After checking out Hyatt Highlands, I headed South on California 1 for a coastline drive to my home in Los Angeles.
Bixby Bridge is a popular view spot in Big Sur. Actually, when I checked the weather forecast, it seemed like it may be cloudy on the day I checked out the hotel, so I went to shoot some photographs the day before. It’s better to describe the weather as foggy rather than cloudy. Fog is likely to occur due to the terrain near the sea, and I think the quality of the photo depends on the timing.
There are several view spots besides the Bixby Bridge, so if you have time, you can park and enjoy the spectacular view. No matter where you are, there will be a picture available.
On the way, I stopped by Ventana for a reconnaissance of a potential future visit. When I drove according to the guidance on the signboard, the main entrance was closed by a gate, and I felt the pressure to keep non-guests from entering. Those planning to stay will tell their name on the intercom at the gate. We went further up the road on the right side of the gate and found a parking space and parked there. Perhaps this is a space for guests to self-park. There was a building that looked like a restaurant, and when I approached it, there were no guests or staff, probably because it was out of service hours. I was nervous because there were many signs saying “No entry except for guests.” There is a gallery right next to the restaurant, and you can go inside. From the terrace of the gallery, you can enjoy a magnificent view of Big Sur.
This gallery is the “Glass House Gallery” and I talked a bit with the hotel staff. When I asked about the recommended time to stay at Ventana, the answer was October-November. During the summer months and September there are many guests as this is a popular vacation period, so it is better to avoid it. You should also avoid after mid-November, before the Thanksgiving holiday season begins. I had the impression that the weather in San Francisco and the Bay Area was good in October, but it seems that the weather in Big Sur is also good in early November. In 2020, I will be proud to come and push the intercom at the gate.
An hour and a half drive south of Ventana I stopped to see the seals at San Simeon. Ah, it looks good.
About 10 minutes away from Elephant Seal Vista point is William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, where we stopped for a restroom break. The beautiful pier is impressive and there were some people fishing at the tip of the pier.
While it may be a little longer drive to Los Angeles, it feels good to drive along the coastline and it just refreshes your mood. The traffic jams near Los Angeles, though, make me tired.