Sunshine weekend | Santa Barbara to Santa Monica

We’ve driven south from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles several times in the past year. One of our favourite routes is along the Southbound California State Route 1, on the Pacific Coast Highway.

We always make a pit-stop at the giant sand dunes to admire the scenery and burn off some pent up energy with the children!


This five minute video, by FreewayBrent, from Point Mugu State Park, to the Malibu city limits, captures the drive.

This weekend, on our drive to Santa Monica, we went via The Lost Hills Road and Malibu Canyon Road, and onto the CA 1 South, Pacific Coast Highway.

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It’s a beautiful road, through dramatic scenery.

Driving the Malibu Canyon road

As we approached the coast, we drove past the Pepperdine University and a very moving tribute to all those that lost their lives in the Twin Towers tragedy of September 11th: ‘Waves of Flags‘.

Flag memorial at Pepperdine University
The flags, nearly 3,000 of them, represented all the nationalities of those that tragically lost their lives.

We pulled in to walk amongst the flags flying in the gentle breeze, before getting back in the car for the final leg of our journey, on to Santa Monica.

September 11th Flag memorial

The final drive is filmed in this video by FreewayBrent –
CA 1 South, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu East to Santa Monica:

We arrived in Santa Monica, at the gorgeous Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, late afternoon with plenty of time to enjoy the evening on the beach and in the swimming pool. The girls love the ‘beach gym’, with the monkey rings, bars, swings and climbing ropes. Being there brought back happy memories of my 40th Birthday weekend celebrations.

Santa Monica Beach
As the sun set we played in the pool, spotting the stars as they appeared in the night sky.

At the Loews Hotel pool.
Tiredness began to catch up on our youngest, so I took her off to bed, whilst hubby took our older daughters off to the fairground on the pier.

Santa Monica pier fun fair

They had a really fun time and put their winning tickets from the arcade together, to get a toy for their youngest sister.

Beautiful sunset
Such a beautiful start to the weekend. The next morning we woke and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, before heading to the California Science Center to see the ‘Endeavour’ space shuttle, which was really quite something to see with our own eyes!