Travel: California Road Trip Part 1 – San Francisco, Half Moon Bay & Carmel-by-the-Sea

San Francisco A boat cruise is one of the best ways to experience San Francisco's cityscape.

Last summer my parents, my husband and I flew to San Francisco, rented a car, and took a week to drive along the coast to San Diego.

It was only our second trip to California, so we chose to visit as many seaside communities as possible to get a taste for each one, with overnight stays in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Cambria, Santa Monica and San Diego.

Each city was so wonderful and unique. I gladly would have stayed the entire week in our San Francisco boutique hotel, Half Moon Bay luxury resort, Carmel historic inn, Cambria cozy bed and breakfast, Santa Monica swanky bungalow, or San Diego quintessential summer retreat.

It was truly the trip of a lifetime and a very special experience to share with three of my favourite people on the planet.

To read more about our California adventures, check out:

Below are some of the highlights from our incredible whirlwind trip. Click the titles to visit their respective websites.

[Stay tuned for California Road Trip Part 2 – Cambria, Santa Monica and San Diego]

STAY: Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer

Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer

STAY: Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

STAY: Cypress Inn

Cypress Inn

EAT: Burritt Room + Tavern

Burritt Room + Tavern

EAT: It’s Italia

It's Italia

EAT: Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

EAT: Navio


EAT: Terry’s Lounge

Terry's Lounge

VISIT: Alcatraz Cruises

Alcatraz Cruises

VISIT: Red and White Fleet Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Redand White Fleet

VISIT: City Sightseeing Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Bus Tour

VISIT: California Coastal Trail (San Mateo Sections 5, 6 and 7)

California Coastal Trail

(All images: Aaron Barr)