Welcome back! If you haven't read part one of our California adventures, you can find it here. Once we finally made it to our gate, (LAX is a bit of a beast) and bought some bougie kombucha, we were ready for our flight to San Francisco! We landed just after midnight, so when we made it to our hotel (which lucky for us was only 7 minutes away from the airport) we crashed. We woke up bright and early thanks to our bodies still being on East Coast time and made our way to the Sixteenth Avenue Staircase. There were already a few people there taking promotional pictures for what looks like a hat line but we were able to walk up the entire staircase which is incredibly beautiful. I wonder how long it took to place every tiny piece?
After the staircase, we started our trek of viewing the bridge from different locations because it's just truly magnificent and we wanted to take our time enjoying the different views. We went to Marshall's Beach, Battery Spencer, and Hawk Hill. Each view is vastly different and incredible to experience. I'm glad we were able to take our time here!
After we had soaked in everything we could, we grabbed lunch in Sausalito and made our way towards Muir Woods. From everything I read I was prepared to have to park far away, but somehow we got parking in the front! And when I say the front, I mean the closest spot available. Woohoo! We totally lucked out but we also arrived about 2 hours prior to closing, so I'm thinking that helped. We took the 2 mile loop, and I wish it was longer! We find nature really peaceful, so we loved exploring with our heads tilted towards the sky throughout most of our walk.
Our final day in California had come and we wanted to go out with a bang. We woke up early, got our morning coffee along the way at San Pedro Square Market in San Jose and made our way to Downtown Monterey where I'd say David was most excited for the sea lions. This was just a quick stop before we had lunch in Carmel at Hog's Breath (obviously) and then made our way to Point Lobos State Reserve. If you don't remember anything else, remember this: You will need cash to enter California state parks! We had no idea and had to go out of our way to find an ATM so plan ahead of time. It was $10 per car each time we went to a different park.
The drive down the Pacific Coast Highway was just non-stop jaw-dropping views. Don't fear– there are plenty of pullouts for you to stop and take pictures. But since we were flying out that evening, we made a beeline straight to McWay Falls. Again, you'll pay $10 cash per vehicle to park here so be prepared. You'll walk through a tunnel to get to the falls which is not clearly marked, so when you exit the tunnel, go to the right to enjoy this view! On our way back towards San Francisco, we stopped to watch the sunset in Garrapata State Park. Sunsets are my favorite because each time it looks like the sky is painted with gorgeous watercolors.
We loved California so much and can't wait to plan our next visit. Let us know if there are any must-see locations we need to check out during our next trip!