California Coast, Hwy 101 & 1, Monterey to Los Angeles

From the first public library, theater and newspaper in California to one of the most scenic drives in the world this stretch of California is awesome!

Driving south on Hwy 1 we took a short detour to Santa Cruz and walked out to the Boardwalk and Pier.  The view is nice and watching the sea otters and seals eat and play made the visit worthwhile.

Santa Cruz Pier – Boardwalk in the background


From Santa Cruz we drove south to Monterey and stayed at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.  The fairground’s rv park is basically a paved parking lot but it was a great location for visiting the area.  It’s next to a golf course so we were warned about golf balls hitting the RV.  There were no events going on at the fairgrounds when we stayed there so it was very peaceful.

We drove on the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, WOW is the only words to describe the scenic beauty of Pebble Beach.  You pay a $10.25 fee to enter 17 mile drive but you can get reimbursed if you eat at one of their restaurants.

Pebble Beach 17 mile drive


We ate and had drinks at Stillwater restaurant and enjoyed the view of the famous 18th hole of Pebble Beach golf course.


We also drove to the beautiful Carmel coast!



We enjoyed picking up some fresh seafood for dinner at the Monterey waterfront.  Can you tell we love seafood ;).  We also ate at Mariscos Puerto Nuevo, it was recommended by the locals and we really enjoyed the food.


Our plan from Monterey was to drive down Hwy 1 and see Big Sur, Point Lobos and San Simeon but the hwy was closed because of mudslides and damage to the roadway, so we got back on Hwy 101 and headed to Paso Robles.  We stayed at Paso Robles RV Ranch, it’s a very nice place to stay, the campground is well maintained and clean and the sites are spacious.  The host was very helpful and knowledgeable and gave us some excellent suggestions on places to visit.   One of the places he suggested was Sculpterra, it was awesome!


Another place he suggested was the popular Tobin James winery, we had so much fun there.


We also really enjoyed going to Firestone Walker Brewery and restaurant.  Great food and beer!  It’s a very popular spot and they were so busy even on a Monday night.

Continuing south our next stop was Pismo Beach, we stayed at Pismo State Beach Campground, site #29.  The campground is in a great location, walking distance to the beach and the visitors center is right at the entrance.  One suggestion when reserving a site here, make sure the eucalyptus trees are not dropping their seeds, if they are, do not get a site under them or they will constantly be falling on your RV or tent and your campsite will be covered with them.

Pismo Beach allows vehicles on the beach so you have to be careful.   We tried to go walking on the beach early in the morning or in the early evening.


We took a drive over to Avila Beach and Port San Luis, it’s a beautiful, idyllic location and there is waterfront RV camping on a first come, first serve basis, wish we new about this place;)


Another beautiful location was the drive from Palisades to Shell Beach, there are several parks along the waterfront to enjoy the view.


We visited the Monarch Grove at Pismo beach and were blown away with how magical it felt to see the monarchs clustering and flying around us.  Nature is amazing!


Heading south from Pismo Beach we passed thru the town of Montecito, the town had been hit by a devastating and deadly mudslide.  They had just opened the Hwy the day before and all the on and off ramps were protected/blocked by police with flashing lights.  We could also see in the distance the vast burned hills from the horrible wildfires that led to the mudslides.

Our next destination was Dockweiler State Beach, the RV park is completely paved accept for a few grassy areas.  Pros – close to everything, right on the beach (the beach is pretty empty because there is a fee to enter), clean bathrooms, right along Playa Del Rey Beach/Bike path, gated for security.  Cons – near to LAX (noisy) and near to water treatment plant (stinky when the wind blows the wrong way).


We enjoyed walking on the beach, the sunsets and the wildlife!




We visited Santa Monica, Malibu and Venice Beach to the north……


and Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach and Long Beach to the south!



We also found Playa Vista Dog Park it has to be one of the best dog parks in the country.  There are separate areas for big dogs and small dogs, running water stream for the pups and benches and shade for owners.


We enjoyed this stretch of California, it is very congested, populated and busy in the Los Angeles area so you have to have lots of patience and find your Zen 😉 when traveling around there.

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Half Moon Bay to Los Angeles (Dockweiler S.B.) – 427 miles

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