4 Highlights on Your Road Trip from SF to LA

Sunset on Santa Monica pier; windblown from cruising in Brielle's convertible

Sunset on Santa Monica pier; windblown from cruising in Brielle’s convertible

I met my friend Brielle when we worked together in the Dominican Republic with student travel company Rustic Pathways. Brielle was my salsa, merengue, and bachata dance teacher in the DR, and she’s even taught my students several dance lessons in my Spanish class since then. I had the pleasure of hitting the travel trail with her again for a long President’s Day weekend in LA.


1. Hearst Castle


Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California

A four and a half hour drive south of San Francisco in San Simeon, Hearst Castle is the United States’s version of Europe’s magical castles. Brielle and I agreed that Hearst Castle is way cooler than Germany’s Neuschwanstein for example, because after all, who wants snow? The tours are reasonable starting at $25. After all, they drive you up the sinuous curves to the castle past Hearst’s ongoing live zebra collection. Hearst commissioned architect Julia Morgan to begin planning the sprawling mansion in 1919 as the rest of the world teetered on the brink of Depression. Hearst had six other similarly overwhelming abodes around the globe. This is definitely a great place to bring moms, dads, and aunts, too!


2. The Getty Center


Manicured grounds at the Getty Center

Everything about the Getty was so gorgeous around the grounds that I nearly forgot about Van Gogh’s Irises, one of my favorite flowers incidentally, inside. The tram ride up from the parking structure provides panoramic views of LA’s hills.


Even the trees are gorgeous and colorful at the Getty Center.

I certainly require another visit. Getty, I’ll be back!


3. The Yoga Scene



Semi-covered outdoor garden space at Liberation Yoga.

A socially unacceptable month-long mid-winter cough kept me out of my usual regimen at Yoga Tree in SF. Six hours exposed to the sun in a convertible seemed to cure it right out of me. Brielle and I signed ourselves up at Liberation Yoga on South La Brea where we were staying in Miracle Mile. Teresa was one of the best Vinyasa teachers I’ve ever met. She was upbeat, hilarious, and assisted extensively in our poses. I find that hands-on teachers really help me to reach my yoga goals. A little bit of support goes a long way. We left the outdoor garden space feeling rejuvenated. We had an enormous appetite…


4. The Food.


Mediterranean chicken salad at Sycamore Kitchen on S La Brea.

After yoga we crossed directly across the street to Sycamore Kitchen for enormous salads and ginger limeades. The salad was quite pricey, yet very filling. We were thrilled that there was sunny outdoor seating, a theme we encountered almost universally in LA. Other food delights included tapas and paella at Taberna Arros y Vi in Santa Monica for dinner and a sushi evening at Sugarfish (we went to the location in Marina del Rey). Across the board, the theme of Los Angeles dining was fresh, colorful, and fruity. There was no limit to healthy, gluten free, dairy free, and fresh options.

Brielle continued on by herself to San Diego for some salsa dancing workshops. I headed home on a free flight from LAX to SFO, thanks to having accumulated points with my Virgin America Visa. I don’t usually give shoutouts on my site to companies, but I’ve been exceedingly happy with this Visa card. I’ve had a free round trip to Seattle as well, and my first checked bag is always free! Travelers should have a look to see if this card is for them.

Sunset from Santa Monica pier

Sunset from Santa Monica pier

Whether road tripping, flying, eating, or touring castles,… Happy Travels!

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5 Comments on “4 Highlights on Your Road Trip from SF to LA”

  1. Bulldog Travels February 20, 2015 at 14:20 #

    Wonderful post! Santa Barbara and San Louis Obispo are also lovely stopping points!

  2. Foghorn The IKonoclast February 20, 2015 at 19:19 #

    awesome pics and message,

  3. Lisa Young February 23, 2015 at 12:57 #

    Very cool trip!​

  4. Bill February 27, 2015 at 05:21 #

    As always, your Blogs are very interesting and well written. You catch your vision in each entry you write.

    • Marisa LaValette February 27, 2015 at 10:45 #

      Thank you Bill! You and Karen catch all my blog posts! : )

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