8 Places to go in Fall in Northern California

8 Destinations in Fall in Northern California
[Mammoth in the Eastern Sierras – YES California does have a fall, contrary to popular belief!!]
UPDATED: September 2019

FALL IS COMING PEOPLE. NOBODY PANIC. REMAIN CALM AND GET OUT YOUR SCARVES, BOOTS, AND CARDIGANS OUT IMMEDIATELY. THEN HEAD TO YOUR NEAREST PUMPKIN PATCH AS SOON AS YOU CAN. I REPEAT: EVERYBODY PLEASE. REMAIN. CALM.

But actually it’s impossible for me to remain calm because fall (or ~autumn~ as the fancy people call it) just happens to be MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SEASON. In fact, I love it so much, that I even wrote a bucket list of all the fall activities I HAVE TO DO every year. I think it’s about time to revisit that, shall we?

Feel free to steal my ideas. I’ll allow it.

Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park in California
[Yosemite is obviously great to visit at any time of year, but I especially love it in the fall!]
It also just so happens that fall is the BEST time to travel (in my humble opinion) – prices are slashed, the crowds are gone, temperatures are lower (I HATE running around all day in the heat), and you don’t have to fight tooth and nail for accommodation.

And maybe in other places it’s freezing in autumn, but in Northern California, the weather is PERFECT at a balmy 60-80 degrees most of the time. Sometimes it can even climb up to over 80! Of course, this depends on where exactly you go (California is gigantic and spans many different climates, something I have to remind people often), but on average, I’d say that’s the temperature.

Read more

8 Reasons I Won’t Miss Living in the Bay Area

Why I Won't Miss Living in the Bay Area
[Even though there’s a lot I don’t like about the Bay, parts of it sure are pretty!]
Ahh the Bay Area – land of start ups, the word “hella”, giant tech companies, the best burritos (yeah I said it), the Golden Gate, and so much more that I could never fit it all into one sentence without violating all kinds of grammar rules. It’s a wonderful melting pot of a place.

I grew up in San Jose and was living in Fremont the past 2 years. I will always love the Bay (and there are plenty of reasons I’ll miss it, too), but I’m also very ready to leave. It was a good run, but here’s why I’m not looking to return:

Read more

Should You Bike the 17-Mile Drive or Stay Home?

The Lone Cypress on the 17-Mile Drive in Monterey, California - Should You Bike the 17-Mile Drive?
[The Lone Cypress Tree, which suspiciously doesn’t look THAT lonely with another tree right next to it]
Updated September 2019

The 17-Mile Drive is located in the very pretty (and very rich) area of California called Pebble Beach. It stretches between the towns of Pacific Grove and Carmel, and is close to the larger town of Monterey. And, of course, has lots of beautiful coastal views!

Most people drive it, but what is it like to bike? Here’s what you need to know!

Read more

Can’t Afford The Madonna Inn? You Should Still Visit!

madonna-innOk, so the Madonna Inn is pretty damn expensive. We all know that. But – you can still check it out even if you don’t have the funds to stay in a room (still a dream of mine – one day!!). We went to their cafe and grabbed a slice of cake (yep, that’s it – we broke) and then walked around this gem of a hotel.

The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California
[It’s already so cool! A PINK SIGN!]
You can check out the restaurant, bathrooms (of course lol but you really should look at them, even if you don’t have to go! They fancy AF – the dude’s bathroom has a freaking WATERFALL in it), shop(s), pool area (although I don’t think you can swim unless you’re actually staying at the hotel), tennis courts (they’re also PINK!), garden, and the outside of all the pretty hotels. Maybe you’ll even get lucky and someone will be leaving theirs when you walk by and you can get a glimpse inside! (I’m actually the creepiest)…

Read more

Visiting Yosemite in Winter – Yes, It’s Awesome

Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park are still just as beautiful (and make great hikes) in winter!
[Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls are absolute beauts – and you can still hike them in winter, too! We were weenies and only did Lower Yosemite Falls]
Yosemite Valley is just one of the those places you HAVE. TO. SEE. And It is chock full of fun winter activities!

IMO it is just awe inspiring, and so so so beautiful. And there’s so much to do, even during the winter! However, make sure you check the weather first, because snow storms are a thing. And you want to go when it’s pretty and perfect and not when a storm is raging.

Read more

My 10 Favorite Destinations of 2017

Woman facing towards a waterfall in Yosemite National Park, one of my 10 favorite destinations of 2017
[Freezing to death in Yosemite this past February]
Are you even a travel blogger if you don’t do some version of this list???

I just had to hop on board…And I also just like talking about the places I’ve visited, so…Here we go!

2016 was pretty hard to beat, travel-wise, because I moved to Flagstaff for three months (which I absolutely LOVED) and got to see a ton of Arizona through projects/exploring while in the conservation corps; then I went to Europe for 1.5 months and explored Israel, Greece, Ireland, and Belgium, and then Costa Rica for 10 days! Soooo it was pretty fuckin great.

2017 was still awesome, just a lot more local, especially since I had a job that I was sticking around the Bay Area for.

And so, here are my favorite destinations from 2017.

Read more

A Fall-Venture to Apple Hill

Fall is the best time to visit Apple Hill in Placerville - you can see the fall colors at Delfino Farms!
[Delfino Farms’ selection of mini pumpkins, gourds, and random green lumps that I have no clue what the hell they actually are – a must visit at Apple Hill]

Okay so I wanted to go to Apple Hill so badly once I found out about it. I love hills. And apples. So clearly it was made for me.

But let me tell you – it’s much more than that. Although there are many apples and hills involved. And apples in so many forms – (hard) cider, beer, strudel, pie, freshly picked, it goes on and on.

We couldn’t actually do any apple picking the first time we were there (all the apples are gone by like September, news to me), although we did go rogue and pick some off the ground on the side of the road. There were a ton of them and they looked like they were going bad! So I was doing them a favor! Otherwise they’d attract deer and other unwanted pests and the like…

The second time, however – I made SURE we would get to pick them apples. All of them. And you bet we did.

Read more

California Bucket List: All the Places I Want to See in 2018

Car driving down a road with mountains in the background in Arizona - This list is a California travel bucket list
[Driving on a random road in Arizona]

Okay so these are things I’ll most likely cross off in the next year (so they’re basically ALL in California).

Mainly because making a legit bucket list makes me cry because I want to go to places like Iceland and Kyrgyzstan and it’s not likely gonna happen right now at this very exact moment because of that whole 9-5 life. So here’s some California bucket list (in the form of weekend trips) inspiration!

Read more