When you start planning a vacation in California, you probably think of the big cities in northern and southern California.
But, recently, I discovered that you cannot miss visiting the heart of the state in central California, the real California: varied, charming and natural.
Majestic Mountain Loop Tour
Our trip began with the flight to Fresno Yosemite International Airport (Fresno Yosemite International Airport), less than an hour away from the area’s famous national parks. We embark on the most wonderful excursion, whose name is perfect: the Majestic Mountain Loop. For three days, we toured Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Park’s with a small group. They planned all the logistics for us; we just had to take care to enjoy and explore: from our excursion to Moro Rock (Roca Moro); the visit to General Sherman, the largest living tree in the world; until the walks in the meadows Zumwalt Meadows and Half Dome (Half Dome). We saw beautiful waterfalls, dined at quaint restaurants and stayed at historic hotels.
Enjoy the agrotourism
After completing the Majestic Mountain Loop, we headed towards the coast through the agricultural center of the world. On the way, we find kilometers and kilometers of orchards of fruit trees full of peaches, oranges and almonds, among others. In a self-collection farm (u-pick), I experienced a moment of incredible appreciation of nature by the simple act of climbing a tree, choosing a peach and eating it, as soon as I took it from the branch. It is not surprising that we have found some wonderful restaurants that use local products. We had an unforgettable meal at the Parma restaurant, located in Fresno, where we were served homemade pastas mixed with fresh vegetables of the day and grilled fruits for dessert.
Wine tasting at Paso Robles
Continuing west along the Coastal Mountain Range we arrive at Paso Robles, where we make excursions and tastings at the beautiful Summerwood Winery, one of more than 250 wineries in the area. Throughout the region, there are charming hotels and inns to receive visitors. The region also hosts several gastronomic and wine festivals throughout the year, which attract some stellar chefs; so it would be a good option to plan your trip around one of these events.
Attractions of the central coast
From Paso Robles, we were nearby car from Cambria, a place with nice restaurants and small shops. Just steps from the main street of Cambria, we discovered the Moonstone Beach (Moonstone beach), with that breathtaking rugged attraction of the California coast. We even saw a whale while we were walking along the coast.
Approximately 15 minutes north of Moonstone, we travel along the coastal highway “Highway 1 Discovery Route” to Hearst Castle, an architectural and cultural marvel overlooking the coast from the cliff. After a guided tour of the place, we headed to the Hearst San Simeon State Park (Hearst San Simeon State Park), where we watched the windsurfers jump the waves. Finally, we finished our trip with a short excursion north of Big Sur on the way to explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium (aquarium of the Bay of Monterrey), a must see if you travel with your family, before concluding our tour in Sacramento, the capital of state and historic center of California.
The visit to the center of California allowed me to appreciate the whole state in a different way. California definitely has some glittering metropolitan cities, but it also offers the most spectacular natural experiences, from the mountains to the sea.
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