Driving along the Big Sur Coastline in my Chrysler Sebring was one of the highlights of my recent US road trip (I know, I know, there were so many!) What had been forecast a grey and overcast afternoon for the drive between Carmel and Santa Barbara turned into blue skies and candy floss clouds that yielded perfect views across the Pacific. The Big Sur offers plenty of places to stop and pull in to admire the views, especially around Hearst Castle, where if you are lucky you will see elephant seals asleep on the sand – at Piedras Blancas, a protected vista for the mammals. A perfect stop off along the journey is at Carmel, on Highway 1, where you really must spend a few hours to sit and take breakfast or eat lunch in one of the many pretty restaurants in the town.
Picture above: oh so slightly overheating on a cliff top along the Big Sur. Pictures below: al fresco dining: lunch at the delightful Carmel Food Company.
Carmel by Sea is a wonderful town, founded as a seaside resort in the 1880s and now full of pretty cottages and charming streets, quaint restaurants and delis. (Interesting fact for you, Blog Reader: Clint Eastwood was once non-partisan mayor here).
Driving south from Carmel along Highway 1 the scenery is a stretch of craggy coastline and raw, unspoilt beauty – it reminded me of the Scottish Highlands (the Western Highlands) somewhat, albeit much much warmer.