How to Have an Epic Road Trip Day Along the California Coast

On our last hurrah before Leigh Anne flew back to Toronto, we decided to go on a mini road trip.  And here I present to you…

How to Have an Epic Road Trip Day Along The California Coast.

Step 1:  Create an awesome playlist with all highs and no lows Barney Stinson style.

California Girls – The Beach Boys

California – Wave

San Francisco – Mamas and Papas

California Love – Tupac ft. Dr. Dre

California Girls – Katy Perry

California – Phantom Planet

Save Me San Francisco – Train

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

And saving the best for last…

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

(I think it’s because I really relate to the first verse “I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and a cardigan”.  Other expats, don’t lie, you know that I know that you also got that excited and thought she was singing the song about you when you heard it.)

Step 2:  Rent a Zip Car (if you don’t have a real car)

Step 3:   Map out how to get out of the city.

Step 4:  Off you go!

Starting from Geary Blvd which turns into The Great Highway, Leigh Anne and I leisurely made our way down to Santa Cruz.  On our road trip down, I learned a few things which I’m going to share with you along with some “not from cali” tips:

  • San Francisco has really nice beaches and people actually go to them in December and SURF.

Not From Cali Tip:  Don’t gawk at the surfers with a “I can’t believe there’s surfers” expression on your face.

  • “We’ve been on the run/Driving in the sun/Looking out for #1/California here we come/Right back where we started from.”  Singing California by the Phantom Planet while driving down the Californian coast is epic.  It’s even better if you pretend you’re Lauren Conrad the entire drive and I’m sure Leigh Anne was having a Marissa Cooper moment.  I later told my housemate – Marci – about my playlist and our car ride.  Marci smiled and nodded politely but even her laidback, SoCal upbringing couldn’t hide her “Did you?  Did you really? I’m embarrassed to know you” look.

Not From Cali Tip: Having an all California playlist will result in feeling really embarrassed and touristy when your windows are rolled down, music is blasting, and locals are shaking their head in shame. My playlist is awesome and I don’t regret it.  I wished I kept my windows rolled up though.

  • The roads along the coast are curvy.  Leigh Anne may have screeched a few times “STAY ON OUR SIDE OF THE ROAD”

Not From Cali Tip:  Don’t drive off the road.  You will die.  Don’t drive too close to the other lane or you risk being in a head on collision.


We pulled over and I forced Leigh Anne to take a picture here and as she was stepping to it, we realized it was a CLIFF!

The California Road Trip Day was by far one of my favourite days in San Francisco.  I had such a great time and it was so relaxing that I’m thinking of doing it every two months or so.  It only took Leigh Anne and I about 2.5 hours to drive down including multiple stops for photo ops.  I would love any recommendations on cities/landmarks that can be visited on a one day road trip from San Francisco.

Taking the view in

    • hkleczewski
    • December 23rd, 2011

    Love the HIMYM reference – Barney does make amazing playlists. Beautiful pictures!

    • Barney always finds his way into making my life better!

    • Lindsay
    • December 24th, 2011

    This sounds so fun! I’ve been wanting to do more daytrips too! I feel like SF has more fun daytrip options than Dallas, but maybe I just need to do more research. Yay visiting things!

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