Because of an amazing credit card promo, I received a year-long Southwest Airlines companion pass and 40,000 points! We decided to use the opportunity to explore parts of USA that we normally wouldn’t spend money to visit (*cough cough* because there’s no ocean nearby). First up, Santa Fe, New Mexico– The Land of Enchantment!
The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a short drive away from Santa Fe, and in my opinion it’s a must-see, must-do hike! Shaun and I walked the 3-mile “Canyon Trail”, which guides you through a gorgeous slot canyon, weaving through the iconic tent-shaped rock formations, and ends at an excellent peak with views for miles away.
Beautiful Central California blesses us with sporadic days of sunshine, even in the dead of winter. Back in December, I noticed an upcoming heat spell and 72 hours later, we were driving down to Big Sur for the night. Our hometown of Santa Cruz, CA is just 90 minutes drive from the world famous coastline— so of course we spontaneously planned a quick camping trip!
This gorgeous slice of California’s West Coast between Carmel and Cambria is world renowned for it’s photogenic coastline that’s essentially in pristine condition. And we’re lucky enough to live just a quick 90 minutes drive away! This past weekend, Sunday afternoon graced us with a rare day of sunshine (amid weeks of storms), so we spontaneously decided to head south and enjoy a few hours exploring the northern tip of Big Sur.
Winter time in Santa Cruz, California supplies some of the most beautiful (and crisp!) days with blue skies and low temperatures. West Cliff Drive is a top spot for locals and tourists alike, for obvious reasons. The six-mile round trip sidewalk (spanning from the Dream Inn to Natural Bridges) provides some of the best views of the Monterey Bay, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Municipal Wharf. Along the way, you will see the world famous point break surf spot Steamer Lane, the state beach and butterfly grove Natural Bridges, and a dozen more hidden coves and beaches.