Best Western’s Cavalier Adds to California’s Coastline …
with Charm and Beauty
By Bonnie Siegler for CATALINA
Cruising along California’s spectacular coastline on a relaxing trip from San Francisco, Highway 1, takes you to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula, home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Then on to the coastal town of Carmel by the Sea before heading further south to Big Sur. While this area can set you back some in dollars, it’s well worth the visual panoramic view of the coast and there’s two ways to do this. A strenuous hike in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or as I did with my husband, a leisurely lunch on the terrace of the iconic Nepenthe restaurant. Continuing south after soaking up some sun and good food, the Bixby Bridge with its 10-story arch that you’ve seen in numerous nature calendars, sports car ads and “Play Misty For Me," awaits you.
The real treat – and surprise – of my coastal trip came some 240 miles south of San Francisco. There sits San Simeon, home to newspaper publisher William Randolph Heart’s house on a hilltop; it’s what he called his “ranch at San Simeon” and what we know as Heart Castle. The Mediterranean Revival estate is filled with art and antiques from Heart’s vast collection and two days are needed to tour the complete estate and its antiquities. We took Tour 2, with over 200 stairs, some up and down winding staircases. So be sure to wear your walking shoes.
Right down the road from Hearst Castle is the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort which sits atop a small bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with an outdoor heated pool and its own adjacent restaurant. The location is spectacular and the view from Oceanside is unparalleled. The rooms are neatly adorned, spacious, modern and equipped with many extras such as loaner binoculars for whale or bird watching. But it’s the outside patio that I enjoyed the most. There sat two Adirondack rocking chairs just begging for a few hours of contemplation at the sheer beauty of the area, reading and spending time with a loved one. The extra blankets inside the room served to keep us warm from the ocean chill. I guess we could have cozied up by the fireplace in the room, but there has always been a calming effect I enjoy from the sound and smell of the ocean. When the sun set, we took out our s’mores kit and headed down to the ocean and took up residence at one of the hotel’s open fire pits by the ocean’s edge. It was a great way to meet other travelers and share stories of interesting locales others had experienced on their coastal highway travels. Everyone concurred that the waves were a welcome respite from the cable cars and highway traffic experienced in San Francisco.
Our stop at this Best Western resort proved to be the perfect halfway point between San Francisco and Los Angeles – a great place to sit back and be awed by beautiful sunsets over the blue Pacific.