California Road Trip: Marin County

Travel Tips for visiting Northern California

California is my happy place. For several months we were planning our Pacific Coast Highway roadtrip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. A large chunk of our trip was going to be in Big Sur–we booked a few nights at a lodge there (the cheapest we could find was still at $250/night) and we had all of our hikes planned for the state parks in the area. Sadly, the area was devastated by the Soberanes fire in late July that they are still battling two months later. Because of the wildfire and poor air quality, we decided to change our travel plans and go north instead. With just a few weeks to go, we had to find new places to stay and come up with a Northern California itinerary. It was part stressful and part creative problem solving! Continue reading

California Road Trip: Redwood Country

Where to go in California's Redwood Country

Our introduction to Redwood country was the Avenue of the Giants. We drove 101 north from Marin County, past suburbs and wineries as the highway narrowed and the trees closed in on us. By late afternoon, we took the exit off of 101 to drive the 31-mile Avenue of the Giants. The road is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The only place I had to compare the park to was Muir Woods, and for me it was like being able to drive through Muir Woods. Except the trees here were even taller. Along the avenue there are lots of stop-offs along the way where you can stretch your legs, touch the trees, and walk along the giants. Continue reading

California Road Trip: Pacific Coast Highway North

The last three days of our travels through northern California was a drive down Pacific Coast Highway 1. Our first stop was for a late lunch in Fort Bragg at Sea Pal Cove, tucked away behind an industrial fishing area on the Noyo Harbor. We stuffed ourselves with fish and chips and clam chowder. Seating is outside only but there are views of the inlet, where we spotted a harbor seal and a sea otter. The otter had caught a fish and was boldly showing off by swimming around on his back. This is what we came for. Continue reading