Underwater Hotels To Visit This Winter

Hotels like Jules Undersea Lodge and Atlantis at The Palm in Dubai,have pioneered the concept and you can now spend a night amongst the fish and other magical sea creatures that the ocean has to offer through an underwater suite. Truly an innovative concept, Jules’ Undersea Lodge claimed status as the world’s only underwater lodging available to the public until recent years when ecotourism has become all the rage.

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www.curbed.com

Jules’ Undersea Lodge, named after the author of the classic tale ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’, is the world’s first underwater hotel. Originally built in the early 1970s as a groundbreaking research lab off the coast of Puerto Rico, the Lodge has been in business in Key Largo, Florida since relocating there and opening its hatch to the public in 1986.

The entrance to this underwater abode is appropriately located 21 feet below the surface. Visitors to Jules who are not certified divers will go through a 3-hour crash course in scuba diving before shacking up in their room for the night.

After diving down and resurfacing through the wet room entrance, residents can take off their scuba gear and enjoy all the conveniences of modern life, 21 feet below the surface.

Completely stocked with modern conveniences like air-conditioning, hot showers, a stereo and a DVD player this hotel is perfect for the romantic getaway or the adventurer who truly desires a unique experience (and, yes, the Lodge is fully stocked with compressed air). Dinner and breakfast are even provided to you by the world’s only “mer-chef.”

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www.atlantisthepalm.com

The underwater suites at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai are really fit for the king and queen of the seas. They are some of the most intimate and romantic hotel rooms that you could ever dream of… as long as you don’t have nightmares about sharks.

Take a private lift to your three-story, underwater suite and discover a whole new meaning to “sleeping with the fishes.” Floor-to-ceiling windows provide guests with panoramic views of the Ambassador Lagoon, a 3-million-gallon aquarium filled with more than 65,000 marine animals, including sharks and stingrays. Just imagine lying in bed while watching the creatures of the sea pass by.

In-room amenities even include a bath made of sparkling 24-karat gold, as well as 24-hour butler service, of course.

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www.hiltonmaldivesresort.com

The luxurious Hotel Conrad Maldives Rangali does not have an underwater room for you to sleep in, but you can dine in style submerged under water without having to wear a wetsuit to enter!

The Ithaa Undersea restaurant is located 16 feet below sea level. You can enjoy your mix of Maldivian and Western cuisine while you look up to see the beautiful reef and marine life. While dining in this gorgeous setting, visitors can marvel at unobstructed views of sea life in their natural setting.

 

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www.coolthings.com

Lovers Deep is the fanciest submarine you could ever imagine. This submarine takes luxury to a new level. Situated just off the coast of one of the beautiful Caribbean islands of your choice, it is intended for romantic getaways for couples that want to have a private night together submerged beneath the ocean waves.

Once you’re in, the sub will dive way beneath the surface, taking you to maximum depths of 650 feet. This experience is meant to be customized, and comes complete with a gourmet menu curated by a chef as well as the mood lighting and ambiance to your heart’s desire.

Expert Travel Tips

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Wouldn’t it be nice to travel with an expert? Someone who knows their way around, no matter where you are. Someone who speaks every language, someone who could get you anywhere you needed to go.

While recruiting a fully-fledged travel expert might be challenging for the ordinary traveler, what you can do is ensure that YOU are prepared with the latest tips and tricks. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s a lot of opportunity for stress. Flying, staying in hotels, and navigating foreign cities can all be a whirlwind. Make jet-setting a little easier with these 5 insider tips:

Complete a before-you-take off checklist

Make a checklist of all the important to-do items you’ll need to complete before embarking on your travels. This list should include things like getting your passport and other necessary documents ready to go and in your carry-on, confirming reservations throughout your entire trip, calling your bank and credit card companies to let them know you are traveling, tending to any household needs such as pet sitters or arranging for a neighbor to pick up your mail for you, and last but not least: packing! 

Your trip will be off to a seamless start when you ensure everything is taken care of from the get-go.

Alert your bank and credit card company of your travel plans

I repeat this again because this can become a HUGE hassle if not tended to and it is absolutely worth the extra effort here. If you don’t want your credit card company or bank to put a hold on your card while you are overseas ensure you contact those entities prior to departure.

Always carry-on luggage

Big bags that need to be checked require that you plan for additional travel time! You need to be at the airport earlier to check them, you need to stay at the airport longer to pick them up once they finally come down the carousel, and who wants to spend even more extra time in an airport when traveling?! Take advantage of the ability to carry a smaller suitcase on the plane with you. Invest in a reliable, carry-on sized roller bag that will work no matter what kind of trip you’re taking. This not only drives you to pack efficiently, it also saves you the hassle of ever having to check a bag.

Be flexible

Plan for delays and try not to get upset when things inevitably go awry. By giving yourself some additional travel time, you allow room for things to happen that are out of your control. Patience is extremely important when traveling!

Innovate on your transportation

Do some research before you leave for your trip to find out what transportation apps are available at your destination. Arrange for a ride ahead of time to eliminate the extra stress of trying to finagle one from the airport when you are tired and anxious to make it to your destination. 

Speak up about special occasions!

When staying in a hotel, make sure to mention if you’re celebrating a special occasion at the front desk. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary,  honeymoon, or even just your first time in this location – you have nothing to lose by mentioning it! The hotel might just upgrade your accommodations! Also check to see if the hotels you stay at have a free loyalty program. If they know you’re a member, you could receive extra perks like early check in or late check out.

Act like a local to stay safe

When you’re in an unfamiliar city, it’s always important to take extra safety precautions. One of the best ways to make sure you don’t become a target is to maintain a confident attitude. It’s often the times when people are unsure, lost, or stressed out when they run into trouble while traveling. Remain calm, cool, and collected and always walk like you know where you are, even if you don’t. If you act like you belong, others will buy into it.

Learn common phrases of the local language

A simple “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me” and “I’m sorry” in the local language goes a really long way. And hey, maybe “Beer” and “Is there a restroom available?” would be good to know too!

The Bay Area and It’s Most Important Components

The Bay Area is a cosmopolitan cradle of culture, economy, and technology in the state of California. It is home to approximately 7.65 million people, and composed on multiple iconic major American cities. San Francisco is of course the heart of the Bay Area, however that does not make any of the other cities and towns less important. San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Palo Alto, are just some of the many towns that compose what is known as the Bay Area. In this post we’ll discuss some of the Bay Area’s most important locales, and why exactly they are each so special.

San Francisco

San Francisco is the heart and soul of the Bay Area. It is THE cultural, financial, and commercial capital of Northern California, and one of the most important in the United States. After San Jose, it is the fourth most populous area in the state, with over 860,000 residents living within its city limits. The city is known for its hilly landscape, eclectic architecture, cultural makeup, and its most famous landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Oakland

Oakland is the third-largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a population a little over 410,000 residents. It serves as the Bay Area’s main port, importing and exporting items to and from California. Some of its major landmarks include its seaside center called Jack London Square, as well as the Oakland California Temple.

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley may have been unheard of just thirty years ago, however today it is one of the most powerful socio-economic regions in the world. It is the cradle and hotbed of many of today’s booming high-technology companies including giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft just to name a few. It is composed of various towns and cities including San Jose, Cupertino, and Palo Alto among many more.

San Jose

San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area, with a booming population of just over one million people. Over recent years, the fast and aggressive growth of the high-technologies sector has further increased its population, as well as the city’s financial strength. As the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” it is now considered a global hub for technology and information systems. Some landmarks in the city include the Tech Museum of Innovation and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

Sightseeing the Best in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in the United States. With its rolling hills, intense cultural diversity, and unique architectural landscape, San Francisco is truly one of the most important cities this country can boast. Millions of tourists visit the city every year, sightseeing the many beautiful landmarks the city has to offer. However, in a city as grand as San Francisco, the amount of places to see and things to do can be overwhelming. Listed below are some of San Francisco’s most iconic sites and landmarks that you don’t want to miss. If you’re visiting San Francisco, take a look at this list of must-see places!

Golden Gate Bridge

Heralded as one of the top 10 construction achievements of the twentieth century according to its website, the Golden Gate Bridge is probably San Francisco’s most recognized and idyllic landmark. The suspension bridge – opened in 1937 – spans 1.7 miles, reaching across the mile-long width of the Golden Gate Strait. The American Society of Civil Engineers deems the bridge one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Chinatown

SF’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinese community in North America, as well as the largest outside of Asia. It was formally established in 1848  and continues to retain much of its customs, language, and cultural identity. Today, it is a major tourist hotspot, attracting more visitors even than the Golden Gate Bridge. If San Francisco is widely known for its heterogeneous cultural makeup, Chinatown is surely one of the city’s most influential factors in that regard.

Alcatraz Island

Located in San Francisco Bay, approximately 1.25 miles offshore, Alcatraz Island is the site of the oldest lighthouse on the West Coast, as well as the former site of Alcatraz Federal Prison. Alcatraz Federal Prison was infamous for being the most secured prison in the country, housing some of the nation’s worst criminals including the likes of Al Capone, George “Machine Gun Kelly,” and James “Whitey” Bulger. Today the island now stands as a national recreational area, and has received designation as a National Historic Landmark.

Castro District

Castro District is one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States. After its conversion from a working class neighborhood to a gay neighborhood in the 1960’s-70’s, the neighborhood has become one of the world’s most important symbols of LGBT activism and pride. Some prominent sites to visit include the district’s historic Castro Theater, the LGBT History Museum, along with various other iconic sites.

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Is a monumental structure in San Francisco’s Marina District, homaging fine arts and the city’s long tradition as an artistic capital of the United States. It was originally built in 1915, but after years of abandonment, much of the original structure has withered away. Rebuilt in 1965, and renovated yet again in 2009, the complex’s astounding aesthetic attracts thousands of visitors every year. Today, the Fine Arts Theatre hosts various art exhibitions, and is a popular destination for weddings and wedding receptions.

The Painted Ladies

The “Painted Ladies” refers to the streets and homes in San Francisco that display the city’s iconic colorfully painted Victorian Houses. The decorative architecture is unique to the Victorian era, but even more so to the city itself. After years of neglecting the architectural beauty these houses possessed, a movement began in the 1960’s to renovate and restore the vibrancy many of these homes once had. Today they are sprinkled throughout the city displaying wonderful colors and decorative styles that have become iconic to the city itself.

If you found this post helpful, and would like to read more on San Francisco news and information, check out my twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading!

Best Secret Beaches to Visit in the United States p.2

In continuation from p.1 of this list, here is p.2 of the best secret beaches to visit in the United States!

David PeinsippSecond Beach, Washington

Although not much of an ideal summer getaway due to the region’s constant rainfalls and stormy weather, Second Beach is a wonderfully secluded place to enjoy picturesque coastlines and awe-inspiring natural formations. Surrounding the beach are various hiking trails and official campsites in thick dense forests.

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Dry Tortugas, Florida

According to Emily Wasserman of Fodors, this idyllic little island is only accessible through boat or plane. The beach is located 70 miles off the shores of Key West and provide any beach-goer in Florida with some much needed rest and relaxation. It consists of seven small islands where individuals can swim, scuba-dive, and take a gander at the coral reefs and marine life living below its sandy beaches.

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Enderts Beach, California

Enderts Beach is tucked away in Redwood National Park. The beach provides beach-goers with 37 miles of coastline surrounded by 350-foot evergreen trees. Enderts is not the prettiest beach, but much like Second Beach in Washington, it provides individuals with captivating ocean-front views from idyllic, lush forests.

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Awahua Beach, Hawaii

Awahua Beach is beautiful as it is eerie. The isolated beach was once a leper colony, where those suffering from leprosy were forcibly removed from civilization. Today, the beach remains less developed than other parts of the island chain. You can only reach the coastline via hiking trails through the island’s various cliffs and valleys. Definitely take a minute to enjoy the area’s breathtaking views.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on travel news and information, check out twitter @dpeinsipp for more news and information. Thanks for reading!

Forget the Beach, Hit the Lake!

There’s something inherently different about lake vacations compared to beach outings. While you may head to the beach to soak up some sun, lake outings are more about connecting with nature in a different way. The vast bodies of water backdropped by lush green forests showcase the truly awe-inspiring beauty of nature.

You may spend your day swimming and fishing in freshwater, or choose instead to go hiking off the beaten path. Consider trekking to one of the following lakes for your next summer getaway!

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Lake Superior – Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin

Lake Superior is VAST. So vast that it can practically be its own sea. Because of this, LakeSuperior is a great place to fish! There are a variety of different fish thriving within Lake Superior including: salmon, trout, smelt, whitefish, herrings, northern pike, bass, walleye, and countless other game fish.

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Lake Tahoe – California/Nevada

This lake is known for its high altitude, as well as for its high intensity winter sports. The mountain and lake are 6,225 feet above sea level, making it the perfect destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. If you’re not interested in winter sports though, you can always hike on the lake’s various paths, and later enjoy a hot cocoa in one of its lakeshore cafes.

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Lake Michigan – Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois

So how exactly do lakes beat beaches? Well, many may not know that Lake Michigan holds more than 1,600 miles of coastline, offering people more beaches than any other lake in the United States. Because these beaches spread across four different states, many of the beaches are unique to each other, offering shorelines for every taste.

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Lake Chelan – Washington

Lake Chelan has dozens of trails that walk you through and around the 55-mile long lake and into its snow-tipped cascades. The most popular of these trails is the Chelan Lakeshore Trail, which offers astonishing views of the lakefront from different sections of the lake’s surrounding area.

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Finger Lakes – New York

Much like the other lakes on this list, the Finger Lakes offer beautiful, lush green landscapes as backdrops to their enormous bodies of water. However, the Finger Lakes offer even a little more: home to over a hundred vineyards and vintners. Many of the wineries also offer spectacular waterfront views of the Finger Lakes, and the surrounding lands.

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Crater Lake – Oregon

You want beautiful blue waters but a trip to the Caribbean may be a bit over your price range. When you live in the pacific northwest, you don’t need the Caribbean’s blue water when you have Crater Lake in Oregon. Crater Lake has some of the clearest waters for any freshwater body of water. The lake has a clarity of over 150 feet deep, making it a great place to go snorkeling and scuba diving. Oh, and did I mention it was the site of a collapsed volcano? Talk about an underwater adventure!

If you liked this read and would like to read more on traveling info and tips, check out my twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading!

Your Guide to the 2016 Rio Olympics

You missed out on Carnival, but that’s okay. The coming 2016 Rio Olympics should give you a good taste of Brazil and some of its best wonders. It’s certainly going to be hectic, hosting games throughout various sectors of Rio de Janeiro, a city of about 6.32 million people.

If you’re thinking about travelling down to South America for the event, just make sure to plan your itinerary accordingly. If you haven’t done the work yet, don’t worry, we have you covered. Below is a quick guide to the best that the Rio 2016 Olympic games has to offer. Welcome to Rio De Janeiro, “Cidade Maravilhosa.”

Four Central Zones of Activity: Barra, Copacabana,  Maracanã and Deodoro.

Copacabana

The Rio Olympic games will be centered around four particular zones within the city. The first and probably the most popular will be Copacabana. Who hasn’t heard of Copacabana Beach? Brazil will be making full use of Copacabana’s natural beauty and perfect beaches. The beach will be the site of beach volleyball, the triathlon, long distance swimming, and various boating events. Sambódromo, home of Carnival, will also be hosting archery.

Maracanã

The Maracanã section of Rio is home to the mythical, the spectacular, and the historic Estadio do Maracanã. The Maracanã is home to the Brazilian national football team, as well as home to the city’s two largest teams, Flamengo and Fluminense. The stadium will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, while the city’s other stadiums will host an array of football and volleyball matches. Because of this zone’s historic significance, it is the heart of Rio De Janeiro. You will want to visit this place.

Deodoro

The Deodoro section of Brazil will be hosting an array of field sports including equestrian, shooting, field hockey, rugby, whitewater rafting, Mountain Biking and BMX. Deodoro is home to Brazil’s largest military barracks, and home to some 60,000 military personnel. The city has built state of the art arenas and facilities for the Olympic Games.

Barra da Tijuca

Barra de Tijuca, or just simply known as Barra, will be the site of the olympic village. It will also be the site to various competitions, including: cycling, swimming, tennis, basketball, gymnastics and golf. The zone is considered one of the country’s most developed areas, responsible for almost a third of all taxes collected in the city. It has various gardens, shopping malls, sustainable developments and – not to mention – world class beaches.

Supporting Ecotourism

The 2016 Olympic Committee, the city of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Passport Campaign are promoting responsible and sustainable tourism in these Olympic games. How ? O Passaporte Verde Campanha, or the Green Passport Campaign, encourages both tourists and hosts to undertake sustainable practices while the olympic games are occurring. This means turning off the lights before stepping out, practicing water efficiency, walking and biking from place to place, and reducing waste. Other tourism friendly practices like accommodating handicapped individuals and protecting children are also brought to the general public’s awareness.

If you liked this read and would like to read more on traveling info and tips, check out my twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading!

Stay Connected with these Great Travel Apps

Summer is here and that means it’s time to book your tickets to a your favorite (or undiscovered) travel destination. Although some hope to disconnect from their smartphones and tablets, other choose to have it in their travel utility belts. Whether it’s recording something on a livestream, or tracking your travel route with world class maps, today’s apps can act as real nifty travel gadgets for the modern traveler. Below is a list of some of today’s best travel apps to accompany you on your trip. So make sure to have your smartphone on hand next time you’re globe trotting.

Periscope/Snapchat

These social media video apps help you interact with friends and followers from around the world. Periscope allows you to stream and broadcast live on top of whatever mountain peak you’ve finished climbing. Friends and followers following you can comment and “like” whatever you’re broadcasting. Snapchat posts pictures and videos for your friends and followers to see. These apps are great to keep your friends and family close to you on your global journeys.

CityMaps2Go

CityMaps2Go helps you navigate your way through whatever chaotic streets you may be wandering. According to Forbes, this app has maps and guides of over 7,000 destinations from around the globe. The app also allows you to pre download maps and guides onto your phone, a useful feature in case you’re not connected to the internet.

XE Currency

Currency conversions can get pretty confusing. Instead of walking around with a calculator everywhere, XE Currency allows you to convert every world currency right on your smartphone. Enough said.

Bravolol/Google Translate

You’re stuck in a foreign country, and you don’t know the language. This is a classic problem for world travelers. In case you forget your dictionary or phrasebook at home, these apps will certainly help you communicate better with friendly locals.

Time Out / Goby

Time Out and Goby are your go-to apps to find events and popular locations around you. Both serve as great directories for events, places, and festivals that may be occurring around the city.

“With coverage from Accra to Amsterdam, Edinburgh to Singapore, the app covers everything from bars, restaurants, attractions and events,” reports the Guardian.

Bonus:

GateGuru

Flight Delay? Or maybe it’s a long layover. For whatever reason you’re stuck in an airport, GateGuru is your best friend when familiarizing yourself in airport’s terminals. According to U.S. News, the app provides you with maps of the terminals, along with ratings and reviews of food locales.

Free Wifi Finder

Everyone in the tech savvy generations has felt it; that feeling of helplessness when you have neither service nor internet connection. Free Wifi finder helps you find the nearest free wifi hotspots around you in case you’re disconnected from the internet. The app is great when desperately needing to get in contact with someone.

These apps will surely make you think twice before disconnecting yourself when travelling abroad. Happy Travels! If you liked this post and would like to read more on travelling tips, check out my twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading!

Best Secret Beaches to Visit in the United States p.1

Looking to travel to some great beach towns in the U.S.?

The most popular beaches like Miami Beach, Newport Beach, Ocean City, and Myrtle Beach probably first come to mind… right?

However these beaches also rank as some of the country’s most populated and overcrowded beaches. If you’re looking to relax on a beachfront with nothing but the sound of waves, seagulls, and maybe just a handful of tourists, here are some of the best beaches to check out in the United States this season. They may not be huge secrets, but they will definitely help you stay ahead of the average beach-goer!

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Cumberland, Georgia

Once a winter home location to the Carnegie family, Cumberland is one of the few areas in the Georgia coast that are still untamed and uninhabited. The eighteen mile stretch of beach features marshes, dunes, and lush forests that have been left more or less untouched. Wild horses are often seen roaming across its white sandy beaches, alongside the few tourists who travel their yearly. The island can only be accessed via ferry, making it one of the country’s most secluded public beaches.

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Newport, Rhode Island

Newport Rhode Island isn’t exactly a secret beach like many of the other beaches on this list. Albeit, it’s relatively well-known in New England, however it is almost never cramped with tourists or crowds. According to Homeaway, this seaside city once served as the “Summer White House” for both presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Newport is also known for its world-renowned sailing, as well as for its fresh seafood and wines.

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Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach’s white sandy shores and warm gulf waters provide a great destination to visit if you’re along the southern coast. Although it is still a relatively popular beach town in the south, it is nowhere near the likes of Miami or Daytona Beach. Orange offers an array of entertainment and activities for families including concerts, cinemas, festivals, and even the Southeast’s largest Ferris Wheel!

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New Braunfels, Texas

New Braunfels was originally settled by German settlers back in the day. However, as years have passed, the lakefront town has been turned into a beautiful vacation destination for many. The town offers an assortment of water sports and outdoor adventure activities, including rafting, water skiing, and fishing. Surrounding the lakefront properties are also family-friendly attractions like the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, and the Natural Bridge Caverns.

 

Check out p.2 of this post soon!

Traveling Big Sur: California’s Most Iconic Roadway

When it comes down to it, road trips really aren’t all that bad. In fact, with a group of friends or family, road trips can be very fun! It’s all about the journey, right?

Road Trips are also great opportunities to enjoy scenic routes that you may otherwise never view. California is known to have some of the most idyllic landscapes of any state in the United States. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sceneries that encompass California, I suggest taking a road trip up and down the iconic California State Route 1.

Route 1 has become the country’s most beloved highway, attracting thousands of travelers year round from all over the country, even the globe.

The most iconic section on Route 1 is the Pacific Coast Highway, which is composed of both the Big Sur and the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway. The highway treads along 147 miles of the total 655 that is California’s Route 1. It stretches from Carmel to Morro Bay, hugging the Pacific Coast the entire span. According to National Geographic, the road has been designated an All-American Road, thanks to its picturesque views and sites.

The Pacific Coast Highway starts in the historic town of Monterey, California’s first capital under Spanish and Mexican rule. Monterey has an assortment of different historic sites to see, including the Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey Historic State Park, and a collection of 16th century adobe homes and structures. The town is also home to the celebrated Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Once you pass the Monterey Highlands, you begin to reach Big Sur. Big Sur is probably the most famous track in California State Route 1. The highway stretches about 90 miles south of San Simeon, shadowed by redwood groves and pines as far as the eye can see. Here, the Santa Lucia range plunges down into the sea. Travelers witness the furious waves of the Pacific, clashing up against the jagged rocks of the cliffs that overlook the coast.

Big Sur also offers various detours from its cliffside roads, including a detour through Garrapata State Park, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Of course there is Bixby Bridge, one of the most iconic points in your travels through Big Sur. Bixby Bridge is a historic single span arch bridge, spanning a total of 714 feet. The views from the bridge are breathtaking, and often stir travelers to stop momentarily for memorable pictures.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on travel info and tips, check out my twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading!