This time last year we packed our cases + jet-setted across the plains of America and touched down in California. We expected sunshine, good times, beaches and even breathtaking scenery but we didn’t expect it to completely capture our hearts. I could upload picture after picture and describe every moment to you in its entirety but the best advice I can give you is to add this trip to your bucket list and make it happen sooner than later. If you’re considering a trip to visit this beautiful state, which I vouch you should, here are some tips + a few items to add to your endless list of ‘musts’.
| VISIT |
San Francisco really is a place you could leave your heart. This city by the bay is one that left me itching to return. If you only had a day to explore this city I would suggest you do so by bike, ending with a ride over the Golden Gate bridge. The sub-climates will have you reaching for your layers during the journey, but getting to the half way point on the bridge + seeing the beauty of this red structure peeking its head through the clouds is worth every second.
Alcatraz at night. There’s just something about setting off at the golden hour to this historic island rich in history. From the island you have gorgeous views of the city during sunset. The night tours typically offer some additional access to some eerie parts of the prison that the day tours leave out. Remember to book this in advance to ensure you get your ticket to Alcatraz and don’t get left behind.
Some other favorites were a snack from Ghirardelli’s, a walk down Fisherman’s Wharf + a visit to Sausalito.
This wine country was everything I thought it would be and so much more. Cruising through the rolling hills, of what sometimes felt like deserts, with the sun beaming down on our skin was the foreshadowing to a picture perfect holiday.
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We chose the Platypus bus tour as our means of transport. This made it easy to sip our way through the vineyards and enjoy the company of old friends while making some new ones. I’m not sure if it was our tour guide or the stunning day, but all hands would agree that it was one successful trip through Napa. The tour took us to four different wineries where we quickly learned that any good wine connoisseur has a dog.
| VISIT |
The first stop on our drive down the coast was the small town of Monterey where we stopped for a whale watching tour. I assumed this would be something fun to do on our journey down Route1 but I had no idea what a sight this would truly be. Seeing these sea animals put on a show in all of their glory was spectacular.
| STAY |
Tree Bones Resort. This glampsite perfectly positioned on top of the cliff along Big Sur was incredible. We booked to stay here for two nights and we were all in agreeance that one more day would’ve been ideal. One of my favorite meals of the trip was had at the sushi bar in this resort over looking the sunset across the Atlantic. No pictures could do it justice so you’ll just have to see for yourself.
| VISIT |
The backdrop of mountains, lined with palm trees, set the perfect scene for this destination. We sat on the beach and watched the world go by, ate some gorgeous seaside cuisines, and did our fair share of shopping in the idyllic downtown. It was a stop on the trip that was more about relaxing than being on the go and that was beautiful.
They say NYC is the place that never sleeps, and while that may be true, I think LA runs a close competition. It’s a unique place full of a melting pot of people. There are those working endlessly in hopes of making their big break paired with those who already think they have it all. There is plenty to keep you busy for days or places like the Griffith Observatory where you can escape for a little peace + quite and the best views overlooking the City of Angels. I like to think this is where some of the most creative collide to create something beautiful. I picture those writing their first novel, those studying their first big script and those simple hearts with big dreams perching on this hillside.
| STAY |
Before LA we had never tried AirBnB but because there was a few of us we decided to give it a whirl. The house we stayed at was beautiful and just a short drive away from everything we wanted to see + do. It was located at the foot of the Hollywood Hills + a five minute ride from the walk of fame. We will definitely consider AirBnB for future trips.
| EAT |
Beyond the actors, the singers, the socialites, and all of the other creative occupations, there are some of the world’s best chefs. We ate at the renowned Mr.Chows and enjoyed an amazing Chinese cuisine. The atmosphere of this restaurant also sets the scene for a memorable dining experience. The family style table layout lining the walls and down the middle could have you dining beside the stars (literally) and the paparazzi outside make for an interesting entrance and exit.
I’m sure there a plenty of places you could choose for brunch but my favorite is the Fountain Room in the Beverly Hills Hotel. Maybe it’s the fact that Marilyn + Audrey dined here, but I would give the french toast and coffee a ten out of ten. All of the food is farmer’s market fresh and the meat is prepared at the on site butcher shop. Another favorite was Geoffrey’s in Malibu, this seaside breakfast left us feeling beyond relaxed with our bellies full.
Looking for something sweet? The Bouchon Bakery is a must! Macaron fan? This is the place.
| STAY |
This place has serenity written all over it. After leaving the hustle + bustle of LA we were ready for some R+R and this place did not disappoint. If you’re looking for somewhere to spoil yourselves and kick up your feet you must stay at the ever-so beautiful Resort at Pelican Hill. The infinity pool is enough to make you drool and the customer service is of the best standard. Thank me after.
| VISIT |
This eclectic city is the definition of cool. The historic Gaslamp district is packed full of boutiques, places to dine + the home to many festivals. Whether we were strolling the streets of the district, heading to the San Diego zoo or catching a baseball game, this city was the perfect way to conclude our road trip down the coast.
California is a great asset to the good ol’ USA. It’s packed full of diversity, creativity and has ‘chill’ written all over it. From the time we began our journey in San Fran until we reached our last destination of San Diego we felt so relaxed + so welcomed. It’s a melting pot of dreamers + doers and a place we can’t wait to revisit in the very near future.