Travel

The cool girl's guide to a Californian getaway

Influencer @jadetunchy on where to stay, what to eat and what to gram in Cali.

@jadetunchy

I've never seen so many incredible places in such a short amount of time. Travelling with TrekAmerica meant you interact with people from all walks of life and you often stay in places that aren't overly touristy, so you get to experience the country as if you were a local.

Many of the places we went to weren't necessarily spots I'd plan to go out of my way to see, but once we stopped I was so glad that it was part of the tour.

Everywhere we went left me with an interesting story to come back home and share with my friends and family. 
I didn't do much research into the areas I was going, so I only had a brief knowledge of each place, but I was constantly surprised. I think going into it with this approach gave me more room to be impressed.

I wasn't expecting to see so much – Arizona's Grand Canyon was the highlight!

We stopped in a couple of random, quiet towns throughout our trip which was great because we, like most people, often stick to big cities when travelling.

One thing I noticed was how the local style is different in each city. In Arizona, everyone's more relaxed 
and 'country-like' in their appearance, but in San Francisco, the locals dress like people in Sydney's Newtown, except on steroids.

I went in winter so everyone was dressing to keep warm – I didn't even wear one pair of heels the entire time! My advice? Make sure your clothes are comfy but also cute enough for Insta pics! Don't forget you're on the road a lot so you won't want to be in a miniskirt on a bus for eight hours...

Where to stay

We stayed in a great place called The Golden Nugget. It was located right on the Las Vegas Strip where all the casinos are!

There's so much to do, and every night the Strip holds a free concert with different artists performing.

The accommodation itself was luxurious and spacious and the entire hotel was, of course, equipped with its very own casino, restaurants, gym, Starbucks (a necessity if you're a coffee drinker from Australia heading to the States), pool and aquarium – which, by the way, a transparent water slide ran through!

Unfortunately the pool area is closed in winter, which I understand because I couldn't walk outside without at least five layers on

@jadetunchy
@jadetunchy

Where to eat

You can expect larger-than-life meals in the States. All the serving sizes are much bigger than they are back home. There's so many great pizza and burger places to try – and donuts are everywhere! Worry about your diet later, I say.

Catch LA

It's a little more exxy, but definitely worth it. The moment you walk in you feel like you're in Hollywood (which you are) as you're greeted by two cool-looking guys, one being a very large, well-dressed security guard.

The service is immaculate and the food is delicious and well presented (think of the 'Gram, guys!).

The interior boasts a famous walkway of dangling fairy lights as you enter the rooftop venue. It's also known to be a celeb hot spot, so if you're a bit of a celebrity hunter, head here. I even saw one of the actors from Iron Man! If you only fork out for one restaurant during your stay, make sure it's this one!

Shake Shack

This place is cheap, they're everywhere, and it's easily one of the best burgers I've ever had. I didn't get a chance to try their shakes but I've heard they're just as good. I ordered the beef and chicken burgers and both were fantastic. FYI, it's even better than In-N-Out burger.

Secret Spots

The Shout! House, San Diego

This is a local piano bar, but not what you'd expect. Every night, talented performers play the piano and sing whatever song you request – just remember to tip! But here's the thing – they're also comedians. They pull people up on stage, make them dance, change the lyrics to songs – it's hilarious! Make sure you pay a visit!

Firestone Grill, San Luis Obispo

Two words – mouthwatering burgers! My guy and I waited in line for 30 minutes and it was well worth the wait. This place looks like a college sports bar, but so many people visit because the food is THAT good. If you're a big BBQ and grill fan, go here!

Buca di Beppo, San Diego

A great little Italian place. The decor is rustic and colourful, and the food is authentic and tastes amazing, but order to share because the portion sizes are huge!

Must Dos

1.

You must hike through the Grand Canyon – it's incredible. I know what you're thinking, 'Hike? Holidays are for relaxing,' but trust me, you need to do this!

2.

Make sure you hike through Yosemite National Park too! These two hikes were my favourite experiences on the trip. They were nothing short of magical!

3.

See a show in Las Vegas. I saw magician David Copperfield and it was definitely the cherry on top of my trip.

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For more information visit Trek America