California Flag

California Roadtrip August 2014

After driving more than 2400 miles (3800 km) we reached again our final destination San Francisco International Airport, where an 11-hour-non-stop-flight home waited…
First stage of our trip was San Francisco. We stayed at Holiday Inn Civic Center very close to Downtown. Because of this nice location, the hotel was more expensive than others, but totally worth it. Weather in San Francisco was foggy almost every day. Chinatown, Little Italy, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and of course the Golden Gate Bridge are must-sees. You also should take a ride on the famous Powell-Hyde Cable Car. Unfortunately due to 80 year celebration of Alcatraz all tours were fully booked and therefore tours only available from the 25th of August on. Impossible since we flew home on the 24th. L After 4 nights in San Francisco we picked up our rental car and headed to Yosemite Nationalpark. Butbefore going to Yosemite, we went to California’s Capital Sacramento to visit the Old Town. Then we drove further and stayed a night in Oakdale which is ideally situated on the way to Yosemite. Yosemite is ideal for hiking, so we walked around, climbed on a hill and to the Bridalveil Fall. Due to the serious drought in California this Fall had almost no water… After spending a whole day in the park we drove to Mammoth Lakes, where we stayed overnight before going to Vegas. On the way to Vegas where several heavy thunderstorms expected, so several Flood warnings were in place. To prepare myself I downloaded the “FloodSpot” App in the Android store to receive push notifications. Fortunately we were lucky enough only to drive through three thunderstorms, but no floods or flash floods had to be feared. In Las Vegas you definitely have to experience the Strip and all the hotels and casinos on them. If you have the possibility, visit a Cirque du Soleil show. We were at Zumanity, a bit strange and weird show, but Vegas style J If you want to see better girls in a restaurant than at Hooters, go to Twin Peaks. Those girls are gorgeous. We also made two trips, one to Death Valley and another to the Hoover Dam. After Vegas we need some time to calm down and relax, hence we went to Newport Beach – One afternoon to evening directly at Newport Beach and the next day at Balboa Beach. Two nice, clean beaches with big waves and not that much people on it. Later we went to Los Angeles, but basically we rested two nights in Hollywood. LA Downtown we only see from the Griffith Observatory. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a must if you are in Hollywood for the first time. There are also a lot of bars and nightclubs to go out and of course some nice restaurants to eat at, e.g. Stella Barra. The Universal studios were also on the map. I really recommend the “Front of Line Pass”, which costs 179 USD. But you get privileges: For each attraction, you can once skip the line. Just once. I think it is worth it. We could often skip the lines. Were the “Normalos” had to wait 80 minutes, we waited only 5 to 10… The beach of Santa Monica I find overrated. The pier is definitely a good place to visit, but the beach is totally overcrowded and loud. So you’d better go to Manhattan Beach instead. The second last days we spent in SoCal city San Diego. Here you should see the Old Town, the birthplace of California were the first European settlers arrived in the 16th century. Historic Gaslamp Quarter is also a very cool place. Here you definitely have to eat at the “Gaslamp Strip Club – A Steak Place”. You can order a steak and then grill it all by yourself. Of course it is not cheap, but yummmiie… Beaches we spent time on were Mission Beach and the Ocean Beach. Later we drove upwards to Santa Barbara, spent a night there and went on to San Simeon. Before checking in in San Simeon, we went to the Moonstone Beach in Cambria – a beautiful but tiny beach. Beware: The Pacific ocean is cold as s**t here. The last day we drove on US Highway 1 (Scenic drive) back to SFO International Airport and visited the Silicon Valley on the way. The scenic highway offers a lot of vista points where you can push your camera to the limits. Beautiful landscapes, trees and elephant seals can be seen. When time is right, you may spot a whale too!

 

This was my summary post about our trip. If you want to read more, check the following links to the detail information on my blog: