West Coast Road Trip

The Trip : Orange County, CA to Monterey Bay, CA.

Dates: August 30, 2021- September 3, 2021

Hi friends!!!

Last week, we were able to sneak away and go on a road trip, the first with our baby girl! If you know us and/or have followed the blog, we’re avid road trippers and sincerely enjoy the hustle that is road trippin’. In summary, here’s a rundown of the road trips we’ve done in the past (I’ve blogged them all, and you can click to be redirected if you’d like!):

+Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY (broken down into multiple posts after this initial one)

+Los Angeles, CA to Monterey Bay, CA (the 2015 version!!)

+Miami, FL to Los Angeles CA (broken down into multiple posts after this initial one) (Vlog of the trip here)

+ Los Angeles, CA to Yosemite National Park, CA (multiple posts on this trip as well)

+Los Angeles, CA to Big Bear, CA (not really what I truly consider a “road trip” since its pretty close to us already- also why I’m not including any Palm Springs posts in this list- but if you’re visiting Big Bear, some of my favorite places/things to do are included in this post) (Vlog of the trip here)

+Los Angeles, CA to Carmel by the Sea, CA (Vlog of the trip here)

+Los Angeles, CA to Lake Havasu, AZ (Vlog up on same post)

+Los Angeles, CA to Death Valley National Park, CA (multiple posts on this trip) (Vlog here)

+Orange County, CA to San Francisco, CA (Vlog here)

+Orange County, CA to Sedona, AZ (Vlog here)

So you get the point, we definitely love a good road trip. We’ve done the trek up towards Monterey a few times and absolutely love the views and thought it would be the perfect first road trip with a baby. Avery did absolutely amazing in the car- for the most part we timed it so that all her long naps (which are typically earlier in the day) were during our longer stretches of travel, so she slept in the car majority of the time and when she woke up, we’d already be where we wanted to be and she was well rested and ready for exploring! Here’s the run-down on our trip!

**for timing, I’m generalizing off memory and my notes on my phone for when Avery fell asleep/ate throughout the days. We do not ever stick to a strict schedule while on vacation, because like, that would just take away the entire point of a vacation in my opinion.


-10:00 am: leave the house to hit the road, we left later than we normally would because we wanted to hit Avery’s first nap time perfectly, she fell asleep in the car around 10:50 am and slept till we got to Solvang which was about 1:00 pm.

-1:00 pm: check in to our hotel (we stayed at the Wine Valley Inn) and unpack Avery’s travel crib and camera. Then hit the town for lunch at Copenhagen Sausage Garden and exploring! The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie & princess so I had to visit the Hans Christian Andersen museum. Hans Christian Andersen is a famous Danish author, known for writing The Little Mermaid-which Disney turned into a hit movie, and other fairytales like The Princess and The Pea, The Ugly Duckling, and Thumbelina to name a few.

-4:00 pm: back to the hotel to put Avery down for a nap. As she napped, we relaxed and looked up where we wanted to have dinner.

-5:30 pm: dinner at Leonardo’s Ristorante-Pizzeria.

-7:00 pm: head back to the hotel for Avery’s bath and bedtime.

Fun Facts About Solvang

+ Solvang was founded in 1911 by Danish-American educators on 9,000 acres of land surrounding Old Mission Santa Ines purchased for $75,000.

+ Solvang’s 1/2 bronze replica of Denmark’s famous “Little Mermaid” statue, has been there since 1976, and is the only one authorized by heirs of sculptor Edvard Eriksen, who created the original statue in 1913 that is still located in Copenhagen Harbor in Denmark today.

+ Solvang has four wooden windmills within four blocks and five authentic Danish bakeries within five blocks.

+ Solvang celebrated its centennial in 2011.

+ Solvang has been visited on multiple occasions by Danish royalty.

Day 2

– 8:00 am: wake-up and head to breakfast at Good Seed Coffee Co. (highly recommended by my cousin and I couldn’t agree more!) Afterwards we did one more walk around town, filling up on all the cuteness the quaint little town of Solvang offered!

– 10:00 am: time to hit the road and head to Ostrich Land, USA to feed some Ostriches! My girlfriend and I actually visited before a few years ago and I immediately could not wait to take Joey!

– 11:00 am: just in time for Avery’s first nap of the day, we got on the road again to head up North towards Monterey.

1:00 pm: arrive in Morro Bay for lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf. After lunch, we walked around a bit to keep Avery out of her car seat for some time before continuing the trek up to Monterey.

– 2:30 pm: start the drive thru Big Sur to our final destination. We made multiple stops along Highway 1 to get out and enjoy the views, especially our favorite waterfall site and Bixby Bridge!

– 5:00 pm : arrived in Monterey Bay just in time to check out their local farmers market and find a spot for dinner! After walking around a bit, it started to get pretty cold and overcast so we went back to the hotel and enjoyed ice cream in the room before lights out for the night! We stayed at Portola Hotel and Spa in Monterey!

– 9:00 pm: bedtime for Avery, while Joey and I planned the next day.

Day 3

– 8:30/9:00 am : wake-up and get ready for breakfast (I’m not entirely sure what time we actually got up, to be honest- Joey wakes up at like 6/6:30 every morning and I usually get up around 7:30/8 and then we just usually chill in bed until Avery is up. We let her sleep as long as possible in the mornings and don’t wake her up unless we have too.)

-10:00 am: breakfast at Old Monterey Cafe. After breakfast we went to meet a girlfriend of mine who lives in Monterey at Captian + Stoker Coffee, which was such a nice reunion! I also got to introduce her to Avery for the first time!

-11:00 am: back to the hotel to let Avery nap before our 1:30 pm reservation at The Monterey Bay Aquarium!

-1:30 pm: head out to the aquarium! We actually walked from our hotel, which was about a mile and a half away.

-5:00 pm: aquarium closing and time to head back to the hotel! We shopped around the local boutiques located around the aquarium and then caught the trolley back to our hotel.

-5:30 pm: get the car from the hotel valet and head out to hit the famous 17 mile drive! This was our second time driving through and it’s worth it every time. It’s so stunning. We stayed out enjoying the viewpoints and sunset for about an hour and half before driving back to the hotel, which was only 10 minutes away. **17 mile drive is a scenic route along the coastline and there is a gate at the beginning where you must pay an admission fee, admission is $10.75 per vehicle to enter (at the time of this posting).

-8:00 pm: dinner and dessert at Rosine’s Restaurant.

9:30 pm: bedtime and lights out!

Day 4

-9:00 am: wake up and pack up! Avery and I slept in a little later this day : )

-10:30 am: breakfast at Red House Cafe.

-11:45 am: time to hit the road home! Joey had to get back by 6 pm for a work meeting so we took the freeway instead of the scenic Highway 1 that we drove up- which took about half the time.

-4:30 pm: home from the best road trip ever!!

Fun Facts about Monterey Bay

+ Spanish merchant Sebastian Vizcaino was the first European to set foot on the Monterey Peninsula in 1602 and christened Monterey after the viceroy of New Spain, Count de Monte Rey.

+ The Bixby Bridge in Big Sur was built by prisoners eager to earn “good time” off their prison sentences. It is one of the world’s highest single-span bridges at 714 feet long by 260 feet high.

+ The Lone Cypress tree located on 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach and a scenic landmark for the Peninsula, is nearly 300 years old.

+ Nearly 1/4 million tons of sardines were processed on Cannery Row in 1945, the year John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row was published.

+ The oldest standing public building in California is Monterey’s Custom House, built during California’s Mexican era in 1827. It was here that Commodore John Drake Sloat of the U.S. Navy raised an American flag in 1846 claiming California for the United States.

We had the best time on our first road trip with baby girl and cannot wait to do more! Stay tuned for the vlog of the trip coming soon!

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