Retreat & Revive: Northern California

Many of you probably travel for your job just like me. Sometimes it’s a quick trip, and my only mission is to get there and back with as few mishaps as possible. Other times, I have a little time before or after official business to take advantage of a great destination. Recently, I visited California and got to take advantage of a few things that the great state has to offer.

After flying into San Francisco and renting a vehicle, my two traveling companions and I headed south on Highway 1 toward our destination of Carmel Valley. It was the most incredibly beautiful day, so we were able to take full advantage of the craggy coastal views of the Pacific Coast where we spotted many surfers, some even kite surfing. Our lunch stop was in Half Moon Bay at a fish shack where they served up the local catch—yum! A little further south, we wound our way over the mountain to Carmel Valley.  Here we found both the luxury homes of the rich and famous and ranches with true working cowboys. While in Carmel, make sure to visit the many specialty shops and dine in one of the quaint restaurants.  For a view of the life of the rich and famous, travel the famous 17-mile drive, a scenic route from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach.

The next day, we ventured farther down Highway 1 to Big Sur. There are no specific boundaries for Big Sur, but you will find 90 beautiful miles of 
Californian coast. Big Sur is derived from the original Spanish language and literally means “the big south.” We lunched at Nepenthe, which is perched on a mountain high above the Pacific. The outside seating is bar-style, facing the coastal view. During our return, we stopped at Pfeiffer Beach where
many famous movies have been filmed.

After several days of business, we headed back to San Francisco for an afternoon and evening. We had lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf where you can graze on seafood delicacies from sidewalk vendors. Then, we hopped on the street car and rode to Union Square. And, what San Francisco visit would be complete without a trek through Chinatown? Onward to North Beach (the Italian area of San Francisco) where we had our final California dinner at Firenze by Night. I hit this restaurant every time I’m in San Francisco. They serve northern Italian cuisine with the freshest ingredients. I recommend their award-winning gnocchi!

To book your California experience, contact an AAA travel expert today.