Driving along Route 1 is the iconic California experience. With the wind rustling up your perfect blowout and those new sunglasses you bought gently shading your eyes from the sparkling California sun, you feel as free as the Statue of Liberty. There's a lot to consider when planning this ultimate road trip, and we want you to be sure to drive from North to South in order to ensure your jaw-dropping views are unencumbered whilst you cruise. Stephanie, gloobles's founder, decided to tackle the trip in a luxurious 16 days, choosing to start in San Francisco and end in Los Angeles, but of course you can easily extend your trip farther North or South.
So fasten your seatbelt & get out your notepad. We're about to take a trip.
San Francisco (3 days):
Start off your road trip with a few days exploring The Golden City. There is so much to explore & so many amazing restaurants, but make sure to cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge and have a well deserved lunch at Fish. Since you're already here, I think it's imperative that you treat yourself with dinner at Atelier Crenn or Petit Crenn of the famous French chef Dominique Crenn. You'd never forgive yourself if you missed them. Oh and give yourself some time to adapt to your new time zone and rest after your flight, otherwise you'll be struggling to keep your eyes open as you wind along the scenic highway.
Napa & Sonoma (3 days):
Get in the American mindset, putting the top down in your convertible, and drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to the vineyards of Napa & Sonoma. Indulge a little bit with a relaxing stay at Carneros Inn and book a table at the famous The French Laundry (you''ll want to book months in advance, as this place is pretty popular, for good reason). Visit the Rombauer wine estate and get a taste of the famous buttery Californian chardonnay.
Carmel-by-the-Sea (1 day):
Stop in the picturesque coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea on your way to Big Sur. Stay at the boutique hotel Hotel Carmel and stop by La Bicyclette for some proper French comfort food to fill you up before it's time to hop back in the car. Onwards & upwards!
Big Sur (2 days):
This is truly one of my favourite places in America. Big Sur is just glorious with its striking coastline and unparalleled natural beauty. Stay at my favourite glamping spot Treebones, and make sure to get a spot at their secret sushi bar.
Don’t leave Big Sur without a visit to the celebrated Post Ranch Inn.
Santa Barbara (2 days):
Before you dive in the bustle of LA explore the charming and laid back city of Santa Barbara. Trust me, you'll want to decompress just a bit longer before entering the vibrant, hectic LA lifestyle. Rent bikes in town & cruise the coastal bike path. Splurge & stay at Belmond el Encanto or save up for LA & get back to nature at the glamping spot El Capitan Canyon.
The most celebrated El Ysidro Ranch is now closed for renovation, but keep a close eye for when it reopens.
Los Angeles & Malibu (5 days):
I chose to stop in Malibu on my way to the big city for a night to relax & have a chill day at the beach before exploring the bustling City of Angels. Calamigos Guest Ranch is the perfect spot, as they have a private beach club with surfboards & refreshing cocktails to sip after a turn in the sea.
LA has so much to offer that four days are just not enough. Even if you only have a little bit of time, LA's cultural institutions are certainly worth a visit. I particularly love The Getty and LACMA. Before you head out for a day of culture, fuel up at Gjelina for the Venice experience or Sqirl if you want to be very LA & keep it healthy. Just because you're in LA doesn't mean you can't have a drink, & there's no better place than Chateau Marmont for old school Hollywood glamour. If you're aching for fantastic views of the hills & the ocean, then head to The Rooftop by JG before heading to dinner at Jon & Vinny's for delicious Italian food or Nobu Malibu for fresh catch sushi & cocktails.