Our 2200 mile road trip through Northern California will definitely go down as one of our favorite vacations! We were able to do all of our favorite things…read, sleep, rest, talk, drink lots of coffee and wine, eat very good food, explore a new city, hike, sit by the ocean, and take a few crazy adventures.
Here are some pictures to document our trip:
Palm Springs is about a 5.5 hour drive from Tucson and we (Jason) thought it would be a good place to stop before we landed in Monterey. We were right on with that decision. We stayed in a small inn called the Movie Colony Hotel. The community aspect of this hotel was unlike any other place I’d been before. We’d love to go back!
We started the long drive to Monterey the next morning. It was one of the prettiest drives that we’ve taken. Pacific Coast Highway is a beautiful route to take, but don’t take it if you want to get somewhere fast! Thankfully, we wanted to take our time. We stopped at Paso Robles on the way for a wine tasting and we were served by a fellow Green Bay Packer fan! We enjoyed Niner Winery for a wine tasting and lunch.
Once we arrived in Monterey, we were a little disappointed with our Inn’s accommodations, but the location was phenomenal. We actually stayed in Pacific Grove, which is a small community next to Monterey that is very quaint. The ocean was a 7 minute walk from our door, so every morning we took a walk by the ocean and watched the waves crash against the rocky beach.
While in Monterey we went to the aquarium. If you ever get a chance to go to Monterey, the aquarium is a MUST GO. We were able to see sharks, deep-sea fish, all kinds of jellyfish, seahorses, etc. The facilities were beautiful. It’s a perfect spot for families as it had many “kids corners”.
After our trip to the aquarium, we walked around the cannery district and then had a small dinner at a restaurant by the bay.
After our two days in Monterey, we started the trek up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) again to Sonoma County. We stayed at Sea Ranch Lodge in Sea Ranch, which is a small vacation village. This was my favorite leg of the trip. Our room was right on the ocean. The lodge was so quiet and calm that I felt like we were there for a week, not just three nights. It was there that my spirit finally started to feel at rest.
Another favorite part of the trip was our wine tasting day. We drove the wind-y drive to Healdsburg and went to 6 wineries. It was such a fun experience to talk to all of the people and learn more about how wine is processed. We loved wine before, but this trip gave us a deeper appreciation for how it’s made and the people who put the effort into developing yummy Pinot Noir’s, Zinfandels, Cabs, etc.
After our quiet, restful few days in Sonoma County, we headed back south to San Francisco. A city booming with people and activity. We were able to do some fun touristy things and also connect with one of Jason’s long time friends and his wife.
And that was a “brief” recap of our vacation! I hope that you enjoyed the picture tour! There were so many other pictures that we took, but Jason wants to be able to use them on his blog too, so I just used mine. Our vacation was very special to us as it will more than likely be our last as a family of two. We are excited to see what our vacations will look like as a family of four!