Globetrotting entrepreneur and consultant Scott Eddy recently took a road trip along the California coast, following parts of the Pacific Coast Highway South itinerary featured in California Road Trips: 50 Life-Changing Adventures. He stopped in Orange County cities Dana Point and Huntington Beach before heading north to Marina del Rey, Malibu, and Santa Barbara.
"Taking a road trip in California is absolutely the best way to go—every time you get in your car, it's time for a new adventure," Eddy says. "The views you get while driving along the coast were the main highlight of the trip." Eddy shares more favorite moments from his trip below.
1. What did you see or explore in Dana Point?
I did the OC Wine Cruise, which was so much fun, and I tasted some great local wines. The harbor during the sunset is magical.
2. What were the best parts of your stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point?
This hotel is one of the most unique properties I've ever seen. The location could not be better—it's impossible to take a bad picture of it. I was also pleasantly surprised by the food at RAYA. I know the quality at The Ritz-Carlton properties is always on point, but this was on another level!
3. You spent some time aboard boats along the way—can you describe your various cruises and give some highlights?
Being on a boat is my happy place, so whenever possible I like to be on the water. Growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., I was always close to the water, and that really made me appreciate sunrises on the beach. But in California with those unreal sunsets, being out on the water just makes it that much better. Being able to go out in Dana Point, Huntington Beach, and Marina del Rey really was the cherry on top for this trip; I can't imagine coming to California and not making time to be on the water.
4. What was the best meal you had in Huntington Beach?
I have to say Bluegold was a perfect experience, the food was exceptional and the service was amazing. When I'm dining out (which is most of the time), I always pay attention to the staff, and you could tell they really care about the customer. It made the whole experience a great one.
6. What was your experience like at the Malibu Beach Inn?
You get that “homey” feel instantly. The staff becomes your temporary family while staying there, and the excellent food and cocktails just make it that much better. They also have one of the best wine lists around.
7. Do you have a favorite scenic spot you found during your trip?
Santa Barbara is one of the most photogenic cities I have even been to. Just when you think you’ve seen the best view you’ll ever see, you turn the other direction and you're blown away again.
8. Where would you recommend staying in Santa Barbara?
You cannot possibly be in a better spot in Santa Barbara than at the Kimpton Canary Hotel, right in the middle of the action. Even though you're in the middle of everything, there is also a beautiful rooftop pool where you feel like you are in your own personal oasis.
9. Do you have any tips for wine tasting along the Urban Wine Trail?
When people think California wine, they immediately think Napa and Sonoma, but it would be a huge mistake to be in Santa Barbara and not take advantage of the Urban Wine Trail. They bring the best of the best wineries in the area downtown within walking distance. The tasting rooms are all quite different and unique.
10. Do you have one photo or social media post that best sums up your trip?
This is a video that I put together that sums up the trip, but it's very hard to put all that magic into one video—you really have to experience it for yourself.