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California, un lugar para descubrir

 

“California has so much to offer”

A road trip along the California coast is a perfect way to spend any summer vacation. Starting down south, San Diego is made up of a collection of different communities. From the tranquil beaches of La Jolla to the downtown heart of the city itself, the greater metropolitan area of San Diego offers anything a visitor could ask for. During the day, take a stroll around Mission Beach, which provides good surfing as well as an amusement park. At night, hit the Gaslamp Quarter for fine dining and drinks. Of course, there’s always the option of hopping over to Tijuana for a few tacos at a taqueria.You just can’t miss out on the great Mexican food when in California!

After renting a car, get ready for lots of driving because we’re going north. As far as its international reputation is concerned, Los Angeles is a big name. And even though this is the case, I recommend only spending one day maximum here. Drive through Bel Air and Beverly Hills in the morning to see some of the most spectacular houses out there, then head to the Santa Monica Pier (the Ferris wheel is a must). After that, a short walk down the beach will take you to Venice Beach, home to every type of personality and street vendor under the sun. I will say this: LA has some incredible shopping, so if that’s up your alley, set aside some time to browse the massive variety of stores.

Out of Santa Monica, take the 1 (freeway) and get ready for a beautiful drive. Known as the Pacific Coast Highway, or simply PCH, the 1 starts down in Dana Point and extends as far as the tiny town of Leggett in Northern California. This will take you through Malibu, Oxnard and Ventura before we arrive at our next stop: Santa Barbara. Hit the hay early, because we’ve got lots to do tomorrow.

A beautiful town right on the water, Santa Barbara has the bonus of having both the beach and mountains in the vicinity. Trek up to Inspiration Point for some excellent hiking, then down to Butterfly Beach for a peaceful stroll to lap up the sunshine. If you’re starving by now (you should be!), La Super Rica offers authentic Mexican food, with tortillas hand-pressed before your very eyes. Too much Mexican food? Well, look no further than The Habit, another local spot with some of the best burgers and sandwiches in town. After lunch, walk down State Street to get a glimpse of downtown.

This will take you all the way to Stearns Wharf, a pier that offers great views of the coast. Get back in the car, because we’re northward-bound on our old friend the 1 yet again. The next official stop on the road trip is San Francisco, but before we get there, there are a few places we need to see along the way. Big Sur is home to an amazing state park, with forest and coves to explore. Carmel and Monterey, quaint beachside communities, are both great places to cruise around and stop for lunch. But don’t take too long, because San Francisco awaits us!

There’s simply too much to see and do in this city; you need to spend at least three days here to get a proper feel of it. From the expanses of Golden Gate Park to the lively Marina and Mission districts and everything in between, San Francisco has it all. You just can’t miss Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, curvy Lombard Street and Chinatown. A quick trip out to Alcatraz is quite the experience as well.

California has so much to offer, and hopefully this piece has given you some ideas for that next vacation. And if what I’ve already mentioned here isn’t enough to motivate you to go back, there’s always Yosemite National Park with its spectacular redwoods, and Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth!

A. Edstrom