10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 3: Santa Monica & Ventura, California

Overview: Left Joshua Tree National Park in Twentynine Palms, California and headed west towards Los Angeles to San Monica Pier and Ventura.

After a busy evening in Las Vegas, and one day spent in Joshua tree National Park, we headed west to pick up the Pacific Coast Highway 1 to then head north towards Santa Monica Pier and Ventura to continue our road trip.

Additional Stop Suggestion: After leaving Joshua Tree National Park, you pass by Palm Springs, California. While we did not stop, I have visited there in the past and would highly recommend visiting Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It provides a really unique and beautiful view of the area!

Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California

We drove on the outskirts of Los Angeles and saw the infamous Hollywood sign from the road. While it’s a little disappointing that we didn’t detour to get a closeup picture with it, this was totally fine because we were headed for more fun!

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Hollywood Sign Los Angeles, CA | Gathered In The Kitchen

Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California

We arrived at Santa Monica Pier just a bit later and was greeted by some sunshine!!

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

The beach!! This was the kids first time in the Pacific Ocean! Having lived in the South for most of their lives, they’ve been to the Atlantic Ocean more times than I can count!

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen
Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

While we were enjoying the BRIGHT sun and warm weather, I decided to check the weather back home…boy, was I glad we were not there! I’m definitely tired of snow in late March!!

After spending time on the beach, we headed up to the Pier.

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

Our little guy desperately wanted to play one of the games – so for $5 he took 3 basketball shots 🙂 haha. It’s all about the experiences in life!

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

After having some fun on the Pier, we walked down the path and stopped to have some fun at the adult sized outdoor playgrounds!

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

We left Santa Monica and hit the road, headed north for Oxnard, California. Along the way, we passed several fields of strawberries. A lady and her young son were selling strawberries along the roadside, so we stopped and bought two cartons. The strawberries were delicious!

California Strawberries | Gathered In The Kitchen

Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach in Oxnard, California

We arrived at our next hotel called Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach that evening and the kids were ecstatic! The resort was oceanfront with a beautiful pool, hot tub, outdoor fire pits and even basketball and tennis courts!

Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton | Gathered In The Kitchen

In-N-Out Burger in Ventura, California

The kids were so excited to finally make it to California, (state #46 for them) to try In-N-Out Burger in Ventura. Although it’s seriously just a fast-food burger joint, things always taste better when you can only get them in certain places!

In-N-Out Burger, Ventura, CA | Gathered In The Kitchen

Swimming + Commercial Filming

After stuffing our bellies with burgers and fries, we headed back to the resort so the boys could do some swimming. While they were swimming, a film crew and two models came out to the pool and began filming.

Commercial Filming | Gathered In The Kitchen

When the film crew called it a wrap, I went over and asked them what they were filming for. One of the gentlemen told they were filming a brand commercial for the hotel resort. Pretty cool!

Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton | Gathered In The Kitchen

The boys swam for quite a while more, then we all warmed up by one of the many outdoor fireplaces!…then called it a night because we had an early morning ahead of us!

Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton | Gathered In The Kitchen
Bellagio Water Show Las Vegas | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 1: Las Vegas, Nevada

Joshua Tree National Park | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 2: Joshua Tree National Park

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 3: Santa Monica & Ventura, California

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 4: Ojai & Santa Barbara, California

Channel Islands Island Packers Cruise | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 5: Channel Islands National Park, California

Solvang, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 6: Solvang, San Simeon & Big Sur, California

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 7: Big Sur, Point Lobos, & Cannery Row, California

Muir Woods National Monument | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 8: Santa Cruz, Muir Woods, California

Golden Gate Bridge | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 9: San Francisco, California

Walnut Creek, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 10: Walnut Creek, California

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