Will the Canadian population surpass California

California: From San Francisco to the north

The coastal road north of San Francisco is wildly beautiful © Bernhard Schmidt

Hard to believe, but California is significantly larger than Germany and Holland combined. So Northern California alone is a big chunk with the most beautiful landscapes. One of them is the Pacific coast, which was drawn from the picture book of our imagination. And it is easy to explore with a rental car.

You just drive from San Francisco on the extension of the legendary Highway 1 further north. And is amazed: in many places it is even more beautiful here than on the classic section between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge lives up to its name today © Bernhard Schmidt
From Oakland the view goes over the Bay Bridge to San Francisco © Bernhard Schmidt
San Francisco is built on steep hills, often uphill and downhill © Bernhard Schmidt

San Francisco is our starting point. This has the disadvantage that you don't want to part with the Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Car, Lombard Street, Fisherman's Wharf or Coit Tower, and certainly not from Chinatown, Little Italy, Haight Ashbury, Presidio or Silicon Valley, not even from MoMa -Museum, Exploratorium, Alcatraz or even the Ice Cream Museum. But it's worth driving away. Because the coast just north of the Golden Gate is dramatic and wild.

That's why we're leaving now our loop leads north over the Golden Gate Bridge:

The next stop is called Bolinas, and the place doesn't actually want to be found. The locals always dismantle the signposts. But then it's very nice, this artist folk on the booming Pacific. When they're not playing the piano, painting pictures, or writing poetry, they enjoy surfing or looking for abalone shells. Searching is good, but finding is strictly regulated. Every now and then it is completely forbidden.

A little further north is the Point Reyes National Park, which is a hiking peninsula. Sixty million years ago it was down in Monterey. She was beaten forward by the San Andreas Fault earthquakes. A mystical place.

Eureka further up north is a Victorian dollhouse town. This applies even more to Arcata on the opposite side of Humboldt Bay, named after the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. The main attraction of the region, however, are the extensive forests with redwoods, the largest trees in the world.

But also the coast with its sandy beaches and massive, bizarre rocks is great and hard to beat in terms of landscape spectacle. However, the water is clearly too icy for bathing. This is due to the California Current, which, coming from Canada all the way down to Mexico, brings an idea of ​​arctic climate, including fog, past.

Crescent City, just before the border to Oregon and gateway to Redwood National Park, is a good turning point on our tour. If you want to experience something special on your way back to San Francisco, we recommend a secluded area as an insider tip, in which normally hardly a tourist gets lost.

In Red Bluff, about three hours inland from Eureka,just turn right. Warning: the path here is occasionally just a gravel road, albeit a good one. It leads to Paskenta, Newville, Elk Creek, Stonyford, Leesville. These are mostly just lonely ranches. Here you will find an authentic piece of America like in cowboy time, because that still rules here today. Unforgettable!

Inland from Eureka you can still find real cowboy land © Bernhard Schmidt
The lonely roads inland often lead straight ahead © Bernhard Schmidt
Tourists rarely get lost in Cowboy Country east of Eureka © Bernhard Schmidt
  • San Francisco

    The fourth largest metropolis in California (after Los Angeles, San Diego and San José) is located on the west coast of the United States on the Pacific Ocean. A good 880,000 people live in San Francisco

  • Bolinas

    This 1600-inhabitant town is located in Marin County, a good 20 kilometers northwest of San Francisco on the California Pacific coast.

  • Point Reyes

    The sanctuary on the Pacific coast in Marin County is about 55 kilometers north of San Francisco and was established in 1962. Every year over two million visitors visit the park.

  • Eureka

    The city of 27,000 is located in Humboldt County in northern California. One of the most distinctive features of the place are the many Victorian houses.

  • Crescent City

    The small town in Del Norte County of California is located directly on the Pacific coast. Founded by gold prospectors in 1851, the town now has a population of over 7,500.

Written by

California's beaches are great, but Bernhard wants to see, smell, feel, experience, understand a country. His personal highlight? The redwood cathedrals in the far north of California. The bizarre, unspoilt coast. The lonely cowboy country. He just can't make up his mind.

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