Shannon Did What / Travel + Lifestyle Blog

California

Weekend Guide to Sacramento

TravelShannon Guerrero11 Comments

I’ll be the first to admit that a trip to Sacramento was never really on the top of my bucket list.  My main reason to go to Sacramento was to visit my best friend.  I went into my stay thinking there would be no way I’d write a blog post on Sacramento.  I sure was wrong.  

Hannah and Greg - this one’s for you.  You guys were absolutely right about Sacramento being completely blog post worthy.  

Here is a guide to all the things you should eat, see and do while in Sacramento or is just reasons why you should visit this lovely city.

EAT

SPINNERS CINNAMON ROLLS - Head to Spinners Cinnamon Rolls to grab yourself a sweet treat to start your morning.  Don’t be fooled by its location at the gas station, these cinnamon rolls are melt-in-your-mouth good.  You can grab an original or even one stuffed with apples.

I’m a sucker for a great story and this mom and pop place has a great one.  Watch the story behind this 30-year business, here.

TEMPLE COFFEE ROASTERS - Not only is this place super cute and well designed, their coffee is delicious. Temple Coffee is also specific to northern California so get it while you’re there!  The best thing about this shop?  The floor is made entirely made up of pennies.  Yes, pennies.  It's quite the sight to see.

FEDERALIST PUBLIC HOUSE - I love a place to eat with great ambience and Federalist has just that.  It’s got a really cool laid back vibe complete where you order at the counter, can play corn hole and they make their own housemade Sangria.  Their pizza is also hot and fresh out the oven.

ANDY'S CANDY APOTHECARY - I’m a sucker for a good old timey feeling candy store.  Well I'm just a sucker for candy.  Andy’s Apothecary is just that.  They’ve got all the gummies you could want and a cute little boutique in the back.

DELILAH'S MARKET CAFE - If you’re a fish lover, this place is for you.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to order poke from any place more than at Delilah's.  Their poke is already pre-mixed with killer flavors like furikake bomb ahi, sweet oyster ahi or sweet chili salmon.  Sample them, trust me.  They’ve also got multiple types of spam musubi - need I say more?

SELLAND'S MARKET CAFE - Selland’s is great for healthier tasting comfort food.  They’ve got a full case of salads and sides, soups and even a full service bakery.  Doesn’t hurt that the interior and decor is super ‘gram-worthy.

SEE

CAPITOL BUILDING - I think I’ve always kind of wanted to see the California State Capitol building.  It seemed as a native Californian like something I should eventually go to see, but I didn’t realize how beautiful this building and its grounds would be.  Let’s just say, I was pretty blown over by how grand and impressive it really is.  I only wish I could’ve seen the inside.  You can get a tour of the building every hour or just wander inside to check out the beautiful rotunda.

TOWER BRIDGE - The Tower Bridge was another landmark I was super impressed with.  The coolest part about this bridge is that it doesn’t lift like traditional bridges.  The center section of the bridge lifts vertically, like a elevator.  It’s also just a cool bright yellow color.

COLORFUL WALLS - Like most cities, this up-and-coming city has some cool colorful walls to 'gram.  Here are where these 2 are located - We're All in it Together + Wal Public Market.

VICTORIAN HOUSES - On a stroll through East Sacramento’s Fabulous Forties district, you’ll find all the pretty Victorian houses.  If you’ve seen the movie Ladybird, the actual blue house exists here near the corner of 44th and M street.

DO

WAL PUBLIC MARKET - Located on the ground floor of artist lofts in midtown, is the Wal Public Market.  Come here for boutique and vintage shopping, great food and an awesome outdoor seating area.

OLD TOWN SACRAMENTO - Go back in time and experience the quaint vibe of old town Sacramento.  This is the home of California’s first thriving business district.  Take a stroll along the river waterfront, stroll the shops and even learn a little more about California’s history.  Here’s your heads up for old Sacramento parking, make sure you pay the meter.  I might be speaking from experience...

COIN OP ARCADE - If you’re a fan drinks and games, this place is for you.  It’s like a cooler old-timey version of Dave and Buster’s.  All of the games are vintage and operated by coins thus the name Coin-Op.  There’s also a great outside patio area to enjoy drinks with friends.  If you’re like me you’ll be at the basketball game challenging all the bystanders.

 

I hope this guide inspires you take a trip to California's capital.  It's just a quick drive from San Francisco.  I know you'll enjoy your time as much as I did!

Yours Truly // Shannon

5 Weekend Trips From LA

TravelShannon Guerrero2 Comments

Whether you're a Los Angeles resident or on a vacation in sunny Southern California, sometimes it's nice to get out of the big, bustling city.  These tried and true destinations are all great ways to relax, explore and see more that Southern California has to offer.

All are less than a few hours drive from Los Angeles, so what are you waiting for?  Get going!

PaLM SPRINGS

About 2 hours East of Los Angeles

Whether you just want a calm weekend away or are looking for a fun time, Palm Spring is the perfect getaway.  It’s just close enough of a drive but far enough away to feel like a mini vacation.  There are a ton of great things to do around Palm Springs including visiting Salvation Mountain and really great places to grab a bite.  Or you can just spend the whole weekend here on a lounge chair by the pool.

Read More: 
Palm Springs: Weekend Getaway
Why Salvation Mountain is Worth the Trek
Five Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Springs

SANTA BARBARA

About 2 hours North of Los Angeles

Santa Barbara is also a great alternative for an easy getaway.  Its cool Spanish colonial vibe and surfer atmosphere makes it the perfect relaxing destination.  The beach is dreamy and there are plenty of cute upscale shops and restaurants around town.  The best part is its nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley known for its local vineyards and wineries.  I would also highly recommend an afternoon or sunset sail aboard the Sunset Kidd

JOSHUA TREE

About 2.5 hours East of Los Angeles

If you love camping and hiking, Joshua Tree is the perfect place for you to fall off the grid for a weekend.  I am mean off the grid.  Cell phone reception in the park is rare.  Even if you’re not super into camping like me, I can promise you there is so much more to Joshua Tree.  The massive boulders and cool looking Joshua Trees, which fun fact are not cactus, create a landscape in this National Park that will leave you feeling like you’re on another planet.

Read More:
Joshua Tree: Top 6
Glamping vs. Camping: Joshua Tree

LAKE ARROWHEAD + BIG BEAR

About 1 hour East of Los Angeles to Arrowhead + 1 hour to Big Bear

I’m grouping these two destinations because they’re fairly close together and are the epitome of a weekend in the mountains.  It’s also only a short drive between Lake Arrowhead to Big Bear.  They’re similar in that they both have a lake, hiking, and a cute small town with shopping and restaurants.  One perk is the air up there is definitely cleaner than in Los Angeles.

CATALINA

About a 1 Ferry from Long Beach or San Pedro

If you're craving an island getaway but are low on time and funds, Catalina is the spot for you.  Even better it doesn't take a day by plane to get to this island. There are actually two places you can go on Catalina, or rather two ports, Avalon and Two Harbors.  Avalon is by far the most popular and most well-known between the two.  I actually didn't know Two Harbors existed before visiting it.  Both are filled with lots of hikes of the beautiful island and cozy stores and restaurants.  Bonus: You can take the ferry for free on your birthday!

The Super Bloom

TravelShannon Guerrero4 Comments

I think by now we've all heard about the crazy lush super blooms that are happening in Southern California.  These super blooms are occurring because of the intense rain we’ve been getting.  Well, intense by Southern California standards.  April showers bring May flowers - oh wait, I mean February showers bring March flowers.  My Facebook newsfeed has been jam packed with pictures and videos of vibrantly colored landscapes of flowers.  Even the hillsides have been lined with lime green grass and weeds - a much welcomed change to the dusty brown color they usually are.

I've been talking to friends about visiting any of the many areas that are experiencing a super bloom.  The problem is, from LA, most of them are quite a drive. Factor in traffic, then it starts to turn into a trip rather than an outing. Luckily, I was in San Diego last week. I somehow convinced my brother to drive the "back way" home from there taking the 15 freeway instead of the 405 to pass through where there was a supposed super bloom.

Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore, just off of the 15 freeway is in full bloom.  It is a great alternative to visiting the Anza-Borrego State Park or Antelope Valley, since it is much closer in distance.  Although, being able to visit one of those two places would be awesome!  You can see all of the vibrant colors from the freeway.  Exit the 15 at Lake Street.  When you see the crowds of people and hoards of cars lining the street, you know you’re in the right place.  The plethora of orange cones is also a dead giveaway.

Once you find parking, there is a trail path that you can take.  It’s not a hard hike, but I would definitely come prepared with proper walking shoes.  I saw a girl in heeled booties - probably not the best choice.  It can get pretty dusty and you do have to hike.  If you’re like me and want to avoid the crowds, you can avoid trying to park right near the trail path and drive down a little bit on Walker Canyon Road. You can park on the side of the road there.  Trust me, it is much easier, and much less crowded.  I’d say the density of poppies there is less, but really not by much.  The colors are still so vibrant.  Hike up the side of the hills to get the pictures we all know you drove there for.

Now looking back at these pictures, it definitely is reminiscent of Julie Andrews in Sound of Music, just minus the singing and being in Europe thing.  If you ask me, these flowers are well worth the drive.   My brother, who I thought would not be interested at all, even was in awe.
 

Summary:

Super Bloom in Walker Canyon, Lake Elsinore.  
Take the 15 Freeway to Lake Street.  
Wear walking shoes.  
Take lots of pretty pictures.

 

Yours Truly // Shannon