>  Travel   >  Stopping At Santa Barbara, Monterey & Santa Cruz

It was time to say goodbye to our beloved Los Angeles and hit the road once more! We’d spent 5 nights in the city of Angels and it was truly fabulous (and very eventful!), but the time had come to collect our camper van and head north to Santa Barbara, moving onto Monterey and finally Santa Cruz.

I hadn’t researched Santa Barbara prior to the trip as this part of the road trip was more us just winging it, we did however reserve a space at the Sunrise RV Park as they tend to get full up in the summer season. I would recommend pre-booking your RV Parks as most of the ones we stayed at were turning downing hundreds of guests a day who just turned up in hope of a space. The drive from LA was super easy, and getting out of the city in our massive camper van wasn’t actually as bad as we had thought it might be. The drive offered plenty of coastal views, it’s really hard to put into words just how beautiful California is!

So we made it to the RV park which was handily just off the main highway. We dumped Woody (the van), freshened up and embarked on the longest walk of all time (yes we may have got lost several times) into the centre of Santa Barbara. I instantly fell in love with the vibes and it was a welcome relief from the craziness of LA. If I had to move to California *what a shame that would be…ahem* I could definitely see myself in Santa Barbara. One of our Uber drivers told us it’s where the city workers head for retirement, if that’s the case then I’m ready to retire.


How cute is this retro style cinema? Santa Barbara did have a vintage, old-american town kind of feel. Although it had all of your popular modern day chains such as Brandy Melville, Urban Outfitters etc it still maintained a classic charm. I think that’s what I loved about it. I only wish we got to spend more time here, but on this final leg of our journey we only spent one night on each pit stop but hey, an excuse to return one day soon!


After 24 hours of swooning over Santa Barbara, we packed up once again and headed up to Monterey. This part of the journey was really about making it back to San Francisco and seeing as much as we could along the way. Monterey is very pretty, although there isn’t that much to do here so it isn’t somewhere I think I’d return to. It made a pleasant stopover nevertheless and we actually camped at Marina Dunes RV Park which is a bit out of the way but there aren’t many camp sites in Monterey. It was actually a beautiful place to stop, home to its own private beach which felt totally secluded from the world. We spent the evening laying back in the sand and staring into the sky in disbelief that our road trip was coming to an end.


Just don’t ask me why Charlie kept wasting dollars on Zoltar machines.

Anyway, I can’t believe we’re already at the end of this whirlwind road trip! Our final stop before heading back to San Francisco for our flight home was Santa Cruz. This place made a serious impression on me, and I 100% will be heading back there to spend more time exploring and another go on the crazy rollercoaster. No joke, I got the WORST bruise of all time, but it was fun and worth the injury. I think.

The Boardwalk was so so SO FUN. Can you sense just how fun it was? We happened to get there just before their cheap Tuesday deal was happening (or something like that) which meant all the rides plus loads of food and drink was half price. SCORE. We morphed into big kids, queueing up to have a go on all the rollercoasters and then we made a big mistake. Ok, I made a big mistake. I dragged Charlie onto the cable cars which was the scariest experience of our lives to date. They were going so slow, kept stopping for reasons unknown and rocking from front to back. We kept looking down and gulping at the thought of a sudden drop to our deaths. Of course, this didn’t happen we were just being massive pussies.

The food in Santa Cruz was also pretty divine and once again my trusty Happy Cow app saved the day and found us a sweet little veggie diner. Yes a VEGGIE DINER. Oh my. It was all types of wonderful and I can’t recommend it enough. There were tonnes of vegan options and my burger was increds, so if you’re in Santa Cruz head on down to the Saturn Cafe. You won’t regret it.


And there we have it, our amazing month long adventure in California! We didn’t take all that many photos on our last couple of days as we wanted to soak up as much of our time exploring as possible. We’re already discussing a return trip and I can’t wait for further adventures in Cali.

This won’t be the last blog post though, I still have a few up my sleeve that you might find handy if you’re booking your own american road trip. If you do have ANY questions at all, please leave a comment below! I’ll be doing an FAQ/top tips for planning your trip post so I’m all ears and on hand to help – hopefully.

It really was the most incredible month of my life and I want to just re-live it all over again! If you missed any of my road trip blog posts I’ve linked them all below in order so you can check out all of our adventures…

A Guide to San Francisco
Exploring Yosemite National Park
Two Snowy Days in Sequoia 
Three Nights in Las Vegas
A HUGE Guide to San Diego
A Stopover in Laguna Beach
A Guide to Los Angeles

You can also check out part 1 of our road trip vlog by clicking this link!


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