i have been fortunate to have spent quite a bit of time in california and seen all of the coast, driving the length of PH1 and stopping in many of the cities along the way [this was during my numerous visits, not just one trip! i would never have been able to do it in as much detail].
one of the things i liked most was visting the monterey bay aquarium and having the experience of seeing their extraordinary exhibits of ocean life. i even got to "pet" [touch] the baby bat rays in the shallow water exhibit. damn, i wanted one of those for a pet! ok, kidding. it's a fabulous opportunity to view california's oceanlife, if you ever get the chance.