This trip was the inspiration for our 'La Jolla SS19 Collection'. California was truly a once in a lifetime experience. After 12 months of planning and desperately saving, our dream road trip had come to life and it was even better than we had hoped for! Having visited the East coast of America a number of times, we were desperate to venture to the West having heard so many brilliant things about it.
Bixby Bridge, The Big Sur
What we did and how we did: San Diego - LA - Santa Monica- Rancho Mirage - Las Vegas - Bel Air - Carmel - San Fransisco - Nappa
TO DO: I would highly recommend spending the day at the incredible San Diego Zoo, it stretches across 100acres of land and houses 650 species of animals!
TO EAT: Dukes in La Jolla for lunch has the most incredible view and tasty bites. For dinner, we ate at Cucina Urbana (couldn't have asked for a better meal!) and if you want to treat yourself, Juniper and Ivy was also highly recommended to us by friends.
TO STAY: The US Grant.
TO DO: You have to visit Universal Studios, take a walk down Rodeo Drive and hop on the Hollywood Tours bus for some insight into Hollywood.
TO EAT: For the largest pancakes in the world (not literally), you have to go to The Griddle Cafe for breakfast. Pizzeria Mozza, Hollywood or Langers Deli for lunch and one of my personal favourites, Spartina (Fairfax) for dinner. This was divine.
TO STAY: The Mondrian Hotel, West Hollywood.
TO DO: Hire a bicycle and cycle down Venice beach. Visit the boutiques down Abbot Kinney Boulevard and check out the views from Malibu Pier.
TO EAT: For a delicious brunch, I would recommend 2 restaurants, 1. Ivy at The Shore and 2. After a walk down the Malibu Pier, the only place to go is, of course, Malibu Farm Cafe. Nobu Malibu for a special dinner and request outside/sea view table to make it a really special night.
TO STAY: Viceroy.
TO DO: Joshua Tree is probably the most spectacular, unbelievable places I have and will ever visit in my life. It is a little further than Palm Springs but the drive is 100% worth it. It's a MUST.
TO EAT: We were recommended the Kings Highway for breakfast and dinner was at The Edge in the hotel we were staying at. If you like steak.. this will definitely hit the spot.
TO STAY: Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage.
LAS VEGAS: (technically not in California but we HAD to visit)
TO DO: Aside from the obvious, we went to Lionel Richie at the Hard Rock and had the best time. It was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of the trip.
TO EAT: Bazaar Meat for dinner was an amazing dining experience. The food was 10/10 and we had the loveliest waiter who gave us lots of recommendations for the rest of our road trip. I would really recommend this restaurant.
TO STAY: The Encore.
BEL AIR: After a number of long drives and the hectic few days we spent in Las Vegas, we treated ourselves to one night at the Bel Air Hotel. We spent the day here and lounged by the pool, surrounded by orange trees, palm trees and beautiful bright flowers. Dinner at Wolfgang Pack and after dinner drinks at the Jazz bar located at the hotel.. it was almost too hard to leave.
TO DO: We arrived in Carmel around 7:00 pm after a long, windy scenic drive through the Big Sur (stop here for a photo op!). We headed straight into town for dinner and left the next morning at sunrise for Whale spotting at Monterey Bay. We were lucky enough to see 5 whales and 100's of dolphins that day! Note to self- this is not for people who suffer from seasickness.
TO EAT: La Bicyclette.
TO STAY: Quail Lodge.
TO DO: There is so much to do here. The Coit Tower, Alcatraz (Pier 30), visit the sealions, aquarium, shops, cable car etc at Pier 39. Lombard Street, Union Sq for shopping and for the ultimate way to get around, hire out one of the GoCars to tour the city.
TO EAT: Snacks- Bobs Donuts (YUM). For dinner, we went to Rintaro Japanese for our first night, it was authentic and delicious and China Live for the second. It had a great atmosphere, inventive cocktails and from our table, we could see the kitchen and watched how the dumplings were made :D
TO STAY: The Palace Hotel.
TO DO: Visit the local wineries and bars in the town and taste their finest wines! ( in our case we went to Yountville town as we were staying there) Also, be sure to book a wine tour and tasting. This lasts the majority of the day and was such a fun experience.. be sure to leave room in your luggage as you will be tempted to take a bottle or two of the finest wines home!
TO EAT: (Yountville) Bouchon Bakery for breakfast, lunch and a cheeky snack! We went to Bistro Jeanty for lunch, (this was really busy but definitely worth the wait for the table). Dinner- Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch for home comforts and Bottega Napa for the perfect end to the great day.
TO STAY: Hotel Yountville
All imagery taken by Cassie. Aug-Sept2018.