Television programs like the Real Housewives, Beverly Hills 90210, CHIPS, The Practice create images in our minds of driving up and down the California coast along the Pacific Coast Highway (affectionately called the PCH by locals). Images like hair flowing in the breeze, surfers, stunning views, and a taste of the dolce vita. Idyllic locations like Santa Monica, Malibu, and Santa Barbara were the things of fairy tales or Hollywood movie or television instead of places where I would actually find myself driving….until recently.
A day in the life of a California road trip
Imagine being in the car for two hours with some of your closest friends, equipped with the latest technology and gadget friendly dashboard, surrounded by the comforts of a tank-like vehicle, (a Toyota Sequoia) that actually drives like a luxury sedan. Better yet, imagine yourself driving north from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, through Malibu and along the incredibly scenic Pacific Coast Highway. Put it all together…and you have road trip perfection.
Before you go though, you will need a few things.
You will need a good night of rest prior to your trip.
The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is located next to the beach (in fact they have a screen unlike anything I have ever seen that shows the beach in real time right behind the registration desk so that you don’t forget!) and is a few steps away from the Santa Monica pier. Although I did not have time to indulge in their spa, they have a eucalyptus infused steam room which makes me happy and relaxed just thinking about it.
An automobile that can withstand anything.
Although getting great gas mileage while being comfortable in a Toyota Prius is a logical and eco friendly choice, splurging for size in a Toyota Sequoia was worth it. You know… just in case we wanted to take a spin up a mountain or on the beach (no, we did not do anything of the sort! But it was nice to know that “we could.”)
You will need a lot of space.
Because lets be honest, a girls trip involves luggage, lots of it (shoes, computers, tablets, chargers…you know, the essentials). Also? The large cargo space is perfect for taking “me time” and meditation. It is California after all.
You will need technology.
As if you did not come prepared with enough of your own gadgets, in car technology and navigation is essential when road tripping. The Sequoia was equipped with Entune dashboard that looks like it could be an operations center for a major city. Major bonus…USB ports to charge your personal devices.
You will need scenic vistas.
Or like the view from the pier in Santa Barbara…
You will need sustenance and fuel.
Like oysters or fish tacos at the Harbor Restaurant on the Santa Barbara pier.
Combine all of these together, and you have yourself a perfect California road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway that, if you are lucky, you will never forget.
This post was inspired by my participation in the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network. Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. My travel expenses during our California adventure were provided. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.