My Unpopular Opinion

California- The Golden State

Hey, y’all! Does anyone else feel like adulting is a cruel joke?  I certainly do.  Sometimes it’s just hard!  I guess that’s why we have beautiful places, wonderful people, and in some cases fantastic adult beverages.  One of the best things about traveling is being able to leave everything behind and just explore places.  It can really take your mind off of things and leave you with a blank slate when you get back to the “real world”.

One of these places for me is California.  Yes, yes, I know, California? Really? But, yes!  Regardless if you like the politics or not, it’s one of the most beautiful states we have with an amazingly rich history. 

I was first introduced to this state because I was lucky enough to make friends with one of the best human beings on this planet as well as getting “adopted” by her family.  As I grow older, I’m starting to realize that my time in the Navy was some of the best times in my life. Mainly, because I met some amazing people and walked away with life long friends that have been able to show me their home state, in one case country, that I would never of seen or known so intimately.  

More Than Just Hollywood

When I tell people I’m heading to Cali most people think I’m going to LA, San Diego, or San Francisco.  All these cities have wonderful things to offer, but not where I like to spend my time.  I will admit that I love to see the Golden Gate Bridge when I can.  It’s an amazing work of human architecture and just stunning to see in the fog with the hills around.  It’s really impressive! 

I defend California all the time, especially being from Texas,  where there is this weird feud with the two states, but the fact is, most of California is not much different than most of Texas.  The state is made up mostly of farmers, ranchers, and mountain people.  The cities hold the majority of the population and unfortunately means that they decide the fate of the state.  

Yosemite National Park literally changed my life.  There is no way you can visit the park and not walk away in awe.  I only spent one day there, but that was enough.  I was in love with the Sierra Nevadas.  Going to Calaveras Big Trees State Park to see the redwood trees (I’ve seen them in the snow and in the summer) is one of the absolutely amazing experiences.  They are LITERALLY living giants!  Their branches are the size of a regular tree.  I remember seeing what looked like fallen trees everywhere until someone pointed out that they were actually branches that broke off the redwoods. Wow!

On my road trip to Northern Cali last year, I saw a part of the state and mountains I had no idea existed (first and second pictures).  I remember telling my friend “THIS is where the happy California cows come from!”.  And it’s true.  Some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen!  I often think about making a trip just to see the scenery again. 

Not to mention that it’s the perfect place, not only for temperature, but almost every ecosystem you could possibly want to visit is only 3-8 hrs away, depending on what part of the state you live or are visiting.  There is the coast, desert, high desert, mountain terrain, and the alpine.  Plus, any and every activity you could possibly think of doing in an outdoor setting. 

It’s an unpopular opinion being Texan, but I LOVE CALIFORNIA!!! 

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Hi, I'm Erin Lowe

Through Living Travel Designs, I craft custom vacations that get you engaging with the world around you—particularly on nature and wildlife-focused trips that leave you in awe. 


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