A bit of Narnia, a dash of Twilight, the land of La La; California is lot more than Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed LA in 2017 thoroughly and you can read all about it here. Today, I will be sharing how to spend two weeks in California.
Day 1 – 4 San Jose + San Francisco
We entered the beautiful state of California through the Death Valley while driving from Nevada. We did the National Parks as mentioned in my previous blog. From Yosemite we drove to San Jose or should I say the home of Silicon Valley. Me and Jay are huge fans of the show and were very excited to visit this place. There is not much to do in San Jose unless you want to visit the Stanford University Campus. It will take a day trust me it is big. We chose to stay in Mountain View and Santa Clara because we were meeting family and friends. One of my friend took us to this amazing point on a hill called Sierra Vista from where you can see almost entire San Jose. And recommended Indian Buffet for $10 per person. Also during our stay in San Jose, we did a day of sight seeing in San Francisco.
Yes San Francisco in a day
We drove from San Jose after the office traffic was clear. (It is really bad sometimes takes 2 – 3 hours for an hours journey.) First stop, Lombard street. We drove through it and the amount of tourists at this place was enormous. The next stop Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. The best view of Acrata jail and the sea lions was from the deck of Pier 39. There is a lot of touristy shops and restaurants here. We really enjoyed a meal in Boudin which was a chowder. They have a vegetarian option with Tomatoes. It was also interesting to see how they make different styles of bread from the store window. From there we walked to The Ghirardelli Square and enjoyed a chocolate sundae dessert at the Original Ghirardelli shop. Last stop was the Golden Gate and again we choose to drive through it. The experience of looking at huge metal bars stuck to each other in a distinct pattern was breathtaking. The weather was very foggy but it made everything more dreamy. We still had time left to do sme shopping and grab dinner at Stonestown Galleria.
Day 5 – 7 Sonoma
A small little town just an hour away from San Jose and on the route to Lake Tahoe. We stayed in the most cute hotel Sonoma Creek Inn and enjoyed the town stroll in the evening.
Day 8 – 10 Lake Tahoe
From San Jose, we drove to south of Lake Tahoe and reached just in time to enjoy the Lakeside Beach (we were given free access with our stay as this is a private beach). The water was so clear and beautiful. There are a lot of water sport activities like jets, kayaks, paragliding etc. Or you could just relax by the beach and read a book. We choose to drive to Cave rock for Sunset and it was beautiful. More details are here.
Day 11- 12 Redding
A small town in the middle of California is underrated. By now national highway i5 had become our best friend. The roads in USA are wider than anywhere in the world and driving is much easier on the motorways. We caught the sunset at the Sundial Bridge after a short drive to the outskirts of Redding. If you have time, please go to Mt Shasta. Unfortunately we could not go as we had to continue driving to reach Seattle. We had dinner at a place called Cheesecakes Unlimited and it was refreshingly surprising. The best hot minestrone soup and fresh baked bread we had so far along with yummy cheesecake.
Day 13 – 15 Redwoods National Park
I have written in detail about this in USA National Parks post. We stayed in Arcata, a small town before the National Park starts. We did manage to find an Indian Restaurant which does unlimited buffet for $12 per person for lunch. The Holly Yashi store was an extraordinary treat and a cherry on the topping. Even if you are not a jewellery person, do visit the store to appreciate craftsmanship. They also do studio tours and you can book them in advance on their website.
We left California to drive into Oregon after Redwoods. The State has a lot to offer and we really enjoyed the warmth of the people wherever we went. A lot of national parks makes it more appealing to hikers and adventure enthusiasts, cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles attract families while scenic motorways encourage travellers like us to drive through the entire state.
Keep reading our blog to find out about our Journey from Phoenix, Arizona to Seattle, Washington in our future posts. Also do check our instagram page for regular updates. Till then keep travelling!