Nature Lover’s Guide to California

A woman taking pictures on the coastline

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you say California? Silicon Valley, traffic, surfing, and swimming in the ocean. However, California is so much more than that. Nature lovers can explore the Sunshine State in the most magnificent ways and have the most exciting adventures. Driving along the California roads ensures beautiful views of forests, alpine lakes, deserts, and so much more. That’s why you should plan this itinerary with our nature lover’s guide to California – find out what spots in the Sunshine State will take your breath away!

Yosemite National Park

It’s one of the best-known national parks in the country – and there’s a great reason for it. The drive along the park will give you the chance to see some of the most magnificent views. Highway 120 is probably the best way to approach the park, and it’s one of the commonly used roads for travelers. You can also go for a more historic option – Highway 140, which is great for driving all year long. Furthermore, you can use the Tioga Pass to enter the park, so you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Some of the top attractions in Yosemite are Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Museum, Indian Village, etc. True nature lovers can enjoy climbing, hiking, and camping in the park, so there’s something for everyone.

Yosemite rock formations
Yosemite Park is a must-see item in our nature lover’s guide to California.

Death Valley National Park

Even though many don’t find this national park attractive at first, the place is absolutely worth visiting. These unique landscapes will make you forget you’re in California or even in the United States! Don’t be afraid of its name; the Death Valley is a beautiful national park with stunning rock formations, canyons, dunes, and so much more. However, this is a place of extremes, so avoid visiting it in the summer months. It gets extremely hot and dry, so the best time to visit it is from November to March. Visiting the valley can be a one-day trip – you can make this rather short itinerary and see a lot. Be sure to include Mesquite Sand Dunes, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin Salt Flats, and Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Finish it with stargazing at Harmony Borax Works. The sky in the Death Valley gets extremely dark, which is why it’s one of the best places to see the stars above us.

Napa Valley

If you’re starting your California getaway experience n San Francisco, be sure to visit Napa Valley for some wine tasting. The area is famous worldwide for producing high-quality wines, so it should be a stop on your itinerary. Even if you’re not a wine-lover, you’ll enjoy the beauty of vineyards in the area. There are several wineries that you can visit here, so be sure to book a tour. While in Napa Valley, you can also visit Westwood Hills Park, Skyline Wilderness Park, and Oxbow Preserve.

Redwoods of Klamath, CA

For some dream-like sights, go to Redwoods of Klamath. You’ll see famous Trees of Mystery – ancient giant trees that look like they’re from a fairytale. There are even trees that grow together to form a shrine called Cathedral Tree. Also, for a unique drive-thru experience, visit the Tour Thru Tree – just be sure to fold your rearview mirrors! This nature park is suitable for kids, too, which is great if you’re traveling with your family.

Monterey

Even though there’s a lot to see in this area, nature lovers often choose to see wildlife in the Monterey Aquarium. Different exhibits of wildlife that can be found in California’s waters will blow your mind. You’ll see wolf eels, leopard sharks, and even the giant Pacific octopus. Maritime lovers will surely enjoy seeing these beautiful sea creatures. Also, Monterey Bay is home to one of the greatest places to move with your family and one of the best family-friendly cities in CA. Use this chance to visit the places that can potentially be your new home and a perfect location to live with your little ones.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

This nature park is favored by hikers as many trails lead to magnificent natural sights. You can encounter various animals here – black-tailed deer or a skunk. However, our favorite sight is at the banks of the Big Sur River, where you can enjoy the magnificent gorge and even take a swim in the swimming hole.

In general, the Big Sur coast is very attractive to visitors, as it’s home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders of California. Driving along this coast will ensure you see different nature parks, the Big Sur Lighthouse, the Bixby Creek Bridge, and more.

The bridge on the Big Sur Coast in California
Visit the Big Sur Coast with a breathtaking view and the most beautiful sunsets.

Lake Tahoe

One of the main nature attractions in the state, Lake Tahoe will astonish you with its beauty. The deep green color of its waters and mountain surroundings make this a true gem of this nature lover’s guide to California. There’s so much to do here – swimming, boating, hiking, and camping. This is also one of the top skiing destinations in the Sunshine State. You can reach this place by car or even by plane – there’s the Tahoe International Airport nearby. There are several hotels and Airbnb accommodations in the area, but be sure to book in advance. Summertime is rather busy with tourists from all around the world.

Lake Tahoe in California
Skiing or hiking in the summer – lake Tahoe is the way to go.

Laguna Beach

Another beautiful coastline of California is the Laguna Beach area. Apart from visiting the town of Laguna Beach, drive along the coast to see some of the many beaches and coves. The cliff formations and rock arches show the tremendous power of the ocean to shape the earth. This area is a common stop for those embarking on the Pacific Coast journey and people who like to stay at hotels with first-class ocean views. It’s definitely a sight to see, so maybe planning this road trip this year is a great idea.

One visit is simply not enough to see all the natural wonders of California. However, we hope this nature lover’s guide to California will narrow your list a bit and help you choose the best location to make memories for the rest of your life.

6 Unique Road Trips in Canada

Unique road trips in Canada

Exploring one of the most beautiful countries in the world needs to be something special. Don’t settle for ordinary sightseeing tours. Go on a road trip and tailor your travel according to your preferences. You can make it one of a kind experience where you’ll get a whole new level of enjoyment. Hop in your car and see some of the most beautiful natural sights – and we’ll show you where to go. Exploring this huge country can make you feel puzzled, not knowing what direction you should choose. Well, we’re here to help you. Here are the six unique road trips in Canada – get some gas, pack some snacks and let’s go on a road trip!

Reasons to go on a road trip

Road trips are quite a unique way to explore a certain part of the country. Even though they require a bit of organization and planning, they guarantee many travel benefits. The reasons you’ll enjoy going on a road trip are many:

  • It’s a great way to relax – Driving through the countryside is a way to get some time to think about certain things and relax while enjoying a beautiful view
  • Explore more than just a beaten path– Road trips give you the freedom to make stops and visit places that are not in common sightseeing routes
  • Get closer to your travel companion – Whether you’re traveling with your partner, family, or friends, road trips are a great way to get closer to each other. You’ll share stories, explore new things together, and bond. Also, traveling by yourself is fantastic for getting to know yourself. It gives you time to rethink certain choices and make plans for the future
  • Explore potential places to move to – Road trips are the chance to visit specific locations and see what it’s like to live there. It’s perfect for those looking for a place to move – explore potential homes while traveling. Professional Movers Canada suggests people always visit their future homes and try to find out more about life there. These visits will give you more insight into the life in that area so you can be sure you’ll enjoy it.
A man looking at the sky on a road trip in Canada
Let yourself have the best adventure – explore unique road trips in Canada and plan your next trip.

Icefields Parkway, Alberta

This adventure spreads across 235km (146miles) of the most amazing scenery. Waterfalls, Glaciers, turquoise lakes, and breathtaking valleys – all of these will blow your mind if you opt for Icefields Parkway. This wild route will surely lead you to many amazing spots where you stop to take a picture or simply grasp the beauty of our planet. Some of the stops to include in your itinerary are surely Lake Louise, Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, and more. However, be smart with the gas situation – there are not so many gas stations along the route. However, there are increased once-in-a-lifetime chances to see common wildlife creatures in the area.

Interlake Region, Manitoba

This is a longer route that you can enjoy for about two or three days. Interlake region is one of the unique road trips in Canada as you can see history and nature connect. This is the place where you can hear stories about Vikings, as many communities here proudly tell about their roots. The region gets its name due to its location. You can find it between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. The area offers spectacular views, but it’s also a favorite place for families to enjoy the beach, birding, and boating. Spots you shouldn’t miss are certainly the wooden piers of Winnipeg Lake, Narcisse Snake Dens, Gimli and Hecla, etc.

Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

If you want to see the world’s highest tides and rare whales, head to the Bay of Fundy. Start with visiting Moncton, then continue to the Hopewell Rocks. These massive formations are surely a sight to see and even walk among. Next, make sure you visit Saint John – a charming old town that is a must-see stop when visiting Canada. This can be your last stop before you reach the final destination – St. Andrews fishing village, located right next to the border of Maine.

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

If you have a couple of days to spend on a road trip, Nova Scotia can be a perfect destination. Even though this trail can be driven in only one day, it’s best to give yourself time to enjoy all the great things on this route. This coastal drive can begin at Margaree Harbour and finish all the way in Baddeck. This route will lead you through Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay, Cape North, and Ingonish Beach. This road trip is on many travelers’ wish lists, and you should find out why!

Vehicles on the road in Canada
Choose a vehicle and begin the road trip of your life.

Wild Yukon Trail

This wild, mountainous, and sparsely populated region is a place to go on a road trip if you’re a true nature lover. Dempster Highway is one of the most unique roads here that can take you on a one-of-a-kind adventure. It’s isolated, it’s wild – it’s beautiful. The highway is about 700 kilometers long, so it will take a bit to prepare. Your vehicle needs to be suitable for this dirt road, and you need to organize the long drives. Warmer months bring more safety to the road, whereas autumn’s foliage makes the scenery even more spectacular.

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia

If you’re in the Vancouver area and want a shorter route, then the Sea to Sky highway should be your next choice. This is a much shorter road trip than the previous item on this list, but it’s surely one of Canada’s best and most unique road trips. On this 129km drive, you can start with Vancouver and then make stops at Shannon Falls, Capilano Suspension bridge, Whistler, Brandywine Falls, Train Wreck Trail, etc. This can even be a multi-day trip; just be sure to organize your stops and find accommodation in advance.

An aerial view of a road in Canada
British Columbia is the home to spectacular views like this.

Start one of the most unique road trips in Canada

Now, it’s time to choose among these unique road trips in Canada. What will be your next destination? A road trip can be an extraordinary experience – just choose a companion and hit the road.

How to Experience Vancouver like a Local

A view of the city of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Depending on who you ask, Vancouver can be many things—an incredible hike, mesmerizing street art, unforgettable night downtown, coffee on the go, a splendid dish of ramen, etc. One thing is for sure, Vancouver is worth visiting. But, you already know that—that is why you are here reading this article. However, what you don’t know is how to experience Vancouver like a local, right? 

It doesn’t matter whether you just moved to Vancouver or whether you are just planning a two-day trip to this Canadian town—you can experience it like a local. You just have to do what locals do! We will help you out with that, without a doubt. Thus, before you put on your walking shoes, give this article a read—it is full of tips on how to experience local like a pro. 

Getting Around Vancouver 

Vancouver has the best of both worlds—a metropolitan city vibe and a breathtaking nature. So, it just goes without saying that it is here, in Vancouver, where you can experience the true spirit of Canada! But, in order for you to do that, first, you have to find a way to get around this gigantic city. If you ask the locals, they will tell you to either come with your own car or rent one as soon as you arrive. 

However, even though a car is the best way to experience Vancouver like a local, it is also the most expensive way. So, if you don’t want to overspend, you can turn to other transportation options (which are also used by the locals). For instance, you can take the bus or the Skytrain, or, if the weather is nice, you can rent a bike or a Mobi bike. Don’t run away from bikes—you can explore the entire city on them, just follow the bike lanes!

 

A woman riding a bike.
Riding a bike may be your best way to experience Vancouver like a local

Eat Where Locals Eat 

No trip is complete without trying out the local food and drinks. So, again, if you want to experience Vancouver like a local, this is something you have to do. And, don’t worry, even if you are the pickiest eater in the world, you will find something here. It is a known fact that everyone, and their mothers and grandmothers, agrees that the city of Vancouver has some of the best scenes not only in Canada but in the entire world.

The food in Vancouver is diverse and delicious, and once you try it, you will want to stay here forever. Many people have—especially those from Toronto! Well, who can blame them? All they had to do to eat this tasty food for the rest of their lives was hire good movers who planned their long-distance move and an easy transfer from Toronto to Vancouver. 

But, let us go back to the food scene in Vancouver. Here, you can try anything from Italian to Chinese, from processed to organic, cheap to expensive. Because there are so many options, we decided to share some specific places you simply have to try out. And we did a thorough check—all of these places are loved by the locals. So, check out the following:  

  • Stevenson Pizza Company (for seafood pizza) 
  • Jinya Ramen Bar (for ramen, of course) 
  • Fable Diner (for comfort food) 
  • Chancho (for tortillas) 
  • Phnom Penh (for chicken wings) 
  • Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 
  • La Mezcaleria (for Mexican food) 

Don’t Miss Out on the Beer

Yes, you have different beers wherever you go. So, what makes Vancouver’s beer different? Well, it is healthier and tastier than any other beer you have ever tried. This is because it was made from local ingredients and in local microbreweries. Thus, when you sit at one of those previously mentioned food places, be sure to order a pint. Trust us, even if you are not a beer lover, you will love these ones. 

However, if you are a beer lover, you should go on one of many beer tours (Vancouver Brewery Tour, Canadian Craft Tour, Vancouver Toonie Tour, etc.). These tours will take you to several local breweries where you will be able to try some of the best craft beer. And, you will even get a glass as a souvenir. All insider’s guides to Canada and Vancouver will advise you the same—beer tours are not only great for trying out different beers. They are also great for visiting the city’s outskirts, meeting the locals, and trying local finger food specialties. 

Two women drinking beer and laughing.
Don’t hesitate to join beer tours-locals go on them too!

Do Something Fun

As previously mentioned, Vancouver is a huge city. And as such, it is full of fun places and fun things you can do both as a tourist and as a local. But, as you are here, wondering how to experience Vancouver like a local, you are probably looking for something in between. No need to worry; we got you covered. 

First, we suggest visiting some of Vancouver’s neighborhoods. For instance, Gastown is great for enjoying Canadian architecture; Mount Pleasant is perfect for eating, drinking, and shopping; Chinatown is perfect for everything Asian. And, if you are into natural things, that is, if you prefer hiking, picnicking, and other outdoor adventures, consider going to Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Grind, The Chief Hike, Stanley Park Seawall, English Bay, etc. You will certainly have fun while visiting these.

Just before going, don’t forget to follow those essential tips for essential travels even though you are trying to act like a local. That is, be sure to do research on the place you are going to and pack your backpack accordingly. In most cases, that means packing your comfortable shoes, sun protection, and a big bottle of water. 

A rocky shore during sunset—a way to experience Vancouver like a local
Vancouver’s nature is something you should not miss out on.

And, Do Something Kind

Okay, you have been eating and drinking, and you have been neighborhood hopping and exploring the great outdoors of Vancouver. And, now, all that is left to finish your Vancouver journey is to do something kind. That is, to do something that will support the city and all its artists

A great way to show your support is to pay a visit to one of the many art galleries and studios where locals display their art. Or, check out the street performers—they are on every corner. Buy something from them and praise their work. Doing this will help them and will enrich you! And, it will help you experience Vancouver like a local.