Driving time – 3 1/2 hours
We were heading to something specific when we were going to Pismo Beach. On this road trip from Vancouver to Disneyland, my husband had reserved ATVs for himself and the kids in nearby Oceano. The little guy and I spent 3 hours hanging out on the beach and the main strip.
There isn’t much in Oceano – one place that sells Hawaiian shaved ice and a guy who sells pork sandwiches in a tent. It’s not a great place to be if you’re hungry for something other than pork.
We spent about 2 hours on the beach, but this wasn’t just any type of beach. You can actually drive your cars down on it for the price of $5. The only thing? They warn you that you’ll probably get stuck. I parked in the parking lot.
Huge monster type trucks come screaming down the beach because they use it as a road, so this isn’t the best place for little kids who just want to run in the waves. It was beautiful if you looked at the water and not the trucks driving right behind you.
Finally – Onward down the 101 to Anaheim
Driving time from Pismo to Anaheim – About 4 hours
I’d had enough of driving by this point, so we pushed through to Anaheim via the 101. Even at dusk, it was a scenic drive, with wide expanses of ocean and ship lights bobbing in the distance. It’s hard to peel your eyes away from a view like that. It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving, or I’d probably have been a lot more intimate with the ocean than I wanted to be when cruising at 50 MPH.
We drove through Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. We didn’t stop, but from what I saw it was absolutely beautiful. Santa Barbara is very lush, almost like a Vancouver but with palm trees. I’d like a few of those palm trees for myself actually, but I don’t have the heart to plant them in my 10 months of the year rain-soaked yard.
Road trip tip – If you’re looking to save money on your road trip from Vancouver, Santa Barbara is one of the most expensive stops along the way. You’ll save around $100 per night if you drive closer to LA.
We arrived in Anaheim around 10:00 pm, tired and with a car full of sand from the beach, but we arrived!