California Dreaming - A Road Trip of California from North to South

I evidently have this attraction to large states. Between my sister living in Texas for years and our road trips all over the south, including too many visits to count to Florida and Tennessee, I feel like I got acquainted with some of America's largest states at a young age. Now I find myself living in California. And while I've always considered California a rather large state, it wasn't until a road trip last summer from San Francisco to San Diego that I realized just how big it was. That was without touching most of Northern California. To drive from the top of California to the bottom would take well over 12 hours without any stops.

On other continents you could drive through several different countries in that amount of time. While I've obviously familiarized myself with San Francisco, as well as Los Angeles, it's some of the smaller destinations outside of the larger California metros that are relatively unexplored by me. That's why I'm excited to have set out on a multi-week road tour of California this week on behalf of Expedia. The trip started yesterday in Mendocino and will continue on down California over the course of the next three weeks, with stops in Napa, San Francisco, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and everywhere in between.

This is an exciting trip for numerous reasons, including the fact that many of the destinations I'll be going to will be my first visit, including Mendocino, Catalina Island, and Palm Springs. I arrived last night in Mendocino just before sunset and I have to say that I was quite taken with the little beach town. The small oceanfront town sits on what feels like a large bluff jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. It's certainly not without its quirks, including the fact that the Irish pub is the only place open after 9 p.m. Yet Mendocino has a certain charm to it. However, as much fun as it was enjoying sunset along the bluffs and a couple cold beers at the Irish pub by myself, I recommend doing a girls weekend or bringing your significant other to get the most out of Mendocino.

The Northern California portion of the trip continues on through Tuesday, with stops in Boonville and Fort Bragg today for beer and wine tastings, before heading south to Sonoma and Napa for a few days. I'll then be in San Francisco for a week before linking up in Southern California with Jade and Bobby from Vagabond3 to explore Catalina Island, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara. You'll be able to follow along throughout the trip on Twitter with the #CaliExpedia hashtag. But we want to hear from YOU! Leave a comment below or tweet your recommendations of what we should do on the California road tour and your recommendations might make it on film.

What can't-miss recommendations do you have for California?