San Francisco: Sutro Baths
I lived in San Francisco for 4 years and felt like I had visited every major site in the city, all except for Sutro Baths. I had this preconceived notion that it's be hard to get to, but I was completely wrong. It's right off the highway on the Pacific Coastline.
Sutro Baths were opened in 1896 as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. It closed down and then burned down in a fire and was left to ruins. Now it's remains make up a small inlet off San Francisco's coastline. Slowly restaurants are being developed around it, as well as a new informational center. But what is great about the site is that you can walk everywhere! There aren't any restrictions when visiting the site. No ropes, or gates, or signs telling you not to climb on things (for now). There is a cave you can wander into, pools you can walk the edge of, and endless photo opportunities.
Routeburn Canyon has waterfalls, natural water slides and deep, crystal clear pools of glacier runoff. We were able to rappel, hike, climb, jump into pools, and slide down natural rock slides. It was exhilarating being in rushing waters the whole time, sporting neoprene from head to toe.
A day trip canyoneering with Red Desert Adventure was full of action and adventure, and the canyon was truly beautiful. Canyoneering is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques like scrambling, climbing, jumping, rappelling, and swimming.
We spent two days exploring Zion hiking and canyoneering in this beautiful national park. Zion's most famous hikes take some research and preparation, so I've included some tips from our journey.
Queen's Garden to Navajo Loop Trail is in my top 3 hikes I've ever experienced. It's no surprise since it was voted top 10 hikes by National Geographic.
We visited Cenote Maya as part two of an adventure trip with Altournative. A cenote is a “natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.”
Ek Balam is smaller than the grand Chichén Itzá, but it's much less crowded and you can still climb the temples. There is also one of the best preserved stucco facades in Mesoamerica.
Amazingly, there is a gorgeous 3 mile loop right next to Sedona’s airport. During this hike you can see the Red Rocks from the north, opposite the view from Bell Rock. As the sun set it blanketed the mountains in soft light and the cactus needles radiantly glowed.
Maui is top 5 of my favorite places. I'm a beach kid from Ventura California, so the ocean is always calling my name. I've now been to Maui 4 times, and there are countless amazing things to do on this beautiful island, but here are my top 5.
Our visit to Sedona was a much needed escape from the big bad city and into such a beautiful and calming environment. We explored and meditated, rode ATVs and attended a shaman breathworks ceremony. It was an eye opening experience in a magical and mystical city filled with red rocks.
The Lost Coast is the most undeveloped and remote portion of the California coast. The stretch is 24.6 miles, a hefty undertaking for a the 48 hours we allotted ourselves to hike it. I highly recommend hiking this trail, but learn from our mistakes, and prep accordingly.