There’s something about California.
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Coming from an East Coast native, born and raised, the idea of California filled my dreams of a faraway magical kingdom; it taunted my growing restlessness.
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The PCH allows us to take in a good amount of what California has to offer us. It makes us feel small, a speck in this universe. We feel so insignificant, yet capable of so much. We can be gracious and thankful for this world we were put on. It has magical, healing powers with the ability to stop time while everything is in motion. We feel free, endless. It gives us a taste of everything: beaches, mountains, deserts.
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Most people don’t view a short vacation this way, but if we take a moment to allow our emotions to flow in; I’m not wrong.
1. San Diego
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I flew into San Diego, bypassing the downtown towers and railroad tracks. I wasn’t able to explore as much as I would have liked, but the few moments I did spend in San Diego, I could tell it was a city worth visiting.
2. Huntington Beach
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3. Los Angeles
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4. Santa Barbara
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From Los Angeles, you can take I-10 for a longer route to reach Malibu or continue on Highway 5 which merges with Highway 101 heading west to hit Ventura. A few miles north is Santa Barbara: my favorite beach city to drive through. Even from a moving vehicle, it is apparent the joy living in Santa Barbara would bring. The coastline, mountains, and perfect weather was to die for.
5. San Luis Obispo (SLO)
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SLO is smack in the middle of Central Coast Wine Country. Numerous vineyards surround the highway with rows and rows AND ROWS of grape vines. It is incredible to think about all the work and wine that comes from the vineyards. Fun Fact: You have to squish between 600 and 800 grapes to make a bottle of wine.
6. Hearst Castle
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Turning left, heading west out of San Luis Obispo, you finally hit Highway 1, the PCH. Even if you don’t have time to visit Hearst Castle, it can be seen from the highway. A fairytale in itself.
7. Piedras Blancas of San Simeon
Stop at one of the viewing points and experience the elephant seals of California. They don’t do much, but the hundreds of seals sun tanning allow you to appreciate just a small portion of the Cali wildlife.
8. Big Sur
Via: Melia Topicz
Big Sur encompasses a range of sightseeing from the notorious Bixby Bridge, to Pfeiffer Beach, to Mcway Falls. In the simplest terms, the Bixby Bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge of Big Sur. It soars 260 feet above a canyon and has a 320 foot concrete arch span. Pfeiffer Beach, one of the top 10 beaches in California and home of the purple sand, will take your breath away. Mcway Falls was my favorite; a waterfall that cascades onto the beach. I don’t know where else one is able to see such a sight so accessible and for zero dollars.
9. San Francisco
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San Fran is an incredible city. I spent the most time there and can see why so many people love it. The hilly roads surrounded by those San Francisco type homes (think Full House) and numerous things to do, it is a city to explore. The Golden Gate Bridge is a must, Muir woods is a must – witnessing the 300 feet tall Redwoods. Also, Dolores Park deserves an afternoon: grab a six pack, some snacks and sit on top of the hill, people watch, and gaze in amazement at the city around you. Locals and visitors sun bathe, drink, play beer pong, eat, sell edibles out of a basket, and just relax.