Part I on California is already online. Read it now!
Oh, I could write pages upon pages on the adventures in California. There are so many special places to see, especially the hidden ones are even more beautiful.
California Map – the perfect road trip route
- Lake Tahoe/ Truckee
I have been there in April on a weekend ski trip and oh my, was it special. There are two big ski resorts at Lake Tahoe: Northstar and Squaw Valley. A ski pass for 3 days costs $339 for ages 13-18 and $414 for ages 19 – 64. It is super expensive, I know. Nevertheless, it is cheeper when you book online. I stayed in Truckee with friends over night and it’s the perfect little ski village with so much vibe. Have breakfast at ‘Wild Cherries’, it is a really cute place. You have to drive about 15 min from Truckee to Northstar.
This city is the capital of the Californian state. It is an important city regarding the US history. In the district of Old Sacramento, you can still spot wooden pathways and railroads which were all built in the gold rush-era. It is very pleasant just walking through Sacramento and feeling the still present impact of the most important event in Californian history as well as experiencing a modern lifestyle. 🙂
3. San Francisco
Well, obviously this city is included. The famous Lombard Street and the Pier (especially Pier 39) are some of the most famous stops in the city. If you are at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge and drive the lane uphill, you can get an amazing view onto the GG Bridge and the skyline of San Francisco. The best lookout spot is Twin Peaks Summit. All locals, especially the youth, hang out at Golden Gate Park. And to get the full SF experience, visit Alcatraz. It is an abandoned prison in the bay of SF which is rich in history. It is important to learn about the downsides of a city as well.
4. Santa Cruz
Oh my, the place that has formed me. I have traveled to Santa Cruz three times already, it became a part of me. And the city surprisingly has more sides to it than it may seem at first glance. You have Downtown, which is an absolutely must (!!!). Take the chance and enter the Santa Cruz bookshop, it is pure heaven for all book lovers. If you walk from Downtown towards the ocean, you will get to the Wharf. Take a walk, get yourself some food to-go and take a seat on one of the benches of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, which is right next to the wharf. The Boardwalk is a really nice place to go to on any day: If it is foggy, play in the arcades. If it is sunny, go on the water rides and then take a swim in the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, Santa Cruz also the amazing Twin Lakes beaches. Oh I loved them. Mostly locals go there. And did you know Santa Cruz is basically THE surf city in California? That should be reason enough to rent a surfboard and to be on your way into the cold Pacific Ocean. I wish I could join you surfing the waves. Plus, the district Capitola has colourful houses at the oceanside. Before heading to Capitola, have an American breakfast at ‘Santa Cruz Harbour Cafe’.
Montereeey – this place has my heart! Once being the leading city in fish industry, this place has the charm of an old fisherman’s village in my eyes. Cannery Road is the main street with many souvenir shops. Walking along the street can be very interesting if you look up every now and then – you can spot the old transport passages of fish etc. Furthermore, Monterey Bay has a breathtaking aquarium. When I was there it completely amazed me. After visiting the museum, have a meal at Bubba Gump. ‘Wait, Bubba Gump? Isn’t that the shrimp company from the movie Forrest Gump?’ – Yes my friend, it is. The US is the only country to actually have restaurants named Bubba Gump, with the whole concept of Forrest Gump’s shrimp company. Enjoy!
- Los Angeles
LA has two sides to me: the superficial and the true, normal one. The superficial side – if we want to call it that way – basically consists of Hollywood and its oh-so-fancy Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Universal Studious etc. and Rodeo Drive. Only the wealthy people and the tourists stroll those streets, it has nothing to do with actually getting to know a city. Venice Beach and Santa Monica are kind-of mediums, where everybody goes. I happened to like Venice Beach. In between the beach and the street you have a little promenade where people sell bags, towels, jewellery, sunglasses, souvenirs, swimsuits and so on. It just has a vibe. Chinatown and Downtown LA is then where really mostly inhabitants of the City of Los Angeles decide to go. Whoops, there are these words again: DECIDED TO GO! Seriously, why shouldn’t you go there?
2. San Clemente
Please, please, pleeeease visit this city northern of San Diego to experience the most amazing sunsets! San Clemente also has wonderful beaches. Just take some snacks with you and enjoy your own company, looking at the sparkling ocean through your shades, feeling the warm breeze and rays of light on your skin. I know, I want to pack my bags and leave right now as well…so you will take a swim there for me too, won’t you? 😉
3. San Diego
This city in the south of California is known for its beaches and parks. The Balboa Park is one of the most interesting ones because a lot of masterpieces inhabit it. ‘What?’, you may hear yourself say now. Let me explain: There are plenty art galleries, artist studios and museums in this park. So it is not only a place to hang out at, but to also educate yourself and get to know the culture as well. And what would California be without its interesting buildings? Find one of the architectonic masterworks at UC San Diego, it is named ‘Geisel Library’. There is also a mountain in SD County called ‘Iron Mountain’. After a 6 mile hike , you will be more than rewarded with an absolutely breathtaking view. In addition, San Diego is very warm but if one might be a real heat- and sun-fanatic, it is only a 40 min drive to the Mexican city Tijuana. Enjoy!