Over the years we’ve roadtripped to California a number of times, being a border state makes it that much easier. One of my favorite things in the world is just being by the ocean, staring out at the vastness of God’s Hand in creation. We’ve gotten to explore up the Central Coast a little as well, all the way up to the Bay Area. I am amazed at how big the state is, and just how many “major” cities there are - so much to see and do! From attractions, amusement parks, food, and more. Below you’ll find a list of some of my favorites, specifically in the Central Coast area!
I feel like I should just end it there, doesn’t it just speak for itself?? From absolutely STUNNING cliff faces to forests and streams, it’s a nature lovers dream. Not to mention, both times we’ve gone we’ve seen deer wild in the forest - just be careful as you want to respect their space! There’s a gift shop with snacks, cabins, and more. You will need to pay the park ranger to enter, but it’s totally worth it. Also, you’ll need to make sure it’s open due to various weather conditions. I’m not going to lie, I’m not super outdoorsy, so the first time we went David practically had to drag me, and then I couldn’t stop talking about it (typical me). Haha, I think I inwardly love the outdoors I’m just not so used to it. I’ve you’re wanting a solid glimpse at some of Yosemite’s beauty, check out the movie Free Solo, I’ve heard great things about it! And of course, if you’re an art lover, don’t forget Ansel Adams’ famous & inspiring images of Yosemite.
We recently just went for the first time and I LOVED it!!!! We weren’t there for long, but we were able to soak up a good amount while we were there, and make a whole lot of memories. From delicious food, to fun places to see, it’s just chalk full of beauty and interest - I honestly feel as though we barely scratched the surface.
If you grew up in the 90’s, there’s no way you can go without seeing The Painted Ladies and The Golden Gate Bridge, your inner Full House fan will surely freak out, well at least mine did ;-) It’s good to mention that there is a toll payment for the bridge, so be prepared to get a small bill in the mail afterwards - ours was only about $8, but TOTALLY WORTH IT. Be sure to blast this song to complete the experience.
Also, China Town. It’s affordable, with lots of food options and fun little shops. Also, there’s Japan Town, with two indoor "mall” type buildings, with LOTS to see and taste. There I had a meat bun, and OHHH man. So good!!!!! I also got some Matcha Green Tea from a little walk-up that was specifically devoted to Green Tea. And THE SHOPS!!!! If you’re looking for low-cost fun items, seriously go there. One of my friends told me about it, and it was just the best.
Ghirardelli Square was an absolute delight. Besides the large chocolate store, there are plenty of other things to grab your attention, including the coolest little mini golf spot. There are some 18 holes, and each one is designed to look like a famous part of San Francisco, seriously adorable. Adults can grab a drink that they can set in a beverage holder at each spot, and kids get to play as well. It’s just a sweet time of fun and memory making. All to boot, you’re across the street from the water, win!
California now boasts a number of these ice cream shops, which are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. If you know me at all, you know my love relationship with their flavors. I mean seriously, this place turned me into an icecream enthusiast, thanks to them I’ve gotten pretty picky!
Staying in the city can be a little pricey, so we opted to stay in a border city, according to a local it was about half the price.
If you love this city and would like to purchase some prints, head on over to my “Shop” link above!
Fruit Stands on The Drive
We stopped at one shop on the way up that had TONS of parrots. It was a tiny jungle, with all of the squawking and beautiful colors. Some of them even talked, so there we were with the kids laughing and “talking” to these gorgeous birds.
Another shop boasted garlic ice cream, so being an adventurer at heart I had to try it. It was… interesting! Lol. Not gross, but not something I would delight in. I tried the chocolate flavor, a mini-experience in and of itself.
While this list is totally not comprehensive, it could be a fun launching point for your own adventures!
Are you from the Central Coast, or have you been? I would love any more suggestions and tips!