My husband and I recently returned from our honeymoon, and I am excited to give y’all a recap of our road trip through California!
After our whirlwind engagement and wedding, we knew we wanted to take it easy with our honeymoon. With the added life change of having twins on the way, we were also aware that this could be our last trip before the babies arrive. We wanted to make it memorable, aka, make it into our honeymoon meets babymoon!
Since we had a wedding to attend in Northern California a week after our own wedding, we decided to make California our honeymoon destination. To make it memorable, we decided to hit up all the CA spots that we had wanted to and make it into a road trip! Since most of the wedding planning fell to me, I gave most of the planning to my husband, who did a phenomenal, well-thought-out job choosing our hotels and Airbnbs! Here is a recap of each of our stops, with some delicious finds on the way.
A Recap of Our Road Trip From San Francisco to San Diego
Starting Point: Weekend Wedding in Pleasanton
We flew into San Francisco and took an Uber to Pleasanton, where the wedding was located. We stayed at the hotel where most out-of-town guests were located (which had comfy AF beds). For those who ever visit Pleasanton, consider staying at the Pleasanton Marriott. We stayed there for a few days and adjusted to the time difference just in time for the wedding. Once the wedding was over, we woke up the following day and took an Uber to San Jose Airport, where we picked up our rental car.
First Stop: Carmel-by-the-Sea
Years before I even met my husband, I was researching cute towns inthe U.S. to visit and road trip through, and that is when I heard about Carmel-by-the-Sea. It looked like one of the most idyllic towns with one of those movie-worthy downtowns, but even better with beach access and located right on the water! We stayed at an Airbnb above a restaurant. It was perfect for us newlyweds but had an extra bedroom, making it ideal for a couple’s getaway, retreat, or girl’s trip! It is perfectly located on one of the streets downtown and a one-minute walk from the main strip.
- Link to Airbnb: 3796 Large Historic Flat
- Favorite Spots to Dine
Brief Stopping Point: Paso Robles
Since the car ride was over five hours from San Jose to Topanga, we decided to stop in a cute town (that was recommended to my husband to check out) halfway to enjoy some food and walk around. We dined at the Odyssey World Cafe because I was craving a tasty salad at that time and this came recommended as the best lunch spot for salads; indeed, it was delish!
Next Stop: Topanga
This was by far the longest drive of our trip, which shortened our one-night stay in Topanga more than we anticipated. We passed Calabasas on the way to Topanga, which if you watch KUWTK, you know plenty about or have seen plenty of. However, we stayed at the coolest Airbnb that was dear to our hearts because it was previously owned by Neil Young who is the singer of one of our favorite songs (our first dance song), “Harvest Moon.” Be forewarned, in Topanga, you need to be comfortable driving through very steep and narrow roads, and it is best not to leave this drive until nighttime like we did! This is an excellent retreat and getaway for a group too, with lots of beds and space to enjoy the mountain views!
- Link to Airbnb: 611 Sky Line Trl
- Where We Dined: Endless Color
Next Stop: Laguna Beach
I think every millennial has a special place in their heart for Laguna Beach. It was the start of teen reality TV, am I right?! This is one of the prettiest beach towns with a calm and relaxing atmosphere. It’s a bright and sunny place and probably my favorite stop before we got to San Diego, due to its overall vibe.
- Where We Stayed: Laguna Beach House
- Perfect walking location to downtown and beaches! Plus, it’s a motel-turned-hotel with a 50s/60s beach vibe that you will love.
- Delish Places We Ate: Nick’s Laguna Beach
Final Stop: San Diego/Del Mar
Our final destination, where we stayed for three nights, relaxed, and felt the most at ease, was San Diego. We enjoyed long walks on the beach and lounging around. We anticipated spending time in San Diego, but with a beautiful beach within walking distance from our hotel, we felt little desire to leave Del Mar before flying out from the San Diego airport!
- Where We Stayed: L’Auberge Del Mar
- Where We Ate