Off The Beaten Path: San Francisco To Santa Barbara

Every time I’m in San Francisco I try to go to my favorite coffee shop in the city… Caffe Trieste.  The cozy cafe in North Beach is known to have been a favorite for many of the legendary beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and I can see why – they serve amazing coffee. And there’s always a chance you could spot Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the co-founder of City Lights book store, who is a regular. I recommend the africano, it is delicious!

san francisco

caffe trieste

caffe trieste

caffe trieste

north beach san francisco

san francisco

Before leaving San Francisco I wanted to check out one more neighborhood, that I rarely ventured out to when living in SF – Outer Sunset.  The Sunset District is located in the western portion of the city, with Golden Gate Park to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west.  Outer Sunset is the closest to the beach, and probably has the most beachy feel of any section in the city, with its pastel colored houses and shops, and the pacific ocean in the distance (though it’s often hidden by fog).  Outer Sunset is also home to one of my favorite vintage shops, The General Store.  They have an amazing selection of vintage military boots, denim, army jackets, and beautiful printed fabrics. In addition to vintage they also have a great finds for the home, made by local artists. I found the most amazing pair of boots that were a perfect fit :).

outer sunset san francisco

outer sunset san francisco

shadows

outer sunset san francisco

general store

general store

general store

general store

general store

general store

general store

It’s always hard to leave San Francisco, but I had to get to Santa Barbara and I had quite a drive ahead of me… I have driven the Pacific Coast Highway before, but not by myself.  It felt like a completely different experience, each view was new again, every curve brought a new discovery. It can actually be scary at times, this road… as it winds around the cliffs, with nothing between you and the ocean but sheer cliffs and rocks.  The beauty is overwhelming – I had to stop so many times to take in the view and appreciate as much of this as I possibly could. It made my journey that much longer, but well worth it.  In this case, on this day, the journey really was the destination.  I stopped in some gorgeous places… Half Moon Bay, where I walked out to Pillar Point, the site of infamous surf spot Mavericks… Carmel, a quaint beach town lined with cottages…Cayucas, a sleepy surf town with a view of Morro Rock… and of course, Big Sur, where the ocean meets the land in the most stunning array of beauty and it – and the wind – takes your breath away.

san francisco to santa barbara

pillar point

pillar point

pillar point

half moon bay

pacific coast highway

pacific coast highway

carmel

carmel

carmel

carmel

carmel

carmel

big sur

big sur

big sur

big sur

big sur

morro bay

Check back tomorrow to see where I go next — and be sure to enter our Off the Beaten Path Sweeps!

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Comments

  1. Outer Sunset looks beautiful, everything looks so breathtaking, i love it. great pictures julia, you’re inspiring me to go on an adventure, maybe one day haha

  2. Love SF and Big Sur is one of the most amazing and breathtaking spots I’ve ever visited! Can’t wait to journey back to the west coast.

  3. Seeing these pictures pulls at my heart strings. My boyfriend and I took the trip of a life time up the coast for a week. It was amazing, and seeing this post makes me want to go back so badly. Gorgeous photos.

  4. Hi Julia — what a great post, and perfect timing being that I m doing a northwest road trip this fall! i m even more excited

    I would love to know what app/program you used with the quotes and the photo with the map

    thanks , tess

    PS — have you ever done an article on your camera and how you edit pics — i feel like the readers(me included) would love a post like that

  5. So lovely … this is my state although I currently live in Barcelona! But I took that road trip with my then boyfriend ( now hubby) a few years back and was so beautiful!! What’s up with the September catalog?? What’s coming up?? And when does it drop?? Can’t wait! :-)

  6. So lovely! I took this drive at the beginning of the month coming back home (to Santa Barbara) from San Francisco actually! Where is that adorable light house located, and how in the world did I miss it?!

  7. I love how you added the text – is that by hand or a program, i have to know lol – can you do a post a tutorial !!!

  8. I have done this route (well, going further to Malibu) it is absolutely incredible, I have never seen anything like it! I took the same picture at the vista point before the bridge, I wish I could go back! It has to be one of my favourite routes, if only I lived in Cali :(

  9. Thanks guys! Kiana – the light house is called Pigeon Point lighthouse its just a little bit south of Half Moon Bay!
    Lori – I hand painted the text and put it on the photos with photoshop! i’m thinking we may do a post on editing photos :)

  10. I lived in San Francisco for 20 years, born and raised. About a month ago I moved to Santa Barbara for work and school. I love both towns very much and really appreciated the “Off the Beaten Path” blog series. It made me reminisce on San Francisco’s indescribable views and cute little neighborhoods, but it also helped me appreciate the beauty Santa Barbara has to offer with their old architecture and gorgeous beaches. Thank you. Maybe next time I go back home, I’ll be inspired to do a series similar to this one :)

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