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.

Tech That’ll Make Your Road Trips Safer

Ah, technology, is there anything that it can’t do? From helping us to stay in touch with loved ones to keeping us entertained, it’s always there when we need it. And increasingly, that includes when we’re on a road trip, too. There’s a whole host of gadgets — some high-end, some primitive but effective–that we can use to keep ourselves and our families safe on the road.

In this blog, we’ll run through some of the best options, ones that you’ll want to invest in before you set off on your next adventure.

Looking out the front of a car
Pexels – CC0 Licence

Coverage Boosts

Most of the time, being without cell phone coverage is just a little inconvenient. When you’re on a road trip, it can be positively dangerous. If you’re far from civilization and break down, you’ll rely on your cell phone to call for help. If you’re without coverage, then what will you do? You can greatly enhance your coverage range by investing in a cell phone signal booster. This handy device works with many data providers across the world. Plus, it’s handy even when you’re not on a road trip. You’ll use it more than you think!

Staying Warm

One thing that people often forget about the great outdoors: it can get very cold. With minimal shelter, plus altitude changes, it can be freezing cold in nature areas even when it’s warm just an hour away in the city. If you break down, you could find that you’re battling the cold as well as other problems. The solution? A plug-in electric blanket. Just plug it into your care, and you’ll be warm within minutes. It’s much easier to wait for help to come to your rescue when you’re not shivering.

Driving down the road on a road trip

Looking Out The Back

There’s an uncomfortable truth about road trips: they can be dangerous. Rural areas are less regulated than cosmopolitan areas and also have more trucks, which are involved in more accidents. While you can never fully be safe, you can push yourself in the direction of safety by investing in a rearview camera. It could be the difference between a safe journey and having to get in touch with a truck accident attorney. Plus, this handy bit of kit will make you feel like you’re driving a new vehicle, which typically have a rearview camera as standard.

Jump Starts

If your battery dies when you’re in the city, then all you need to do is wave someone down and ask if they have jumper cables. But when you’re miles from society? There will be no passing cars, at least not quite as regularly. You can take the self-sufficient route by investing in a portable battery booster. With this by your side, you’ll be moving in no time.

Getting Out Of Emergencies

Finally, look at investing in an escape tool. With this, you’ll be able to cut your seatbelt loose and smash through your car window with ease. You never know what will happen on a road trip, and it’s best to be prepared.

Best ways to experience San Francisco

Best ways to experience San Francisco, looking at the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is perhaps the most famous city in the world. There’s so much to see and do in the so-called City by the Bay that you might have no idea how to go about it. There are so many ways to experience San Francisco, after all, more than one can count.

And that kind of paralysis by analysis can – and will – ruin your time in this wonderful place. You’ll be stressed out without doing anything fun, and you’ll be going back home with sour memories. If you worry about this happening to you, fear not! This handy guide will show you all the best ways to experience San Francisco.

That said, you might not be a tourist sticking around for a short while. Maybe you’re moving to San Francisco from another city, and you’ll have all the time in the world to soak in the sights. If so, you’ll still want to read on. This city has so much going on that, eventually, it doesn’t become a matter of what you see, but how you see it.

So let’s get started.

Create a streamlined itinerary for sight-seeing in a hurry

Every trip has its complications, and these problems usually cost you time otherwise spent taking in your location. Whether it’s lost items or broken bags, it all eats up the hours. This is pretty much a constant truth, so you ought to prepare for it whenever you travel.

You can fix most of these problems – keep track of your things, have a quality traveling bag, and so on. However, you can’t take back lost time. In case you’re pressed for time, it’s a great idea to have a quick-and-dirty itinerary on hand for emergencies. The best way to make one is to write down everything you would love to see.

Poke around on the Internet to approximate how much time it would roughly take to visit each of those places. Put the ones that require a lot of time in a to-dump list. For extra effectiveness, see which sights are near one another and cluster them in a single day’s worth of sightseeing. Try separating some time for things like buying special gifts and souvenirs for your close ones, if possible.

Woman writing on notebook
Write down your top destinations that you have time for

This means you’ll, sadly, have to miss out on some experiences. For instance, visiting Alcatraz is basically a day-long process, from the ferry rides to the tour itself. And that’s if you call ahead to book a spot on this tour – doing it impromptu is even more complicated.  If you’re dead set on seeing Alcatraz, maybe consider taking an evening tour instead. You’ll still experience San Francisco, but you may need to make a few sacrifices.

Ride/rent out bikes to experience San Francisco healthily

There’s nothing quite like riding a bike in San Fran on a sunny spring day. Not only is it a healthy alternative to driving or taking the bus/trolly, but it also saves you loads of time otherwise spent walking. You have the speed of a vehicle tour combined with the autonomy to go and stop wherever you like. As long as you’ve brought your essentials for traveling, you’ll be enjoying the best of both worlds.

If you don’t have your own bike to ride, don’t worry. Being such a large city and tourist attraction, San Francisco has its fair share of bike rental agencies. They’re very professional for the most part: they provide well-functioning bikes, helmets, and escorts that know the city well. San Francisco sights are a delight to marvel at this way, believe me.

San Francsico cable car
Cable care are neat, but bikes are healthier

Categorize types of activities

It’s an understatement to say that this city is packed with things to do. You definitely won’t get too far trying to pack everything into your schedule. To properly experience San Francisco, you need to organize your sight-seeing by categories.

What does that mean? Well, if you’re a bit of a gourmand, you can research great places to eat in San Francisco. Or, if you’re more of a nightlife kind of person, look up the best clubs. You can classify these into neat categories that let you quickly organize your day to your liking.

Not sure what this is all about? Don’t worry, you’ll see below.

Awesome bars and restaurants in San Francisco

Here’s an example of a list of what to see in San Francisco. It’s about great places for eating and drinking (with an emphasis on cheesy goodies).

–           Hog Island Oyster Company: great oysters, grilled cheese;

–           Daily Driver: organic bagels, cream cheese;

–           Cowgirl Creamery: European-style cheese;

–           Gott’s Roadside: burgers and milkshake;

–           Vive La Tarte: “tacros” (taco-croissants);

–           Slanted Door: whiskey cocktails, Vietnamese fare;

–           Humphry Slocombe: fun, strange ice cream flavors

–           Fort Point Beer Company: local beer

Experience San Francisco at night
The nightlife in San Francisco is indescribable

This kind of organization is especially useful for tourists that visit San Francisco. It allows them to see the best of San Francisco by preparing ahead of time. See the best sights, get some quality wine and dine in there, and include other activities you wouldn’t normally have time for.

Meet the locals

Wherever you’re staying, one fact rings true: the locals know the place best. This applies whether you’re a tourist or you’ve recently moved to SF. People that have been living there their whole lives tend to know exactly where to go to get the authentic experience. That’s why you should try to make a few “native“ friends while there that can show you cool things to do in San Francisco.

Not only that, but the locals can teach you how to save money while in the city (though not every local is that way). San Francisco isn’t exactly the cheapest of cities, and your cash can quickly fizzle out if you aren’t careful.

Since SF is such a tourist hotspot, the locals there are quite used to new people from other places. That makes them very friendly in general, so don’t worry about annoying them with your attempts to make a connection. And even if they do get peeved, there are tons of people in SF, so you’ll find someone else to show you the best ways to see San Francisco.

Wrapup

San Francisco is a big slice of wonder – much more than anyone can handle at once. Luckily, this guide will let you take out one strategic bite at a time. And that’s one of the best ways to experience San Francisco. Savor it like the splendid treat that it is.