Didn’t have time to write in detail
Also too lazy to post photos
Day 0: Shanghai -> Los Angeles
12 hours of flight, really exhausting
Customs, baggage claim, car rental and have a good rest!
Day 1-3: Los Angeles
Since it’s only me and my mom guiding ourselves for the trip, we’ve been pretty staggering in the first several days.
Day 1: Santa Monica Beach -> Subset Blvd -> Hollywood
- The beach is very popular and you can enjoy the sun, the sand, the sea, and everything! Just chill!
- Honestly, there’s not much to say about Hollywood. It’s more like a commercial place where you can simply hang around and that’s it.
Day 2: Universal Studios Theme Park -> Griffith Observatory
- Universal Studios is a place for entertainment! The attractions are fairly well-designed. Just have fun! My mom was really fond of the butterbeer served there :)
- It’s best to head to Griffith Observatory around sunset where you can see the sign of Hollywood on the mountain, and stay till the night to take some night sceneries of the whole LA. Parking is a headache.
Day 3: Citadel Outlets -> Santa Barbara
- My mom wants shopping so yeah. After that we headed north.
Day 4: Santa Barbara -> Solvang -> Pismo Beach -> San Luis Obispo
- Solvang is small town featuring its Danish-style architecture. Kind of dreamy walking around.
- Pismo beach. Yes, beach again, and it’s another feeling of the beach, and you’ll never get bored of it.
- A lady helped us out at the gas station when we were having trouble paying for the gas fees. Didn’t take down her name so I’m saying thank you here. Also we stayed at a very nice airbnb at San Luis Obispo, and the host is very friendly—also thank you for the nice place!
Day 5: San Luis Obispo -> Hearst Castle -> Elephant Seal Vista Point -> Big Sur -> Carmel-by-the-sea
This is definitely the MOST fascinating part of the California State Route 1.
- Hearst Castle was built by William Hearst the publishing tycoon. The life of the rich, wow.
- Elephant seal vista point: Lots of seals, with squirrels and such. Real fun!
- Big Sur: This is a looong run and the scenery along the way is far beyond what my words can describe. It is so breath-taking. You drive along, with sea on the one side and mountain on the other side. That’s such an amazing experience, and you embrace, you breathe, you immerse yourself, into this spellbinding nature. There are many parking spots along the way so you can oftentimes park aside, enjoy, and take some pictures for future treasures. I should put some pictures here. Some named attractions include McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach (this is wonderful for photographers!), and Bixby Creek Bridge. But you will definitely receive more other than these!
- Carmel-by-the-sea is an artistic little town. Very elegant architecture, very elegant food, but it’s also very expensive :x
Day 6: Carmel-by-the-sea -> 17 Mile Drive -> Monterey Bay Aquarium -> Santa Cruz Wharf -> San Francisco
- 17 Mile Drive is a personal-owned coast. Yeah the life of the rich.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: Strongly recommended. The interactions, the living cuties and the immersive experiences are so attractive that you can literally spend a whole afternoon or a whole day in there.
- Santa Cruz Wharf: an entertainment park is here if you have time!
Day 7: San Francisco
- First of all, the roads in SF are insane… It’s like 45 degrees uphill and then downhill. My mom was just too scared to drive and let me do all of it.
- Fisherman’s Wharf has got really nice seafood! We had a huge crab and stuff and it was awesome! (For about 40 dollars IIRC)
- Golden Gate Bridge: you know, a must for travelers
- Chinatown/Union Square: not much to say, we just drove through
- Return our car and that’s it. Bye! Looking forward to another tour!