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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!
Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California
We arrived at Santa Monica Pier just a bit later and was greeted by some sunshine!!
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!
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.
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!
After having some fun on the Pier, we walked down the path and stopped to have some fun at the adult sized outdoor playgrounds!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!