California has a tremendously diverse coast. Water temps range from ice cream headache cold on one end to warmish on the other. In one corner it’s filled with bright, sandy beaches while just a few hours away you’ll find nothing but rugged cliffs that drop straight off into the ocean. Redwood trees here. Palm trees there. Californians do our morning surf checks with coffee in hand and a beanie on our head or sunglasses and flip flops depending on which region of the state we call home. And all this without even touching the idea that there really are waves everywhere. It’s a coast well worth exploring at some point in your life.
It’s really an easy drive to pull off if you’re in the Golden State. Which is a reminder of how rarely some of us stray even an hour from home to soak in the awesome things the world can put on display. The mountains of Santa Ynez, Point Reyes just north of San Francisco, and the famously beautiful Big Sur are just a few plots on the map that make the drive well worth it. Meanwhile, if you live in Silicon Valley or Hollywood these places couldn’t seem any more like a different planet, let alone right up the road. And that’s perhaps one of the most fascinating pieces of the puzzle: all of this requires just about seven hours of driving.