There’s no better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than a road trip along California’s Highway 1. For her 50th – and her son’s 16th – Clara from London, Ontario took the experience to the next level by renting a convertible for their drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco… and traveling up and down the Big Sur coast four times!

What are inspired you to take a Big Sur road trip?
The inspiration came from renting a convertible and wanting to experience the natural beauty of the outdoors. Big Sur was on our list of a great mother-son road trip adventure to enjoy for our milestone birthdays, 16 and 50.

What was your favorite stop along the road trip or most memorable moment?
We actually drove the Big Sur coast of the highway four times because we enjoyed it so much, so it definitely took us all day to drive that part of the highway. We stopped at every potential stop to enjoy, take a breath, take some pictures, and then admire again a second time around.

What recommendations or tips do you have for fellow Big Sur road trippers?
A tip I would offer is to give yourself more time then you think you’ll need. That’s mostly because it’s so breathtaking and spectacular that you don’t want to rush it. It was beautiful to see it during the day, and also when the sun was setting and there was a lot less traffic as the day went on. You have to be comfortable driving in the dark – and we were – so it was great for us to enjoy it during the day, at sunset and at night.

What advice would you give road trippers to connect with nature and respect the local environment of Big Sur?
Connecting with nature and respecting the environment is so important and the best tip that I can offer here is don’t bring any bottled drinks – bring a refillable water bottle to have along the journey. Also, just take pictures – lots and lots of pictures and nothing else. Take a seat, enjoy, breathe it all, admire the crashing of the waves, talk about the beauty and then also revisit your pictures over and over again to relive those beautiful moments.