Road Trip to Cali, Anyone?


Ahhhh!! Hi, hi, hi! So glad I get to finally write this post. I’m so excited to share the details and photos from my road trip with you guys.

Because we visited so many different places, I’m going to be breaking the trip into three different posts (and tons of OOTD posts), because they’ll each run lengthier with tons of pictures and more!

When we started our trip from The Cities to San Francisco, our original idea was to drive all the way through and just take turns driving. We took I-80 almost the entire way, making a detour to Denver to stop for breakfast at 3AM. From there, we made our way through the Rocky Mountains.

sunrise in the rocky mountains; road trip

the rocky mountains

the rocky mountains

After driving through the mountains for about 18 hours, we decided that our first stop would be South Lake Tahoe, since we still had one night before our actual hotel booking in San Fran.

Talk about views. We arrived pretty late to Tahoe, so the drive through the forest was dark and dreary, but it held a very calming, cool aesthetic to it.

south lake tahoe at night

The drive out of South Lake Tahoe was also through the mountains/forest, and in all honesty, it was the most beautiful scenic drive I’ve ever partaken in.

south lake tahoe

south lake tahoe in daylight

drive to san francisco from south lake tahoe

Ultimately, it was peaceful. We put on Apple Music’s “Mellow Vibes” Playlist, and it created the most relaxing atmosphere. It’s crazy to think people actually live out there and get to see these views everyday.

The drive took about 3-4 hours, and the change in atmosphere from the forest to the Bay Area was undoubtfully drastic. Within the span of five hours, we went from calm to complete chaos (but in a good way).

Driving into San Fran is a once in a lifetime experience. You enter through a one-way bridge, with the city skyline in front of you, the Golden Gate Bridge afar to the right, Alcatraz Island on your right, and the ocean all around.

For those looking to travel to San Fran and entering from the Northeast, the road into the City is a toll (the only one we hit the entire way down!), and it does take quite a while to get over the bridge due to traffic. And once you’re emerged into the city, traffic is also very heavy, but it’s expected.

First things first, if you’re ever in the Bay Area, head to the Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s home to tons of shops and restaurants with glorious seafood.

the grotto at the fishermans wharf san fran

We spotted The Grotto, which is right on the water with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Mostly seafood, they had different lunch specials and it was relatively quiet during lunchtime. It was like being back in the peaceful mountains again, yet everything else surrounding us was busy.

I chose the Fish & Chips lunch special which came with a Garden Green Salad. Both the salad and fish and chips were delicious. Sometimes you can really go wrong with fish & chips, but this was seasoned nicely, very light and tasteful.

fish and chips from the grotto

The bathroom in The Grotto was decorated in subway tile, from the walls and even the mirror. So a mirror pic was necessary, obviously.

bathroom decor at the grotto san fran

Following lunch, we made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. And boy, is she pretty. You can either choose to drive over it, or drive to an area where there is parking, a restaurant, and trails to walk. I’ve never seen the Golden Gate before and it was the most perfect day to go. It shined bright red through the ocean blue sky and water.

the golden gate bridge

the golden gate bridge

abby graf at the golden gate bridge

Our next stop after the Bridge was the Painted Ladies. And if you’re in the San Fran area expecting to spot the Full House house where the Painted Ladies are, you were sadly mislead like the rest of us. The House is actually located on Broderick St., about a mile away from the Ladies.

the painted ladies

the painted ladies