Best of California’s Central Coast
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: This is the best traditional beach boardwalk in the state.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: This mammoth aquarium was the first of its kind in the United States and still astonishes with a vast array of sea life and exhibits.
17-Mile Drive: This gorgeous scenic drive is worth the toll for an introduction to the region’s coastal beauty.
Carmel Mission: Father Junipero Serra’s favorite California mission is still a working parish, with an informative museum and stunning gilded altar.
Big Sur Coast Highway: This twisty, coastal drive is iconic Big Sur, with jutting cliffs, crashing surf, and epics views all the way.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Whether you’re camping at the park or not, it’s worth your time to hike through the stunning redwoods of Pfeiffer Big Sur.
Hearst Castle: No visit to the Central Coast is complete without a tour of Hearst Castle, the grand mansion on a hill conceived and built by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: The museum’s large galleries house exhibits highlighting the natural history and inhabitants of the area. Take a stroll along the nature trail or peruse the accompanying planetarium.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition