YONDER

My Family Adventure on the California Coast

San Francisco Bridge

A few summers ago, my family and I traveled to California and drove up the coast on State Route 1, with portions of it known as Pacific Coast Highway. It was a trip I will never forget, and the sights were breathtaking.

Our vacation began when we flew into Los Angeles. We rented a car and were on our way. We spent a few days in the Los Angeles area seeing all the popular sights. We took a trip down Sunset Boulevard and walked at Venice Beach.

My brother’s favorite part of Los Angeles was visiting the sneaker shops on Melrose Avenue and at the Santa Monica Pier. All of the rides, roller coasters and games made it the perfect attraction for him. 

After spending a few days in the Los Angeles area, we were on to our next spot, Carmel. We drove there and made many stops along the way. Santa Barbara was one of our first stops. This quaint, surf town was to die for.

The architecture was beautiful, and the downtown area was small enough to feel homey, yet still fairly big. There is a small cafe, The French Press, that serves gluten-free pastries and baked goods. They have an assortment of coffee flavors and the interior is unique.

California

After Santa Barbara on our way to Carmel, we made many stops on the road to take pictures. The California Coast is breathtaking. It’s hard not to stop and take it all in.

At one stop, my family and I came across some sea lions. We had read in multiple travel books that there is a small population in the Carmel and Monterey Bay area. 

A famous site in this area of California is the Bixby Creek Bridge. Many car commercials and movie scenes have been filmed at this location. The bridge is right around a curve in the road. Once you come to the bridge, the beauty is stunning.

Carmel has a cute downtown area with lots of shops and boutiques. There were many surf shops and trendy boutiques. The downtown is small and takes you straight to the beach where you can enjoy the breeze and California weather. 

Our final stop was San Francisco. The city is known for its culture, food, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We started our stay with shopping, a trolley ride, and a trip to Ghirardelli Square. There is a park in front that overlooks the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Many families come to this park with their children to have a picnic. 

We later ventured a little north and went to the Muir Woods National Monument. The Muir Woods is a national forest with many hiking trails. My family and I took a few of the trails and were mesmerized by the magnificent trees.

California

On our way back into the city, we stopped at a rest stop to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. My brother and I climbed up this rocky hill and had the best view. The Golden Gate Bridge was so beautiful at golden hour. At this time in the evening, the color of the bridge was so vibrant, and it photographed well. 

The next day in the city involved more sight-seeing. We went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Many artists were featured, and there were a few unique exhibits.

One of my favorites was about perspective. There was a small, dark room lined with black curtains. Light bulbs were hung from the ceiling at different lengths creating an interesting illusion. I walked all in this light exhibit. It was my favorite part of the museum. 

After the museum, we rode around the city finding some of its most iconic spots. We found the “Full House” home, went to Fisherman’s Wharf, and visited Lombard Street, which is said to be the curviest road in the United States. It is a steep, hilly street with multiple turns. 

That night, we went to a San Francisco Giant’s game. This was the highlight of the whole trip. My dad and I are huge baseball fans. The stadium is next the bay, and the weather was perfect. It was a little chilly but so much fun. 

Traveling up the California coast is an experience I will never forget. I saw so many beautiful sights and captured memories with my camera.

The weather and scenery is so different than where I am from. I am grateful my family and I had this opportunity to see so much of this beautiful state.

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