I don’t get to travel much, but I try to make up for that by dragging my husband out on road trips to be tourists in our own state.  Whenever I know we are going to have some time to really go somewhere, I start scouring the internet for upcoming festivals, events or tourist destinations we have never visited yet.  Living in California, there are so many places to visit and see.  We have been up and down our state many times and yet we have not seen everything.  If you are ever planning to come to my beautiful state, here are a few of my favorite tourist spots.

Right here in the Bay Area we have some really beautiful sights like the Golden Gate Bridge.IMG_2563  I love to visit the bridge whenever I can.  It’s one of my happy places.  I like to go down to Fort Point where this picture was taken.  I just sit listening to the waves and watch the sailboats, ferries, seagulls, surfers, and other tourists.  It’s a beautiful spot rain or shine.

I became a member of Pinterest years ago and one of boards I created is called “Beautiful Things” and as I searched for things to pin I came across a place in San Francisco I had
never heard of called, Golden Gate Heights Mosaic IMG_5167Stairway, on Moraga St./16th Ave.  I just had to see it with my own eyes.  I am so glad we found it.  It was just amazing to see the individual tiles and then stepping back and see it all as one beautiful work of art.  The stairs themselves are quite a trek for someone who hates stairs like myself, but I made it to the top so I could take the different pictures you see here.  There are of course many other tourist attractions in San Francisco like Coit Tower, the Crooked Road, Alcatraz, Pier 39, etc.  See them all if you get a chance.

North of San Francisco is a place called Glass Beach in Fort Bragg.  Around the turn of the century, locals in the area used to dump glass, appliances, and even vehicles into the ocean. 1927801_45618472777_3197_n This practice has since been stopped, but the area will forever show the the scars.  You can see here some spark plugs that are embedded in the rock and a little of the sea glass that covers the beach.  It’s sad, but beautiful.  Other attractions in the area are the Skunk train.  1927801_45618407777_9435_nUnfortunately, when we went, the train wasn’t running because it closes down for part of the winter, but it’s a reason for us to go back.  Egghead’s Restaurant on Main Street is an excellent place for Breakfast.

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One weekend, we really wanted to get away, so we drove down south to see Hearst Castle.  We of course went on the one day when the castle was socked in with fog, but it seemed to make it all the more mysterious.  Everything from the grounds to each individual room that is on the tour was just breath taking.  I can’t imagine what it must have Camera Card 894taken to build and decorate that place let alone what it must have been like to actually live there or even attend a party there.  My favorite parts were the swimming pools.  As you can see in the picture, the pools were massive and all I could think was how much I would love to get in a little liquid therapy in that pool.  Everywhere there was something beautiful to look at from flowers to art and sculptures.  I took a ton of pictures.  We stayed in the seaside town of Cambria.  There were many
great places to eat and so many Camera Card 903fun little shops to explore.  It was such a relaxing weekend and after the fog burned off, the weather was perfect.

One place we love to go back to at least once a year, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I have always dreamed of living under the sea and the Aquarium is the one place that gets me close to that dream.  Every single exhibit they have there is worth seeing.  I could sit there and watch the fish swim all day.  The Jellyfish is the 548_36120432777_9651_none go to place me.  I always start there first.  There are so many different types of jellyfish.  They are so mesmerizing, beautiful, and dangerous.  I was stung by a jellyfish once while swimming at a beach in Australia.  I will never forget the pain, but the experience has left me fascinated with jellyfish.  I could go on and on about the aquarium.  If you’ve 548_36118832777_5262_nrecently gone out to see “Finding Dory”, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the aquarium’s the Pixar people visited as they worked on the film.  It is worth every penny and like Cambria, there are many charming shops and restaurants to visit.  Monterey is also a stone’s throw away from Carmel-by-the-Sea another tourist spot, but I will leave that for another blog.  Being a tourist is fun.  I enjoy learning new things and visiting new and amazing places.  Hopefully one day I will figure out how to plan a real vacation and go be a tourist somewhere much further away, but for now, I love where I live and am fortunate to live so close to so many beautiful places.