Friday, November 17, 2017

Past POIs - Muir Woods National Monument [California]

Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908 is Muir Woods, home of the redwood trees. It is only a 30 minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge and well worth seeing even if it is a bit short in my point of view.

The redwood trees here are some of the tallest trees in the world, although the biggest trees belong to the sequoias located in both Yosemite and Sequoia National Park, both southeast and roughly 3-5 hours drive from San Francisco.

Admission in 2017 was $10 per person, but is covered with the annual pass which costs $80 at the time. So if you plan to visit a few national parks, this may be worth getting. When we went, parking we were told, is limited and it is true, so do make sure to go ahead of time. I did notice that when I checked the official site Muir Woods, starting in 2018, parking permits will be required. I guess this is to curb the amount of illegal parking that takes place if you go late in the day. It looks like parking will be $8 (it was free when we went) or $3 per person for the shuttle. So it does add up pretty quickly.

When you get there, there is only one entrance and one main hiking trail which takes roughly 1 hour to complete. While there, we actually saw our first buck! Very cool to see wildlife in their natural habitat.

With the parking/shuttle situation, I think it will not be as busy, but at the same time, I'm not sure if it is worth visiting if you have already seen the sequoias. If I had to pick one, I would say go see the sequoias.

Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Past POIs - 17-mile drive [Monterey Bay, California]

One of the big tourist attractions while in Monterey Bay, California is the 17-mile drive which is a private area of Monterey Bay that cost us $10.25 in 2017. There are plenty of sights and wildlife when we were there.

17-mile drive
When you enter, with the cost of admission, you are told the path to follow (which is follow the red lines on the road) and off you go. The points of interest in the map are clearly mapped and there is plenty to see including but not limited to Pebble Beach and the Lone Cypress.

17-mile drive - look at all the wildlife!
All the marked points have clear areas for park. You'll notice that there are some areas that don't really have much to see, but may be worth it to get out and stretch a bit.

17-mile drive - do you see the seal?
Note, you can re-coup your admission cost if you shop or dine while inside the area. We started from the south side which is probably the proper starting point since it started at point #1.

17-mile drive - lone cypress
Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Past POIs - Santa Monica Pier [Los Angeles, California]

Located in California is Santa Monica Pier, one of the most well known tourist attractions in the Los Angeles area where crowds will gather for the views, the ocean, the muscle area, and more.

Parking isn't cheap, but there are plenty of options in the area and if you grab a local tourist map, it actually tells you where the nearby parking lots are and how far it is walking distance to the pier which was great!

On the pier itself, there is a small amusement park which has a roller coaster and a ferris wheel! Definitely worth a visit and best of all, it is free!

Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!