Family Travel Ideas

Road Trip: Cruising California’s Coastline in the Ford C-Max Hybrid!


If you have never driven up the coast of California, you do not know what you are missing.


View of Pebble Beach, California, 17 Mile Drive


Last weekend, myself and a few other bloggers got the chance to take a road trip from San Francisco, CA to Pebble Beach in Ford’s 2014 C-Max Hybrid. The views and scenery were absolutely breathtaking! There is an element of calm about the ocean, making this trip a relaxing one. I personally believe that there’s no better place to live, California has amazing weather year round, miles and miles of beautiful beaches, wineries, and so much more.


Ford C-Max Hybrid Cars


I took the drive on the way down with Terri Ann from Cookies and Clogs. I have met her in the past, but we never really got the chance to chat. She is from the area, so I was happy to have her as a guide to each destination. As we headed south from San Francisco, we used the car’s voice activated navigation system to drive down the 101’s scenic mountain views, only to trade them for ocean views when we hit Santa Cruz. We stopped at the boardwalk, then continued down to Monterey, and eventually made it to Pebble Beach.


Road Trip in Ford C-Max car, Santa Cruz beach, San Francisco, California


We arrived to Pebble Beach with an ocean view. Checking in to the Casa Palmero boutique hotel was just icing on the cake! Words cannot accurately describe it, such a luxurious and beautiful hotel with friendly staff and amenities galore! With it’s elegant Mediterranean style, Casa Palmero’s serene accommodations are individual villas, which include plush bedding, deep bath tubs, wood burning fire places, and even private hot tubs on the patios of some rooms. The hotel boasts 24 exclusive rooms, has a outdoor heated pool, spa services and is situated near golf courses and the beach. I think Casa Palmero deserves it’s own review post.


Casa Palmero Hotel Pictures, Pebble Beach, California


A few other stops included a tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a delicious dinner at The Bench, located in The Lodge at Pebble Beach, and exploration along the coast line down 17 Mile Drive.


Monterey Bay Aquarium Photos, Fish, sea otters, ocean view, California


Along the way, we learned a lot of cool things about the Ford C-max Hybrid. On the drive up, we had the Hybrid SE model. There are so many little things beyond the engine size, fuel economy, and other technical specs that I like about this car. I am not very car tech savvy, so I can share the aspects of the Ford C-Max that made driving it a delight…


Deanna, mommyGAGA with Ford C-Max car


  • The Ford C-Max Hybrid seats 5 passengers. The rear seats were roomy, I can see my kids sitting back there comfortably for years. If I had another child, they would fit in the 5th seat.
  • The touch screen comprises an easy to use navigation system, audio with built in SIRIUS, car climate controls, and phone / Bluetooth connection, all in one.
  • The navigation system was clear and concise. It uses verbal and visual cues take you right where you need to be, the map shows you where you are and specifically where to go.
  • There is a rear back up camera and parking assistant that beeps when you are getting to close to something while in reverse.
  • The dashboard console features SmartGauge® with EcoGuide to increase efficiency, which shows fuels usage and miles to empty. It shows green leaves when the car is at it’s most efficient peaks.
  • We’re an on-the-go family, so the USB outlets in the center console and the 110V standard outlet in the back seat were perfect for our technology use!
  • The cargo area is a decent size, although I would like to see more space. We were able to fit two roller travel suitcases, two totes, and a few other smaller bags and purses with room to spare. We could have fit two more roller suitcases on top of ours if we needed to! If you need more space, you can fold down the rear seats.
  • Ahem, 43 MPG?! Yes please!
  • The C-Max has a sleek, aerodynamic design and is nice and open. The fit was very nice, I was comfortable sitting in the car for a long period of time and enjoyed the natural light that came into the car from the sun roof and large windows.



Ford C-Max Hybrid Car Interior Photos


On the return drive to San Francisco, I hopped in the car with Jen from The Mom Reviews and we drove the C-Max Hybrid SEL. It has the aforementioned features, but also has a few more bells and whistles, including push to start button, premium navigation technology, active park assist to help with parallel parking, heated, leather seats and a foot activated lift gate to open the trunk area when your hands are full. I can only think of the many times I could have used this feature! There is also an Energi plug in Hybrid model, which combines electric motor with a gasoline engine, gets tons of MPG, and is full of technology!


I had an amazing time during our road trip to Pebble Beach, a huge thanks to Ford for inviting me along!


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I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.



  • What aprfect car for a road trip! I love those USB plugs, and those would be perfect for kids in the backseat!

  • What an amazing trip! I was just saying the other day how one of my favorite vacations was when we traveled around California. Of course you can’t go wrong with a Ford car. My grandfather worked for Ford, so we only drive Ford cars.

  • Oh how fun that you got to take this awesome roadtrip adventure and hang out with Terri Ann! I have a friend who is from Santa Cruz but I’ve never been.

  • Looks like a fun trip. It’s also cool to see photos of the car – I am impressed with how roomy the back seat is.

  • That looks like an awesome car!!! I wouldn’t be able to get all of my kids in it (I have 5) but it looks like it would be a great commuter car! 🙂

  • Sounds like a fun time and love the car! Looking great. I haven’t ever been to CA, I am over here on East Coast … Beautiful views!

  • Looks like it was a lovely drive!

    thanks for sharing the photo of the backseat of the car. Looking at it from the outside I would not have expected it to be that roomy in the back.

  • As a California girl, I still appreciate the beauty of the coast line. I’ll miss it, living in Indiana now.

    And it sounds like Ford has a fun car there. It’s been awhile since I’ve driven a hybrid, it might be time to look at them again.

  • What a super fun trip! Driving down the coast of CA is something I’d love to do with my kids one summer.

    And that car is beautiful!

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