In early Spring of 2018, my partner, Sandy, and I went for our longest road trip to date: a 3-day, 2-night drive from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Francisco, California. We went for the scenic route, taking the legendary Pacific Coast Highway from Newport, Oregon to Eureka, California, from which we took the 101 and bee-lined for the city. On the way back home, though, we knew we couldn’t miss Mendocino – one of the most talked-about stops along the famous highway.
We got blazing suns and pouring rains throughout the trip, adding textures to the different stops we made. There was a quirky AirBnB with the most “Portland” host (a man named Tim, with a beard and a man-bun, who might have been high as kite the whole time we were at his house), dubious roadside motels reeking of detergent and disinfectant, middle-of-nowhere diners that served giant plates for one, and no shortage of jaw-dropping vistas.
Long and tiring though it was, the drive was totally worth it. Hopefully one day we can see the rest of the Pacific Coast Highway to Southern California. For now, here are my favorite snaps from the road trip!
It was about a five-hour drive from Vancouver, so we decided to stop here for the night and check the city out. It wasn’t the prettiest of places, but I loved its vibe. It wore its quirks with pride, which gave it such unique character. Looking forward to spending more time here one of these days.
It was pouring rain when we arrived here for lunch on Day 2, but it didn’t stop us from exploring this waterside city street. It was a nice mix of tourism – with the quaint shops and restaurants – and industry, with all the fishing docks.
Redwood National and State Parks, CA
After a night in Brookings, Oregon, we drove through the world-famous redwood forests of Northern California. I must have taken two dozen videos through the drive in sheer awe. I grew up seeing photos of these trees on my parents’ magazines and wondering if they were real. I wondered if I’ll ever get to touch them myself. Coming here was something of a dream-come-true, and getting to walk among these giants was one of the highlights of our drive.
Eureka was such a lovely surprise. It was our lunch stop on our third day, but it was so quaint that we decided to walk around the small city for a while. It had a lot of heritage buildings complemented by gorgeous street art – two things that I love photographing.
From San Francisco, we passed by Mendocino on the way back north. It struck me as a quintessential North American seaside town and the views here were some of the best among our stops. In spite of the sun, the wind was brutal.
Approaching San Francisco
We arrived at San Francisco late in the night of our third day, tired but definitely ready for more.