Ever wanted to escape from your car for a weekend? Charming Pacific Grove, with its dollhouse-like Victorian buildings and Main Street, USA feel, is the perfect spot for a 36-hour, car-free, surprisingly affordable getaway.
Depending on how quickly you want to get to your destination, you have three options. The first is to take Hwy 101, followed by Hwy 156. This route is 120 miles and will take approximately 2 hours. The second option is to take the more scenic Hwy 280 to Hwy 101, followed by Hwy 156. It will also take 2 hours without traffic, but it is a more enjoyable drive. However, both of these routes will have significant traffic during rush hour (particularly evening). Which is why the third option is much more relaxed and way more scenic. Taking Hwy-1 right alongside the coast all the way to Pacific Grove will take 3 hours (still 120 miles), but the drive is worth the extra hour. If you take this drive in the evening, stop by Lillian's Italian Kitchen in Santa Cruz for dinner. If you do, don't forget to order the black truffle gnocchi.