My friend Bailey (model/photographer) and I recently received an opportunity to film a wedding on the coastline of Big Sur, along side my friend Carlos. (talented videographer) It was not only a great learning experience but a chance to explore the uppermost half of the state of California.
Our wardrobe was provided by Jesi Wilkerson (an amazing stylist) as well as luggage and backpacks provided by Jbird Co and Standard Pacific (local brands).
Route: Depart from Portland, OR. Travel south on i5 to Big Sur and return north on Highway 101.
After MANY stops along the way, it became apparent that we often referenced Pinterest and other media platforms for inspiration and hidden gems on our route. This trip encouraged me to finally take the initiative and begin my own photo/travel blog in order to share my explorations and creative endeavors.
Subsequently, here is a condensed narrative of our California road trip in chronological order.
1 | SAN FRANCISCO
We traveled roughly 9 hours on i5 to Sacramento where we spent the first night with Maggie (a talented professional ballerina). We awoke early the next morning to explore the city of San Francisco.
Considering we only had one day in the city we narrowed down a few must-see places. However, my main goal was to get a dreamy shot on the golden gate bridge at sunset.
2 | BIG SUR
After San Francisco we traveled south again towards Monterey Bay where we stayed in a quaint beach house. The ocean was a only jaunt away and we spent every morning at Central Coast Juicery, which I highly recommend!!
The wedding took place on a Saturday at a venue perched on a cliffside overlooking Big Sur.
It was day filled with learning, and breathtaking scenery.
The remainder of the weekend was free to explore the 85 mile stretch of Big Sur’s epic and jagged coastline.
3 | SANTA CRUZ
We stopped in a seaside village called Capitola on our way back north. We were inspired by the vibrant pastels that gave the village its memorable charm.
We ended up staying a little longer than planned thanks to the kind officer that suggested a view point above the town and told us not to worry about the parking meter. The journey towards the viewpoint led us to Marianne’s Ice Cream (recommend)
4 | POINTE REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE
A friend recommended we travel north-west towards a National Park that he claimed held some pretty scenic landscapes.
We car camped that night and watched Chinese slap-stick comedies with loosely translated subtitles.
The following morning greeted us with a rolling mist and subtle sun rays. (perfect photo lighting!!)
We visited a variety of locations that we pinned on the map, and even ended up having an impromptu photo shoot with a park ranger who owned a fairly nice fuji camera.
(thanks nice park ranger for the only photos of bailey and I together from the entire trip)
5 | REDWOODS STATE PARK
The last night of our travels we discovered a website that provides places to camp for free – which is great for those traveling on a budget, such as ourselves.
It was a beautiful feeling waking up amid the giant sequoias and rolling mist.
Our morning began with an amazing breakfast at The Good Harvest Cafe in Crescent City, California. (recommend it!)
6 | HIGHWAY 101
We traveled north on Highway 101 back to Oregon. It was not the quickest route but it was definitely the most scenic.
We didn’t make it more than 20 miles without stopping for a couple shots.
It was a bitter sweet day knowing that the trip was near to an end.