Kevin and I have been to different parts of California throughout the years and have always had a great time while enjoying the beauty and diversity of the state. There is so much to see, so much to do. It is quite an interesting state to say the least – it’s artsy and outdoorsy, there is crop and cattle farming, mountains, cliffs and beaches – there is something different at every turn.
As we traveled along the coast we stopped at places we’ve never been, and also at places we’ve been before and really enjoy (Carmel and Santa Cruz).
Because of fires, we had to change our plans for some of the areas we wanted to see. As we drove through California, scorched landscape related to current and prior fires was unfortunately a common observation. Nonetheless, the California landscape is absolutely beautiful!
We entered California heading south from Oregon. Our first stops were Crescent City and Eureka/Ferndale. We skipped around the Redding wildfire, and continued down the coast, bypassed another wildfire near Clearlake and hunkered down for a few days in Napa. We then took a run across California to the Nevada border for a week in the Lake Tahoe area. After we returned we went through the San Francisco area and spent some time in Felton, in the Redwood forests, and then right down the road to Santa Cruz. We continued on Route 1 and witnessed some gorgeous California scenery in the beautiful areas of Marina, Monterey and Carmel.
One of the most beautiful drives was the scenic 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach which is between Montery and Carmel. Beautiful snow-white beaches, coastal cliffs, forests and iconic golf courses. AND, very extravagant, ultra expensive homes. Quite an interesting drive! After our drive we continued on to Carmel. Carmel is a very pretty and little artsy town with store front wine tastings, art galleries, boutiques and plenty of restaurants. I probably had the BEST burger I ever had at the 401 Degree Gourmet Burgers & Fries. YUM! Unfortunately I just read that they recently closed their doors. The owners have other fine dining restaurants in the area and that is their focus. I am very glad we were able to enjoy one of their gourmet burgers.
After staying in Santa Cruz and Carmel, we changed our drive to south and east on Route 101 from Route 1, because at this spot in the state this is where Route 1 turns into a roller coaster along the Pacific coast. We’ve traveled on Route 1 before (without an RV) and know that with an RV the size of ours, it’s not real wise to take this route 😳. The whole way down the coast from Washington to California seemed like a rollercoaster (white knuckle) drive to me. Our plans had us heading to Las Vegas. We took a short break in Bakersfield, CA for a few days before making the run through the desert to Vegas.
All in all we spent a month exploring California. Our stops along the way were way too many for me to possibly give all details of each area. I’m afraid I would quickly lose you to boredom . So we’ll take you on a couple slideshow tours with captions.
We hope you enjoy!
Crescent City/Ferndale/Napa/Lake Tahoe
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Pebble Beach 17 Mile Drive
Our upcoming stops as we make our way to Arizona for the winter, are Las Vegas, Zion National Park and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. Hope you will join us!