| favourite places i’ve been and want to be seen |

Laguna Beach, 2013

Helloooo everyone !

All this summer weather has made me crave the beach, a lounger and some awesome lemonade, and more so the heat and energy of California. After visiting last summer (a whole post on that trip here) I am truly hooked on the atmosphere, so what better way to say a firm ‘hello’ to summer than a Sunday Spotlight on the sunny state.
I was fortunate to visit three places in California, and also Las Vegas, NV on my trip around the West Coast and each was unique in the experience.

San Francisco has such a unique culture; driving in I was amazed by the amount of creative graffiti across the buildings and even walking through Chinatown. It’s colder than most places in California but the architecture and landscape makes up for it – I’d know after having only one jumper that got dirty my first day, leaving me freezing for the whole trip. Cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge was a challenge but the view is amazing, I’d really recommend cycling and stopping off in Sausalito. I wish we’d stayed in SF longer, but it’s all the more reason to return.

Yosemite is a place of outstanding natural beauty, no doubt about it. I am no nature girl and fair play to those who hike and camp up there, you gotta love it, but it really is so beautiful and the views are indescribable. We only stayed the night as a pit stop, but it was still a hot environment full of winding roads and tall trees, even the odd bear.

Las Vegas okay, it’s not in California, but I can’t not mention Sin City. Las Vegas is beyond, there is no where else in the world the same; 24/7 gaming, lights, everything you need is on your doorstep. Plush casino hotels one end, the old town the other, built in the middle of nowhere is quite spectacular. The Mandalay Bay hotel has everything and I can’t fairly speak for hotels there but this one, best room ever. I could’ve stayed longer just to have the room.

Laguna Beach is the best of the PCH towns, hands down. Total boho, beach vibes, tonnes of healthy foods – heaaaveeenn – and great weather too. I loved relaxing and exploring the marine surroundings, and only an hour from LA is pretty cool too. Definitely a place to go stroll around outside the bustling main cities, but not a late night town like the Med. The lifestyle here is pretty much perfect.

Tips and Best Bits :
San Francisco Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge even if it kills you, walk everywhere, go to Pier 41, explore the backstreets and urban nature of the city | Bring lots of jumpers, more than necessary | Ride the tram carts, obviously | Ghiradelli Square, just saying, awesome chocolate.
Yosemite Pack insect repellent, be prepared | It’s a long drive with no restaurants anywhere, take a supermarket of food with you | This is probably a place more suited to explorers, but Cedar Lodge will cover non-hikers (aka me) you well
– Las Vegas Book a show to see, the entertainment is spectacular | Eat at New York New York’s Gallagher’s Steakhouse if you’re a meat eater, it’s tip top ! | Also, ride the rollarcoaster | Book a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon, I didn’t and am still sad I never saw it | Walk down the strip, and take a lot of water with you | Don’t take photos with people dressed up, you have to pay them
– Laguna Beach Explore all the boutiques regardless of how ridiculously expensive they are | Walk up and down the main street and side streets | Don’t go to Sea World, it’s not that great, I suggest Disney or Universal | Go to Whole Foods every day. Yes. | Eat at the healthy vegan restaurants because they are out of this world amazing | Relax

Have you been to California, or live there ? What are your recommendations for future visits ?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Brighton based Photographer, photographing your fave bloggers by day and testing the best vegan/cruelty-free skincare by night.


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