Roadtrippin’ along the California Coast
I like to call myself a writer, publicity intern, and social media junkie. I always love to explore and acquire new skills. My newest addition to the previous mentioned set of self-acclaimed professions would be video editor. I know that I am far from a professional video editor, I mean, let’s be honest, I don’t even possess a professional camera. But one of my best girlfriends and I recently went on a trip together along the California Coast, and I decided to literally give it a shot and document our trip by capturing it with my iPhone. The link to the end result can be found at the bottom of this piece, and I hope people can see through my lens the beauty of what the United States’ west coast has to offer.
I am so glad my friend “pushed” me to go on this trip. I love to travel and explore places, and a couple of months ago I casually mentioned to her that I would really like to visit Hearst Castle up in San Simeon. She decided to take a look into it as well, but we dropped the subject for a while. I didn’t even try to put any effort into planning the trip because I was extremely busy with work, school, applying for jobs after college and anything else that was going on in my life. One night over Sushi, my girlfriend brought the trip up again, asking if I would still be down to do it. Even though I had to deal with a lot of pressure at that time, I just thought that a trip was exactly what I needed to release some of the stress. I am so glad she convinced me to finally do it! We set a date, booked a hotel, and planned our route.
Starting in Huntington Beach, we knew we wanted to take PCH all the way up to Monterey, our final destination. We first stopped in Oxnard to enjoy a great breakfast of French toast and Eggs Benedict, before we hit the road again all the way up until we arrived at Hearst Castle, which is named after and built by American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. The landmark offers a variety of different tours, and I would recommend anyone planning on visiting to reserve a tour in advance. We didn’t do so, and we were lucky that they had still open spots for the “Designing the Dream Tour,” which guides you through the guest houses and castle bedrooms. Visitors of this tour also get to see the beautiful gardens and the amazing indoor pool, where real gold is embedded in the grounds. For $30, the price of the tour was totally appropriate for what you get to see up on the hill and along the beautiful green hills. Tourists also receive a wonderful coastal view. All in all, I can recommend anyone to visit and take a tour.
After we marked Hearst Castle off our bucket list, we were really excited to continue driving along the coast to Big Sur. I have visited Big Sur many, many years ago, and I remembered it being incredibly beautiful. But once we actually reached the scenic part, it was beyond breathtaking. I can’t describe it; you actually have to see it. Even the pictures I took don’t do the real image any justice. I am sure anyone of you who has taken a trip to Big Sur can relate. We made countless stops along the road to take pictures, film, and just enjoy the beautiful scenery. At some point, we had dinner at a little cute restaurant with view over the ocean, in the middle of nowhere. After dinner, we watched the sunset over the coast while we enjoyed amazing chocolate fudge we had bought at Hearst Castle (I can definitely recommend their deserts too, great stuff!). We then made our way up to Monterey, where we fell totally exhausted but happy into our beds.
The next day, we decided to do the 17-Mile Drive, which leads along Pebble Beach. It took us about 40 minutes from Monterey to get there. Park admission by car is $10, bikes and pedestrians get in for free. What didn’t come to our advantage that day were some pretty strong winds, which is a little bit of an understatement. I mean, it was still worth it, even though we mainly just jumped out of the car at a couple of the many view points to take some quick pictures. The water up in Northern California, especially in this area, is just plain gorgeous. It has the turquoise twist we don’t really get to see out here in the south. After we made it through the “storm,” we started making our way back to Huntington Beach. We got to enjoy the beautiful Big Sur coast once more, until we finally arrived back in Orange County.
Click on the link to get a glimpse of our beautiful golden coast. As Katy Perry correctly points out in her famous song California Gurls, “You can travel the world. But nothing comes close to the golden coast!”
Images & video : ©Anne-Kathrin Schulte
Anne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.