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Journeys, California: San Francisco, Carmel, and Big Sur

San Francisco streetcar

“Make voyages. Attempt them. There is nothing else.” – Tennessee Williams

Two weeks ago, I had the great privilege of traveling for work to California. Since I live in Ohio, and the ocean and coast is my favorite place to be, I ventured out a day early to spend some time along the coast.

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Big Sur and Highway 1, California
Near Big Sur and Highway 1, California

Many years ago, I drove the length of Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles for the first time. The drive is incredible, with dramatic drops to the Pacific on one side, and steep rises up mountains on the inland side. Highway 1 is an adventure in itself.

On that same trip, I stopped in Carmel-by-the-Sea and took in the surroundings, an artists’ colony nestled into a bay near Pebble Beach. Two weeks ago, Carmel-by-the-Sea was the same charming village I remembered it to be.

Hat Shop, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Hat Shop, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Wine crates as wall decor, La Bicyclette

Wine crates as wall decor, La Bicyclette Restaurant

The perfect garden entrance, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

The perfect garden entrance, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Where to Eat, Carmel-by-the-Sea

There are many quaint restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea, but one is definitely a must-do: La Bicyclette. I had the Eggplant Casserole and it was out-of-this-world good. And look at the messages left at each table (definitely my kind of place!):

La Bicyclette Carmel message

What to Do, Carmel-by-the Sea

If you follow the narrow and steep roads through the town, continuing West, you will eventually hear the waves crashing along the shore. Carmel has a beautiful stretch of beach, gorgeous even on a stormy afternoon. A perfect place to dip your toes in the ocean and walk along the surf.

The beach and coastline at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

The beach and coastline at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

On the way back to San Francisco, rain blew parallel to the ground, flooded freeways, and uprooted ancient trees. I stopped to see another favorite stretches of coastline, in Santa Cruz. This tree has long been a favorite.

Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz, California

My camera got a bit wet when capturing the image, but I love what resulted.

San Francisco

Every time I travel to San Francisco, I fall more in love with the city, its hills, and its architecture.

San Francisco architecture

We don’t build buildings like this one anymore…

San Francisco architecture

The lines and angles, curves, shadows, and light — all of these make San Francisco its own.

San Francisco architecture

Frills and arches, shadows and light

San Francisco architecture

Inside Neiman Marcus, the beautiful ceiling

The angel at Union Square

The (angel) statue on Dewey Memorial at Union Square

San Francisco streetcar

My favorite site, the San Francisco cable cars

Where to Eat, San Francisco

This trip, I had the privilege of tasting many great restaurants, but one I returned to because I liked it so much: Bouche. Thoroughly French, the food and wine there go perfectly with the casual, intimate atmosphere and French-accented servers.

Bouche San Francisco

California, I love.

4 thoughts on “Journeys, California: San Francisco, Carmel, and Big Sur

  1. I’m so glad you loved it. To me, it’s “home” even though I don’t live there anymore.

    1. I love that you call SF home, Pamela! What a fabulous place!

  2. So happy you got to enjoy my part of the world! All your photos are like old friends to me – my family has been in Carmel for generations, and I live just outside of SF. Happy travels, and thanks for sharing.

    1. I love hearing you live in such a wonderful part of the US! Thank you for sharing it with me. I enjoy it so much every time!

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