Tucked into the central coast of California is a trail of history waiting to be found by your kids. The Highway 1 Discovery Route through San Luis Obispo County snakes along the winnowy Pacific Coast Highway, CA-1, between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The more than 100 miles of mostly protected coastline begins after a four-hour drive from San Francisco at Ragged Point, or about three hours from Los Angeles at Nipomo. The trail features 10 cities, connected by cliffs, carved by a moody ocean, and a slower pace of life. There are plenty of reasons to stop and walk into the past, preserved by those whose hearts still live there. Nature lovers will linger on the many trails to hike and picnic areas. We drove from Los Angeles with two 9-year-old boys to explore this part of the state.
Here’s part one on how to make the most of your weekend pioneering, with a closer look at our itinerary for Friday:
We drove the US 101-N for 2.5 hours in the late morning to avoid as much of Friday traffic as possible. We stopped for lunch at Mersea’s on Port San Luis Pier. It’s a casual restaurant at the end of the wooden pier with a window cut into a section of its floor so kids can get a good peek at what’s beneath. While you wait for your food, kids can get their jitters out, running alongside the wooden planks and spying on the many sea lions barking below the walkway. Outdoor tables serve as more comfortable vantage points to the struggles for territory on the shady plank beneath the pier. Oysters, clam chowder and fish n’ chips were big hits, but the sea lions stole the spotlight.
About 10 minutes north along Highway 1 Discovery Route, we found our way to Avila Beach and the Central Coast Aquarium where Danielle, a volunteer, explained about the various sea life displayed in small aquariums designed to mimic each animals’ natural habitats. We got there in time to watch the feedings and got an inside look into the behavior of the fish.
Danielle told us about the Avila Beach Farmers Market, every Friday 4–8 p.m., with live music and many worthwhile food offerings. Just around the corner, we found Avila Beach Pier and the farmers market starting at the foot of it. She was right, people brought lawn chairs and flip-flops to spin and shake their hips to the sounds of live folk-rock. The entire promenade lit up with activity, people enjoying dinner at outdoor restaurants, many shopping at the stalls, tasting fresh rolls, taking home recently cut flowers and stuffing their bags with local produce. We left as the sun started to fade into the ocean to check into our spacious beach house-like room in Cambria, about 45 miles north up Highway 1, at the Fogcatcher Inn. Our room offered plenty of space to move around, with its high ceilings, fireplace and chairs sitting in front. Situated across the street from the beach, a path carved out of the hillside led to the sand where a magical array of driftwood teepees waited for miniature adventurers to have a clubhouse meeting.
Dinner was at the deservedly busy Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill with an open view of the ocean from nearly every area of the eatery. I ordered the Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad and Oyster on the Half Shell to start and, while my head was turned, the boys devoured the salad — I never got a bite, they loved it, which is not a normal occurrence. The freshly shucked oysters were plump and juicy and the accompanying cocktail sauce kicked them up. We finished our meal with lobster tails — fresh and firm, yet tender; we dipped them into the salty liquid butter. If you go, arrive early because they don’t take reservations.
Check back tomorrow for part two, and a look at our itinerary for Saturday.
Over the past several years, Norwegian Cruise Line has worked to perfect something they call “freestyle cruising,” a concept letting each passenger experience cruising exactly the way they want to. An impressive variety of entertainment, relaxation and activity options let you do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Passengers aboard an NCL cruise are encouraged to dress how they feel comfortable. So, whether you want to dress to the nines or stick to shorts the whole cruise, you will never feel out of place.
Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
Elevate family travel with Off the Map Travel this winter by booking two new glass igloos frozen into a secluded lagoon to sleep next to a glacier in Iceland. Available for booking now for travel mid-January to March 2023, the “igloo boats” are part of an exclusive tour and accessible only by boat or all-terrain vehicle.
When you first see the Italian island of Capri, a precipitous chunk of rock rising abruptly from the sea, you might wonder why anyone would have settled there. Once you step off the ferry from Naples or Sorrento, though, you’ll know the answer. There are few more beautiful and romantic places in the world and, once you arrive, you’ll be glad you limited these family travels to your one and only.
Plan ahead to finish holiday shopping early and gift your family an award-winning European 2023 summer vacation with Celebrity Cruises and leave the holiday hassle in your wake. With the most unique itineraries of any cruise line, Celebrity is the perfect choice for your summer escape.
Easter Island experienced its share of setbacks to tourism in the last few years. From a destructive wildfire that damaged many of its majestic Moai statues to strict COVID-19 travel restrictions, getting to this distant island may seem harder than ever. However, for family travelers ready to head to this remote corner of the world, the island is open once again and ready to welcome adventurous travelers to explore its beauty and unique culture.