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california

Big Sur is Open for Your Next Road Trip

Destinations, Outdoor Adventures, Travel By September 7, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Big Sur is known as one of the most breathtaking regions on the California coast, with its winding roads, rocky coastline, dramatic cliffs, and magnificent seaside views, you quickly realize why it is often featured in movies, TV shows, and photographs. It was an obvious must for our cross-country road trip.

Unfortunately the region underwent a severe winter that included multiple mudslides, fallen boulders, and a collapsed bridge, resulting in a portion of the iconic Highway 1 being closed. When I heard this, I was heartbroken for those who live and run businesses in the area and was selfishly sad that we were not going to be able to visit one of my #1 spots on the road trip bucket list.

As the trip got closer though, I was happy to hear that they were slowly opening portions and many businesses were still open. I was doing research every week to see what else had been opened and where we could visit. Here are some tips from our recent trip:

  • Adjust Your Route – While there is still a portion closed, you can head into the region from the south and north quite a bit. We personally were coming from the North and we were able to follow the coast all the way to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where the road is closed just south of it.

  • Stay in One of the Open Parks or Hotels – We were able to find a campsite at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It is typically difficult to get campsites up and down the California coast during peak summer season, so take advantage of many not knowing these spots are open. There was also the Big Sur Lodge right there at the park and next time we come back, I want to stay at the Big Sur River Inn, complete with a restaurant, store, pool, the world’s cutest gas station (yep, that’s a thing), and the best part being that you can…

  • Have a Drink in the River – Grab a drink from the Big Sur River Inn bar and head down to their adirondack chairs that are in the river, not next to, but in the river. Dip your toes in the water and sit back. Why isn’t this a thing in more places?

  • Stop at Bixby Bridge – while the Pfieffer Canyon Bridge is being rebuilt, the iconic Bixby Bridge is stunning as always. I would recommend being ready to pull off on the right or left before you drive across it. Go slow because it can be quite busy, but this is where you’ll find get beautiful views easily for your photographs.

  • Stretch Your Legs – while many trails are also recovering from the winter and fires, we headed over to Andrew Molera State Park for a hike to the beach. It was all flat, led you through some trees and opened up to a spectacular beach. It felt a big majestic as you looked around to see dozens of driftwood structures built by those who had previously been there.

  • Shuttle Further South – The Pfeiffer Canyon Bypass Trail was created by residents and opened to the public in July. You can use this trail to access the southern side of Big Sur and can board a shuttle at Andrew Molera State Park to get there. We were hoping to do this to go have lunch or dinner at Nepenthe, but unfortunately ran out of time.

While we wanted to explore and stay longer, the road trip must go on! We were obviously not able to continue to drive south on Highway 1, but in a similar amount of time it would take, we went north (yay, one more trip over Bixby and Carmel) and took a detour to Highway 68, through Salinas Valley, to Highway 101, down through San Luis Obispo (a town that Oprah claims to be the happiest city in America) and then we continued south to Santa Barbara.

To learn more and stay up to date on openings and closures, head over to See Monterey’s website.

Happy Travels,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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11 Reasons to go on a Summer Road Trip NOW

On The Road, Travel By September 2, 2017 Tags: , , 1 Comment

If you looked at your calendar today, you might have realized it is officially September, say what? If not, you may have seen the hoards of people claiming it to be the last weekend of summer on social media, but I’m here to tell you that they are all liars and then give you 11 reasons why you should go on a summer road trip now!

big-sur-summer-road-trip-adventure

1.

Because the Autumn equinox is not until September 22nd, so that gives you 21 more days of summer. Yes, I love leaves, hoodies, and pumpkin spice lattes as much as the next basic chick, but summer is not over yet. I repeat, it is still summer.

2.

I get that for many, school is starting up for them and/or their kids, which leads them to think summer is over, but last I checked, I don’t have kids, I am not a teacher, and I haven’t been in school for over 9 years (yikes). So that puts me into this little opportunity bubble of September, kid-free, budget-friendly travel. It’s cheaper, it’s quieter, what more can I say?  

point-reyes-trees-california-road-trip

3.

Well, that being said, you’re running out of time. I know, it is an emotional roller coaster over here, but put on your seatbelt. If you’re like me, you’re wondering where on earth August went… and July… wait, what about June? Shit. The days are flying by and you still haven’t taken that summer adventure you were dreaming about posting on Instagram about. If you were waiting for the right time, guess what? It’s right NOW. Literally, put down your cellular device, go grab a bag and throw some clothes in it!

4.

So what are you waiting for? Many of us are fortunate enough to have a car. If not, maybe a friend with a car who can be coerced into a spontaneous adventure? A relative that can be easily guilt-tripped? A guy you met on Tinder who “loves to travel”? At the very least, maybe you can go rent one. I believe in you. 

carmel-by-the-sea-vintage-car-road-trip

5.

And just like that, you’ve happened upon reason #4, roadtrips = freedom. The freedom to stop and go as you please. If you see something cool? Check it out. If you need to pee, stop. Want to stretch your legs? You might get the point by now, but yes, no one is stopping you. You are on your own schedule, unlike traveling via plane or train where you are being told where to be and when to be somewhere. We know how I feel about being told what to do (hint hint: I hate it).

6.

Speaking of, those methods of transportation can get pretty pricey, especially last minute on a holiday weekend. Lucky for you, CNN reports that gas prices are at a 7 year low. Even with a small car gas tanks, you can put in 12 gallons of gas at a current average price of $2.52 per gallon according to AAA. I’m not great at math, but the Washington Post tells me that the average car gets 23.6 miles per gallon and my iPhone calculator tells me that should get you 283.2 miles for only $30.24. Someone check my math, but shit, if you have a Prius, imagine the possibilities! 

big-sur-american-road-trip

7.

Driving is also one of my favorite ways to discover a new area. You can get a quick feel for a place without wandering too aimlessly in a bad direction, then you can get out and bike, run, or walk around your fav spots. Or you can be a creeper like me and drive through all the gorgeous neighborhoods, pretending in another life you live there, so much more fun than an overcrowded tourist attraction. Just me? Oh okay, this just got weird.

8.

You can also set your own soundtrack. Music = key. It sets the tone and mood of the trip immediately. So much better than that crying baby on the plane or the dude snoring next to you on the train. I use Spotify to discover new songs and create my own playlists. I even made an #ourendlessroadtrip playlist for you to check out. It includes some of my fav road trip songs, from very literal interpretations (yes, Life is Highway is on there) to anything that just feels right to drive to. Any good ones I am missing? Let me know! 

9.

Besides music, food is clutch. No road trip is complete without snacks. In the car, you don’t have to buy an overpriced dry deli sandwich from the food court inside security or abide by any 3 oz checked bag rule. You can bring your own food and drinks, you can indulge in your gas station guilty snack pleasures, or you can find your new favorite roadside diner. You could even tailor an entire road trip around places to eat. You do you! I’ll have some of Land of Pleasant Living’s favorite road trip snacks hitting the blog soon, stay tuned!

10.

Road trips are the perfect example of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s or whoever-that-person-on-Instagram-who-posts-quotes-too-much claimed said “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” If you disagree, please refer to reason #4, you can stop wherever you want! For instance, if you see a 49 foot Paul Bunyon, you can stop. I suggest you do.

trees-of-mystery-paul-bunyon

11.

Then, once you get to said destination, you can make what you want of it. You can tow a camper like us! You can camp out of your car for all I care. Rent a treehouse on Airbnb. Splurge on a baller ass hotel room. Or just turn around and go home to sleep in your own bed. Day trips are better than no trips.

vintage-camper-road-trip-california

And just like that, I’m at 11 reasons. I could go on all day about why you should go on a summer road trip right now, but Google tells me that odd number lists perform better than even numbers, so I’mma stop right here. You’re welcome. Hope to see you (or at least your Instagram stories) on the road.

Drive on,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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