One of the greatest trips you can take in California is to drive up or down Pacific Coast Highway, which will provide you with all the classic California panoramas that you can take in. Clear blue skies, the sparkling ocean, dramatic cliffs – it’s all there. Beach cities like Laguna Beach and San Diego are famous the world over so it’s easy to overlook the small cities dotting the coast when you’re zooming by.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Don’t you just love that name? Makes me want to sit out on a porch with the sun on my face and a mimosa at hand. Located between Orange County and San Diego off the highway, San Elijo Beach in Cardiff by the Sea is a great spot to pull over and watch surfers as they bop up and down in sync with the waves.
Watching surfers, soaked through in their wetsuits and carrying their boards, climb up the long wooden stairway from the beach to the parking lot after a day in the water makes you feel out of shape very quickly. They wait for the perfect wave, a wave that provides a few seconds of euphoria but then always ends too early, sending surfers back into the water to wait for the next one.