We started our trip in San Francisco and then took California Highway #1 south to L.A. The scenery is spectacular and I hope to get back with a good camera, so I can do it justice.
At the end of the 17-Mile Drive is the charming "village" of Carmel. This little storybook town has wonderful shops, galleries, and restaurants. We particularly liked a little toy store called Thinker Toys. There are many wonderful places to stay, but I loved our hotel, La Playa, which featured lush gardens and landscaping. It was built as a mansion in 1904 by a Norwegian-born artist for his bride, a daughter of the chocolate-famed Ghiradelli family, and was later converted to a luxury hotel.
Many of the town's residents had wonderful gardens and window boxes. I liked this 4th-of-July themed display!
Our next stop was the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. It looks like classic California with a wide sandy beach, swaying palm trees, and the blue Pacific Ocean. We stayed at the Santa Barbara Inn, a boutique hotel which featured Michel Richard's famous restaurant, Citronelle.
We then drove to Los Angeles . . . . which of course has wonderful and famous beaches . . . . but I will leave that for another post!