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The Smith's Guide to California

Sidney Smith and Family

  • 10
  • 17:49
  • 874 mi
  • $142
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Created by Sidney Smith - July 2nd 2016

About us:

We're the Smith's. We travel across the country and have been to well over half of the 50 states as a family. It's takes months of planning and preparation to make the journey as smooth and care free as possible, but things never are perfect. And it would be boring if everything always went right. There are 6 people in my family, four kids and two parents. We all adore traveling, adventuring, and exploring together. It would be a different journey if not all of us were there.

Why do we travel so much?

We want to experience the beauties of the world. It's thrilling to be able to be on these journeys and witness these views. Why waste away your life in one spot, when there are millions upon millions of places waiting for you to go to? Like Rory Kramer once said (on Instagram), "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up to much space."

June 2, 2015-June 10, 2015:

The Smith's take on California.

We flew in to San Francisco after about a 5 hr flight from Indianapolis, Indiana. It was late and we rolled into bed without hesitation after a long day across the country. We woke up bright and early and were ready to take on the new day. We rode street cars, took a hair-raising tour to Alcatraz, and ate Boudin bakery sourdough and Ghirardelli chocolates. We also hiked to and then on the Golden Gate bridge. It was truly breath taking. It's easy to say that it was a fun, beautiful, and relaxing day.

13mi 00h 24m

Muir Woods, California, United States


With the help of a rental car, we headed out of the city to Napa. Along the way we stopped at Muir Woods. We arrived at this forest later in the day so not so many tourists were there. The trails were very quiet and shaded and this peace accentuated the height and width of these trees. It was truly a neat and wondrous experience and I would love to again see these trees.

42mi 00h 55m

Shortly after this forest hike we took a tour at Beringer Winery, the oldest winery in Napa Valley. It also had a lovely scenery and some good wine.

160mi 02h 50m

To continue, we headed eastward to Lake Tahoe. We visited the Southern side of it where we stayed a few nights. We were fortunate to be able to take a Gondola at Heavenly Ski Resort and take hikes up the slopes. (I was also able to play corn hole at the top which I won.) That night, we went to the beach. The sunset was unforgettable. I will always remember that night. From these experiences, Lake Tahoe will always be one of my favorite destinations of the United States.

188mi 04h 11m

Yosemite National Park, California, United States


Furthermore, we headed to Yosemite National Park. The views were amazing. We hiked and hiked and hiked, but I was still ready for more by the end of the day. We were able to hike 2 waterfalls, see the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove, the half dome, rode horses, glacier point, El Capitan, and more! By the close of the day, I was definitely not ready to leave.

232mi 04h 42m

We traveled south after Yosemite to Morro Bay. We stopped shortly for a walk on the beach and view of Morro Rock. It was enormous in size, but very pretty in site. Walking down the beach we were also lucky to find bunches of sand dollars and tiny crabs.

29mi 00h 34m

Heading North along the Pacific Coast Highway 1, we stopped at San Simeon. We were happy to see hundreds of elephant seals laying out in the sun. Next, we headed to the Hearst Castle. Not only was the view brilliant, but the architecture was amazing. Beautiful flowers and plants were in bloom which gave the place a magnificent aroma. The building also carried a lot of history which was very interesting. I would highly recommend a tour to anyone.

66mi 01h 34m

1 Hwy Big Sur, California 93920, United States


We took Pacific Coast Hwy 1 most of the way from Morro Bay to San Francisco. The road runs the coast of California. The road might be a bit windy, but the view is amazing. With the ocean always close by, you get that nice breeze too.

26mi 00h 37m

Continuing from San Simeon, on Hwy 1, we made our way to Monterey. We went to the Pebble Beach. It was very relaxing and soothing. We also got to see seals here. When leaving the beach we decided to discontinue going on Hwy 1, and take the 17 mile scenic drive up the coast. It may be costly, but it was worth it. We stopped at numerous rocky beaches. We'd wait for the tide to go out and look in tidal pools for starfish and other sea creatures, too. On one rock climbing adventure, we almost got stuck out on a rock pile due to incoming tide, but fortunately we were able to make it out not too wet.

114mi 02h 02m

Heading back to San Francisco, we got back on Hwy 1. We stopped for the night at San Jose, but continued our journey the next day. When we arrived, we took one more stroll on the board walks and one last drive down Lombard Street before we look flight back to Indiana.

California was a real sight-seer for us, but nothing too hard to handle. My family and I will always remember this trip and will recommend it to anyone. We will always want to return.