Apr 17, 2017

Summer in California Travel Wishlist

A Summer in California travel wishlist by photographer, lifestyle blogger, and California native, Jessica Doll.

Although we started out with a pretty hefty travel wishlist this year, it looks as though we will be staying more local this Summer. We had big plans to try to go do a roadtrip in Norway, but sometimes plans don’t always line up and we have to adjust our sails. Luckily we live in a place that is already full of it’s own diverse beauty, California! Though it’s fairly large, most places are driveable or a short flight away. Much like last years SF Bay Area bucketlist, today I’m sharing some of my favorite and kind-of local dream destinations from my California travel wishlist.

Anza-Borrego Desert Superbloom, part of a Summer in California Travel Wishlist by Jessica Doll. See more Travel, Life, and Style inspiration at www.hejdoll.com

1. Anza-Borrego Desert Superbloom
This year’s buzz about the Superbloom at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has me dying to go there. Since I live in Northern California, seeing a desert superbloom isn’t something that’s easy to do without a long drive or flight. I’d love to make it down in perhaps early Summer before it gets too warm there. I doubt there will be flowers, but I’ve always loved to visit the desert, especially Palm Springs.

Sequoia National Park, part of a Summer in California Travel Wishlist by Jessica Doll. See more Travel, Life, and Style inspiration at www.hejdoll.com

2. Sequoia National Park
Of all the places I’ve been in California, the southern Sierras have eluded me. I’m dying to visit both Sequoia National Park, and the Lake Mono area. Perhaps worth a road trip up the Sierras this Summer?

Pfeiffer Beach State Park, part of a Summer in California Travel Wishlist by Jessica Doll. See more Travel, Life, and Style inspiration at www.hejdoll.com

3. Pfeiffer Beach State Park
Though I’ve driven Highway 1 more times than I can count on my fingers and toes, I’ve never made a stop here. The highway took a beating this Winter with heavy rains and storms in California, and parts of it were severely damaged or destroyed. While a section of it is still closed, I can drive down to here before needing to turn back (ha!). Maybe, maybe this Summer will actually be the time we make it here. The sand is purple, and at certain times the sunset lines up perfectly with the keyhole rock in the water.

Mt. Shasta, part of a Summer in California Travel Wishlist by Jessica Doll. See more Travel, Life, and Style inspiration at www.hejdoll.com

4. Lake Shasta
We have an extended family houseboat trip planned here this Summer. I’ve never been on a houseboat before, so I’m not sure what to expect. I’d imagine it’s a little like glamping on the water and will pack accordingly. I get seasick on smaller boats in rough waters, so fingers crossed I’m okay here!

Sunset at Yosemite National park, part of a Summer in California Travel Wishlist by Jessica Doll. See more Travel, Life, and Style inspiration at www.hejdoll.com

5. Yosemite National Park
We visited Yosemite last WinterWinter and it was pretty magical. I’d love to visit again this Summer to take in the park again and really be able to explore. I remember going a few times as a kid and I’d love to share that excitement with our little ones as well.

Do you have any special places in California you have been to or would love to visit? I’d love to hear!

Most of the images in this post are stock. Obviously I haven’t been able to take photos like this in these places, which is why I want to go there!

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I realize this was from last year, but in case you’re making plans for this summer…

Cayucos & Morro Bay – a beautiful drive down Highway 1 through Big Sur, past Hearst Castle, and you land in two adorable and underrated towns. Cayucos has lovely B&B’s with 5 star amenities and seaside views, a long strand of calm beach with a playground in the sand, beautiful outdoor dining at the Cass Inn, the renowned Brown Butter Bakery for delicious cookies, and a quaint beachside ice cream shop. Morro Bay boasts fantastic bay cruises, otters, kayaking, and kitschy little shops – there’s a whole Sea Shell shop that’s incredible!

Mendocino/Humbolt County Redwoods – Avenue of the Giants, Richardson Grove, Eel River – we took our son (10 months at the time) and my 3 nephews (7, 10, and 12) and stayed in a cozy cabin at the Redwoods River Resort in Leggett, which gave us a great home-base with river access, and easy driving to state parks, fun drive-through and walk-through trees, and beautiful redwoods hikes. I’ve lived in California my whole life but never made time for a trip like this until last year, and we all can’t wait to go back!

Heading to Sequoia National Park in a week! It’s a long ways away from Mono area though–they are on opposite sides of the Sierras so you’d have to take several days to enjoy the travel in between (travel through Yosemite?). Last summer my friend and I traveled Highway 395 on the eastern side of the Sierras. Put that on your bucket list! Start at the north end near Mono Lake area and visit Mammoth (that’s a must see!) and then through the towns of Bishop and Independence and Lone Pine all the way down to Manzanar and Alabama Hills. We went to hot springs and the old Bristle Cone Pine forest (oldest trees on the planet), hiked in Mammoth and visited Manzanar. If you come around the southern end of Sierras you can then come up the western side of them and visit Sequoia and Kings National Park, Shaver Lake, Fishcamp and Yosemite West. I do love a good summer road trip!

Ahh, that sounds so dreamy! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful tips. 🙂

The pics are so lovely. California s like a dream which should never end. Loved reading it.

I’ve only been to California once. It was a few years ago and I visited San Francisco. It was beautiful and I would love to go back.

Whoa! I think I’d love to go back to Anza-Borrego before it gets too hot! The superbloom phase sounds interesting! Out of all the places you mentioned here, I’ve only been to Anza-Borrego Springs, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Park. 🙂 Well, if you make it to the Palm Springs area, might as well check out Joshua Tree National Park and Pioneertown. 🙂

I know what you mean about too hot, we were in the desert in May one year and I thought I was going to pass out from the heat. I can’t believe it was so hot that soon.

So sorry to hear about your trip to Norway. There’s always next year 🙂 But your photos are absolutely gorgeous! So crisp and clean.

Such beautiful places to go in California! I need to take my family there and try a few of these places out!

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