We had been looking forward to doing a roadtrip in America for such a long time; inspired by Film and TV – which we are slowly learning doesn’t really capture the true America. We hired a car when we left Las Vegas, driving to the Grand Canyon and from there up to Sacramento.
The quick but dull i5, and the scenic but much longer Pacific Coast Highway lost out to the quaint i99, which promises to show you a slice of Americana. A promise which it definitely delivers on. Here is a quick guide to show you our favourite stops along the way.
Ok, so L.A. is not technically on the i99, but it’s a really nice place to set off from on your jaunt to the state capital, Sacramento. There are so many places to go and so many things to do, that there are just too many to list here. Check out our Photo Friday from L.A. to get some inspiration.
Don’t miss: Seeing the infamous Hollywood sign.
You may never have heard of Bakersfield (I hadn’t), but it’s a pretty massive place. There are loads of things to do here, and you could easily spend a week sampling everything the city has to offer. If you came from the West (Vegas, the Grand Canyon, etc.) this will probably be your springboard onto the i99.
Don’t miss: Kern County Museum’s Pioneer Village.
Bravo Farm, Tulare
Bravo Farms are family run affairs who have four locations across California. Luckily, one of them is on the i99. It’s a great place to stop and have a bite to eat, to stretch your legs, and buy some cheese. Kids will find this place even more fascinating than adults, with a treehouse (sadly closed when we visited), minigolf and vintage gaming room.
Don’t miss: The iconic treehouse.
Kingsburg is a gorgeous place, with a fascinating Swedish history. The high street has some cute shops to explore, the train station would look at home in Cheshire and the delicately patterned teapot water tower is iconic. As an aside, we had the best burger here from Three Crowns Drive In. If you’re feeling peckish as you pass, I would definitely recommend it.
Don’t miss: The jailhouse streetart.
Fresno is the 34th most populus city of the US, even ahead of Sacramento. By the time we got to Fresno it was late, so we didn’t get to make the most of our time there. But there are loads of really cool neighbourhoods (like the Tower District) to go and explore.
Don’t miss: Fresno Underground Gardens.
Sno Tea, Merced
If you want to consume a week’s worth of calories in a day, this is the place for you. We made the detour from the i99 to get some tasty honey toast and ice cream, and it was so, so worth it.
Don’t miss: Your choice of special honey toast.
Cambodian Buddhist Temple, Stockton
Wat Dhammararam is not the kind of place we expected to see in California. This active buddhist temple has over 90 life-size, colourful models showing the life of the buddha, from his birth to his death at 80 years old. Click here for a temple guide.
Don’t miss: The 16 metre reclining buddha.
Considering it’s a state capital, I found Sacramento to be quite tiny (the centre at least). But it’s full of fun places to go and explore, little shops to pop into and is packed with history. Click on the link above to see what else there is to do in this beautiful place.
Don’t miss: Old Sacramento State Historic Park
What have been your favourite stops of roadtrips? Have you driven the i99? Let us know in the comments below!