5 Cities in 72 Hours: Part 1- Monterey Bay Aquarium & 17-Mile Drive

A month after we got back from Hawaii  in 2008, my fiance and I wanted to explore Central and Northern California. We’ve seen photos of the breathtaking views from Highway 1. We watched an episode about the jellies at Monterey Bay Aquarium on Travel Channel and wanted to see it for ourselves. We also heard about Hearst Castle and its beautiful roman pools as well as its history. A friend of mine also mentioned how good ableskivers are from Solvang and we’re talking food so it’s a must! We were super excited to plan our trip but weren’t sure how we’re going to manage to see all the places within  three days and within our budget. We revised our itinerary several times and we were going to drive from San Diego then stop at each city until Monterey then head back but we realized how tiring that is and more costly than we thought so we decided to scrap our itinerary until we had a better plan. See, we wanted to have fun with minimal spending as much as possible since we just got back from our Hawaiian trip with friends. So we said, if it’s meant to happen it’ll happen and it looks like the universe was on our side at the time because an affordable airline ticket just became available! It was really cheap and thank you Virgin America for the best deal ever! Imagine a round-trip ticket to San Francisco for $78  and it was on a weekend! We couldn’t believe it so we bought our tickets right away, created a new itinerary and added San Francisco to the list. No more driving from San Diego to Monterey and back, instead we flew to San Francisco on a Saturday then rented a car there and drove to each city we planned on visiting. Another bonus from that flight aside from being affordable is that the plane was only two days old! No wonder it looks super clean! But honestly I think the plane is quite pretty with its blue lights and all. Plus they were up-to-date with technology which isn’t common on airplanes at that time. I wish I can find those photos so I can share it with you all! I promise, once I find those missing photos, I will definitely share it here so you can see what a two-day old plane looks like inside. It may not be that exciting for some but I thought it was pretty cool! 😀

Anyway, our first stop was at Monterey to check out the aquarium. Then we headed to Pebble Beach, enjoyed the scenic Highway 1 en route to Pismo Beach where we stayed overnight before heading to Solvang and Hearst Castle the next day. After Hearst Castle we drove back to San Francisco for our flight back to San Diego the next day. We were able to see some of what San Francisco has to offer before our flight but wish that we had more time. Overall, it was a fun experience! It was a very tiring 72-hour road trip adventure but we had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wishes to visit California. 🙂

Here’s part one! Enjoy the photos! 😀


Monterey Bay Aquarium


17-Mile Drive

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