California has so much to offer beyond their infamous Hollywood sign. From forests and mountains to beaches with breathtaking views... there are many breathtakingly stunning places to explore!
Why not do the dreamy van life for a bit to see them for yourself?
I know you’ve seen those posts on Instagram by influencers traveling to beautiful locations across America, let's make it happen for YOU!
We're going to start up North and work our way down but the opposite is just as great!
Mendocino Headlands State Park
Just about 3 hours north of San Francisco, the California coast turns rugged with magnificent cliff drops and ocean views. Explore Glass Beach, a seaside location where the local community pushed their junk over the ledge of overshadowing cliffs for years. This abandoned junk yard may sound not sound amusing, but it's now full of smooth, beautiful, colored glass that makes for a unique experience.
Don't forget about the state park, coastal Botanical Gardens, and exploring the many tide pools Mendocino has to offer.
Dipsea Trail- Forest Trails Turn Ocean Views
The stunning panoramic views continue into the Bay Area as you make your way south. The Dipsea Trail is known for being an adventure geek’s haven- many runners take to it’s challenging pitch, and others meander the diverse ecosystem. One minute you’re in redwood forests... the next? Hello Pacific! Want something a little more off the beaten path? Checkout Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Lastly, head into San Fransisco for a stroll along Fisherman's Wharf where you'll grab some Ghirardelli chocolate and admire the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
Big Sur- Like Any and All Of It
If you live in California and haven’t had the chance to explore Big Sur, tell me who to yell at and I will. Big Sur is a global must see- truly some of the most incredible scenery you will ever come across. Click here for the top photo spots here. If you have seen the TV show, “Big Little Lies”- the intro gives you a teaser of the views you can take in.
Malibu- Beach and Waterfalls
Looking to venture near LA? You’ll have to brave the traffic but gorgeous hideaways like Escondido Falls are well worth a few hours in your van. Help pass the time by queuing up your favorite playlist! You'll recognize many of the typical LA scenes you've seen in movies and will want to look up the top spots to eat on Yelp.
San Diego- Need I Say More?
As someone who lives in San Diego, it feels cliche to even write this...
Head to Torrey Pines State Reserve, with 4.8 stars over 12,000+ reviews, it is one of the most populated, yet underrated gems of San Diego. You will hike your way up and around trails that border hundred foot cliffs. If the tide allows, make your way down to the beach where you can explore Blacks Beach- a picturesque backdrop that balances soft sand beaches with turquoise water. Heads up! Bikinis are optional at much this nude getaway.
Have you been to any of these locations or is there one you think MUST be added to the list? Comment below!
If you have the wanderlust to travel, but need the right setup- find a list of camper van companies to get you started here: