Ready, Set, Stay [San Diego]
What better way to get yourself ready for the long day of driving by first indulging in an overnight stay at Kona Kai Resort, set on San Diego’s nautical neighborhood of Shelter Island. Take a few laps in one of the resort’s pools or treat yourself at SpaTerre’s on one of the exclusive heated alpha-quartz sand beds. Cap off the night by dining amid expansive panoramic waterfront views at Vessel Restaurant + Bar, where you’ll enjoy the freshest coastal fare prepared by Chef Roy Hendrickson. Lastly, retreat to one of Kona Kai’s recently renovated bayfront guest rooms, to make sure you’re rested up for the road ahead.
Hit the Road. But First, Fuel. [La Jolla]
A convertible or sunroof is highly recommended because it is almost guaranteed perfect weather when you hit southern California highway I-5 for the first leg of your west coast road trip. Your first stop: Bird Rock Coffee Roaster in La Jolla for your morning fix. Named after the neighborhood in which it was founded (Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla), the stone-and-wood café serves a rotating selection of several single-origin coffees, made in an automated pour-over coffee machine called the Poursteady which uses precision motion control for a consistent product.
For the Birds [Del Mar]
What began as an exotic bird breeding and boarding facility in the ’80s has transformed into a sanctuary to re-socialize and re-home exotic parrots while providing the public with an interactive, educational experience. Located just south of the famous Del Mar Racetrack, Free Flight encourages patrons to do more than just walk among the colorful birds, but interact with them by purchasing scoops of fresh-cut raw fruits and vegetables to feed them. Some of the less shy birds have been known to get chatty and dance alongside visitors.
Lunch at L’Auberge [Del Mar]
Downtown Del Mar (also known as Del Mar Village) boasts an Old World charm reflected in the quaint half-timbered Tudor-style architecture. A variety of bistro-style patio dining can be found spanning everything between 9th and 15th streets, but none of them offer a view of the Pacific coastline quite like, well, Coastline, L’Auberge Del Mar laid-back open-air restaurant. Take a seat at a blue tabletop on the wooden terrace and dig into their signature Baja Fish Tacos, starring Mahi Mahi, salsa roja, and crisply jalepeño.
Stretch Your Legs [Oceanside]
Located just before San Clemente right off I-5, Las Flores Viewpoint offers a shaded rest area with a scenic roadside vista of the ocean – on a clear day you can see San Clemente Island and Catalina Island – as well as the Marines from the Camp Pendleton practicing what they do best.
Arrive at Your Destination [Redondo Beach]
Pull into your Redondo Beach home base at The Portofino Hotel & Marina. After check-in, kick back in their newly refreshed Lobby Living Room area, complete with comfortable seating and cocktail service. Watch the sun set on your west coast road trip from a room with wide windows toward the ocean, welcoming coastal decor, and a warm fireplace.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa // L’Auberge Del Mar // The Portofino Hotel & Marina