There aren’t many more dreamy places in the world other than California and if you’re a fan of windswept beaches, laid-back café culture and some of the most incredible outdoor landscapes on the planet then surely you’ve got a wish list that you’re just itching to get ticked off.
All that sunshine no doubt encourages thoughts of getting brown, wearing cut-downs and strolling along board-walks without a care in the world however, delve a little deeper and you’ll find that there’s more to the west coast than pure and simple Californication.
So, without further ado, below is my personal Californian wish list and if you’re lucky enough to be heading west any time soon then don’t forget to give me a shout so I can come too – have fun y’all.
Take a Helicopter Ride Over the Grand Canyon
As if walking around the rim of one of the world’s most recognisable rock formations wasn’t enough, the chance to skim the Colorado River and dart past sheer rock face has to be on everyone’s bucket list for myriad reasons.
A Night Out in Vegas
Set your pulse racing 24hrs a day as you step foot onto the Strip for what has to be one of the most awesome venues for a night out anywhere on earth. Casinos, live shows and a veritable feast of neon lights and fabulous fountains makes Vegas an obvious inclusion on my wish list.
Sleep Under Desert Skies
Heading out of Vegas you get to leave all of those flashing bulbs and neon signs behind and there’s no better place to soak up a light-free atmosphere than in the desert. The Mojave, in particular, is an incredible spot to spend the night and if you’re looking for real stars in California then this place has more than Hollywood.
Surf the Swells of the Pacific
The Beach Boys were probably my first taste of surfing in California and it’s with them in mind that I had to cite at least getting into the Pacific Ocean as up there on my wish list. Body boarding, swimming or learning how to stand up all have to be tried at least once and if I can come away with tousled hair and my budgie smugglers intact then I’ll be more than happy.
Take a Tram in San Fran
As if crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf weren’t enough, the undulating streets of San Francisco can be explored via tram which all adds up to a whole heap of awesome in my book. Hop-on and hop-off has to be the order of the day and from fish suppers and clam chowder to watching the seals on Pier 39, taking the tram in San Fran is a once-in-a-lifetime ‘must do’.
See Mulholland Drive
Personally, I’ll hold David Lynch’s film Mulholland Drive up as one of my absolute favourites and if I could just catch a glimpse of the Santa Monica Mountains and say that I’d at least driven the same stretch of road then I could leave this world a happy man. According to Lynch you can ‘feel the history of Hollywood’ up there and if that’s good enough for Big Dave then it’s all right with me.
My final wish on this Californian odyssey is to explore from Carmel to the San Carpoforo Creek as I drive, cycle or walk the awesome stretch of Pacific coastline fondly known as Big Sur. From lone Cyprus trees to vast swathes of deserted beach, it’s no shock that this is a haven for artists, actors and creative types and if I can wander alongside then pass me an easel and paints, I’m going in.
Whatever your west coast wish list, grandamericanadventures.com can no doubt go some way to turning dreams into reality.