See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
I love California. It is such a beautiful state with a huge variety of nature and national parks for all seasons.
I was so happy to go back, but I was even happier that I would finally reunite with my family to do this roadtrip once again. I had family come in from Japan and Brazil, my boyfriend and I flew in from New York, and my brother, sister-in-law ,and niece drove down from Roseville (just outside of Sacramento). We all met in San Francisco for the start of this awesome trip.
We were only in San Francisco for one day, which is okay with me considering I've already been a few times. Also, I just realized I didn't take one picture there. I'm actually shocked.
Monterey Bay - Fisherman's Wharf
The next morning we drove to the Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. It was about an 1.5hrs drive south of San Francisco.
Fisherman's Wharf is definitely the place to go if you like clam chowder! Every restaurant down the boardwalk was handing out their own samples of chowder - such competition! I hate seafood (gasp!) - especially shellfish, but after seeing all my family try multiple samples I decided to put on my brave face and go for it. I tried one... I guess it wasn't that bad.
There were tons of cute little restaurants, ice cream stores, and touristy shops. Something for everyone.
The scenery there is so beautiful. And there's no shortage of seals and sea lions!
We all wanted to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (of course), but tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for kids. I'm not saying that it's not worth it, it's definitely an amazing aquarium (I went 10 years ago), but we wanted to take advantage of the one day we had in Monterey to check out other sites. If you're interested in the aquarium check out their website here!
After Monterey we decided to head down the 17-Mile Drive.
The 17-Mile drive is a beautiful winding road that goes through the exclusive neighborhood of Pebble Beach. During the drive you'll see The Lone Cypress (along with lots of other cypress), the famous Pebble Beach Golf course, the giant summer homes of millionaires, and the beaches of Carmel. There is a $10 fee per car to enter and you'll be given a map. Motorcycles are not allowed and bicycles can enter for free if they enter through the Pacific Grove Gate.
Of course the time it takes for you to do the drive will depend on how many times you stop for pictures.
We got lucky that it was such a beautiful day, but towards the end of the afternoon it did get quite chilly and windy! This was end of April. Also, the water was freezing, but there were people out there in wetsuits and others in just their swimsuits! I thought that was crazy.
At the end of the day we drove to my brother's place in Roseville and spent the night there. We headed to Lake Tahoe the next day where we had a hotel for the next 3 nights.
Oh Lake Tahoe.... I don't even know how to describe how wonderful of a place this is.
Fun Facts of Lake Tahoe:
Our resort was on Lake Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe. This is a main hotel and resort road that caters to tourists with restaurants, grocery stores, and shops. I highly recommend checking at least a couple months ahead of time for reservations.
Here you'll find things to do year-round. It's home to a number of ski resorts, there's unlimited outdoor activities, and there's also a ferry tour if you want to see the whole lake while sipping on wine and not having to drive around it.
We drove a half hour from our hotel to a great view of Emerald Bay (pictured above) where you can hike down about a mile and see the Vikingsholm - an old Norwegian style mansion built in 1929 by a lady that had too much money.
The hike down isn't bad, it might feel lenghty but it's beautiful. Remember, this is a nature hike - there are no vending machines so bring your own food and water. There is a restroom when you get to the bottom of the trail and there are picnic tables on the beach of the bay.
When we went at the end of April, the Vikingsholm was closed for the season. I believe it just barely opened at the end of May. During the off season you could still see the house from the outside and walk around the back side of it. Also, parking was FREE at the top of the hill. We still enjoyed a beautiful hike with a breathtaking view at the bottom!
We then drove back towards the hotel plus another 15 minutes further to the beach where the tour ferries dock. There were tons of paddle-boats and paddle-boards on the beach so we decided to give it a go! I think it was $35/hr for 4 people on the boat and $30/hour for the paddle board. By the end my legs were pretty tired!
I'll have another post up soon about visiting Yosemite and Sequoia National Park!
Happy travels to you all!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz