Northern California

San Francisco, San Jose, Napa, Santa Cruz and Monterey.

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Monterey, CA

Over Labor Day weekend I surprised my best friend who moved to San Jose. We were able to fit so much in in just a few days. This was my first time to California and I had a blast. It’s been a while since my last trip so it felt great to travel!

San Francisco

Our first full day we headed to San Francisco. The first stop was Mission Dolores Park which had a beautiful view of the city. We grabbed some sandwiches from Dolores Park Cafe and sat in the grass to enjoy our lunch.

Next we headed over to the Golden Gate Bridge and up to Hawk Hill to get the best view of the bridge. It was surprisingly very cold and windy in SF so be prepared!

We drove back to the city and went through Ghirardelli Square and down to Fisherman’s Wharf to walk around and get a closer look of Alcatraz. We, of course, had to go stop at the famous Full House house and drive down Lombard

street.

Napa Valley

The second day we headed to Napa Valley for a wine tasting which we almost missed because we overslept. Napa was stunning and I already want to go back. Thanks to my best friend’s boyfriend for planning this lovely excursion for us!

Napa was around 2 hours away from Cupertino where my friends live and the entire ride there was gorgeous. It is the dry season in Northern California but even with the foliage lacking a little life, it was still beautiful.

We had a lovely tour of Castello di Amorosa and tasted 9 wines paired with chocolate at the end of our tour. My favorite was the Moscato. It was the best experience. We then drove home through Pacifica and spent the night making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies ( maybe I’ll do another blog post of fall treats?).

Santa Cruz

My last full day, we drove through Castle Rock State Park and Boulder creek to get to Santa Cruz. I know I said the drive to Napa was stunning, but this drive topped that. We wove through mountains and giant trees for over an hour and it was so peaceful.

Once we got to Santa Cruz, we were starved so we sat down at Ideal Bar and Grill for lunch. I got the Asian Chicken Salad and we had Ceviche for the table, so delicious. We then walked down the pier, grabbed some sweet treats and made some seal friends.

Monterey

After exploring Santa Cruz for a bit, we hopped back into the car and drove to Monterey. Monterey looked familiar and it’s because like every car company ever has filmed a commercial there. The roads wind along the coast and the bridges are breathtaking. It was the perfect way to end the day.

San Jose/Cupertino

My friends live in the San Jose/Cupertino area so we explored a little bit of this area each day. The first night we went out to eat at Pacific Catch and I got their Kahuna poke bowl that was to die for. We also drove around the Apple headquarters which was cool if you’re into tech. The best part was going to Vargas Plateau Regional Park for sunset. It was open grass with cows roaming and a stunning view.

This trip was super last minute and ended up being such a great time with my friends. I miss them so much already :’).

Hopefully I can fit a trip in again soon!

Always,

Ari ❤


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