Breathtaking Bay Area: Part 1
Food & Wine
Welcome to the breathtaking Bay Area, a land where innovation and nature coexist in perfect harmony. This guide is an effort to unlock some of the wonders of the Bay Area. Let's embark on this adventure together, where every corner reveals a new facet of this remarkable region.
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Where to stay in the Bay Area
ALiLa Ventana Big Sur
Just off the PCH, this newly all-inclusive and ever-romantic getaway is spread over 160 secluded acres.
$100 food / beverage or spa credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Post Ranch Inn
This is bucket-list Big Sur: Chic clifftop cottages in a spectacularly romantic setting overlooking the Pacific.
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily full breakfast, for two guests per bedroom
$100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay
Big Sur Lodge
Big Sur Lodge: Serene retreat nestled in the heart of California's rugged beauty.
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Things to do in the Bay Area
I have had the privilege of living in the amazing Bay Area. I have been trying to explore the various diverse landscapes it has to offer.
Starting with the beautiful Big Sur along the Pacific Coast Highway 1! It is about a 3hr drive from San Jose.
McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
An easy hike inside the park will take you to the viewing area of the falls. The falls are also easily visible from the highway; you can park on the side of the road in the assigned area and there is a short walk from there to see the falls.
For more information on the park, please visit: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
The Henry Miller Memorial Library
A unique, quirky library nestled in the redwoods.
They have a beautiful collection of books covering varied topics.
After taking many pictures in and around the library, do take a short walk in the redwoods behind the library.
Find interesting facts about the library here: Henry Miller Memorial Library
After the walk and hikes, Nepenthe is the best place to enjoy a quick (or not-so quick) bite. The restaurant has some of the best views in the area.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Good place for a quick hike to the quaint Pfeiffer Falls, a 1.5-mile moderate out-and-back hike.
More information about camping and trails can be found at: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
Bixby Bridge Vista Point
Though I would recommend parking a bit further away to get a better view of this expansive bridge.
The Calla Lily Valley
In brief, it's an amazing place with white calla lilies; the blooming season is typically from March to June, the valley comes alive with thousands of calla lilies in full bloom.
Here is a glimpse: Calla Lily Valley
I know it's a lot to cover in 1 day; I have a list of some nice places to stay in the area if you have more time. Or if you happen to live in the area, split the places over multiple weekends to actually savor the beauty.
On to the next state park (just can't get enough of those, can we?), which has been often called “The crown jewel of the California State Park System.”
The Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
The park is famous for its breathtaking coastal scenery and is a treasure trove for marine wildlife.
While there, keep an eye out for sea lions, harbor seals, and otters lounging on the rocks and various seabirds gracefully gliding through the air.
It is also a paradise for divers and snorkelers (permit required), with its rich kelp forests, which are home to many colorful fish and kelp-loving sea otters.
Will stop our journey for this post; here; we shall continue up north to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea in the next post!
Till then, have fun and keep dreaming!
Here are some beautiful places to stay on the way:
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel.