San Francisco and Highway 1

The summer is packed with excitement, the summer starts of with a two week long adventure in California, USA.
A trip i will be doing with my brother, Peter Nilstadius. He also was a part of the Stockholm to Prague adventure, the trip is packed with activities. Both on and off the beaten path!


Background to this trip is to visit our sister, Alice. Who has been living there for a year as a au pair.


Day 0-6, San Francisco

These days was spent exploring San Francisco and the SF bay area. The must sees was

  • Chinatown
  • Golden gate bridge
  • Fishermans wharf
  • Twin peaks
  • Palacio de las Finas Artes
  • Lombard street
  • The Mission
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • Google HQ

Further more we wanted to get a feeling for the city, and just enjoy the California weather.

Day 7-10, Napa

Our sister was joining us for this and the next part of the trip. The plan was to visit Santa Rosa and Napa valley.

Day 11-16, Highway 1

Going from San Francisco down to Los Angeles via highway 1 and old coast road. With layovers in Monterrey and Santa Barbra. And i managed to squeeze in some offroading.

Lift off!

Tight legspace on lufhansa flight

San Francisco

Day 0-6.

The first week was spend exploring the SF bay area, mainly in the city of San Francisco. Facebook was one of the highlights, and the campus was the coolest one i have ever seen (sorry Google). We had a grate time in SF, just enjoying life and the beautiful weather. We rented a car one day to explore further out in the SF bay area, went to twin peaks and on the Skyline boulevard. Skyline boulevard is a very scenic route up on the hills to the south of SF.

Driving in USA is very different from Europe, the biggest is that people never move over from the passing lanes. This was very annoying on the longer drives, being behind someone doing bellow the speed limit in the passing lanes. That would never happened in most of Europe.


Day 7-10.
Finally time to get on the road! I had specified that i wanted a Jeep as a rental, there must have been some misunderstanding. I got a Land Rover Discovery Sport, a car i ended up really liking.
Land Rover Discovery Sport

Golden Gate Bridge
The first day we spent going north on Highway 1, stopping by Golden Gate and Point Reyes. The rugged coastline along the Highway 1 was a real treat and the Land Rover handled the curvy roads way better than a real Jeep would have.

Highway 1 north

After spending the night in Santa Rosa we continued towards Napa valley. I had plotted some small roads over the mountains, it ended up beeing a success, great gravel roads and California weather is a good mix.

A video posted by Gustaf Nilstadius (@hipernx) on

Napa valley

That day we went to a few wine-wards and then to the hotel. Just took it easy for the rest of the day.

Napa Valley Hotel

The day after i had a fun adventure planned, not involving wine. But first we went to another wine-yard. Napa valley wines are fantastic, but wow! It was insanely hot during the days, therefore i had an adventure planned.

Napa Valley

Lake Berryessa

I wanted to go out to Lake Berryessa for a swim and to look at the big black hole. It was a good trip, 40 degrees on the air and the water was perfect temperature. Lake Berryessa is a part of the California fresh water reserve. If you are in the area, it’s a must visit!
That was our last day in Napa, the next day we went back to SF bay area to get ready for the next adventure down to LA via Highway 1 and the the Old Coast Road.

Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa

Highway 1 and Los Angeles

Pismo dunes

Highway one is a scenic road that stretches along the west coast of California, it passes through very beautiful landscapes such as Big Sur. A detour was planed to frive the very easy 4×4 trail, Old Coast Road.

We started off by driving down to Monterrey and spending the night. Monterrey is located a few km north of Big Sur, and we where to depart from Monterrey early in the morning to go on the Old Coast Road.
As planned we said good by to Monterrey early morning and headed south along Highway 1, just before the famous Bixby Creek Bridge we took off east and inland to follow the Old Coast road.
Bixby Creek Bridge

Old Coast Road was one of the highlight of the trip, it was a opportunity to show my siblings Overlanding. Show them how awesome offroading can be! And they both sure loved it!

Old Coast Road is a excellent choice for anyone with a all wheel drive car, a lovely ride that takes little more than an hour. Worth noting is that there is no shops or gas stations along the road.

There is no thins as too much offroad in one day, so towards Pismo Beach we went!
Pismo beach dunes is a place open to the public, not really recommended to attempt it in a stock SUV. We had an amazing time, but did get stuck, very stuck! It was an amazing experience and we had a blast!

We ended up getting some helt from some rangers, they also ended upp pulling us out with their 4×4. (I regret nothing)

We later spent the night in Santa Barbra, a very cozy city. We all took a liking to the city and had a nice time there.


After a obligatory stop at In’n Out burger!

In LA we slept at a HI Hostel in Santa Monica, outside of the city stress. A laid back place that is relly close to everything in LA. Just a Uber ride away!

After our time in LA we went back to SF and left the United States for this time!
But on the upside, my bag was full of new and shiny Jeep parts to take back to Sweden.