Our family had the chance to visit the beautiful PCH a few years back and soaked in all of the amazing views. We were able to stay right in National Forest land which meant FREE camping! Of course we also made stops at all of the points of interests along the way. But one time was not enough! We booked another campervan trip and drove up PCH, driving north this time. The places we stopped were eye candy for us, and yet truly exciting and beautiful places for the kids to experience too!
We were coming from the east side of California, so we started on the PCH near Cambria, CA. Our first stop along the PCH was the infamous Moonstone Beach . Here you can pull right up with free parking. This beach is so unique with soft sands, and many things to explore. We found 3 starfish and many crabs! There weren’t many others on the beach which made it perfect for the kids to run wild and free. We didn’t find any this time around, but keep your eyes out for the moonstones that make this beach famous! Next, the goal was to make it to McWay Falls by sunset! With 0.2 seconds to spare, we pulled up and ran to the viewpoint! This pull-off will sneak up on you so keep your eyes out. Parking is free on the road, or you can park in the Julia Pfeiffer state park which is $10. Once parked you will have a small walk to the viewpoint of the waterfall. And trust us - it is worth it!
We headed on up to our campsite in Big Sur called Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground . This campsite couldn’t have been more perfect for the timing of our trip as they have a little shop with all supplies needed for camping! We were so excited to find s’mores items, breakfast stuff, wood & even wine. It also hit us at the right time of the trip as mama was tired of cookin’ so there was a beautiful restaurant called the Homestead Restaurant at the Lodge. We parked our campervan and settled in for the night only to wake up in the tallest, most beautiful redwoods! Made some bacon and eggs in our campervan kitchen and made a campfire of our own. This was the perfect way to start the day!
After a little boost of a workout ( see post here ) we headed out to a top rated beach in California “ Pfeiffer Beach “ aka “Purple Beach.” This was very close to our campground to where we stayed the night before. The side road to get to the beach is almost one lane with slight pull offs. Be sure and get there early enough as they will close this road up once the parking lot is full. It is a $10.00 charge for parking and there are bathrooms. You’ll notice the beautiful cypress trees along the walk out to the beach. Once you arrive you will see why it’s rated one of the top beaches in California. If you make your way closer to the structures you’ll find the more ‘purple’ colored sand. And if you are anything like our 4 year old you will flip out!
Next was Bixby Creek Bridge . This was a quick stop but also a must. It is very busy and crowded but there is a reason why. The views are stunning and a very memorable experience!
We couldn’t let go- there are MANY pull offs along the coast and it is hard to know which one to stop off and enjoy. All we knew is we wanted a pull off to stop & cook dinner. We opened the back of our camper van, cooked up some delicious quesadillas and enjoyed the last few looks at this part of our beautiful world! Then it was off to our destination - San Francisco (as we were flying out the next morning) with an hour of daylight to explore the city. This put us at just 40 min from our Escape Campervan drop off location the next morning.
We know one thing for a fact, you will fall in love with the PCH! Have a blast!