I hope you are all enjoying my stories from Northern Arizona. While those will continue for the next few weeks – I love when a trip gives me so many things to write – it is time for my next trip. I have spent a TON of time in Northern California, but relatively little along the coast north of San Francisco. Why? I don’t know. But it’s time to rectify that situation.
The trip will begin in Scotts Valley, a bit outside Santa Cruz, where my sister lives. I saw my sister a couple months ago, but haven’t seen my brother in law since before the pandemic, so I’m excited to spend some time with them. From there, I’ll make my way up the coast, alternating between US 101 and CA 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), seeing some beautiful scenery and admiring some enormous trees. I’ll end up in Eureka before heading back to Los Angeles via the East Bay to see my father.
Here is the specific itinerary. If you have suggestions of things to see, places to eat, or any other fun stuff, please let me know!
Day One – Scotts Valley to San Rafael
The day will start with lunch in Half Moon Bay before I continue up the coast into San Francisco. I have a date with a cool bridge, and will be doing photo shoots of the Golden Gate from both sides, so here’s hoping for a pretty day, which for summer in SF is far from assured. Mark Twain is falsely quoted as saying “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” but I think the statement still holds true.
Day Two-Three – San Rafael
While San Rafael will be my base, these two days are reserved for a couple national park units that if I’ve seen, I don’t remember. One day will be Muir Woods National Monument, while the other will be for exploring Point Reyes National Seashore. Large trees, lighthouses, and elephant seals, here I come!
Day Four – San Rafael to Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg is one of the only decently sized places along Highway 1, and is home to Glass Beach, where – in theory, if the tourists haven’t taken it all – the largest collection of sea glass has washed ashore. Even if it doesn’t pan out, the drive up the coast should be worthwhile.
Day Five – Fort Bragg to Eureka
Another stunning drive up the coast takes me to rejoining US 101, Redwood Highway. I’ll stop in Humboldt Redwoods State Park to explore the Founders Grove before continuing up to Eureka. My evening will be spend on a private tour of the Carson Mansion, perhaps the most famous Victorian home in America; the outline of it was used as the Addams Family House. It is now a private club and not open to the public, but the amazing folks at the Eureka visitors bureau have arranged for me to get in. Sometimes being a writer has advantages!
Day Six – Eureka
The morning will be spent at Redwood National Park, home to the tallest trees in the world. In the afternoon, I will explore more of what Eureka has to offer: a skywalk in a redwood canopy 100 feet up, a cocktail cruise on Humboldt Bay, and some amazing seafood with ocean views. Sounds like a solid day, no?
Day Seven-Eight – Eureka to Los Angeles
As I mentioned above, I’m breaking up a very long drive back to LA by seeing a couple friends and my father in Sacramento and the East Bay. And then, of course, I’ll be posting photos and writing stories for all of you!
For daily photos of the trip, you can follow me on Instagram. And content from the trip will probably launch in early July, so make sure to keep following here. Until then, I’ll be off exploring! Here is a map of the places I’m staying, just to give you an idea of the trip.