West Coast – Fall Destinations

Indian summer is here; the tail end of summer that often brings the most heat and beauty just before fall.  For some places such as the eastern seaboard of the United States it may be getting cold and wet.  Although the Pacific Northwest rains most of the year it will be dry and hot during the end of September.  This small window with the additions of the California coastline provides numerous end of summer destinations to visit before autumn closes in.  Here are our top ten west coast destinations for the end of summer.

Top Ten West Coast Fall Destinations:

La Jolla:  La Jolla is located in an upscale corner of San Diego, includes high-end shops, sandstone formations and famous coves, known as the children’s pool but also popular with seals.  The town is also home of the University of California at San Diego and giant sea cliffs are very popular among photographers and hikers.

Hotel Del Coronado:  The red-roofed Hotel del Coronado, which dates to the 19th century, stands a few miles from downtown San Diego.  Since it was first built more than 120 years ago, the Hotel del Coronado has been a beacon of grandeur and refinement among vacation destinations in Southern California and the world. With its iconic red-shingled roof adding a dash of majestic color to the dazzling azure Pacific coastline, The Del stands as the definitive example of what a luxury resort should be.

Ragged Point:  Ragged Point, in Monterey County about 15 miles north of Hearst Castle, is a southern neighbor of Big Sur, and home to the food, lodgings, great flower-framed views and often-expensive gas at the Ragged Point Inn.  Ragged point is the halfway point in between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Nestled within the Los Padres National Forest, it is a secluded gem in the heart of the California coastline.

El Capitan State Beach: El Capitan State Beach, north of Santa Barbara, features about 140 campsites and a three-mile hiking or biking trail to Refugio State Beach to the north.  You don’t have to camp if you prefer to book a hotel Santa Barbara just a few miles down the Pacific Coast Highway.  The beach is beautiful, quiet and close to the famous wine country and small beach towns of the Central California coast.

Monterey:  Monterey was once capital of California, but lately it gets more attention for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which opened in 1984 and displays about 550 species of marine plants and animals, including this shark.  Monterey has great Italian food, great scenery, wildlife, and can provide endless sightseeing that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Cavallo Point:  Sometimes the simplest things are the most sublime. At a new national park lodge called Cavallo Point, a porch, a rocking chair and a view combine to become profoundly inspiring. This vast, peaceful spot near Sausalito was once Ft. Baker, a military post built in the early 1900s to protect San Francisco Bay.

Gold Beach: The roadside scenery in Gold Beach, Ore., includes the cool mural work on Tsunami Willie’s.  Gold Beach is an Oregon coast town near the California border.  It is famous for its seafood as the yearly Dungeness crab harvest brings many tourists to check out the catch.  The ocean is beautiful and not too cold as the town is laced with a number of bridges.

Portland:  Portland, Oregon is the most progressive city on the west coast.  With its green attitude, free Wi-Fi and city of bridges, many have picked up and moved across the country to settle down in this brewpub haven.  During the summer Portland is warm and is a great place to fish, bike ride and have some good food.

Ilwaco: Ilwaco sits near the south end of Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, and the China Beach Retreat sits at water’s edge with a view of Cape Disappointment.  A great place to take a dog, go fishing, boating, camping, and just a couple hours from Portland or Seattle.

Deception Pass State Park:  A soaring bridge, a state park and deep green water make Deception Pass, between Whidbey and Anacortes islands, Wash., a popular stop for drivers and kayakers alike.  The pass is the narrow in which water comes into Puget Sound.  This beautiful strait usually is covered in fog, with beautiful hiking trails that look down on downtown Seattle.