California called me and I had to go. This destination wasn’t really on my radar – until this year. Due to the reason that my sister chose to move to the place of endless summer, I decided to visit her. Although the first reason was to see her, I took the chance to visit some really great places.
But where to start, what to visit and how far to go? Well, if there is one place that offers variety and you can make every day a beach day, California has it all! Deserts, endless coastline, vibrant cities, beautiful mountains, vineyards for your thirst… just to mention few things.
Coast and mountains
I was impressed by the diversity of the coastal towns. Venice Beach for example, has a laid back charm and offers an open and creative space for street artists to exhibit their graffitis.
Santa Barbara, also known as the capital of the american Riviera, fascinates by its meter-high palm trees, breathtaking sunsets and striking appearence by the spanish-style builings . Althought this city is very popular for the young and wealthy, it’s somehow cosy and has an easy athmosphere.
The first days we not only visited those cities, but also made a motorbike-tour in the backcountry. The beautiful landscape compansated my fears of motorbiking and the wine-tasting at a small wineyard was definitely worth the trip!
Fun (and fitness) in the sun
Back at my sisters place in Ventura (which is a visit worth itself!) I made another discovery: Everybody is doing fitness! With Fitness Studios open 24/7, the young and the old – and I mean really old – flex their muscles either in the sun, the beach or in the studios. This confirmed a bittle bit my thoughts about local Califonians and their attitude about a healty lifestyle- and at least equally important – a beautiful appearance.
But what about “Surfin’ USA”? Surely, everywhere are surfers, who live this typical californian lifestyle.
My sister and I left the greater Los Angeles area, to drive south on the coast to San Diego. But our first overnight-stop was Laguna Beach, a lively town full of artists, cute cafés and a nice beach. We knew that prices are really high for an accomodation, so we stayed at a campground, which lies in a beautiful location up in the hills. Sea view from our tent inclusive!
I really can recommend this campground and even more “Ruby’s Shake Shack” for dinner or breakfast. The location is next to the street but with a million-dollar view: Sitting under an umbrella high on the cliffs, eating burger and watching the sunset on the Orange County coastline. Perfect way to round off the day!
The next day we discovered the town and got enchanted by the “pirate tower” on Victoria beach – another must-do, when you are in town. As a souvenir, I bought some artwork for my near-future home back in Bavaria.
San Diego was interesting. Let me explain…
For me, I found this city the most beautiful in the evening, when it gets busy and shiny in Little Italy and the Gaslamp-Quarter. Really cute.
Not so cute was our night in the hotel. During 2 am in the night, we woke up, because an obviously drunken and agressive guy next door, shouted and destroyed mirrors in the bathroom. We got really panic what would happen next, so we called the police. And it certainly became clear that we are in the United States, when 5 police cars and 1 ambulance surrounded the hotel. What a large-scale operation! We heared some “get on the floor”-shouting from the police and we felt like in a bad action-movie. This wasn’t funny at all…
We stayed in our locked hotel room, too scared to walk outside, as we knew this guy out there is highly aggressive. After about one hour, the police dragged the bad person outside.
After this rough night, we decided to spend a day on the beach to relax, before leaving the day after to Joshua Tree Nationalpark.
Soon: ” California – Part 2″