Last year, my brother, sister and I, set off on an amazing adventure to the US of A. Somehow, we survived each other and spent two incredible weeks city-hopping down the West Coast. If you’re planning a similar trip this summer and need ideas, look forward to reading my city guide travel series…
Hiking Through California
Redwood trees and glass beaches
Our relaxing stay in Oregon over, it was time to get active with plenty of hikes planned in California. The drive down the highway from Oregon is so stunning, right next to the ocean. There are plenty of parking bays off the road where you can stop to appreciate the beauty, as we did in my picture above.
When we reached the border of the State we were stopped at a gate. After panicking that we didn’t have cash to get through what we thought was a tolling gate, we realised it was just a quick security check and were ushered straight through. On to the hikes!
What To See
Stout Grove & Redwood Trees
Stout Grove is a very picturesque place, made up of a number of different hiking trails. As we drove into California, we headed right into the middle of Stout Grove to start one of the main trails. The excitement began before we even got out of the car as we drove through the Redwood trees that were covered in grey mud from the dust that’s thrown up by passing cars. It looked like nothing I’d seen before and had an enchanted forest feel to it with the sun shining through, casting long shadows. The drive to the main car park continued like this for about 20 minutes but there was so much beautiful scenery to see.
When we got out of the car to begin the hike we could finally fully appreciate just how giant these Redwoods are – so much bigger than you imagine. In the picture above, see me standing on top of the base of a fallen tree trunk! The hike we took led us through these trees and opened up onto a tranquil lake where families were having a cooling dip in the water to escape the heat.
The trail continues up into the hills where you can view the distant ocean from above and leads back down into the shade amongst the coloured tree trunks. There are so many trails to choose from and plenty to see.
We decided to do another called Scout’s trail which is an infamous trail leading to a rock that looks like a hand saluting like a Scout. This was a hillier hike but very peaceful through the quiet forest floor.
If you’re tired of hiking, you can also drive through a Redwood trail down the highway to catch a glimpse on your journey through California.
A rocky beach in Fort Bragg where both locals and tourists gather at the coast to find glass pebbles. We decided to join in the fun one morning but as we walked down to the “glass” beach we couldn’t see any of the pebbles. We took a walk around trying to look for the colourful stones before we noticed a large group of people searching by the shallow water. We realised that we had to actually hunt for the pebbles and find them amongst the usual stones. A fun little activity if you’re looking to take a small souvenir home.
Where To Eat
Jenny’s Giant Burger
Jenny’s Giant Burgers is a fast food style restaurant in Fort Bragg, right by the hotel we stayed at. The online ratings are great and it is considered one of the best restaurants in the area. Good for a takeaway, as there is limited seating inside, and the burgers were pretty huge. I only had a regular size one but most of the options were for double or giant burgers to live up to its name. Food takes a while to be prepared so you know that it is freshly made, making it much more delicious. A good place to try for a quick stop.
We stayed at Best Western Vista Manor Lodge by Fort Bragg. Lovely hotel with huge comfortable rooms. We had free parking, TV, wifi, hairdryer, iron, breakfast and a balcony included. The hotel is very picturesque and right by the beach so rooms with an ocean view are available.
If you liked this post, look out for next in series: San Francisco
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