Our family vacation along the Pacific Coast Highway in an Escape campervan a few years back gave us the chance to visit the beautiful Pacific Coast and soak in all of its amazing views. We were able to stay right on National Forest land, which meant FREE camping! Of course, we also made stops at all of the points of interest along the way.But one time was not enough! So, we booked another campervan trip and took a family vacation up the Pacific Coast Highway, and this time we went north. 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 Pacific Coast Highway near Cambria, CA.McWay Falls. Our first stop along the PCH was Pebble Beach. You could pull right up with free parking. This beach took our breath away with the soft sands & coolest wild life. We found 3 star fish & many crabs! There weren’t many others on the beach which made it perfect for the kids to run wild and free.
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!
Pfieffer campground covers approximately 1,006 acres of land and is centered on the Big Sur River.
Big Sur 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 of the supplies needed for camping! We were so excited to find items to make s’mores, breakfast stuff, wood & even wine. It also hit us at the right time of the trip as mama was tired of cooking and 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! That morning we made some bacon and eggs in our campervan kitchen and a campfire of our own. This was the perfect way to start the day!
Pfeiffer Beach After a little boost with a workout (check out our previous blog post: Tips to Staying Healthy on a Road Trip), we headed out to “Pfeiffer Beach“, a top-rated beach in California known as the “Purple Beach.” This was very close to our campground where we stayed the night before. The side road to get to the beach is almost one lane with slight pull-offs, so 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 your walkout to the beach.Once you arrive at Pfeiffer Beach, 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 ‘purple’ colored sand. And if you are anything like our 4-year-old you will flip out!
Bixby Creek Bridge Next, we visited 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 were a stunning and very memorable experience! We couldn’t let go of how many pull-offs there were along the coast, so it was hard to choose which one we would stop at and enjoy. All we knew is we wanted a pull off to stop & cook dinner. Finally, after locating the best spot, we opened the back of our campervan and cooked up some delicious quesadillas while enjoying the last few looks at this part of our beautiful world!
Quick stops for lunch with the family along the Pacific Coast Highway are always a treat.
Finishing our Family Vacation in San Francisco Then it was off to our final 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 San Francisco drop off depot the next morning. We know one thing for a fact, if you decide to plan a family vacation up the Pacific Coast Highway, you will have a blast! Looking for the next family adventure? Book an Escape campervan and experience the exhilaration of Pacific Coast Highway with your family.