Here are some of my favorite beautiful scenic areas along the West Coast of North America that will never leave my memory. Each of these destinations have plenty of character, and they'll charm you enough to motivate a revisit... Or two.
1. Montaña De Oro
Montana De Oro, which means "Mountain of Gold" in Spanish, is just two miles South of Los Osos, California. This pebbly beach has the moniker "Mountain of Gold" due to the cliffs that are edged in golden wildflowers. This beach is perfect for skipping rocks along streams, listening to sea birds, or just enjoying the sight and sound of the navy blue waters smash against the arched coves.
2. Puget Sound
Puget sound is a sound along the Northwestern coast of Washington, near the city of Tacoma. The destination is beautiful in many ways. The sight of Puget Sound offers the urban lights in the distance, rich dark green peninsulas, gorgeous dark waters, and you may even catch the regal and striking Mt. Rainier in the background.
Solvang is not necessarily coastal, due to the fact that it lays inland in the Santa Ynez Valley. However, I could not ignore this adorable and kitschy jewel of a town. Solvang offers itself as a miniature Denmark, with pastries and architecture that make you swoon. Solvang is essentially a version of a tourist trap, but it's so amusing and unforgettable that you'll have to stop the car. The cobblestone streets are calling.
4. Cannon Beach
Cannon beach is such a remarkable location that part of "The Goonies" was filmed there. Haystack rock is eerily beautiful, and the sunsets are stunning. This is usually a popular beach, but people watching can easily go along with nature watching. Cannon beach is a must if you're in the Northwestern corner of Oregon, and the town also conveniently includes a picturesque wharf landing.
5. Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach (translates to "beautiful beach"), is one of the many beaches in the South Bay region of Los Angeles. Hermosa Beach makes up part of "The Strand", which is a series of similar (yet different) beaches along the South Bay of LA. I included Hermosa because of its makeup of the classic Southern California image. The beach is dotted with sand volleyball courts, a surfer statue, palm trees covered in lights, and stylish bars and restaurants. Hermosa's also got a very cute pier.
6. Chinatown Night Market, Vancouver, BC
I recommend this visit during summer, when the weather in Vancouver is beautiful. Vancouver's Chinatown is so unique and special because of its cleanliness and quirkiness. Compared to the legendary Chinatowns in San Francisco or Honolulu, Vancouver's Chinatown is smaller and cleaner, yet still offers lots of interesting bustle.
7. Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach is located in the San Luis Obispo county, on the central coast of California. If you like clams, this is where to get them. If you also like seeing sand dollars, alive or as keepsakes, they are here. Pismo is a great place for a child, or child at heart. The waters are mellow, the sun is bright, and the sand is deep and fluffy in case you take a spill. Pismo also offers great camping.
Newport is a classic wharf town on the Northern side of the coast of Oregon. Newport is relatively small, but its charm is large. The town is full of fishermen and crabbers, and if old wooden docks and chilly air cut by rugged Oregon coast is your thing, Newport is for you. Newport also offers great seafood, accompanied by sea breeze and seagull squawks at no extra charge.
Safe travels, I hope something caught your eye!