California is a huge state, so there’s so much to explore! If you consider yourself an outdoorsy person, there’s no lack of things to do in nature here. I’ve gone on a few weekend trips that I’d love to share. After a week in the office, I think getting outdoors is the best way to refuel and reenergize the mind and body. Hope you enjoy!
Big Basin Redwoods State Park + Castle Rock State Park
These state parks are about an hour south of San Jose, so it makes for the perfect day trip. The redwoods are a must see. Fun fact, the redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and can grow to be over 300 feet tall. With over 80 miles of trails, there’s no shortage of exploration. I got on the Sequoia trail, which was about 5 miles long, and took a slight detour to see a waterfall. I kept my eyes peeled for the infamous banana slug the entire time, but unfortunately did not successfully locate one. I did catch a few of the native stellar’s jays, which had a beautiful shimmering, almost holographic coloring.
Castle Rock State Park was my second destination on this trip. I found a great trail that climbed to sensational views of the basin below. I found a cliff to rest on at the top and to take all of the views in while in solitude.
Big Sur+Santa Cruz
Big Sur is another natural area of California. One of my roommates and I made the two hour trip south, driving on Route 1 most of the time. From seeing people driving this route in movies, blasting music and appreciating the coastal views of this scenic drive felt surreal. It felt like I was in my own movie! We stopped several times to take in the views along the way, and eventually made it to McWay Falls, where we took in the beauty, and hiked around down to the bluffs near the shoreline. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junky, so I had a blast free climbing different rock formations and getting close to the edge, watching the waves crash below me.
That night, we drove to Hollister, CA to spend the night in an AirBnB. Yes, contrary to popular beliefs, Hollister, CA is actually a place, not just a teen clothing store. It was surprisingly a small, quiet town, but our accommodation was outstanding. We stayed on a rescue farm in an ex-veterinarians office, where the exam rooms were converted to bedrooms (talk about an interesting place to stay the night). In the morning, the owner gave us a tour of the farm and their rescue animals, from horses to ostriches, they were so passionate about helping animals in need. If you’re ever in Hollister, or even California in general, I would highly recommend this experience! Check it out:
In the morning, we headed out to Santa Cruz, CA, where we spent time exploring the town. Two highlights were going to an ice cream shop that had roasted marshmallow topping for the ice cream, and going to the bookstore in the town, where I bought a book I’ve had on my reading list forever, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So far, I’d highly recommend it.
And that’s a wrap! Notice how this is only part 1, well part 2 will be out soon, and may or may not include Lake Tahoe, Half Moon Bay, and Wine Country.