Northern California Coastline

In continuing with my series of our road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle and back, this week I am sharing some of the photographs I took on the Northern California Coastline. The shots are from the Mendocino area of the coastline. That would be about halfway between Eureka (on the very northern California coastline and San Francisco).

The drive that day (Pacific Coast Highway) took us slightly inland for awhile and then rejoined the coastline. The slightly inland part was stunning as it took us through Redwood Forests. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stop and grab pics of that experience as the shots I would have liked to have taken occurred while we were driving without the ability to pull over. It was fascinating to see that you’re driving on this nice wide two lane (sometimes four) highway with broad shoulders, then suddenly the speed limit goes way down and you round a curve to the road narrowing down to just two lanes without shoulders. That was to protect the existing redwoods where their trunks are literally right next to the pavement. The road would wind between the trunks and I must say it was stunning.

When we were able to rejoin the coastline, I was able to get the attached shots.

Northern California Coastal 1

I loved the rock structures along the coastline similar to what you see along the coastline in Oregon. You can tell from the white tips of the protruding rock structures in the water that birds spend a fair amount of time gathering there.

Northern California Coastal 2

The other thing that is different along the northern California coastline versus the southern or central coastlines are the trees (similar to Oregon, but not as lush) that come right up to the coast.

Northern California Coastal 3

It was a beautiful fall day for strolling the beach.

Northern California Coastal 4

I love the different color shades of the ocean as the depth changes. Notice how clear the water is in the little bay.

Northern California Coastal 5

We hit the weather perfectly along the entire drive. The prior day we had left Seattle very early and made it all the way to Arcata, California just north of Eureka along the coastline. On this day our destination was Santa Cruz along the northern portion of Monterrey Bay, which is south of San Francisco. The next day we drove the final leg home exactly two weeks after we left.

Because of the current pandemic I did want to touch base on how we handled that issue. We were diligent with our masks whenever we were out of the car. We brought sanitary wipes for pumping gas and hotel rooms. The hotel rooms were an issue we researched ahead of time and found that the Hilton chain of hotels seemed to have the best programs. We were able to do remote check-in prior to arrival so we just went to our room and keyed in the code we were given. The rooms had tags sealing the door to verify the room had been disinfected. To protect our family here in Los Angeles and in Seattle we got tests done before heading up and after returning just to verify we were ok.


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44 thoughts on “Northern California Coastline

  1. Writing to Freedom

    I love the west coast in Northern CA and Oregon. These are lovely images to keep me inspired until I see them in person again. I’m glad you’re keeping safe and diligent Kirt. I’ve grown tired of the processes and somewhat lax. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Brad…the coastline is so beautiful!! We are cautious for more than any other reason…our two grandchildren and we live in one of the nations hotspots. We are all so tired of it and here in LA as of tomorrow they are shutting down outdoor dining for three weeks (we never got to indoor dining here in LA county)….ugh to all of it!! Stay safe and be well! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jet Eliot

    Your numerous photos of the dazzling Northern California coast do it great justice, Kirt. As one who has lived here for over 30 years, I can easily say you captured the beauty well.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Wow….can’t thank you enough for your kind words. It’s such a diverse coastline up and down California let alone when you add Oregon and Washington. I feel blessed to live so close to so much beauty of nature!!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      About 10 years ago, we took our time and drove the entire coastline up to Seattle. So beautiful and diverse from Southern California, through Oregon and into Washington. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Eunice Miller

        When I ran coast to coast my loads left Boston went out to Seattle/Bellingham WA then down to Pendleton OR then headed south to LA then over to El Paso up to Maple Plains MN then down to IOWA and back to NYC or CT where I would try to sneak home here to the coast of New England I could never be away from the sea very long.

      2. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

        You covered the entire country…..I grew up in Iowa, but we hit LA every couple of years as my moms brother settled there…loved the coast. Fast forward to my young adult life and my wife and I headed to Denver. We both ended up getting transferred to San Diego and we have been on the west coast since 1989. We have spent time on the New England coast…beautiful. There is something peaceful about being on a coastline….

      3. Eunice Miller

        I miss our country ❤ San Diego was always like heaven on earth with perfect weather so different from New England where if you don't like it wait a minute it will change. Yes the coast for sure is where it is at for the 2 of us as well.

  3. Diane Henders

    Wow, what beautiful shots! It’s lovely to see the sun shining – we’re into our usual damp and gloomy days now, with only occasional sunny breaks. I can hardly wait for when we can all travel again without taking such heroic measures for safety and sanitation!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      We drove up in sunshine and drove back in sunshine…having said that we had a number of rainy days while we were there…which we love. Having spent a winter up there we get it…but still love it!!

  4. Sue Slaght

    Kirt the photos are stunning. We have seen parts of the California coastline and do plan a similar trip when travel between our countries is allowed again. I also appreciated hearing about how you managed safety aspects. Good to know about the Hilton’s policies. Stay safe and well and a belated Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Sue!! It is such a beautiful drive. Our favorite was the trip years ago when we took our time and drove the entire coastline of California, Oregon and Washington!! Have a great weekend!! Take care!

  5. Tiffany Mendonca

    Once again your photos are breathtaking and capture such great beauty! I absolutely love the color in the water. Seeing the coastline like this is something I do miss! Growing up around it almost your whole life, you do take it for granted! Love these!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      It has more lushness than Central California coastline (Southern also), but not as much as our neighbor to the north….Oregon! Loved the drive! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thank you for stopping by and for the feedback. We hadn’t driven the coastline for 9 years…and we go up to Seattle 2 to 3 times a year. We planned this route on this trip because we had realized how long it’s been. Happy Holidays to you and yours!


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