Where do you want to go when you can travel again, big open spaces with fresh air and sea views? If you are dreaming of faraway places it’s time to think about getting your travel papers up to date, do you need to an get an ESTA US visa to travel?
One of my favourite ever places I have visited was the coastline of California, this is a very different part of California that you might expect to see, far away from Beverley Hills and The Sunset Strip.
If you craving more freedom, outside space and a change of scene then you could start a list of all the places you want to visit as soon as we are safely able to travel. It’s worth checking online to see if your country does qualify for an ESTA on their Visa Waiver Program.
Places to stop off on the way Monterey where I would recommend hiring a bike and taking a long bike ride along the rugged coastline, there’s plenty of places to hire here reasonably. They also have a famous aquarium here too if you want to go inside to marvel at the fish and especially if you have a bad weather day head to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Carmel is a small village with a dramatic sweeping white sandy beach just waiting for you at the end of the street flanked by cliffs that make the most beautiful view. A walk through the village you will find a popular art scene and some smart restaurants, do pop into the Cypress Inn which once belonged to dog lover Doris Day and still welcomes dogs, it’s a very dog friendly place. In the 1960’s Clint Eastwood moved there and in 1986 he was elected Mayor and served a two year term and fun fact he was on a salary of $200 a month.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a great place to stop off for a hike along the coast, home to 300-foot redwoods which are over 2,500 years old. This rugged park has drops of over a cliff of 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean, so lots of beautiful photo ops.
There’s plenty of wonderful wine tasting trails along the California coastline too, anyone old enough to remember the film Sideways will have been inspired to go for that road trip by Paul Giametti and red wine lovers will certainly have their favourite Californian Pinot. When I was staying in Salinas we went to this winery for an afternoon of tasting, it’s a great day getting to meet the local growers and find out more about the area for some more travel tips too.
Literary fans will want to visit the Henry Miller library, one of the many writers inspired by the area, it’s a cultural field day to absorb yourself in all its fascinating stories and history.
When you finally make it to Big Sur you will want to just stop and take in the most magnificent view and feel the magical spirit of the area. This is where nature takes over and you feel like your troubles are smaller than you think they are, taking in such immense beauty surrounding you is a great place to take time to meditate and look for some peace of mind. This is when you will be so glad you did your preparation and got that ESTA in time.
Big Sur is located along Scenic Highway One approximately 150 miles south of San Francisco and 300 miles north of Los Angeles. Historically, the name Big Sur, came from an unmapped wilderness area and was simply called El Sur Grande, The Big South.
Today, Big Sur is more commonly recognised as a 90-mile stretch of rugged and beautiful coastline between Carmel to the north and San Simeon (Hearst Castle) on Highway 1. The Hearst Castle is for another day and another must-see. So get planning that amazing trip and visit the ESTA site to get your ESTA for the USA