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Our recent vacation was a trip to central California. There was enough 'Wow' factor to satisfy even the most jaded and/or 'been there, done that...' traveller
Go North over the bridge and visit the Headlands (go under the highway away from Sausalito). Take pictures of the amazing views of the Bridge and the Bay.
Walk along the Bay in your beach shoes - we like it best early in the day when the sun is shining, the wind is blowing, the surf is up but the surfers aren't!
The views along the bay will inspire the photographers of the party.
If you can, send yourself off to the Blackberry Inn. Exquisite house, no TV, no cellphone signal, hummingbirds, just the best of Innkeepers, mountainous breakfasts, good food nearby at the '49er, Stanilaus National Forest on the doorstep and Yosemite Valley only 30 minutes away.
Words can't describe the view from here over Yosemite Valley. Go there and prepare to be speechless, amazed, stunned, astonished and overwhelmed. The Valley is laid out in front of you, Half Dome is at eye level, Vernal and Nevada Falls spout below you. Unmissable.
If we aren't careful, we'll resort to another round of superlatives to describe these desinations! We first visited the Sequoia National Park a few years ago in the snow when the white coating and low cloud added a sense of mystery to the place. We wanted to see the trees in summer, though.....and we are glad we did. No picture can capture the awe we felt when we saw the stands of giant redwoods. Breathtaking.
Kings Canyon is awesome in its own right - if it is open, take the road up to Panoramic Point - there is a short but steep paved trail up to one of the most awesome views of the High Sierra you are likely to get.
Walk the trails and enjoy the sea views, discovering inviting sandy coves on your way, or spend your time gazing in the many rock pools - the choice is yours. Or be like us ... and do both! Just one of the best ways to spend some time.....and when a sea otter is floating around Whalers Cove with a baby on her belly, it kind of makes your day! Excellent sunset views from the nearby Carmel River State Beach.
World famous and rightly so, this attraction is a great way of spending some time out of the sun (or fog!), perhaps, as we did, after a monster breakfast at the nearby First Awakenings.
Outstanding exhibits whichever way you turn. Our favourites? The kelp forest, the sea otters and the jellyfish - we could have sat in front of any one of them for hours!
If you are a fan of Chihuly glass (or even if you aren't), don't miss the 'Jellies as art' exhibit - mouthwatering!
After a day working up an appetite on the beach, highlands and trails we headed for Mission Ranch Restaurant - reasonably priced big meals for big appetites. We were hungry, but aren't quite sure how anybody managed to eat all of the Prime Rib Dinner..... and the scallops were possibly the biggest we have ever seen!
Has to be done on a trip to California, right? Where else might you see a guy sitting cross-legged at the side of the road, playing his guitar and singing to the sea and sky, or another meditating in the sea fog at the Bixby Bridge? This place is a photographers delight - incredible views at every turn. Even the patchy sea fog couldn't stop us clicking - we got some great 'moody' shots.
This coastline is superb - we wanted to check out the beaches .... but couldn't find them!
We strongly recommend the easy walk to the waterfall in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.