“On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again…”
I embarked on an epic holiday earlier this year which took me from San Francisco to LA to Yosemite National Park. From wild swimming with dolphins (yes, really) to gawping at the Grand Canyon, my road trip ticked an awful lot of things off my bucket list. Things, which if you’re heading state side, you simply cannot miss…
Why? To pretend you’re in Charmed, lust after the city’s pretty pastel houses and get a serious calf work-out on those hills. Don’t miss Lombard Street, the city’s countless green spaces, meadows and pretty parks and The Mission’s incredible street art. You’ll probably want to wander around Alcatraz’s haunted halls and visit Pier 37’s stinky sealions too. Oh, and the Golden Gate Bridge. You’re not going to want to miss that.
Why? Buy arm-fulls of fresh fruit and vegetables at roadside stalls, channel your inner poet and get sandy feet at Carmel Beach and ride the rollercoasters in Santa Cruz. Hit Highway 1, aka the Pacific Coast Highway, for twisting, turning roads, endless seascapes, rugged cliffs and views that’ll make your jaw drop. Pose at Bixby Bridge, discover McWay Falls and get up with a sun for an early morning hike. Spy seals, tiny rabbits and gofers. Just be careful if you’re camping. Those little animals will steal your breakfast if you let ’em…
Why? For an entirely different Californian experience. To feast on fresh fish, wonder at the bay’s insanely clear water and gaze at the rock which looms over the fishing village.
Where? Eat scallops as big as your fist at morrobaydockside.com
Why? To marvel at the sunsets, drink cold beers on the beach, swim in the Pacific Ocean and come insanely close to wild dolphins (if you’re lucky.) Eat ice-cream, sit in the shade of palm trees, surf, sunbathe, sport salty beach hair and pretend you’re a California Gurl.
Where? Sleep, eat, swim and channel your inner surfer at oceanmesa.com
Why? To find fame, spot celebrities and wander along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Take in the view at Griffith Observatory and spy the Hollywood Sign. Sip cocktails on roof bars as the sun goes down and generally be incredibly glamorous.
Why? Slather yourself in suncream and drive through the desert. Pose under Joshua trees, marvel at insane landscapes and listen to rock ‘n’ roll really loudly.
Stuff your face with HUGE milkshakes and giant burgers at mrdzrt66diner.com
Why? Because it’s the Grand Canyon. It’s so incredibly beautiful your eyes won’t believe it. They’ll want to weep. You’ll want to gaze in amazement and gawp in astonishment. Wander, walk, hike. Stop, look, listen. And pose for some obligatory Grand Canyon snaps.
Where? Camp with the elks, the stars and the pine cones at Trailer Village RV Park
Why? Because it’s insane. The endless roads, the strange, surreal, space-like landscape. The horizon that stretches forever. The heat. Visit in the early morning to avoid that painful midday sun or the evening watch the sky turn a thousand shades of pink and purple.
JUNE LAKE LOOP
Why? To breathe in clean mountain air, kayak on giant blue lakes and take in the epic scenery.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Why? To wander through meadows full of flowers, dip your toes in the icy rivers running off the mountains and pad through quiet pine forests. To climb up domes smoothed by glaciers, hike mountains and get soaked by waterfall mist. To see your reflection in Mirror Lake, see lush wildlife, friendly squirrels and deer. And to keep your eyes peeled for bears…