Drive PCH from Zuma Beach in Malibu to Santa Monica. This is LA’s signature drive with beaches on one side and multimillion dollar mansions on the other. Watch longboarders catch rolling waves at Surfrider Beach; immerse yourself in classical Mediterranean art at the Getty Villa (free but $15 to park); or wander near the cliffs of Point Dume (pictured here) in search of seashells and inner Zen.
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If you’re departing from San Francisco, it’s a good idea to kick-start the morning with a hearty breakfast. Welcome to the Ferry Building Marketplace on the Embarcadero, an 1898 transit hub that’s something of an icon thanks to its handsome white clock tower. Inside, you’ll find artisanal bakeries, cheese shops, cafes, and a mushroom shop.