drive this scenic drive, but if you stop and eat at a restaurant along the way you will get that back. We didn’t stop though because as you can imagine restaurants in this area are quite pricey. $10 off wouldn’t have made much difference.

The first part of the drive was very foggy! It was hard to see much of the ocean. There are several viewpoints along the drive to stop and take pictures.

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One area had some nice tide pools to explore.

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Once we got to the Lone Cypress tree viewpoint, the fog cleared a little bit so we could see the beautiful blue water of the Pacific. This was definitely the prettiest stop along the drive.

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Our next stop was at Carmel-by-the-Sea, a cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants. We had planned to find a place to eat lunch there. We walked around for over an hour checking out restaurants and could not find a single place with reasonable prices for lunch so we ended up just getting some sandwiches at a market/deli and continuing on our way.

Then we drove down Hwy 1 and stopped at many vista points to admire the view and take pictures. The fog would come and go along the way, and in some ways the fog made things look more mysterious.

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Looking down over the ocean covered in a thick layer of fog was a really cool site to see. It was kind of like being in an airplane looking down at the clouds below you. The fog just hovered over the water.

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Our last stop was Point Lobos State Park. The fog cover was so thick there we weren’t able to see much.

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Pretty eerie look with all the fog, don’t you think?

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The next day we drove north to Santa Cruz and beyond to see elephant seals and more. Stay tuned…

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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