California Highway 101: Art, Wine and Breathtaking Landscapes

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Advisor - Marilyn Fay
Curated By

Marilyn Fay

  • California

  • Laguna Beach

  • Beaches

  • Weekend Getaways

  • Wellness Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Outdoors

  • Entertainment

  • Sightseeing

Beautiful beach and the daylight
Curator’s statement

The open road unveils a world of wonder, ocean views to hidden trails. Driving is the ultimate way to experience the most beautiful part of California. Total freedom of explore and the joy of discovery unfold with every mile, igniting serious wanderlust. My best friend got married in Carmel and me and the best man drove home in a convertible along the coast. It was magical. I want everyone to experience the awe of the California coast. Every twist and turn is beautiful everywhere you look, along with the amazing local food and wine. Driving isn't just a mode of transportation; it's a canvas for crafting unforgettable memories.

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Where to stay in Laguna Beach, California

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Things to do in Laguna Beach, California


Laguna Beach Montage Hotel and Art Exploration

Begin your road trip along Highway 101 by arriving at the luxurious Montage in Laguna Beach. Immerse yourself in the coastal beauty and vibrant art scene of Laguna Beach with visits to local galleries and public art installations. Spend the evening enjoying fine dining and ocean views. Spend the day at the beach just below the hotel. Check out the Sawdust Festival. The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is an annual event that typically takes place during the summer months.

Wine Tasting in Santa Barbara

Travel along Highway 101 to the stunning San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito. Discover the charming city of Montecito and Summerland. In the evening, savor a romantic dinner at San Ysidro Ranch's Stonehouse Restaurant. Visit Lotusland limited visitors book in advance. Check into the El Encanto Belmond hotel. Visit The Moxi Museum Interactive Experiences in Science and Creativity. Explore the urban wine trail at the Santa Barbara Funk Zone, where you can savor local wines in local tasting rooms.

Coastal Drive to San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, often called SLO, is a charming city in California with a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities. Hike Bishop Peak: Enjoy hiking to the summit of Bishop Peak, which offers panoramic views of the city with stunning views. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. This historic mission, founded in 1772. Explore the beautiful mission grounds. San Luis Obispo Railroad District: Wander around the charming Railroad District, known for its boutique shops, art galleries and unique restaurants. It's a great place to discover local art. Stay at White Water Moonstone Beach, Cambria.

Coastal Drive and Art in Big Sur

Drive along the most beautiful part of California Highway 1 to the iconic Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Along the way, make stops to admire coastal views and visit art galleries that dot the coastline. Arrive at Post Ranch Inn, perched on the cliffs and soak in the breathtaking view.

Hiking and Nature at Big Sur

Engage in a morning hike on the property's trails, taking in the majestic redwoods and stunning ocean views. The afternoon can be spent relaxing at the spa or exploring more of Big Sur's art and culture scene. Indulge in a farm-to-table dinner at the Sierra Mar restaurant while watching the sunset.

Exploring Carmel and Art Galleries

Head to the charming coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Stroll through the quaint streets lined with art galleries and boutique shops. Visit local studios and immerse yourself in the artistic community. Later, check into The Lodge at Pebble Beach for a relaxing evening.

Wrap up your road trip with a leisurely morning in Carmel enjoying a beachside stroll. Before departing, relish a final gourmet meal at a local Carmel eatery to cap off your culinary journey. Farewell and Drive to Monterey Airport to drop off the rental car.

Places to eat & drink in Laguna Beach, California

Yummy Pizza
  • Sunset drinks and Splashes at Surf and Sand Hotel

  • Coffee at Urth Caffe

  • Lunch at Nepenthe in Big Sur

  • Dinner at Sierra Mar in Big Sur

  • Stay at The Lodge at Pebble Beach

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Julie Willhide’s guide, Local's Guide to Picture-Perfect Laguna Beach.

Advisor - Marilyn Fay

Travel Advisor

Marilyn Fay

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.