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The Ultimate California Road Trip

Holidaysafe is extremely proud to insure Sophie Radcliffe (Aka blogger and all round inspiration Challenge Sophie) on her world wide adventures. She kindly wrote the guest blog below for us, detailing her amazing travels in California.

Have you ever packed your car with everything you need and taken to the road with no fixed plan?

A few weeks ago I flew to California for a three day work trip and decided to add on another week to explore and live the Californian dream. I hired a car from the airport and planned to visit the places that have been on my bucket list for a long time.

As someone who shares much of my life, travels and adventures on instagram, I also follow the lives of similar souls across the globe. Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and the Pacific Coast fuel my wanderlust, so having the opportunity to visit them in search for adventure was amazing!

Lake Tahoe

First up was Lake Tahoe. The beautiful blue lake took my breath away. I never imagined it to be so big! I stayed in the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, on the state line between California and Nevada. I woke up early to catch the sunrise, ate pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup and headed up the valley into the forest trails.

The 165-mile Tahoe Rim trail running all the way around the lake, is accessible with a 20-minute hike from the hotel. It’s an awesome place to have all the amenities of modern life but at the same time I was so close to nature and opportunities to hike, run or bike.


I took the scenic route to Yosemite and absolutely loved the drive. Cruising those roads in my car, picking up snacks from gas stations, listening to local radio stations and driving through California, felt totally care free.

Arriving in Yosemite National Park, was a completely different vibe to lake Tahoe. Surrounded by sheer granite rock faces that dominated the view, it’s a humbling and beautiful place. By day I swam in the rivers and jumped off rocks, by night I camped under the stars and shared stories around the campfire. I left with treasured memories.


Every time I’m caught up in the haze of movement, plans and pressure that I feel from living in London. I close my eyes and can instantly transport myself back to what it felt like to be there. The sun beating down on me, lying on warm rock, the deep blues skies and the shock of jumping into the cold river.

Having explored the mountains of Squaw Valley, the shores of Lake Tahoe and the magnificence of Yosemite, it was time for the beach.

Stinson Beach, SF

After a tip off from a friend, I headed to Stinson Beach about 10 miles North of San Francisco just over the Golden Gate Bridge. I sat on the glorious sandy beach all afternoon writing in my journal and snacking on Guacamole and chips. Around 5pm I headed up the mountains in search of panoramic views and to find a place to camp. I camped in Mount Tampalais National Park lying on the floor of the forest with the canopy swaying around me.

The sunrise was outrageously beautiful, yet another sublime moment to cherish forever.

Planning Tips

I undertook this road trip on my own and found it really easy to meet people and make friends along the way. I camped for four nights out of seven and didn’t worry about not having a plan; knowing where I was going to sleep that night or go the next day. The weather is perfect, it’s easy to drive around and there is so much to explore. California, you’ve captured my heart, I’ll be back!

Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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