It's been six months now since the major quarantine lockdown where the world changed due to our zombie virus Covid-19. It was the quietest I've ever experienced Los Angeles to be, and I never thought traffic could be non existent in this city. It is hard to believe sometimes that we are still in a pandemic—time has sure flown, and this year is definitely a blur because of it!
Back in April and May, my husband and I did a lot of drives up the coast and around California to get out of the house for fresh air and to stay sane. It was pretty haunting to see these places completely dead, and some would say it was a photographer's dream to get these landmarks people free. As we practiced safe social distancing in our car, here's a roundup of what we saw on our drives.
Normally a bustling street for tourists to get their picture in front of this iconic windmill, downtown Solvang was completely closed except for a few coffee shops and food places. So strange to see it with no movement, but the picture is postcard perfect.
COLD SPRING CANYON ARCH BRIDGE
I had never even heard of this bridge until we unexpectedly came across as we were driving. Found in Santa Barbara county on highway 154, this bridge is part of the Santa Ynez Mountains and is one of the highest bridges in the United States. Pretty epic to see right in the middle of nowhere! It had just rained the day before so all this greenery and dramatic skies made it exceptionally pretty.
Week 4 into the lockdown, and not a soul on Morro Bay's beach. We parked not far from the entrance here and took a walk out to capture their famous Morro Rock landmark and sunset. It's the most calm I'd ever seen this place!
Estero Bluffs State Park was open during the lockdown, but no public facilities or things were operating, and few people were scattering about. Upon leaving Morro Bay, we pulled into this beautiful coastal park for nice view of the shipwreck and a picnic to ourselves.
ELEPHANT SEALS VIEWPOINT
Wildlife didn't stop for lockdown, and because of the lesser presence of humans, more came out in droves. This location right off the coast in San Simeon, CA had hundreds of elephant seals which are notably there anyway- covid or not. It was fun to pull over at the Official Viewing Spot, quickly from the PCH to see them in action and get that fresh ocean air.
Desolate to only a few sunset watchers like ourselves Marina State Beach in Monterey was a very beautiful and peaceful getaway.
SANTA CRUZ BOARDWALK
Ghostly beautiful and haunting, this was my favorite stop of our coastal drives. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk always brings me back to The Lost Boys movie and this empty creepy vibe made that feeling even more so.
Am I in Maine or northern CA? I haven't seen the air and waters this clear and blue in awhile! Very east coast in nature, this stop with a lighthouse on rocky cliffs reminded me so much of the drive we did along the coasts of New England.
THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
I've driven through here so many times, but this time was extra special due to how empty and clean it was. Iconic to northern California, the Golden Gate Bridge felt like a beautiful relic shining out of a once busy world now dead. I don't think I'll ever see this place so desolate again!
Pure ghost town, not a soul in sight. A few bikers and walkers along the path social distancing but that was about it. What's normally a busy promenade in wine country Napa, looked more like a movie set in these times!
GREEN VALLEY LOOKOUT-HWY 46
Found off highway 46 between Cambria and Paso Robles, this lookout was so green and beautiful, it felt like the path in OZ to emerald city or something like that. There's a nice big turnoff here where we made drinks in the back of our truck and just sat until the stars came out.
Saving the best for last! This was a once in a lifetime experience to see during quarantine. If you haven't heard anything about this phenomenon, the ‘phytoplankton bloom’ started in March and went through June of this year. The mass of phytoplankton has a brownish color that during the day we see and refer to as a ‘red tide’. But once the sun sets and darkness hits they begin to glow blue when agitated by the waves. Some were lucky enough to see dolphins swim through them which made them look like they had a magic glow!
That wraps up my list for what we saw during quarantine. If you have a favorite, leave a comment or DM!
Like it? PIN IT!