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The Best Boutique Hotels in Palm Springs

Blogs

The Best Boutique Hotels in Palm Springs

Palm Springs stands as the ultimate desert hideaway and I’ve been lucky enough to call home throughout my childhood and early adulthood. Amidst the laid-back atmosphere and iconic palm trees, lies a wide variety of boutique hotels to choose from, each promising a unique and personal getaway. Join us as we explore the best of the best—small, charming hotels that offer more than just a place to stay. From stylish designs to personalized service, these boutique gems redefine what it means to relax in this sun-kissed oasis.

Sparrows Lodge:

Photo Credit: Sparrows Lodge

Sparrows Lodge offers a rustic yet chic experience. With a focus on simplicity and comfort, this adult-only retreat features a communal barn for gatherings, fire pits, and stylish rooms with a touch of the Old West

La Serena Villas

Photo Credit: La Serena Villas

This Spanish-inspired boutique hotel is an intimate escape with only 18 rooms. Enjoy the private courtyard with a pool, lush landscaping, and thoughtfully designed rooms that reflect the charm of Palm Springs.

Korakia Pensione

Photo Credit: Korakia Pensione

Transport yourself to the Mediterranean at Korakia Pensione. With its Moroccan and Mediterranean-inspired architecture, this boutique hotel exudes charm. Guests can enjoy peaceful courtyards and a serene atmosphere.

Holiday House Palm Springs

Photo Credit: Holiday House

A playful and chic escape, the Holiday House Palm Springs captures the essence of mid-century modern design. Each room is uniquely decorated, and the hotel features a stunning pool area perfect for relaxation.

Fleur Noire Hotel

Photo Credit: Fleur Noire Hotel

Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of Fleur Noire Hotel. This hidden gem combines modern elegance with a touch of mystery. With its artful design and attention to detail, Fleur Noire offers a truly distinctive experience in the heart of Palm Springs.

Les Cactus

Photo Credit: Les Cactus

Les Cactus is a vibrant and contemporary boutique hotel, embracing the spirit of the desert. With a focus on bold design and artistic flair, this hotel offers a refreshing and stylish retreat for those seeking a modern Palm Springs experience.

Casa Cody

Photo Credit: Casa Cody

Steeped in history, Casa Cody is Palm Springs’ oldest operating hotel. Its adobe-style architecture and lush gardens create a tranquil setting. Guests can experience the charm of the past while enjoying modern comforts.

Skylark Hotel

Photo Credit: Skylark Hotel

Skylark Hotel boasts a sleek and modern design, offering a sophisticated retreat. With stylish rooms and a chic pool area, it’s a haven for those who appreciate contemporary aesthetics and personalized service.

Del Marcos Hotel

Photo Credit: Del Marcos Hotel

A true architectural gem, Del Marcos Hotel is a mid-century modern masterpiece. With its iconic design and tranquil courtyard, guests can immerse themselves in the classic elegance that defines Palm Springs.

Ingleside Inn

Photo Credit: Ingleside Inn

A historic gem with Spanish’s-style architecture, Ingleside Inn provides a romantic retreat with a rich history and a tranquil courtyard.

Colony Palms Hotel

Photo Credit: Colony Palms Hotel

Discover the historic allure of Colony Palms Hotel, where old-world charm meets modern luxury in an enchanting blend that captures the spirit of Palm Springs.

Villa Royale

Photo Credit: Villa Royale

An embodiment of Mediterranean-inspired luxury, Villa Royale offers 38 uniquely designed villas amidst lush landscaping, creating a refined and tranquil retreat.

Alcazar Palm Springs

Photo Credit: Alcazar Palm Springs

Timeless sophistication defines Alcazar Palm Springs, where modern design seamlessly blends with historic charm, providing an intimate and stylish escape.

L’Horizon Resort & Spa

Photo Credit: L’Horizon

A haven of mid-century modern design, L’Horizon Resort & Spa offers a limited number of bungalows, each equipped with a private patio for a tranquil escape.

Dive Palm Springs

Photo Credit: Dive Palm Springs

A boutique hotel with a modern twist, Dive Palm Springs combines sleek design with a relaxed atmosphere, providing a refreshing and contemporary escape.

Cole Hotel

Photo Credit: Cole Hotel

Boutique elegance takes center stage at the Cole Hotel, where stylish design and personalized service create a distinctive and sophisticated Palm Springs experience.

Blogs California

A Hidden Oasis: Hiking Murray Canyon to Seven Sisters Waterfall in Palm Springs, Ca

In the heart of Palm Springs lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered—the trail from Murray Canyon to the Seven Sisters Waterfall. In this blog we’ll share and explore the route, what to expect on your journey and a few helpful tips and recommendations to keep in mind before starting on your trek. Happy hiking!

3.7 miles | Elevation gain 538 ft | Out & back | Rated Moderate

Address: Murray Canyon Trail, 2019 E Murray Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Trail Overview:

The trail begins at the Indian Canyons Trading Post. Follow the signs guiding you towards Maynard Mine and Murray Canyon. Proceed south, crossing the dirt road over Andreas Canyon Creek. Once you’ve crossed, veer left immediately to stay on course toward Maynard Mine/Murray Canyon. Your journey unfolds along a road that winds through several picnic areas, shaded by beautiful arching palms. As you continue, you’ll eventually reach another trail sign and a map, marking the official trailhead for Murray and Maynard.

The path initially takes you through a desert landscape, along a dirt trail with not much shade but beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Eventually the trail leads you down into Murray Canyon, guiding you along a creek through a lush palm oasis.

At the 1.5-mile mark, a connecting trail veers off to the left, leading upward towards the Coffman Trail on the ridge to the east. Keep right and continue on towards the Seven Sisters Waterfall. The next stretch is a bit more steep and rocky.

By the time you reach 1.9 miles, you’ll reach a final turn in the canyon towards the south, revealing the hidden gem—Seven Sisters Falls. It’s a small, tucked away flowing waterfall offering a moment of serenity; the perfect reward for conquering the journey.

Know Before You Go

  1. Entry Fee: Be aware of any entry fees associated with your visit. Ensure you have the necessary funds for admission, and check if there are any discounts available. Admission fees are as follows: Adults $12, Seniors 62+ $7, Students (with student ID) $7, Children (6-12) $6, Military (with U.S. military ID) Free, and Equestrian $11.
  2. Plan Ahead: Plan your visit in advance, considering the time of year, weather, and the specific trails you want to explore. This ensures a more enjoyable and prepared adventure.
  3. Respect Cultural Sites: The Indian Canyons hold cultural significance for the Cahuilla people. Respect the sacred sites, artifacts, and any cultural markers you encounter. Avoid touching or disturbing these elements.
  4. Respect Wildlife: Indian Canyons is home to diverse wildlife. Observe animals from a distance, avoid feeding them, and respect their natural habitats. Binoculars can enhance your wildlife-watching experience.
  5. Hydration is Key: Southern California’s desert climate can be deceptively dry. Bring an ample supply of water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning an extended hike. It’s crucial to combat the arid conditions.
  6. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers and wear comfortable, breathable clothing suitable for the desert environment. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended for trails with varying terrains.
  7. Sun Protection: Shield yourself from the sun’s intensity by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Protecting your skin and eyes is crucial in the desert sun.
  8. Pack Snacks: Bring light snacks to keep your energy levels up during your exploration. Portable, non-perishable snacks are convenient for a quick refuel.
  9. Stay on Designated Trails: Stick to designated trails to protect the delicate desert ecosystem. Straying off the path can disturb plant life and contribute to erosion.
  10. Check Trail Conditions: Before your visit, check the current trail conditions, as they can vary based on weather and maintenance. Stay informed about any closures or restrictions to ensure a smooth and safe experience.

So, there you have it—Murray Canyon to Seven Sisters Waterfall It’s not just a hike; it’s like stumbling upon nature’s secret stash. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a newbie to the trail scene, this one’s bound to leave you with a smile as wide as the desert horizon. Until next time, happy trails!

Blogs California

A Day Trip to Oak Glen, California

Nestled in the scenic beauty of the San Bernardino Mountains, Oak Glen, California, offers a cute and charming escape for nature enthusiasts and those seeking fall fun in California. Known for its picturesque orchards, crisp mountain air, and friendly atmosphere, Oak Glen makes for an ideal day trip destination. Join us as we explore the highlights we enjoyed during our short time in this quaint town and discover why it’s a hidden gem in Southern California.

Morning:

Begin your day with the crisp mountain air and the sweet scent of ripe apples at Snow Line Orchards. This family-owned orchard not only offers a variety of apple varieties but also provides a quintessential farm experience. Wander through the orchards, picking your own apples straight from the branches while enjoying the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Snow Line Orchards is known for its freshly baked mini apple cider donuts. Wait in line and watch them your eyes. You can also order other apple infused goods, fresh apple cider, hard cider and artisanal apple wines! The cozy ambiance and aroma of warm pastries set the stage for a perfect morning in Oak Glen.

Afternoon:

Next, make your way to Oak Tree Mountain. This recently revamped family-friendly park offers a plethora of entertainment options! Be sure to enjoy a delicious lunch from Apple Annies Bakery & Restaurant, where you can indulge in local favorites like their renowned chicken pot pie or chicken fried steak. Given the popularity, expect a wait for a table. Explore the park at a leisurely pace, discovering its various shops and attractions. From a petting zoo and playground to an exciting giant mountain tubing slide, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to catch some live music throughout the park – grab a beverage from the Common Ground Public House and take a stroll, or perhaps give Axe throwing a try for a unique therapeutic experience!

Evening:

Cap off your day of adventure and exploration with a delightful dinner at Oak Glen Steakhouse and Saloon. Known for its rustic charm and hearty meals, this local gem promises a satisfying dining experience. Indulge in a mouthwatering steak or savor one of their other delectable menu offerings. The warm and inviting atmosphere of the saloon adds a touch of old-world charm to your evening. Whether you’re looking for a cozy spot for two or a place to gather with friends and family, Oak Glen Steakhouse and Saloon provides the ideal setting to reflect on the day’s escapades while enjoying a delicious meal in the heart of Oak Glen.

Other Activities to Enjoy:
Apple Picking

While we didn’t get a chance to full immerse ourselves in the Oak Glen apple picking experience, it is one of the top reasons people flock to the area during Autumn. If you’re looking for where to go, here are a few of the top farms/orchards to consider.

  1. Snow Line Orchards:
    • Address: 39400 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: A family-friendly orchard with a variety of apples available for picking. They often have additional activities such as tractor rides and a country store.
  2. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho:
    • Address: 39611 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: Known for its historic charm, Riley’s offers a delightful apple picking experience. Explore their orchards, participate in cider pressing, and enjoy seasonal events.
  3. Stone Pantry Orchard:
    • Address: 11993 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen, CA 92399
    • Highlights: A smaller orchard with a welcoming atmosphere, Stone Pantry Orchard offers a more intimate apple picking experience. Check their schedule for the availability of specific apple varieties.
  4. Willowbrook Apple Farm:
    • Address: 12099 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen, CA 92399
    • Highlights: This family-owned farm provides a charming setting for apple picking. They often have educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.
  5. Parrish Pioneer Ranch:
    • Address: 38561 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: A picturesque orchard with a focus on preserving the history of the area. Enjoy apple picking and explore the scenic surroundings.
  6. Riley’s Farm:
    • Address: 12261 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen, CA 92399
    • Highlights: Riley’s Farm offers a unique historical experience along with apple picking. Explore colonial-themed activities, enjoy period-appropriate food, and immerse yourself in the farm’s charming atmosphere.
Trails

Oak Glen and its surrounding areas offer a variety of trails for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some notable trails near Oak Glen, California:

  1. Oak Glen Preserve Trails:
    • Location: 39611 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: The Oak Glen Preserve, managed by the Wildlands Conservancy, provides several scenic trails of varying difficulty levels. Explore the preserve’s diverse habitats, including oak woodlands and meadows.
  2. Yucaipa Regional Park Trails:
    • Location: 33900 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: Yucaipa Regional Park offers multiple trails around its lake, providing a peaceful setting for walks and hikes. The trails vary in length, offering options for both casual strolls and more challenging hikes.
  3. Wildwood Canyon State Park:
    • Location: Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: Wildwood Canyon State Park features hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, making it a great spot for nature enthusiasts.
  4. Los Rios Rancho Trail:
    • Location: 39611 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: This trail is part of the Los Rios Rancho property and offers a pleasant walk through the orchards and surrounding natural areas. It’s a family-friendly option with beautiful scenery.
  5. Cherry Creek Trail:
    • Location: Crafton Hills Open Space, Yucaipa, CA 92399
    • Highlights: The Cherry Creek Trail in Crafton Hills Open Space provides a more challenging hiking experience with steep sections and rewarding views of the surrounding landscapes.
Extend Your Trip

If you end up I a position like Jordan and I did, where you have a bit too much fun on your day trip, drink too much and need to get a hotel for the night, here are a few quick options to consider.

  1. Oak Tree Inn:
    • Location: 8458 Valley Boulevard, Cherry Valley, CA 92223
    • Highlights: The Oak Tree Inn offers convenient access to Oak Glen and features clean and comfortable rooms. It’s a straightforward choice for those looking for a well-priced accommodation option.
  2. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Beaumont – Oak Valley:
    • Location: 1864 Oak Valley Village Circle, Beaumont, CA 92223
    • Highlights: This modern hotel is a short drive from Oak Glen and provides amenities like a pool, fitness center, and complimentary breakfast, making it suitable for those seeking a more traditional hotel experience.
  3. Hampton Inn & Suites Banning-Beaumont:
    • Location: 6071 Joshua Palmer Way, Banning, CA 92220
    • Highlights: Located in nearby Banning, this Hampton Inn & Suites offers comfortable rooms, a pool, and a complimentary breakfast. It’s a convenient option for those exploring the Oak Glen area.
  4. Calimesa Inn:
    • Location: 1205 Calimesa Blvd, Calimesa, CA 92320
    • Highlights: Calimesa Inn in Yucaipa provides a convenient stay with comfortable rooms. Its location makes it a suitable choice for those looking to explore Oak Glen and the surrounding areas.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, family-friendly activities, or fall festivities, Oak Glen’s diverse range of options ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque Southern California town. Happy traveling!

Blogs California

Your Guide to Exploring Indian Canyons in Palm Springs

Nestled against the majestic San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California, lies sacred lands with a rich historyThe Indian Canyons in Palm Springs. Managed by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, these canyons are divided into three main hiking areas: Palm Canyon, Murray Canyon and Andreas Canyon. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best hiking trails the region has to offer, other ways you can experience the area, and a few important “know before you go’s” to keep in mind before visiting.

Hiking Trails

Palm Canyon

Stretching for fifteen miles, Palm Canyon is home to one of the world’s largest fan palm oases. A moderately graded trail gently descends into the heart of the canyon, providing opportunities for picnics by the stream, exploration, invigorating hikes, or even leisurely horseback rides. For those seeking to delve deeper into the cultural richness of the area, a visit to the Trading Post is a must! Here, you can acquire hiking maps, enjoy refreshments, and explore a treasure trove of Indian art and artifacts including books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weaving, and more.

  1. Palm Canyon Trail:
    • Distance: Varies (up to 15 miles round trip).
    • Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous.
    • Highlights: As one of the world’s largest fan palm oases, Palm Canyon boasts breathtaking scenery. The trail allows hikers to explore the diverse flora and fauna, with the opportunity to witness the iconic California Fan Palms up close.
  2. Victor Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 1.5 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Opt for the less-traveled Victor Trail for a secluded hiking experience. Panoramic views of the canyons and the surrounding desert make this trail a hidden gem.
  3. Palm Canyon/Victor Loop:
    • Distance: Approximately 7 miles loop.
    • Difficulty: Strenuous.
    • Highlights: Combine the scenic beauty of Palm Canyon with the quieter Victor Trail on this challenging loop. The journey offers a comprehensive exploration of the Indian Canyons.
  4. Fern Canyon Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 2.5 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Delve into the lush greenery of Fern Canyon, known for its fern-covered walls and shady ambiance. This trail adds a touch of enchantment to your Indian Canyons adventure.
  5. Indian Potrero Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 5 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Indian Potrero Trail offers a longer trek through diverse landscapes, showcasing the unique flora and geological features of the canyons.
  6. Hahn Buena Vista Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 3 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Hahn Buena Vista Trail provides panoramic vistas and a chance to appreciate the expansive desert scenery, making it a rewarding choice for hikers seeking stunning views.
  7. West Fork Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 7 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous.
    • Highlights: West Fork Trail offers a more extended journey through varied terrain, with opportunities to appreciate the diverse plant life and geological formations.
  8. West Fork North Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 4 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: West Fork North Trail provides a shorter but equally rewarding option, showcasing the beauty of the northern reaches of the Indian Canyons.
  9. Jo Pond Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 1.5 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Easy.
    • Highlights: Jo Pond Trail offers a leisurely stroll around a picturesque pond, providing a peaceful and family-friendly hiking option.
  10. Vandeventer Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 5 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Vandeventer Trail takes hikers on a scenic journey with panoramic views, showcasing the vastness of the Indian Canyons.
  11. East Fork Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 5 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: East Fork Trail offers a captivating hike through varied landscapes, providing a mix of desert flora and geological formations.
  12. Dry Wash Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 4 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: The Dry Wash Trail offers a distinctive experience, winding through the dry washes of the canyons and providing a unique perspective of the surrounding desert landscape.
Andreas Canyon

Andreas Canyon oasis is home to vibrant green fan palms and over 150 plant types all within just a half-mile radius. A nice footpath takes you through the canyon, passing tall palms, interesting rocks, and the always-flowing Andreas Creek. You can still see old bedrock tools used for cooking centuries ago. This calm spot is great for taking photos, watching birds, or having a picnic at the trailside tables.

  1. Andreas Canyon Trail:
    • Distance: Approximately 1 mile loop.
    • Difficulty: Easy.
    • Highlights: The main loop trail in Andreas Canyon takes you through a scenic route featuring vibrant wildflowers, diverse plant life, and the iconic California Fan Palms. It’s an easy stroll suitable for all ages.
  2. Palm Canyon Trail Extension:
    • Distance: Approximately 2 miles round trip (including the extension).
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Extend your journey by connecting to the Palm Canyon Trail. This extension adds more distance and a slightly higher difficulty level, providing a deeper exploration of the canyon’s beauty.
  3. Andreas Creek Bed Trail:
    • Distance: Varies (depending on exploration).
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
    • Highlights: Follow the creek bed for a unique perspective of Andreas Canyon. This trail allows for a more immersive experience as you navigate through the canyon’s geological features and lush vegetation.
  4. Maynard Mine Trail:
    • Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: The Maynard Mine Trail offers a unique perspective, guiding you through the historic remnants of the Maynard Mine. Explore the geological features and learn about the area’s mining history on this moderately challenging trail.
Murray Canyon

Murray Canyon, just a bit south of Andreas Canyon, offers an easy to moderately challenging hikes. The trails, designed for both hikers and horseback riders, lead to picturesque recreation spots adorned with numerous palm trees. If you’re lucky, you might spot a Big Horn Sheep! It’s less visited than Palm Canyon or Andreas Canyon but offers its own secluded beauty.

  1. Murray Canyon Loop Trail:
    • Distance: 5 mile loop.
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: The Murray Canyon Loop Trail weaves through the diverse landscapes of Murray Canyon, combining various trails to offer a comprehensive and rewarding hiking experience.
  2. Murray Canyon to Seven Sisters Trail:
    • Distance: approximately 4 miles, out & back
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: The Seven Sisters Trail, with its interconnected pathways, takes you through captivating landscapes and offers opportunities to appreciate the beauty of nature within Murray Canyon.
  3. Coffman Trail:
    • Distance: 1 ¼ miles
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Coffman Trail adds diversity to your hike, leading you through varied terrains and allowing you to explore the scenic wonders of Murray Canyon.
  4. Alexander Trail:
    • Distance: 1¼ mile
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: The Alexander Trail provides a pleasant trek through the canyon, offering a mix of natural beauty and a moderately challenging terrain.
  5. Alexander East Trail:
    • Distance: 1½ mile
    • Difficulty: Moderate.
    • Highlights: Alexander East Trail adds an eastern perspective to your exploration, guiding you through unique features and enhancing your overall Murray Canyon experience.

Different Ways to Experience the Canyons

Red Jeep Tours

Embark on a captivating adventure through the Indian Canyons with Red Jeep Tours. Traverse the rugged terrain of Palm Springs in a vibrant red Jeep, expertly guided by knowledgeable tour operators. From Andreas to Murray Canyon, let the vibrant red Jeep be your gateway to the wonders of this desert oasis, ensuring a memorable journey filled with awe-inspiring vistas and fascinating tales.

Biking & Hiking Tour

Discover the beauty of Palm Springs and Indian Canyons on a half-day tour from downtown Palm Springs, combining biking and hiking. This comprehensive experience includes a knowledgeable guide, bike rental, and snacks, making it effortlessly accessible to explore the stunning city and desert surroundings of southern California. Embark on a 10-mile (17-km) loop through Palm Springs to Indian Canyons, where you’ll then engage in a leisurely-paced hike within the canyon. Tailored for reasonably active individuals, this tour promises an immersive adventure through the captivating landscapes of Palm Springs and the Indian Canyons.

Smoke Tree Stables

Embark on a unique equestrian adventure with Smoke Tree Stables! This horseback exploration invites you to connect with the desert landscape in a way that only a guided ride through the Indian Canyons can offer. With experienced guides leading the way, riders can immerse themselves in the natural wonders and cultural significance of this sacred land. Smoke Tree Stables not only provides a memorable journey through the canyons but also an opportunity to experience the rich heritage and diverse ecosystems of the Indian Canyons in a manner that resonates with the spirit of the Old West.

Know Before You Go

  1. Entry Fee: Be aware of any entry fees associated with your visit. Ensure you have the necessary funds for admission, and check if there are any discounts available. Admission fees are as follows: Adults $12, Seniors 62+ $7, Students (with student ID) $7, Children (6-12) $6, Military (with U.S. military ID) Free, and Equestrian $11.
  2. Plan Ahead: Plan your visit in advance, considering the time of year, weather, and the specific trails you want to explore. This ensures a more enjoyable and prepared adventure.
  3. Respect Cultural Sites: The Indian Canyons hold cultural significance for the Cahuilla people. Respect the sacred sites, artifacts, and any cultural markers you encounter. Avoid touching or disturbing these elements.
  4. Respect Wildlife: Indian Canyons is home to diverse wildlife. Observe animals from a distance, avoid feeding them, and respect their natural habitats. Binoculars can enhance your wildlife-watching experience.
  5. Hydration is Key: Southern California’s desert climate can be deceptively dry. Bring an ample supply of water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning an extended hike. It’s crucial to combat the arid conditions.
  6. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers and wear comfortable, breathable clothing suitable for the desert environment. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended for trails with varying terrains.
  7. Sun Protection: Shield yourself from the sun’s intensity by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Protecting your skin and eyes is crucial in the desert sun.
  8. Pack Snacks: Bring light snacks to keep your energy levels up during your exploration. Portable, non-perishable snacks are convenient for a quick refuel.
  9. Stay on Designated Trails: Stick to designated trails to protect the delicate desert ecosystem. Straying off the path can disturb plant life and contribute to erosion.
  10. Check Trail Conditions: Before your visit, check the current trail conditions, as they can vary based on weather and maintenance. Stay informed about any closures or restrictions to ensure a smooth and safe experience.

As you embark on your journey through the Indian Canyons, you’ll discover not only the breathtaking natural beauty of the desert landscape but also the rich cultural tapestry woven by the indigenous people who have called this region home for centuries. Immerse yourself in the stories of Andreas Canyon, marvel at the palm oases, and find tranquility in the heart of nature. The Indian Canyons offer a unique and enriching experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Happy exploring!

California

Discovering Idyllwild: Hiking Suicide Rock via Deer Springs Trail

6.7 Miles – Out & Back – 1,866 ft. Elevation Gain

Address: http://Deer Spring Trail, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549

Nestled in the breathtaking San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California, Idyllwild offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, tranquility, and stunning vistas. One of the most rewarding hikes in this quaint mountain town is Suicide Rock. Deer Springs Trail leading to Suicide Rock promises an unforgettable journey through alpine forests, rugged terrains, and panoramic views. Here’s a little about what you can expect when taking on this trek and a few know before you go tips.

The Trailhead: The adventure begins at the Deer Springs Trailhead, located within the San Jacinto State Park. Be sure to acquire a hiking permit from the Ranger Station in town before heading on your journey. From the Ranger Station, the trailhead is about 0.8 miles away. Before embarking on the hike, it’s also crucial to check weather conditions and trail updates to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. You’ll alway need to leave the pups at home for this oe unfortunately; the trail is not pet-friendly.

The Ascent: Deer Springs Trail wastes no time immersing hikers in the beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains; it immediately gets your heart rate up right off the bat. As the trail winds its way upward, it rewards hikers with several scenic overlooks. These vantage points provide an excellent opportunity to catch your breath while marveling at the expansive views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. The higher you ascend, the more the landscape unfolds, revealing the true majesty of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Summit Views: Reaching the summit of Suicide Rock is an achievement worth savoring. The panoramic views from this vantage point are nothing short of spectacular. The San Jacinto Valley, the Coachella Valley, and the distant Salton Sea come into view, providing a sense of accomplishment and a breathtaking reward for the challenging hike. Be prepared though, some days the fog will roll in and steal away your incredible views at the peak.

Hiking Tips:

  1. Acquire a permit at the San Jacinto Ranger Station prior to hiking.
  2. Ensure you are well-prepared with sufficient water, snacks, and appropriate hiking gear.
  3. Let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time.
  4. Check weather conditions before starting the hike and be prepared for changing weather at higher elevations.
  5. Stay on marked trails and be cautious during the rock scrambling sections.
  6. Follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of the area.
  7. Leave your pups at home.

Lace up your boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on a hiking expedition that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the natural wonders that surround Suicide Rock. Happy hiking!

Blogs

A Day Trip to Julian, CA

Nestled in the picturesque mountains of San Diego County, Julian is a charming historic town that comes alive with fall foliage and a cozy atmosphere. Julian is renowned for its apple orchards and the delicious apple pies made from the locally grown fruit. Visitors often indulge in freshly baked apple pies, cider, and other apple-infused treats. My parents and I recently visited for the first time this Autumn. Here’s how we spent the day along with some tips and recommendations to help you plan a trip! Enjoy!

Hiking Stonewall Peak

We began our day by heading to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to conquer Stonewall Peak. The trailhead is just a short drive from Julian, and the hike offers an easy/moderate accent with a rewarding payoff. The final stretch requires you to climb granite steps, offering panoramic views all the way up to the summit.

Lunch at Julian Beer Company

After our hike up Stonewall Peak, we rewarded ourselves with beer and pizza at Julian Beer Co. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful Autumn weather, Julian Beer Co boasts a diverse selection of brews, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, and their pizza and BBQ is delicious. It was so packed on a Saturday but we were surprised how quickly we were still able to get our food.

Explore Downtown

The heart of the town is lined with historic buildings and quaint storefronts. After lunch, we spent a little time shopping around Main Street, where you’ll discover everything from antique treasures to locally crafted goods. Julian is particularly known for its art galleries, showcasing the work of talented local artists. Don’t miss the opportunity to pop into the various specialty shops offering handmade crafts, artisanal souvenirs, and, of course, more delicious apple treats.

Apple Pie!

No visit to Julian is complete without treating your taste buds to a slice of heaven from the renowned Julian Pie Company. From classic apple pie to mouthwatering combinations like apple-berry or Dutch apple caramel, the Julian Pie Company offers a slice of perfection for every palate. Whether you choose to enjoy your slice on-site with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or take a whole pie home to share, the sweet, flaky goodness of Julian Pie Company’s creations is a quintessential part of the Julian experience. Pro Tip: they actually have a second location you can find on your way out of the town that typically has a shorter line than the one on Main Street!

More Things to Do

Julian Pie Company was our final stop, but here are a few other top activities to check out if you have the time!

Apple Picking: Several orchards in the area allow visitors to handpick their favorite varieties of apples, creating a memorable and family-friendly activity. Whether you’re searching for the perfect ingredients for a homemade pie or just want to enjoy the satisfaction of plucking apples straight from the tree, this seasonal delight adds a touch of harvest magic to your Julian adventure. Check with local orchards for their picking schedules, as the apple harvest season typically peaks in the fall, making it an ideal time to engage in this traditional and enjoyable activity.

Wine Tasting: Explore the local wineries around Julian and savor the flavors of regional wines. Some wineries offer tastings in a picturesque setting, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding vineyards.

Ghost Tours: Given its rich history, Julian has its share of tales and legends. Consider taking a ghost tour to delve into the town’s spooky past. Knowledgeable guides share stories of the paranormal, adding a unique and eerie dimension to your visit.

Eagle and High Peak Mine Tour: Gain insight into Julian’s gold rush history by taking a guided tour of the Eagle and High Peak Mine. Venture underground to explore the tunnels and learn about the challenges faced by miners during this pivotal period.

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve: If hiking Stonewall Peak has left you craving more outdoor adventure, consider exploring the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve. The trails offer a chance to connect with nature and enjoy breathtaking views of the San Diego backcountry.

A day trip to this small town in the fall is a perfect way to immerse yourself in the season’s beauty, savor local flavors, and create lasting memories. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply in search of a tranquil escape, Julian, CA, offers a quintessential autumn experience that will have you leaving (and probably stuffed or on a sugar overload).

Blogs California

Discovering Idyllwild: Hiking Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail

8.3 Miles – Out & Back – 2,309 ft. Elevation Gain

Address: Devils Slide Trail 3E05, Devils Slide Trail, Mountain Center, CA 92561

Nestled in the picturesque San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California, the town of Idyllwild-Pine Cove beckons with its pristine wilderness and stunning vistas. One of the most rewarding hikes in the area is the journey to Tahquitz Peak. You can actually see the mountain peak in a lot of areas throughout Idyllwild. Join us as we lace up our hiking boots and walk you through the ins and outs of this trail. Here is your guide to to hiking Tahquitz Peak via the Devil’s Slide Trail.

Getting There

Idyllwild is conveniently located within a few hours’ drive from major cities like Los Angeles and San Diego (and a quick and convenient hour drive from the Coachella Valley). To reach the trailhead for Tahquitz Peak, follow Highway 243 to Idyllwild. Once in town, continue on the same highway until you reach Humber Park, which serves as the starting point for the Devil’s Slide Trail.

The Devil’s Slide Trailhead

The Devil’s Slide Trailhead is a main hub for hikers in Idyllwild and leads out to other popular trails as well. It’s important to arrive early, as parking can fill up quickly on weekends. Permits are required for hiking in the San Jacinto Wilderness, so be sure to obtain one at the trailhead kiosk.

The Ascent

The hike begins with a steady climb along the well-maintained Devil’s Slide Trail. As you ascend through pine forests, the trail offers glimpses of the surrounding mountains and the charming town of Idyllwild below. The elevation gain can be challenging, but the stunning scenery and fresh mountain air make every step worth it.

Sylvan Meadows and Lunch Rock

After about 2.5 miles of hiking, you’ll reach Sylvan Meadows, a picturesque alpine meadow with a serene stream. This is a perfect spot to take a break, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak in the natural beauty. Nearby, Lunch Rock provides an ideal resting place with panoramic views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The Final Push to Tahquitz Peak

As you continue along the trail, you’ll encounter some switchbacks and rockier terrain. Keep an eye out for trail markers to stay on course. The final stretch to Tahquitz Peak can be a bit challenging, but the the anticipation of what awaits at the summit serves as motivation to finish.

The Summit Experience

Tahquitz Peak’s summit, at an elevation of 8,846 feet, offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding landscapes. On a clear day, you can see the Salton Sea, the Coachella Valley, and even the distant San Gabriel Mountains. The summit is also home to the historic Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout, a wooden structure built in 1937, which adds to the charm of the location.

Hiking Tips

  1. Weather Awareness: Be sure to check the weather forecast, and be prepared for temperature variations depending on the season. In the summer, temperates can range in the upper 80’s and in the winter you may experience a good amount of snow depending on the week.
  2. Hydration and Snacks: Carry enough water to stay hydrated, and pack energy-boosting snacks to keep you fueled throughout the hike.
  3. Proper Footwear: Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support are essential for navigating rocky and uneven terrain.
  4. Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of the wilderness.

This trail is definitely not for beginning hikers and is a pretty good accent to reach the peak. The views from the top are incredible and oh so worth it. I’d highly recommend planning a little getaway to Idyllwild-Pine Cove and taking on Tahquitz Canyon via Devil’s Slide trail while you’re visiting. Happy hiking!

Blogs California

11 Southern California Destinations to Visit this Fall

Southern California may not experience the changing of seasons quite like other regions, but we do still have a handful of hidden gems where you can find fall foliage AND a few of our own autumn traditions to look forward to each year as well! From hiking adventures to cozy mountain escapes, the diverse landscapes of Southern California actually offer a plethora of options for fall exploration. Below are just a few SoCal destinations we love to visit during Autumn each year.

1. Idyllwild

Idyllwild is small town in Riverside County in the heart of the San Jacinto Mountains. This magical little getaway destination is only about an hour from the Palm Springs area and yet at least 25 degrees cooler. And, the area boasts vibrant warm colors in November and is a winter wonderland come December! If you’re looking to get your fix of fall foliage, a cabin retreat to Idyllwild is the perfect escape.

2. Palm Springs

I may be biased living here but, the Palm Springs area really is an ideal location to visit during fall! Temperatures slowly drop from the rough triple digits of summer into perfect sunny and 75 weather during the day with wonderful chilly nights. One of the best fall activities to do around Palm Springs come mid-October is to hit the trails! The Coachella Valley is home over 100 different trails ranging from easy strolls to very hard and strenuous accents. From hiking up at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to finding water down in a palm oasis at Indian Canyons to trekking through slot canyons at the Indio Hills Badlands or Ladder Canyon, there are endless hikes to explore during fall.

3. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Another great location for hiking and scenic adventuring is Anza-Borrego. While the desert may not boast traditional autumn foliage, the cooler temperatures and blooming cacti create a distinctive and beautiful atmosphere. I highly recommend hiking through the hidden slot canyon!

4. Joshua Tree

Located just outside of the Palm Springs area, in the Hi-Desert region lies Joshua Tree National Park. The ideal time to visit Joshua Tree is, yep you guessed it, fall! With the limited cell service and a chill, desert atmosphere, Joshua Tree is a great place to disconnect from day-to-day life for a bit. Glamping or staying in unique airbnbs are a very popular way to experience the area. We love to make day trips and drive through the park or sit by a nice bon fire while camping just outside of the park at the Joshua Tree Dry Lake bed (free dispersed camping). Bouldering and rocking climbing are also huge recreational activities to do come autumn here that we’d love to try some day! Entering the park costs $30 for a 7-day pass and camping spots inside are limited, either first come, first serve or reserved/booked 6 months in advance.

5. Ocotillo Wells

As I mentioned in the beginning, many Southern Californians have their own fall traditions and off-roading is definitely one of them. Come mid-October, as the weather cools off, we enter into what many like to call “riding season”. A great place to disconnect, hit the dirt trails and enjoy riding season is in Ocotilllo. The area is an unincorporated area within the San Diego County, 3 miles west of Imperial County line, near Borrego Springs. Many like to dry tent camp or bring RV’s or trailers out with generators.

6. Glamis

Glamis is another recreational area most begin visiting come fall for riding season. The area is renowned for its vast sand dunes, providing an exhilarating playground for off-road enthusiasts. Embrace the autumn air as you navigate the sandy terrain on dune buggies, ATVs, or dirt bikes. The contrast of golden sands against the blue sky creates a mesmerizing backdrop for adventure seekers. Fall evenings in Glamis also offer a spectacular display of stars against the desert sky. Camping enthusiasts can set up tents or RVs amidst the dunes, creating a cozy base for stargazing and sharing stories around a campfire.

7. Temecula

The vineyards of Temecula come alive with warm autumn hues, creating a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely day of wine tasting. Meander through the rows of grapevines at renowned wineries like Wilson Creek Winery, Thornton Winery, and South Coast Winery. The tasting rooms, often nestled in rustic settings, offer a cozy ambiance to sample a variety of reds, whites, and rosés. Fall in Temecula Wine Country is also synonymous with harvest season celebrations. Many wineries host special events, such as grape stomping parties, barrel tastings, and harvest-themed dinners. These festivities provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the winemaking process and engage with the local winemakers.

8. Oak Glen

Another great place to find fall foliage is in a little town in the San Bernardino Mountains called Oak Glen. At 4000-5000ft above sea level, the area experiences all four seasons. Oak Glen is most famous for its apple orchards where visitors can pick fresh apples starting in September. I also highly recommend waiting in line for the famous mini freshly baked apple cinnamon donuts at Snow Line Orchards. SO GOOD!

9. Julian

Known for its apple orchards and charming small-town feel, Julian is a quintessential fall destination. Spend a day picking apples, savoring fresh-baked pies, and exploring the historic streets lined with autumnal charm. There’s also a few nearby trails I’d recommend exploring as well!

10. Big Bear

Nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear Lake is another charming mountain town that transforms into a picturesque autumnal landscape during fall. Take a scenic hike, enjoy the vibrant colors reflected in the lake, and savor seasonal treats in the charming village.

11. Wrightwood

Our friends actually just bought a house in Wrightwood and we got to visit for the first time! It reminded me of a combination of Idyllwild and Big Bear. Tucked away in the San Gabriel Mountains, Wrightwood is another charming mountain retreat, with a cute small town vibe. This picturesque town, surrounded by pine forests, provides a delightful combination of crisp mountain air, vibrant foliage, and outdoor activities.

And these are just 11 of many destinations to visit in Southern California during fall! For more Autumn fun also consider visiting pretty much anywhere in San Diego, because the beach is always a good idea.

Happy fall y’all and as always, travel on my friends!

Blogs

Tips for Traveling with Dogs

  • Don’t.
  • Don’t get dogs.

The end. Thank you for reading.

Just kidding. Really though, traveling with your four-legged family members is not easy, especially when you have two of them, and they’re labs, and one of them is well, an Oakley buddy who beats to his own drum, and well, I’m not a dog trainer okay. BUT, it is doable and can be a ton of fun for you and your pups!

Back story: Jordan and I have two beautiful pups, Daenerys (who is about to turn 6) and Oakley (our pandemic puppy who will be 4 in February). They look like they could be siblings or mother and son but actually couldn’t be more different.

Oakley (Left) Daenerys (Right)

Daenerys is part Pit Bull we believe? looks just like a pure bred American Labrador with the skinnier face but up close she’s so muscular, a lot like a Pit would be. Her name was already Daenerys when Jordan got her. His friends dog accidentally had puppies and didn’t know who the male dog was. He named all the puppies after Game of Thrones characters; Daenerys is the Dragon Queen! And funny enough, my last name is also Stark, which is another Game of Thrones Character. Now everyone thinks we are die heart fans when in reality, neither of us have seen the show!

Oakley, we got off Craigslist right as the pandemic in 2020 began. We were originally looking to adopt a friend for Daenerys since she was always alone during the day while we worked. We came across this certified breeder who was worried about finding the puppies good homes before everything shut down and people stopped traveling so he allowed us to come by his home in Hemet and pick out a pure bred English Labrador. Crazy!

Because of Covid, we were both home with the dogs 24/7 and Oakley became SO attached. He still HATES when we leave him (Daenerys is fine on her own but obviously still loves when we’re around). Which is why even now, we still love to go on quite a few adventures each year where the dogs can come along. Oakley is crazy and always makes us laugh but both dogs do surprisingly well on outdoor adventures and road-trips. Both, for the most part, both dogs are great on trails. They love hiking with us and they’re obsessed with water and love to swim, so thats usually what we look for in a trip when we want to take them somewhere.

Anyway, Over the last few years of traveling with them we have definitely learned a thing or two about what works and what certainly does not. So, here’s a few tips from your average dog mom who just loves her pups but is by no means an expert when it comes to training or traveling with your four-legged family members!

1. Pick a Dog-Friendly Destination

First things first, picking the right place to travel should be number one on your list. We typically only bring the pups along on our more outdoorys/adventurous trips (which, is like 90% of our travel but whatever). Be sure to do your research on a location before committing to bringing your dog there. We like to look at whether the hiking trails are dog-friendly, if there’s nearby dog parks, rivers or lakes, and dog friendly camping spots and beaches. I tend to do my research on BringFido.com and AllTrails.com!

Here are a just few very dog friendly destinations we have visited so far and feel comfortable recommending to others!

  • Greater Palm Springs, California
  • Idyllwild Pine-Cove, California
  • San Diego, California
  • White Sands National Park, New Mexico
  • Parker, Arizona
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Saguaro National Park
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Denton, Texas
2. Prepare Accordingly for the Car Ride

When going on a road-trip with our pups, we usually cover the backseat with a dog seat cover. They still manage to get the car completely coated in hair though…recommendations on better covers greatly appreciated.. We also pack a bin in the trunk of our car with all their necessities, including a big galloon water jug so when we stop we can just pull out a bowl and give them a little to drink. Also, always be sure to take them to go potty before you leave! For longer road-trips, we like to make our stops in dog-friendly areas. A new favorite thing to do is plan our lunch stops near a dog park! We’ll usually pick-up a sandwich to go and then sit at a dog park or an open grass area and let the dogs get some energy out while we eat, it’s perfect.

3. Find the Right Place to Stay

We tend to prefer dog-friendly vacation rentals over hotels. The best locations are when you can find either a friendly neighborhood or secluded cabin, somewhere off the beaten path. Oakley does occasionally get vocal at night if he hears something he doesn’t like, so I worry about being in a hotel and disturbing people right next door to us. A lot of dog-friendly vacation rentals are usually in locations where there’s lots of understanding neighbors who have dogs of their own or they are off on their own, away from people! I would recommend thinking about how your dog reacts in unfamiliar situations to best book a place to stay! Look on VRBO for the best pet-friendly options!

4. Cook Your Own Meals

I personally hate taking my dogs to restaurants even if they are super dog friendly. I prefer to go the route of staying in a vacation rental and then cooking dinners. If you’re catching on, I like to cause the least amount of disturbances as possible when I bring my dogs places, and unfortunately, Oakley isn’t always the calmest and the quietest (yet). We like to focus on the fun of traveling being the outdoor adventures and then cut costs down and minimize our stress by cooking meals or picking up something to-go. Like I said before, they are GREAT outdoors and they like all people, making the hiking route the way to go for US. Again, I would recommend thinking about how YOUR dog reacts in unfamiliar situations and places before deciding what and where you want to eat while you’re traveling!

5. Get yourself these doggy adventure products!

Lastly, here’s a few links to some of the products we LOVE to bring for our dogs when we take them hiking and to the river!

Expandable Dog Bowls

We are obsessed with these water bowls. Anytime we hike with our dogs, we throw these little guys in our backpacks and we’re good to go. 

Dog Life Vests

We have two Labradors who are obsessed with water and swimming. Now you might be thinking, if they love to swim, why the vests? Well, we like to take them to the river with us often in the summers and they just swim nonstop all weekend. Sometimes I worry about them getting caught in a current or becoming overly tired and these vests provide them with a little extra security. Plus, they’re bright, making it easier to watch them. They also insist on being next to us if we’re hanging out in the water and try to cling onto us for support. These vests also give us a little peace from their hectic personalities.

Dog Tie Out Cable

This is the greatest camping hack if you have doggos! Find two trees or poles of some sort and tie the cable across the two tightly. Then, you clip on the other rope and attach to your dog and you have a long leash that never gets tangled and the dog has a bit more freedom to roam.

Scented Doggy Bags

I mean, no explanation needed… don’t be that person.

Wishing you all a fun filled year of adventuring with your pups! Hope these tips provided some helpful insight and inspiration for planning your next trip!

As always, travel on my friends.

California

A Pacific Coast Roadtrip: Must-Stops along Highway 1

The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1, is an infamous stretch of road that winds along the rugged California coastline, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. When I went to college in Monterey, I once decided to take the 1 from Monterey all the way down to Santa Barbra on my way back home to Palm Springs. I’ve now done a few different variations of this drive and recommend a few key stops actually starting from Santa Cruz  and ending down in Morro Bay. Join me as we explore these essential stops and hidden gems along this incredible route.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Start your journey at the lively Santa Cruz Boardwalk, an iconic seaside amusement park that’s been a California staple  for over a century. Enjoy thrilling rides, classic arcade games, and the lively atmosphere of this beachfront destination before hitting the road.

Panther Beach, Santa Cruz

While in Santa Cruz, also be sure to make a stop at Panther Beach. Here, you’ll find a beautiful beach with an opening in a cliff that creates a picturesque (and very instagrammable) arch.

Abandoned Pier Swing, Davenport

Make a stop in the charming town of Davenport, known for its pristine beaches and the captivating abandoned pier swing. Davenport’s history dates back to the mid-1800s when it was established as a small whaling town. This unique swing is perched on the remnants of an old pier that was used for businesses in the whaling industry. Today it offers a thrilling experience and panoramic views of the coastline. It’s a perfect spot for a dose of adventure and adrenaline (having to scale the side of the cliff to get down there) and a memorable photo opportunity.

17-Mile Drive, Monterey Bay

One of the best ways to see the stunning panoramic views Monterey Bay has to offer is with the 17-mile drive. The 17-Mile Drive offers a breathtaking route through exclusive neighborhoods, championship golf courses, and stunning coastal landscapes, including famous stops like the Lone Cypress and Bird Rock. It’s a must-do experience for anyone visiting the area.

Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur

Bixby Creek Bridge is an iconic stop. When people think of Big Sur, this bridge likely comes to mind. It’s actually one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. Stop here to capture panoramic views of the coastline.

McWay Falls, Big Sur

Another iconic Big Sur location is McWay Falls. You’ve probably seen a picture of this stunning waterfall at some point in your life.  It’s a waterfall that cascades directly onto a pristine beach in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It’s a photographer’s paradise and it requires a a short hike to get to.

Elephant Seal Beach, San Simeon

My next recommendation is to make a quick stop in San Simeon to see Elephant Seal Beach. From December through March, female elephant seals arrive on the beach to give birth.  Witnessing thousands of these magnificent creatures up close is a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Morro Rock, Morro Bay

And last but not least, I recommend making a stop in Morro Bay to see the infamous Morro Rock. Stop and explore the bay’s picturesque waterfront, enjoy fresh seafood, and reflect on the incredible journey you’ve just completed!

Did this journey get your travel blood pumping? Pack your bags, hit the road, and let the California coast take your breath away! Let us know what stop we missed and should add to this list. As always, travel on my friends.