Sadly my very favorite week of the year has come and gone but I have some absolutely incredible memories from it! This is Olivia and I's 4th edition of a Coast Adventure. 1st time was Half Moon Bay to SLO over two days, 2nd time was Eureka to Fairfax over three days, last year we upped our game and did Portland to Fairfax in a week with a rest day in the middle, and this year we decided to take our two favorite sections of the California coast and mesh them into one epic 5 day ride from Eureka to Morro Bay! This year we were lucky enough to be powered by Equator Coffees & Teas each morning and outfitted in style each day by Velocio Apparel! Both of these companies are near and dear to my heart and create phenomenal product while also creating a unique & inclusive community.
I'll lay out the trip like I did last year with details of campsites, route, restaurants, snack stops etc so anyone who wants to 100% recreate this adventure, can do it! Obviously, I highly recommend it!!
Day 1 Eureka to Benbow via the Lost Coast/Avenue of the Giants!
This is always one of Olivia and I's favorite days because the Lost Coast is just spectacular! It is something I can't even describe. Plan a ride there and you will have the very best day ever!
Day 1 details:
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/488540403
- Good refueling points: There is a general store/post office in Petrolia that has pretty great snacks. Make sure you start off with enough food though as it takes awhile to get there with some pretty big climbs along the way! There is also a little store 15 miles past Petrolia in Honeydew.
- Campsite: Benbow KOA (Great campsite on the river, very clean, hot showers, laundry, it was great!)
- Dinner: We ate at Humboldt Bar and Grill and it was pretty tasty! Its just a mile or two down the road in Garberville.
Day 2 Benbow to Manchester
Benbow is a cool little spot just off the 101 along the river. The KOA we stayed at was great! We got another early start, the fog in the morning was beautiful and then burned off making for another beautiful day! The first 15 or so miles of the day you zig zag on and off the 101 but it is still beautiful through the redwoods. Then you hit Hwy1 in Leggett and go up a climb and down Olivia and I's favorite decent until it opens up to the ocean. From there it is ocean views all the way!
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/490312891
- Good refueling points: There is a great general store in Westport that we love, and Mendocino is a MUST stop! One of my favorite spots on earth! In Mendocino Goodlife Bakery and Cafe has delicious food and pretty good coffee, Moodys also had pretty good coffee but not as much food choice.
- Campsite: Manchester Beach/Mendocino Coast KOA (Great campsite, clean, warm showers, laundry, short walk to the beach!)
- Dinner: Manchester is pretty remote so we BBQ'ed at the campsite that night, Burgers, salad, and sweet potatoes, mmmmmm! :)
Day 3 Manchester to Mill Valley (+Transfer to Half Moon Bay)
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/489925232
- Good refueling points: Stuart's Point general store is great, we booked it all the way to Jenner this year though to enjoy one of our favorite stops along the way Aquatica Cafe! Its on the right side of the road just as you are leaving town and it's another MUST stop! They roast their own coffee, make some incredible baked goods, and I hear the sandwiches are to die for!
- Campsite: We didn't stay in Mill Valley, instead we met my Dad their and he drove us to Half Moon Bay so we didn't have to ride through the city the next day. We stayed at Half Moon Bay state beach. This campsite was by far my FAVORITE! Right on the ocean, beautiful beach! The showers were coin operated but warm!
- Dinner: We ate at this great little spot in Half Moon Bay called Cafe Capistrano. It was delicious Mexican/Latin American food!
Day 4 Half Moon Bay to Big Sur!
This was by far my favorite campsite, waking up to the sunset on the beach was something I'll never forget! I will definitely be back! Another early start to get us rolling towards our first stop of the day in Santa Cruz. Today's ride starts off beautiful, the road from half moon bay to santa cruz is gorgeous. Navigating Santa Cruz is a bit tricky but not too bad, admittedly between Santa cruz and Carmel isn't the most scenic as you are mainly passing through strawberry farms and on and off the 101, however Carmel to Big Sur might be the most spectacular stretch of road I have ever seen (I know I said that about the lost coast too but it is another one I just can't describe, its just spectacular!)
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/495246079
- Good refueling points: We stopped in Santa Cruz at a bakery/deli called Buttery and it was great, there are tons of great spots there and really good coffee but most of it is off the beaten path. The Buttery was on the route and it was great! There is a great general store on the left just outside of Carmel that has lots of goodies to fuel you for the BEAUTIFUL final 25 miles to Big Sur.
- Campsite: We stayed in the Riverside RV Campground. It was good, right on the river, super friendly staff. Coin operated showers again but they were warm! There are 3 RV campsites clustered together in Big Sur and I think they are all pretty good.
- Dinner: We ate at the Riverside Inn just down the road from our campsite and it was delicious!
Day 5 Big Sur to Morro Bay!
Last day of the trip! Coffee by the river was a pretty great way to start the day! We climbed out of Big Sur and it was epic ocean views the whole way! We stopped in Gorda for a snack and saw fog WAY out in the distance, it crept up quick so we boogied to get to San Simeon and it hit just before we got there! We stopped to check out the MASSIVE elephant seals that lay on the beaches there that time of year, that is something else haha definitely worth seeing if you are every there! Then hit the road for the last section of our adventure into Morro Bay!
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/491454005
- Good refueling points: Gorda is the first place to stop along this route and there is a general store with lots of goodies and a beautiful view. I love sitting on the porch, eating goodies and starring at the ocean! :) We stopped again in Cambria at Cambria coffee for a quick caffeine hit to get through the last 18 miles!
- Campsite: We stayed at the Morro Bay State Park. This is a nice campsite but if I had it to do over I would stay at the Morro Strand State Beach campground just up the road because the sites are right on the beach. This site was beautiful and kind of wooded, but I love waking up to the sound of the ocean :)
- Dinner: Taco Temple!!!! It is delicious and you get GIANT tacos with lots of fresh green piled on!
I have to give a huge shout out to my Dad who drives his RV all the way from Utah to Fairfax to pick us up, drive us to Eureka, and then follows our crazy butts all the way down the coast! You get the best Dad ever and best supporter out there award! This trip would never be possible without you! :) And thank you to Equator Coffees and Velocio Apparel for helping us stay caffeinated and stylish from day 1 till the end!
This was seriously one of the best adventures we've had and I'm already scheming next years version! Have you been on an epic adventure that we should re-create, or have any ideas for our next big adventure! Shoot them through in the comments section, we would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading! :)