road trip: diverse views (i)

I just got back from my 2 week long road trip to SoCal (you may have seen my packing tips here), and it was great! I have so many photos I'll have to post them in increments. In this post, Henry Colwell Redwoods, Carmel Mission, Bixby Bridge, and McWay Falls

Henry Colwell Redwood State Park: We rarely get to go to national parks, so when I realized this was on the way, I was super excited to visit! It was a very relaxing walk (we did the Redwood Grove Trail as neither of us had actual running shoes), and quite shady. 

There were lots of children running around since they have some sort of kids' scavenger hunt, so definitely family friendly

Time spent here: 1 hr, but more is possible.
Things to note: Camping is available!
Cost: Free, but parking is $10 inside the park.

Carmel Mission Basilica: I really enjoyed it here. It doesn't seem to be a huge tourist attraction, which is even better for me. The mission has an otherworldly feel, and it made me feel like I was in Spain. 

Great photo ops throughout, and not too many people who stare. Would've loved to spend more time, but we had many miles ahead of us. 

Time spent here: 2.5 hrs, would've liked more just for photo ops.
Things to note: Beautiful photo ops, also has a church.
Cost: $2 - 6.50, free parking.

On our way, we crossed Bixby Bridge, so I thought we might as well hop out and take some photos. For photos of the bridge, it's best to find a turnout about half a mile before the actual bridge, and you can get a full photo. The ones below were taken at the turnout to see the bridge.

I would've loved to stay here for sunset, but the road is pretty windy and tough to drive, so we had to make it out before then.

You can go a bit further down, and the water is so incredible and blue - it honestly looks like Hawaii! Am I exaggerating here?

Time spent here: 20-30 mins (camera difficulties).
Things to note: Many people stop here for photos, so try and be courteous and make sure no one is waiting for your spot.
Cost: Free! Park at the turnout.

Of course, we had to stop for McWay Falls! There are so many gorgeous photos of this waterfall online, I have to say I was really hoping for a bit more oomph.

Also the flowers weren't in bloom, which made me a little sad as well, but still a beautiful must-see.

Time spent here: 30 mins.
Things to note: There isn't an address for the falls, it's a little bit north of Julia Pfeiffer State Park, so you can park on the highway and walk to it. You'll know when you're getting close because there are tons of cars parked. 
Cost: Free! Parking can be tough though. 

I hope you guys enjoyed my (photo heavy) first post! I've split my trip into 4 sections, coming out about every week

Have you been to any of these places? What other destinations would you suggest for a road trip - either in California, or elsewhere?



p.s. if you'd like to pin this, here's a great picture for that!


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