After a long drive from Big Sur, our next stop on our 2015 US holiday was vibrant San Francisco.
Arriving at our AirBnB late on a busy Friday afternoon, The Castro District was buzzing. Commonly known as The Castro, it’s one of the first gay neighbourhoods in the United States and full of personality, great food and a welcoming neighbourhood. It’s also really well positioned for exploring, with the Mission District walking distance away and a main tramline ready to take you directly into the CBD in about 15 minutes.
After our last city jaunt in LA, San Francisco was a welcome change in pace and size. As long as you don’t mind the odd gravity defying hill, San Fransisco is a very walkable city. Its neatly packed streets are filled with colourful homes to uncover, each with their own personality. We quickly felt at home in San Francisco.
Having left Hearst Castle in the rear mirror and now well and truly on the road, our next stop was stunning Big Sur where we’d stay for the next three days. For this post, I’ve handed the writing reins over to my hubby Mark. Enjoy this amazing extensive review!
What people commonly refer to as Big Sur is a strip of coast that stretches from San Simeon in the south to Carmel in the north. The ‘park’ offers plenty to see within its bounds – state parks, rugged coastline, majestic redwoods, fine restaurants and the odd beach or two to soak your feet at – but the highlight is the voyage through itself, with each minor stop contributing to your ‘Big Sur’ experience.
Next stop on our US holiday was Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. We arrived for the last tour of the day, catching the late California sunshine on this immense 1950’s creation. The castle certainly impresses, with its expansive 165 rooms, two olympic sized swimming pools and 127 acres of gardens with breathtaking views of the Californian coast.
The regulation ‘walk-in-a-neat-line’ interiors tour is mandatory, but most people just go to stroll the exterior grounds afterwards (which is really the best part).
A really great end to our first day on the road to Big Sur.
Photography by Monique and Mark Welker
Since we’ve got back from our US holiday, I’ve been procrastinating on how to begin this blog post, let alone go through the hundreds of photos impatiently waiting on my hard drive. But after a few months of getting back into reality, I’m finally ready to share.
First up – Los Angeles. After an epic 16 hour flight from Australia with our friends Jess and Ryan, we arrived at our two storey Silver Lake Airbnb greeted by our friendly hosts. The sunny back lawn (perfect for an afternoon gin and tonic), Spanish villa architecture and badminton court were some of our favourite features. Not to mention the awesome pop up coffee shop, Go Get Em Tiger just a short stroll down the road.
Here are some of our top picks of places we visited in LA: