Quick update of where we went in between Wyoming and Southern California. We spent a couple of days in Omaha, drove to Las Vegas for a wedding, spent a week in Pheonix, and ended it with a weekend in Prescott, AZ.

Barajas Wedding

Met our nephew!!

Prescott, AZ

Moved Hannah into college

Southern California

La Jolla > Oceanside > Laguna Beach > Redando Beach > Pismo Beach

La Jolla

La Jolla was the perfect introduction to being vanlife beach bums. There are sooo many little beaches along the coast. We would’ve spent our days at more of them, but the cute little ones didn’t have more than one bar of service. 

Here’s an idea of what a day looked like here: 

  • leave from parking spot about 6 am
  • head to La Jolla Shores Beach
  • park at the beach for the day (work, beach walks)
  • go find a quieter beach to park at to make dinner
  • hang out at the quieter beach till dark
  • go find a new spot to park for the night 

We spent three nights in the La Jolla area, and on the third day, we drove on over to Oceanside. 


Harbor Beach was our go-to spot of our time here. This beach was a lot less crowded than La Jolla Shores, so we spent our whole day here instead of going somewhere else for dinner. Our parking spot for the night was a nearby side street, and there was a dump station in town so it was a nice setup overall.

Laguna Beach

Okay so we actually only spent one night here and it was more of a pass-through. We walked around the morning before we left and it was a cute little area!

Redondo Beach & Hermosa Beach

The first town I actually have food and drink recommendations for in CA! We hadn’t gone to any restaurants, bars or coffee shops up to this point, but the wait was well worth it. These were all recommended to us by our good friends whom we got to hang out with for the weekend!

Kirari West Bake Shop
This place was a dream. First off, everything, yes everything, is gluten-free. Logan also thought the food was amazing, so it wasn’t just because I haven’t had these types of food in years. The first day we got a Manhattan, Brioche au Chocolat, Cinnamon Custard Brioche, and Frittata. All were 1000/10. On our way out of town we stocked up on the Manhattans and Brioche au Chocolats (those were our favorites), I also tried the Strawberry Shortcake and Custard Puff and Logan got a Tukey Avocado Panini. Needless to say, if you ever find yourself near Redondo Beach you have to stop here.

The next three restaurants are located on the Pier in Hermosa Beach. 

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila
Another one of our favorites while we visited here. For an appetizer, they serve you fresh homemade flour tortillas with a variety of salsas and honey butter. (They even made fresh corn tortillas for me!!). The enchiladas were delicious and we were very impressed with the drink menu. I am a big fan of drinks that have cucumber or jalapeno in them, and their menu did not disappoint.

Tower 12
Our next stop was Tower 12, which is right next door to Palmilla. The vibe of the building made it feel like an old cozy library. We did not get food here, but they had some great drinks and we hung out in a lounge area upstairs.

Baja Sharkeez
Our last stop on the pier was Baja Sharkeez, which is right across the pier from Tower 12. This is a fun place with good munchie foods and drinks. The building is two levels with an outdoor patio area upstairs.

Kirari West Bake Shop

Brioche au Chocolat and Cinnamon Custard Brioche

Palmilla Cocina Y Tequila

Tower 12

Tower 12

Baja Sharkeez

Hermosa Beach Pier

Pismo Beach

After leaving Redondo we had no plan except to make our journey up the coast via Highway 1. As we drove along the highway, our two requirements for a beach were that it had beachfront parking and good cell service. Rincon Parkway ended up checking both items off our list! The parking was free (we didn’t park in the campsite area that is nearby), right on the beach, and it felt more secluded than the other beaches we had been to. We hung out here for two days and then decided it was time to move on.

The next beach we stumbled upon was Pismo Beach. It was a nice beach for the day; there’s a section of the beach that you can directly park on, but we opted against that for fear of getting stuck in the sand. We did more exploring of the area later in the day and found some cool little caves, giant white cliffs, and a whole lot of birds.

Overnight rest stop 

Rincon Parkway

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

Our next stops were more of the well-known towns along Highway 1, plus a quick detour to Paso Robles. That post is coming soon!

Thanks for reading! 🙂