Traveling California and Central America

Here is a highlight reel of my trip of the West Coast, mostly focused around food. I spent 5 weeks in San Francisco Bay area, but the rest of the trip was 4 weeks of very swiftly moving through each place.

Sausalito
Across the bay from downtown San Francisco is this quaint little town. A town where a lot of divorcees move, to get out of the city and have a more outdoor life. Hidden deep in the valley beneath the golden gate bridge is where you will find Sausalito. Its neighbour, Mill Valley, is also worth a mention. Some of my favourite places to eat was:
Copita, a wonderful Mexican restaurant.
San Drino for a real authentic pizza experience, the owners are from northern Italy.
Fast Food Francais, they have a great happy hour special from 5:30pm – 7pm Monday to Friday.
La Garage (same owners as FFF) a more refined French restaurant.
In Mill Valley, I thoroughly enjoyed Mill Valley Beerworks. Their menu is great (best burger in town)

Ahi Tuna Ceviche at Copita

Carmel by the Sea
A great drive down from San Francisco or up from LA along the Big Sur is to also see the coastal area of Carmel and surrounds. The 17 mile drive is a must do along the coast. We stayed a night in the really cute town of Carmel by the Sea. This place is a foodie heaven as there are so many places to try. I had pizza for a change at La Bicyclette, a French/Italian Fusion restaurant. They have a very good menu, I think there are a few things worth trying. We landed up afterwards at a local dive bar called Barmel. It’s cool to check out if you like dive bars, they had local bands playing and it was such a good atmosphere. The beach in Carmel is stunning and I highly suggest going down for sunset.

Carmel-by-the-sea

The next day we drove along the Big Sur Route. Some stunning sites along the coastal drive, it is a long drive though if you’re still planning on heading up to San Francisco on the same day, so we only got to see half of it but I do plan on returning one day.

Big Sur

Santa Barbara
This place will stand out in my memory forever. Once a Spanish Colonisation, the buildings and architecture still have reminants of this. It is a university town, but also a great place for holiday makers. The weather and the mountains surrounding this bustling town are what makes it so unique. It really is a picturesque place, especially at sunset. One of my most favourite places to watch the sunset was at the Kimpton Hotel. (P.S You’re actually only allowed up there as a guest, but if you know where you going then that’s my little tip.)

This is a great town if you’re a foodie. My first recommendation is:
Santa Barbara Shellfish company, if you feeling like some local seafood.
Second recommendation is The Lark. The flavours they use in their dishes are next level. This place is great to go in a group as they have a lot of dishes on the menu for sharing.
Thirdly as I always have pizza on my list, you should try Patxi’s Pizza. Really relaxed family environment and great unique pizzas. Also pop into the James Joyce next door if you are there on a Sunday night. There is so much more to try, but like I say I wasn’t there all that long. Toma, Loquita, Goat Tree, Santo Mezcal, Finch & Fork are some other restaurants that should be tried.

Santa Barbara Waterfront

Venice Beach
I was not here very long, but I was warned to stay off Venice Beach promenade. I went to see Santa Monica instead. Its very touristy, and a nice walk along the beach and to snap a few pics. I ate at Plant Food and Wine as I have seen rave reviews about it. I was slightly disappointed if I’m honest as the menu sounds and looks great, but the food was a little average. I also felt extremely rushed by the waitress who also couldn’t seem to recommend what was really good to eat.

San Diego
This is a city I would definitely return. Its got such a good laidback vibe. I stayed in the city but I heard Pacific Beach is a must see. I’m sad I didn’t get to see it, as they have to die sunsets there. I stayed at the Kimpton Solamar Hotel here, awesome rooms if you’re looking for something snazzy. I ate next door at Meze Greek Fusion for lunch which has really tasty food. I then went to Little Italy and ate at Isola Pizza bar, good pizza and great ambiance.

Cabo San Lucas
It’s not my first visit to Mexico and definitely not my last. This is a tourist hub, but it’s a cool place to see. The scenery with the rock formations is beautiful. I felt like I was in an adult real life version of the Flintstones aka Bedrock City. Picture massages, cocktails on the beach and party life. There are also numerous resorts surrounding the bay. I went to Sandos all inclusive resort. There are loads of activities for the guests, drinks that keep flowing all day and food (the food being quite average) All in all a cool experience off a very beautiful coastline.

Cabo San Lucas

Costa Rica
We were docked right in Marina Papagayo, which is part of a beautiful exclusive resort called the Andaz. I wish I could’ve spent more time there. I ate at the restaurant, La Ostra, and had the ceviche tasting, a unique experience. The previous 2 days I spent in Taramindo and at the surfers’ beach Marbella (a great surf spot with mostly locals) We stayed at La Oveja Hostel, a place definitely worth mentioning. The hospitality here was great by Wen from Argentina. They also have a Mexican restaurant on the front which has very high quality food. This was a fun place that I would visit again. Go to Pacifico bar to dance the night away if you find yourself there.

Sunset in Costa Rica

Panama
This was my second visit to Panama. I didn’t get to see much this time around. We stayed at Vista Mar marina. Boga Bar at Vista Mar Marina has the best Sea Bass I’ve eaten called the Boga Fillet of Sea Bass that has a seafood marinara sauce on top. It’s so good I had it twice and I would’ve gone and had it again if I was there longer. If you ever get to Panama, try go check out the San Blas Islands and the Pearl Islands.

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