Worth every minute. :)
Our favorite of the impromptu stops was Estero Bluffs State Park off Highway 1. At first we just saw trails leading to shrubbery:
It got better.
It's hard to tell, but those white blobs on top of the rocks were seals! This little walking/exploring break was unplanned, but so lovely. We'd been in the car for a while at that point and stretching felt so nice.
We eventually continued on to Big Sur. Along the way, we also saw gorgeous views at Nepenthe, a restaurant on the side of a mountain. It's very busy between 11am (when the fog has burned off) and 4pm (when the fog starts to roll back in). Thankfully we got there around 2 and could enjoy the view, but both our phones were dead. So no photos to share. We joked about taking pictures with our eyes, to store in our memories, like the good ol' days. Click here to see the current view.
Our time in Big Sur was mostly spent hiking and enjoying the wilderness. We saw tons of redwoods (click for neat facts) and a waterfall. The cabin we stayed in was surrounded by massive trees that were hundreds of years old. Very impressive.
While we were in Big Sur, we had no cell service or wifi. After dinner, we took walks along the river, played board games and cards rather than check our email/instagram and I loved it.
After 2 days in the woods, we drove to San Francisco. Because our flight left the following morning, we didn't have much time - we just hit a tourist hotspot, Fisherman's Wharf.
At first, the weather was perfect - warm but not hot, light breeze off the water. Ahhh.
We stopped into a restaurant for an early dinner, and when we came back outside, the difference was jarring. The fog had rolled in and brought super chilly air with it. I bought a hoodie to keep warm and we couldn't see Alcatraz any more (1.5 miles/2.4 km offshore). A shopkeeper told us the sunny, clear sky postcard shots of San Francisco are all lies. :) We still enjoyed walking around, taking in the sights and exploring the shops. There were also plenty of street performers and the atmosphere on the streets was cheery. It took our mind off the fact that it was our last day of vacation!
We returned the rental car the next morning and flew home safely. I can't wait to start on the photo album :)
Have you visited a place with no cell service or wifi?