The Road North
The shoreline near San Diego and LA in California might be interesting for surfing, but it isn’t particularly interesting for people that like nature. Everything is overdeveloped, save a few preserves here and there. It is possible to go up to the mountains or out to the desert, but that is only part of the nature California has to offer.
San Francisco is a lot better place to start off if one wishes to see California in its natural state. Taking the road north to get to the rocky, cliff-like coastline is worth the drive in itself.