If you're traveling up to Monterey from Southern California, getting up there should definitely be part of the fun. We planned the best road trip up to Monterey with fun stops along the way. This family friendly road trip will make everyone excited for a day in the car, or extend the fun and take a couple days to explore the California coast!
Take the Scenic Route
The scenic route may take a bit longer to get to Monterey, but it will definitely be worth it. With the most breathtaking views on Highway 1 and 101, it'll be one of the best parts of the trip. Plus there will be so many more great stops along the way compared to the faster route.
A scenic view along Highway 1
Breakfast in Malibu
Get a meal to-go, then head to the beach for a breakfast style picnic in Malibu. Malibu is known for is gorgeous beaches and landscapes, so making a stop here is a must. This quintessential California beach town is the perfect stop to make whether you decide to pass though or stay overnight.
Get out to stretch your legs and watch the bubblegum sunsets in San Simeon, complete with a beach full of dozing, wrestling, and sun-bathing elephant seals. These incredible creatures are equal parts impressive and hilarious—snorting and yelping with their signature massive snouts.
San Simeon, California
One last stop before Monterey is the famous Big Sur coastline. Rugged, epic, and breath-taking, the numerous roadside overlooks provide the perfect vantage points to soak in the last of the sun and gaze on at the swells (and occasional surfers) far below. The iconic Bixby Bridge is a good opportunity to grab a selfie and breathe in the sweet, salty Pacific breeze.
Big Sur, Bixby Creek Arch Bridge
You made it to Monterey! It's time to check in to the Portola Hotel & Spa after a long day on the road. Before heading up to your room, make a stop at Jacks Monterey, our on-site restaurant located just steps away from our front desk. Once you've had your fill of our California cultural cuisine, catch up on your sleep ahead of all the Monterey adventures awaiting you in the day to come.