I Rented A Classic Convertible For My Road Trip & Felt Like A Movie Star

by Alexa Mellardo

Picture California’s coastal highway with the sun reflecting off the turquoise blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, and the cool breeze making the wildflowers dance on the hills. Reds, golden browns, and bright orange cliffs melt into the winding highway as cars whizz by. Now imagine yourself cruising down that picturesque, windy road with the convertible top down, tunes cranked up, and your hair blowing in the wind. All eyes are on you, and you know it. This moment is all yours, girlfriend, because nobody is radder than you right now. I know this because I road tripped in a convertible from Monterey Touring Vehicles, and it was one of the most Instagrammable trips I’ve ever been on.

If you’ve ever driven down the Coastal Highway, you know every twist and turn is another irresistible photo opportunity for the ‘Gram. Let’s face it: You’re going to plan the perfect outfit for your road trippin’ experience. You have your movie star-esque sunnies on to slay, and are completely ready to strike a pose in the California sunshine. I’m here to tell you, all that’s missing from this situation is a classic car, which is the one spectacular prop you need to take your Instagram vacation to the next level.

I spent four days exploring the Monterey Peninsula, and there’s so much to see. Monterey Touring Vehicles provides the perfect four-wheeled companion you must have to explore this awesome area in the most romantic, classic style. Whether you rent your hot wheels for a half day, or an entire week, take it from my personal experience: You will look and feel like a celeb in every possible way.

Monterey Touring Vehicles hooked me up with a ’69 Mercury Cougar convertible.

Alexa Mellardo

This beauty had a deep blue leather interior, and a white paint job that perfectly complemented all of my outfits. Boy did that sleek Cougar get a lot of attention! Whether it was me sliding off the hood while attempting to capture a natural pose (because my ride was so dang shiny and *glistened* so perfectly in the sun), or the fact that I was driving one of the only vintage classics on the road that day, there were a lot of heads turning. I came back from this trip with the most incredible pictures and even better memories.

Having a gearhead dad, I was converted at a young age to be excited when revving up the engine and hitting the blacktop (peeling out) in style. Of course, I’ve driven Dad’s ’72 Corvette down windy roads on the East Coast in the fall, with foliage taking a spotlight. Driving down the West Coast, though, you're definitely seeing things through a different lens. Every backdrop looks like the inspiration of a Thomas Kinkade painting or vibrant postcard.

The car itself makes the ride a true bucket list adventure you shouldn’t sleep on in your 20s.

Warning: The hair is going to go wild, so just roll with it. It’s an adrenaline rush you need to embrace, so ditch the everyday rental and opt for a ’61 Volkswagen van or shiny red ’58 Porsche. (Your Instagram feed will thank you.) A ’65 Shelby Cobra or ’70 Corvette Stingray may speak more to your vibes, and Monterey Touring Vehicles’ website lists 32 gorgeous rides to choose from. They will even deliver your wheels to wherever you’re staying (within 10 miles of the Monterey Airport) for an additional $30 fee. Prices range from $200 for a four-hour rental, to $1,200 for eight to 24 hours, depending on the car. There’s an iconic car to suit every budget.

Each rental includes 100 miles per day, so if you want to stop for pictures along the gorgeous 17-mile drive, I definitely recommend opting for the ’65 Mustang GT (because I’m biased and will forever be a groupie).

Overall, a road trip gives you the freedom to pack up the car, be on your own schedule, and spontaneously navigate your way through a new adventure. You might stumble upon a beautiful pebbled beach, local event, or cute café you never knew you needed in your life.

There are so many Instagrammable spots to explore in the Monterey area.

Alexa Mellardo

During your stay, you can hit up Old Monterey (the charming downtown district that's decorated with shops, restaurants, and quaint cafes by the sea) and then walk over to Fisherman’s Wharf (the wharf stretches out into the clear blue water, where you'll have a pristine view of the most colorful boats at the dock. Be sure to stop at Paluca Trattoria at the end of the wharf for some clam chowder and pesto calamari, or opt for a day exploring vineyards and wine tasting in Carmel.

I kicked off my Insta road trip with Point Lobos and Garrapata State Park, then cruised to Big Sur River Inn for warm apple cider and a delicious lunch. I then headed to Pfeiffer Beach, which is a true hidden gem, and you'll miss it if you are driving too fast. It’s about two miles past the Big Sur River Inn, and a very long, narrow road will lead you past a horse farm and to this sweet little oasis. You’ll be so glad you stumbled upon this gorgeous beach with purple sand.

Of course, I cruised across the famous Bixby Bridge, the same one that Madeline drove across more times than once in Big Little Lies.

Alexa Mellardo

I cranked up the Big Little Lies theme song, and truly felt like I was on the big screen.

Needless to say, renting an iconic car for an iconic road trip will take living your best life to the next level. It's an attainable experience you can plan solo or with a group of your best girlfriends. Do it and don't look back, because #noregrets.