Californian Christmas Roadtrip

Lottie Harold – Geography – University of California, Los Angeles – United States

I decided before leaving for UCLA that I wanted to spend the whole year abroad to get the most out of my experience, so instead of going home for Christmas my boyfriend came to me!

We hired a car with a fold-out bed in the back and set out on our two-week 1500 mile journey around California. Here are some of the highlights:


Sierra Nevada


As a Geographer I’ve decided to write my dissertation on glacial landscapes in the Sierra Nevada. We spent several days in Convict Creek and McGee Creek mapping moraines and sampling rocks in freezing cold conditions. Now just to analyse the data and write 10,000 words about it…

San Francisco


Possibly my favourite city in the world! We spent several days here and did everything San Francisco had to offer: the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, ice skating in Union Square, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf…

Big Basin Redwoods Park


One of my dreams has always been to see a Giant Redwood tree! So we made a slight detour on our way back down the Pacific Coastal Highway to stop at this state park.

Big Sur 

We drove past some beautiful beaches and towns on the 8 hour drive back to LA, including Half Moon Bay, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. One of the most famous spots is Big Sur which features the Bixby Bridge.


We already have our next roadtrip planned for spring break which includes Joshua Tree National Park, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, San Diego and Yosemite National Park!

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