My California Road Trip: Part 1

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I have been so busy travelling recently, it’s time to share some of my hot spots and adventures with you! So let’s start… I booked this trip through Connections, as they always have the best deals for tickets ( they compare every airline available to give you the best rate) and attractions to do on the spot. I love to have a unique travel experience ( with customizations on what you need and want) and that’s exactly what Connections offers. Marcio and I started our road trip in San Francisco, so here are my favourite places:
Accomodation:
We stayed at the Scarlet Huntington hotel, a boutique hotel near Union Square with an amazing view of California Street. The hotel is elegant and stylish but with quirky colourful twists, which I really liked as it gives it some personality. It really felt like a home away from home, and their restaurant Big 4 is definitely a hot spot!

Eateries
- Tartine Bakery - 600 Guerrero St, San Francisco
They sell delicious pastries made with organic flour and local eggs. I didn’t try anything I didn’t like – my favourite was the grilled bread with ham and asparagus and you have to try the lemon tart!
- Four Barrel - 375 Valencia St, San Francisco
They source, roast and brew the best coffee in San Francisco in an honest, ethical and achingly stylish way. For the non-coffee drinkers, they also have a great selection of teas. The interior has a really cool warehouse vibe and friendly atmosphere so it’s perfect to catch up with friends or to bring your laptop and catch up on emails - something I always need to do and it’s not a chore when you have one of their banana chocolate scones ;).
- Cafe St Jorge - 3438 Mission Street
A Portuguese-themed cafe with seasonal baked goods, sandwiches, salads and more in a simple, homely setting. I tried the avocado toast (or you can call it hipster toast!) and chia seeds with fresh fruit. Super delish! 

Shopping
- Wasteland Vintage - 1660 Haight St, San Francisco
Definitely a must if you're into vintage. I spotted a great Burberry dress and a Louis Vuitton trunk for a really reasonable price but make sure you snap things up quick as if you think about it and come back later it will probably be gone!
- Neiman Marcus at Union Square
A luxury department store featuring designers such as Valentino, Prada, Gucci and many more. I love shopping here as there’s plenty of places you can stop for lunch nearby and it’s a very scenic area.

Culture
- From Union Square you can take the cable car all the way up to Hyde Street where there’s a pier as part of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. There’s a lot of ships with really interesting heritage so it’s great to visit if you want to soak up some education while you’re in the area! From here you can also get beautiful views of The Golden Gate Bridge.
- Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park
The oldest public Japanese garden in America, with a Tea House located in the centre that has gorgeous views over the landscape and pond. It really feels authentic here - the experience is very surreal and serene so it’s lovely if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of other tourist areas.
- Painted ladies - Steiner St, San Francisco
An iconic row of Victorian houses in sugared almond colours which reminded me of doll’s houses as they’re so ornate. I loved how the colours contrast with the concrete buildings of the city and the park across the street offers great views and is perfect to take some holiday photos.
- Ferry Building Marketplace - 1 Ferry building, San Francisco
A must for foodies! Here you can pick up a whole array of goodies including Californian olive oil, a freshly pressed juice or artisan cheese.
- Palace of Fine Arts - 3301 Lyon St, San Francisco
The architecture is incredible and there are breathtaking views of the lagoon so it’s a really romantic location.
- Pier 39,
Here, there are fun things to do like visit the video arcade or watch street performances but the main attraction is the sea lions which you can watch sunning themselves!

We then continued our road trip to Big Sur where there are stunning coastal views. Big Sur is an area with about 85 miles of striking scenery and its region remains an overwhelming and somewhat unknown place to a lot people. If you want my advice, plan your trip in advance because it’s a very big area which has poor cell phone coverage. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ location in Big Sur as it's not a town, it's a region where things are quite far apart. Wherever you stay, you need to be prepared to travel to your destinations. Wake up early and go out prepared to see amazing places and take stunning photos!
Accomodation: 
If you plan on spending a night here, I would recommend staying at the Post Ranch Inn but make sure you make your reservation well in advance. Hotel Post Ranch Inn is an unforgettable experience: a place where pampering and wilderness meet. You can stay in luxury treehouses with the most amazing views. I loved the infinity pools and the elegant mountain-lodge feel. It would be a perfect getaway for honeymoon couples as it's so romantic and peaceful or if you need to de-stress and disconnect as there’s no TV and very limited internet connection.

Eateries: 
Big Sur Bakery - 47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
I loved the breakfast pizza with bacon, eggs and cheese – honestly so much more delicious than it sounds and the perfect thing to get some energy for a long day of sight-seeing!
Nepenthe - 48510 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
This place has amazing food and the terrace has a breathtaking view. I had the Ambrosia burger with fries and it was the best burger I’ve ever had!

Keep an eye out for my next guide on Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Have you visited any of these places? XO Sofie

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