The Ultimate Cannabis Road Trip Through California

After breakfast, you’re headed south to San Francisco, but not without two stops along the way. First, Avenue of the Giants—the state’s most awe-inspiring drive, which wends its way between enormous, iconic California redwoods over the course of 31.6 miles all the way to Cooks Valley. Designate a driver, because all other passengers should wake and bake before hitting the highway. At the highway fork, split off from the 101 and take Highway 1 south to Mendocino for glorious coastal views, then detour back via Highways 128, 253, and 101 to get to Hopland.

In Hopland, re-up on cannabis necessities at the coolest solar-powered dispensary you’ve ever been to: Emerald Pharms, where you should pick up an incredible edible or two from Flour Child (think apricot-rose jam and THC granola) and some ABX Soft Gels ($48 for 24 ten-milligram capsules). Find your way back to Highway 1 (the 116 will get you there); another few hours on the road and you’ll roll into San Francisco just in time for a late lunch of the best arepas in California, at Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen. A fave of Guy Fieri (and of plenty more people without TV shows), this maize-obsessed eatery serves up Venezuelan comfort food including yuca fries, taro chips, and signature arepas—grilled pockets of white or yellow corn made fresh daily by hand, and stuffed with everything from pulled pork to spicy chicken catira to the can’t-miss combo of blackened beef asada, queso fresco, and sweet plantains.

The Ultimate <strong><a href=Marijuana Summer Road Trip Through California | Leafly" width="840" height="525" />Mission Dolores Park. (photo_chaz/iStock)

Loosely translated, Pica Pica means “a little of this, a little of that,” so we recommend you go the route the name suggests and order several mix-and-match dishes to share. Get them to go and walk them over to nearby Mission Dolores Park, a mecca of outdoor cannabis consumption with an ever-present sweet and skunky scent to match. Load a bowl or two of your Private Reserve OG and spark your appetite before your meal, and if you need a digestif afterwards, buy a coconut full of coconut water from “the coconut man,” a regular park fixture.

Grab a hotel room or AirBnb for the night in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood—it may be cliché, but the neighborhood was ground zero for hippie culture and cannabis reform as sparked by the Summer of Love. Drop your stuff before heading to the waterfront to visit the Exploratorium, by far the best place in California for elevated adults to marvel over wonders of science and the natural world like they were kids again. Optical illusions, mechanical contraptions, interactive exhibits, video installations—all await you at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero.

The Ultimate <strong><a href=Marijuana Summer Road Trip Through California | Leafly" width="840" height="525" />(Courtesy of The Exploratorium)

Afterwards, you can walk down to the trippy Musée Mécanique (Pier 45; free admission) to play antique penny arcade games and musical instruments that are extra-fun after a dab. Finish out your young-at-heart afternoon with a round of fantastical Rube Goldberg-inspired mini golf at Urban Putt in the Mission, then spend the evening sipping CBD-and-terpene-infused cocktails and mocktails from the 4:20 menu (runs until 7:20 p.m.) at Flore, itself a cornerstone of cannabis reform since the 1980s.

When you get back to your hotel or AirBnb, pop a capsule or two and drift off to a peaceful night’s sleep that’ll recharge your batteries for tomorrow’s adventures.

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