My Husband makes frequent trips to San Fransisco for his work; when he surprised me with a plane ticket to join him on his most recent trip I could not have been more excited! With our 1 year anniversary right around the corner I saw the perfect opportunity for a romantic getaway and immediately started planing a trip along the breathtaking Highway 1 from San Fransisco down to Big Sur.
When it comes to packing, I try so hard not to over pack as no one particularly enjoys toting around lots of luggage. It can be stressful at times trying to ensure you have adequate options that allow you to look good but also be flexible with the weather (especially in coastal California). I always love the challenge of trying to put as much style into one small carry-on bag as possible; Here's what I took on this most recent trip and a few tips I've picked up over the years to help you pack a versatile bag. (Color coordination not required but makes packing extra fun!)
Keeping in mind that weather ranges greatly along the coast and I wanted options that allowed me to layer as well as mix and match options for tops and bottoms depending on how I was feeling that day.
-A pair of white capris (or blue jeans) that can be paired with every top makes outfit planning effortless.
-Northern CA can be chilly when you're not in the sun or if a breeze picks up so a neutral colored lightweight cardigan that can be added over any outfit is a must have. For colder weather I could wear my white capris with the linen blouse layered over the navy tank top or the white capris with the striped tank and cardigan.
-For end of summer travel, a white dress is essential in my opinion. So romantic against sun-kissed skin & allows for play of bold accessories.
-All footwear should be comfortable for walking. Traveling = lots of walking. I like to have at least two footwear options, for this trip I packed two pairs of comfortable neutral toned sandals that went with all my outfits as well as one pair of practical shoes (sneakers) for any cliff climbing or forest exploring adventures.
We spent an amazing 5 days basking in the beauty of the west coast hitting up some key spots along our trip.
Highlight Stops along the way included / recommended visits:
Santa Cruz (boardwalk and and amusement park)
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17 Mile Drive; a scenic drive through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula (sights to see along the drive; The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay and the famous Pebble Beach golf course)
Big Sur ( Julia Pfeiffer Burns State park featuring McWay Falls) (Jade Cove,where you can search for Big Sur jade; also a designated hang-glider site) (Garrapata State Park, great for hiking and whale watching)
Big Sur lodging- Post Ranch Inn (very expensive but one of the top rated hotels in the US) Treebones Resort (yurts! and camping/glamping)
Big Sur restaurants- Sierra Mar in the Post Ranch Inn, very expensive but one of the best views in Big Sur. Big Sur Roadhouse (farm-to-table California cuisine) Big Sur Bakery, amazing pastries, sells out fast, get there early. Nepenthe (look it up, very cool)
Galleries/Museums- Big Sur Coast Gallery, Hawthorne Gallery, Henry Miller Memorial Library.
I hope you enjoyed this travel guide inspiration! What are some of your favorite locations for romantic getaways? How do you conquer packing? Share some of your packing tips and favorite vacation spots with us below =)