California - the sunshine state; place with beautiful people, full of adventures, and so much more. For us it is a place that we visit often, but not until this year, when we finally did our first road trip through SoCal. We highly recommend all the places listed below which will give you a bit of the city life, along with some time spent outdoors.
San Diego Scripps Pier
Watching sunset here was truly amazing, but beware that this place gets a lot of visitors, and you can see why. If you choose to visit, park on the hill before turning into the small street, because there is zero parking around this place. Note: if you are parking downhill, turn your wheels towards the curb. A nice local told us we can get a ticket if not parked properly!
San Diego Balboa Park
This beautiful park is a must see when visiting SoCal! The 1,200 acre historic park full of Spanish Colonial architecture, is a gem for photography. Plenty to do around here, and the photo ops are endless.
Palm Springs Windmills
First thing when we planned this trip, I decided to see what is Palm Springs known for, and now you know as well! The second you are entering the city limits from the highway, you will see a sea of windmills. It is truly a stunning sight and surprisingly a really cool view for a photoshoot! P.S. if you want to get close to them, get on Garnet Ave and follow the street along the highway as far as it lets you. This is usually where the windmill tours will take you, but here you are by yourself and it's free ;)
We have seen our share of palm trees, but these guys are so intimidating in size! Walking around this canyon truly feels like you are in Jurassic Park! There are plenty of hikes for everyone, just make sure to bring plenty of water if you decide to climb for a bit. Andreas Canyon Trailhead is super cool and only 1 mile roundtrip!
About an hour away from Palm Springs, you can visit this amazing National Park that is covered in our favorite tree, Joshua Tree. If you never heard, it's worth a google! The park has 68 trails with variety of difficulty, so it can attract anyone! Camping is permitted here and for a good reason, as it's one of the best places to stargaze or see beautiful sunsets out side the city. Plenty to do and lots of photo opportunities as well.
Our trip was only a 4 day gateway. We started in San Diego and drove through Palm Springs, and ended up in Las Vegas. It is definitely manageable in few days, especially that Vegas is only a 5 hour drive from San Diego. However, we do suggest going through Palm Springs and Joshua NP instead of a boring highway. Make the best out of every drive!