West Coast Road Trip

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Considering that the drive between the Canadian and Mexican borders only takes about 30 hours, it’s no wonder that this trip is a common bucket-list staple. However, it would be sacrilegious to approach the journey with such a strict time frame. With so much to savor along the Pacific Coast Highway, travelers should give themselves at least a week, if not more, to appreciate all that this corner of the globe has to offer. Here’s a sampling of the highlights to be found along the way.

Seattle, WA

The Emerald City is arguably the hippest destination on the West Coast. With its iconic skyline, a plethora of coffee joints and microbreweries, and happening social scene, there’s something to delight travelers from any and all walks of life. Check out The World is Fun‘s website for a list of what not to miss.

Redwood National Park, CA

Find out why these ancient trees secured a line in the famous patriotic ditty “This Land is Your Land” with a tour through this awe-inspiring park. Don’t miss the “Chandelier Tree,” with a trunk wide enough for a car to pass through. See the National Park Service website for more information.

The Napa Valley

While this is a definite must for wine lovers, teetotalers will find plenty to enjoy in this scenic region as well. Always dreamed of taking in the sunrise from a hot air balloon? Here’s the place to do it.

San Francisco

This jewel of a city needs no introduction; the most difficult part for visitors is narrowing down the list of sights to see. For help with this part, check out this list of the “Top 25 Things to Do in San Francisco” at The Crazy Tourist.

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Big Sur

Take some time to explore the best of California’s dramatic, fog-shrouded coastline while passing through this region south of Carmel. Lucky, sharp-eyed visitors may catch a glimpse of sea otters frolicking in the waves. Lodging and dining options abound; check this guide for links to the best ones.

San Diego

The world-class San Diego Zoo is just one reason to make a stop in this beautiful city. Take a tour of a craft brewery, relax on the beach, or find out why this is one of the top surfing destinations in all of California.

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Rediscovering Your City

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Many people wish they could travel, but it can be difficult to save enough money or take the time off to really appreciate a new destination. Some people fall into a rut and with vacation as their only out, it can seem depressing to stay in one place. Yet, there is a solution to both the money problem and the rut problem; you can rediscover your city. If this sounds intriguing, read on for some ways you can make this happen.

Explore a new neighborhood.

Many cities have different neighborhoods with distinct personalities. Even if you live in a smaller city, try venturing out to an area you previously never have. You may find restaurants, shops, landmarks, and tons of other unique places that were under your radar. Along with new areas come new people, and getting to interact with people outside of your inner circle can lead to a new perspective.

Eat unfamiliar cuisine.

Everyone has a style of food they are familiar with, usually from eating it all throughout childhood. As we get older, experimenting with new dinners might sound like too much work after an already exhausting day. Luckily, most cities have a wide variety of restaurants with varied cuisine. Try searching online for places that serve unique food and make a reservation to try it out. You will be surprised at the love that goes into local eateries.

Browse local shops.

Stores like Walmart and Target may be all over the country, but small shops are still surviving. Every city has a thrift store or vintage and antiques dealer, so why not venture there one day? Supporting local businesses invigorates the economy and helps someone live their dream. Let’s face it: nobody wants to work at Walmart, but someone wanted to start that store down the street, and your business could save theirs.

Visit the farmer’s market.

Eating locally-sourced produce is great for the economy, the Earth, and your wallet, so become a frequent face around your farmer’s market. Depending on where you live, the farmer’s market may not be around all year, but take advantage of it when possible. You may make friends with the people running the stands, who often learn to recognize familiar faces.

Attend a festival.

What better way to rediscover your city than by attending a festival? All year you can find various cultural events taking place, and it is a fun way to learn about your city’s history. Even food festivals can tell you a lot about the people who live there. Try looking up a calendar for events and setting aside time to go to as many as possible.

While most of us would like to travel all around the world, it is not feasible for many of us. If you want the same thrill of travel without having to pay for flights or accommodations, try taking these tips and rediscovering your city.

Originally posted on ArthurDanner.net