There is so much to love about the Golden State, from Sonoma Wine Valley’s bountiful vineyards, rich history, Pacific coast, and towering redwoods to the diverse scenery, unusual desert landscapes, and striking Joshua trees of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. This state is truly remarkable with something for everyone, from stunningly scenic hikes, to sampling some of the world’s finest wines at lush vineyards.
The Palm Springs region offers some of the best hiking trails on the west coast. The beauty of this unusual ecosystem is on full display when hiking through Palm Canyon’s native fan palm tree oasis. This unusual oasis in the desert features a forest of native palm trees clustered around a stream, which flows year round and is a beautiful sight. The pinnacle of this hike offers sweeping views of the gorgeous San Jacinto Mountains and valley floor. Hikes in Andreas Canyon offer encounters with observe ancient mortars and metates in the huge rock formations, a distinctive feature of Palm Springs, and one of the most stunning geological phenomena California has to offer
Along the Pacific Coast in Sonoma lies Bodega Bay, famously known for the shooting location in Alfred Hitchcock’s terrifying classic “The Birds.” Hitchcock fell for the endless open hills and the quiet harbors that sit alongside the Pacific, which were perfect for the film’s tone laced with suspense. Bodega Bay is a haven for coastal birds, lending it further credence as an ideal filming location for Hitchcock’s masterpiece. The stunning scenery of the coastline offers amazing views of the Pacific, from the calm spray of the water along the shores and cliffs to the brilliantly colored sunsets that are sure to captivate. You may even spot seals, sea lions, and migrating gray whales
As the official state tree of California, redwoods have become a symbolic staple of northern California. The ancient groves of redwood trees whose towering canopies grow to be over 300 feet tall and can live for over 2,000 years and they are truly spectacular sight to behold. Famed author John Steinbeck once described his experience with these magnificent trees by saying “the feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time." We couldn’t agree more
Wineries & Vineyards
The Sonoma region is known for its incredible wines, and it is no surprise as to why. Sonoma is the birthplace of California’s wine industry and home to over 400 wineries. This region is often compared to France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy area for the wine’s quality, and California’s wines have consistently won international awards ahead of other famed wine regions. Dry Creek Valley is one of the smallest appellations, but is the home of the Ferrari-Carano, Quivera, and Lambert Bridge wineries, where you can enjoy a wonderful selection. The wine caves at Bella are well worth a side trip, and the lawn beneath their olive trees is the perfect place to relax while savoring the gorgeous view.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is a photographer’s paradise drawing visitors from across the globe to experience the incredible boulder formations, diverse wildlife, and unbelievable night sky stargazing. The cycling routes found here are otherworldly, as unusual rock formations and the titular Joshua Trees punctuate the landscape. This natural wonder is truly striking, and is a must visit for anyone making their way through the expansive deserts of southern California.
Here are the trips where we visit this amazing state: https://gosojourn.com/bicycle-tour-categories/california-bike-tours-active-vacations/