Hi Lovelies and Happy Monday. I am finally back to my regularly scheduled programing to bring this Ultimate San Diego To San Francisco Road Trip. Today, I will be sharing all of our favorite stops along coast highway. I also rounded up most of them in our first ever travel YouTube video. Be sure to scroll down and check it out.
Now, if we hadn’t done a weekend trip to Santa Barbara that would have been on my list. But, we passed by this trip. You can see all of my Santa Barbara recommendations here. I am also skipping over Pismo Beach because our stop was just for a few minutes. However, someone did mention there is Monarch Butterfly Grove which a place filled with Monarch Butterflies. Since we didn’t stop I cannot say how it is at the holidays. So, I would love to hear from all of you. Leave a comment if this is something you recommend.
We had several other stops, but these are my top faves and my recommendations for a family trip up the coast.
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo was such a cute town. I really loved it. So, many cute shops and restaurants. We ate at Sidecar Cocktail Co. that had great food and great drinks. However, they did not have a kids menu. They do offer grilled cheese which my girls devoured and loved. Our stay here was short, we ate dinner walked around a bit. Made a stop in to the local Rocket Fizz which had this fabulously decorated old VW bug.
Our first night we spent in Paso Robles at The Oaks Hotel. We literally just slept here. However, I do want to go back because it is beautiful and there are TON of wineries in the area. So, if you are traveling without children. This would be a great stop.
We did the grand room tours for our first trip to Hearst Castle. It is definitely worth the stop. The castle and grounds are beautiful. Everything from the outdoor pool to the grand entry to the roman baths. This castle on the hill is worth the stop.
The Castle at the holidays is decorated with Christmas Trees gifts and other decor throughout the house. It’s beautiful. I’m so happy that we did this tour during the holiday season.
Elephant Seal Vista Point
Just past Hearst Castle is a strand of beach piled with elephant seals. You have to stop and watch the seals. If you check out our video you can hear Chase scripting a whole fight between two seals.
Pigeon Point Light House
This light house and view is definitely worth the 5 minute stop. It’s right off the highway and has beautiful views all around. This stop will take you about 15-20 minutes.
On our San Diego to San Francisco road trip we stopped at a cute restaurant right on the cliffside called Nepenthe. This is a must stop and came highly recommended by one of our friends. Stop in get an apple cider and enjoy the views from this restaurant.
Carmel By The Sea
Another great stop on our San Diego to San Francisco Road Trip. It’s super cute and has a ton of great restaurants. We stayed at the Carmel Mission Inn and enjoyed dinner and breakfast here. Both restaurants were owned by Chef Pepe who is from Hoboken, New Jersey. Our old stomping ground on the East Coast. I wish we could have spent more time in Carmel. In fact, Chase and I plan on returning sometime in the near future.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is something you have to visit along the road trip to San Francisco. It’s massive and plan on spending a few hours there. We spent about 3-4 hours enjoying all of the exhibits. Including the sea otter feeding and large aquarium feeding. I do recommend if you plan on doing one of the private tours book it in advance. We missed out on this opportunity because all of the slots were full.
San Francisco At The Holidays
There are a ton of trees throughout San Francisco. Our favorite was the tree at Pier 39. On Select nights they do a special light show on the tree with music and it’s just a festive and fun spot. Of course shopping at the mall at union square is a must. You also have to make a stop at their oversized Nordstrom and do a little holiday shopping. Be sure to ride the cable cars as they are all decorated for the holidays.
We spent two nights in San Francisco and loved our hotel accommodations at the Hotel Zephyr. They have a great outdoor and indoor space with games and a ton of things to do in your downtime. It’s walking distance to pier 39 and has a great nautical theme.
San Diego To San Francisco Road Trip
Have you done the road trip from San Diego to San Fran? What was your favorite stop?