Day 1: Pacific Coast Highway to Carmel-by-the-Sea

I went to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California this month for a short trip to get out of freezing Minnesota. After booking with Hofsas Hotel (read more about them on my post), I researched which airport to fly in to. My research found that flying into San Francisco was the least expensive way. So, I decided I would do that and then rent a car to do a mini road trip down Highway 1 South (Pacific Coast Highway) to Carmel-by-the-Sea. This was also my first, fully-solo trip, which I loved!

Car Rental

I chose to go with Enterprise for my car rental. They’re more well-known and pricing wise, they offered the most benefits without costing too much money. Even with the car rental, my flight to San Francisco was less money than flying into Monterey. After landing in San Francisco, I quickly went throuh the airport to the AirTrain and headed towards to the Car Rental Center. It was about a 20-minute ride from Terminal 1 to there. I was able to verify my registration quickly and got into a car right away. You can read more about my experience on my post, What I Learned From a Rental Car.

Half Moon Bay

I had wanted to get out of San Francisco as quickly as possible so I didn’t stop anywhere for lunch until Half Moon Bay. I didn’t have any solid reasoning for stopping there other than I was getting hungry. My empty stomach was making itself known. So, I pulled over to a side street and looked up some top restaurants to eat at in Half Moon Bay. After looking through some and getting a better idea of what I was hungry for, I decided to stop at Sushi Main Street.

Day 1: Pacific Coast Highway to Carmel-by-the-SeaDay 1: Pacific Coast Highway to Carmel-by-the-Sea

Pescadero State Beach

After eating sushi for lunch, I got right back on Pacific Coast Highway. My next stop was at Pescadero State Beach. It offers some amazing views. I only stayed to grab a couple of pictures but the beach looked very nice.

Pescadero State Beach, Road Trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea Pescadero State Beach, Road Trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Next stop was Pigeon Point Lighthouse. It has some very interesting history and also includes a hostel that you can stay at if you’d like. It is part of a fundraiser right now to raise some money to help repair the lighthouse. This will help it continue to be a historic part of California. Donate if you can!

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Carmel-by-the-Sea road trip


After several hours of driving and stopping a few times along the Pacific Coast Highway, I finally made it to Carmel-by-the-Sea and my hotel, Hofsas House. I checked in right at sunset but was still able to grab a photo of the beautiful view from my room.

Sunset in Carmel-by-the-Sea

I headed over to Brophy’s Tavern for a beer and light dinner. They have mostly IPAs, which is my least favorite kind of beer, but they did have Guinness! I enjoyed my Guinness and their Buratta Salad, which was delicious! It had kalamata olives, prosciutto, tomatoes, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. Yum!

After my dinner, I went back to my room and started a fire in the fireplace for a cozy night in.

Alisha Ruud is a Lifestyle and Travel blogger. She is an animal lover, volunteers with a local animal rescue, avid reader, and motorcyclist. With her many interests, she has found a way to inspire others with the same interests and goals in life. She also likes to keep things fun!

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