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Summary

This travel guide offers a detailed itinerary for a road trip from San Francisco to San Simeon, capturing the essence of California's stunning coastal route. From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the rugged beauty of Big Sur, this journey is filled with breathtaking sights, cultural landmarks, and the true spirit of a Californian adventure. Key stops include Santa Cruz, Monterey, and various points of interest in Big Sur, each offering unique experiences and scenic views.

DayOne: San Francisco Exploration

Begin your journey with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, ensuring an early start to capture the essence of San Francisco and avoid the crowds. The journey continues with a scenic drive along the coast, offering breathtaking views and a true Californian experience.

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🌉 Golden Gate Bridge

An iconic symbol of San Francisco, offering stunning views and a great start to the road trip. Head down to the beach near Mason Street to get the perfect shot of the bridge or take some from the promenade. Remember to arrive by 8am to avoid traffic and get the best photos. Also, remember to pay the toll online to avoid fines.

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Travel Information
📞   Phone: (415) 921-5858
🌐   Website: https://www.goldengate.org/
📍   Address: Golden Gate Brg, San Francisco, CA
🔗   Profiles: Facebook Instagram X (Twitter) YouTube

🏖️ Santa Cruz

A vibrant surf town with a historic boardwalk, offering a glimpse into California's surf culture. Spend an hour for lunch and sightseeing, aiming to leave by 1.30pm to continue your journey. Don't miss the famous Boardwalk from The Lost Boys movie and the 90-year-old Big Dipper.

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "13 Things to do in Santa Cruz: Beaches, Parks, Chocolate & ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2u9OUtKxgI", "channel": { "name": "California Through My Lens"}, "published_date": "Feb 6, 2022", "length": "8:03" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "TOP 10 Things to do in Santa Cruz, California 2024!", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=005502HY9eQ", "channel": { "name": "The Travel Boss"}, "published_date": "Feb 10, 2024", "length": "4:26" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "The 15 BEST Things To Do In Santa Cruz, California", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7pG0w-PjwI", "channel": { "name": "Travel The Top"}, "published_date": "Apr 29, 2023", "length": "8:17" }</div>

🐠 Monterey

Known for its rich marine life and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. While the aquarium is a must-visit, time constraints on this trip mean you'll likely have to skip it. Consider a stopover to explore the quaint seafood restaurants and fishing village vibe.

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Travel Information
📞   Phone: (831) 648-4800
🌐   Website: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/
🕒   Hours: See hours
⏳   Typical duration: 2-4 hours
📍   Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
🔗   Profiles: Instagram Facebook X (Twitter) YouTube

🏞️ Big Sur

A stunning stretch of California's central coast with rugged terrain, cliffs, and breathtaking ocean views. Prepare for cooler temperatures and possible fog. The drive is scenic, so take your time and enjoy the views. Don't miss the Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer Beach, and McWay Falls. Be prepared for a challenging drive down to Pfeiffer Beach and ensure you have cash for the parking fee. If time allows, stop at Big Sur Bakery or Nepenthe for a meal with a view.

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<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "A Quick 5 Minute Guide to Visiting Big Sur California in 2024", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewOtR3bXcaI", "channel": { "name": "Anyone Can Travel"}, "published_date": "May 28, 2023", "length": "4:43" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "5 THINGS TO DO IN BIG SUR (one day travel guide)", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRJhNdq7UF8", "channel": { "name": "Crosby Grace Travels"}, "published_date": "Jun 14, 2021", "length": "13:23" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "BIG SUR road trip! \ud83d\ude0d Driving California\u2019s EPIC coastline ...", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RKIVMYuYoo", "channel": { "name": "Adventures of A+K"}, "published_date": "Apr 3, 2022", "length": "24:22" }</div>