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Trip Report

Central California Coast

Short trip to the Napa Valley wine country, and Big Sur.

by clemenciaAbout Me:love to travel and share read more

North AmericaUnited States2 days / January - November 2017

Highs & Lows

The views.

Everything is super expensive.

Itinerary Overview

California as a state has a lot to offer. It’s about 900 miles long (15 hours driving up or down the coast) and about 250 miles wide. There is no way to see it all in a short amount of time.
However, if you find yourself in central California, in the San Francisco area, there’s a lot to do nearby.
First of all, you’d be near Napa Valley in California Wine Country, just north of San Francisco. This region is beautiful (the landscapes, the vineyards, the towns) but in a very tidy sort of way. Everything is expensive and “luxurious” which definitely has it’s appeal but might not be the highest recommendation on my list.
About 2 hours south of San Francisco you can visit towns like Monterey, Carmel-by-the Sea are also beautiful but expensive. These regions are nice destinations if you have the means but they are not the most budget-friendly destinations.

If you continue down the coast you will make it to Big Sur. I personally fell in love with Big Sur, the views, the national parks and the contract between the two. Also, there are a lot of more budget-friendly options here (not to mention camping.. The rocky coasts are breathtaking but also sort of scary if you aren’t the most confident driver. I wish I had spent the night here but did not because I was traveling with my grandmother.

Overall, although I ended up in surpassing my budget on this trip, I can at least say it was worth it. Next time I will spend more time in Big Sur and make sure to plan my trip more carefully.

  • Day trip: Napa County
    wine testing
  • 2 Nights: Santa Cruz
  • Day trip: Rocky Hill

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I would have liked to spend more time to spend in each location.

  • How was the food?

    Visit local markets.

  • Packing tips?

    Wear comfortable clothing.

  • Transportation Tips?

    Definitely rent a car.

  • Any surprises?

    How expensive everything was.

  • Booking details?

    I booked direct.