What to Wear to Hug A Tree

I will freely admit that I am a tree hugger. Even at the expense of getting bark and ‘nature’ all over the front of my new sweater. Sunday, we took a short road trip for a visit to Murphy’s and the giant sequoia trees. Murphy’s is an adorable little town, but the real goal was to soak up nature. These trees are magnificent and simply take your breath away.

giant sequoia tree

Murphy’s is a charming historic town in the heart of California Gold Country. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s just a 14-mile drive to the Calaveras Big Trees State Park which has two groves of giant sequoias, the world’s largest trees. The town is chock-a-block filled with cute boutiques, wine tasting, and an atmosphere that just doesn’t quit.

the victoria inn in Murphy's ca

We stayed at The Victoria Inn, on Main Street which is smack dab in the middle of everything. We wandered around town before anyone was up Monday morning and just enjoyed the quiet. Weekends are packed here, but Mondays and Tuesdays are pretty quiet with some restaurants closed. I recommend you ask for a room over the driveway because the courtyard can get pretty loud in the evening.

woman in front of red wall wearing jeans and gray fedora visiting murphy's ca

My black cashmere sweater is from Quince, and no, it’s not my most flattering color, but I love it! I’m beyond delighted with their quality and for $50, I couldn’t resist it. These booties are another of Eileen Fisher’s knit footwear that’s made from recycled plastic bottles and super comfy.

small building

Everything was getting decked out for the holidays and covered with lights which made me rack my brain, wondering where we’d stored our holiday decorations from last year. The shops were playing Christmas Carols and looked so darn cute.

woman in gray hat holding coffee cup visiting murphy's CA

It seems like every other shop is a wine tasting establishment, but I’m sure that’s a slight exaggeration:) We were sipping tea and coffee for our morning explore.

Visiting the giant sequoias

woman standing next to a giant sequoia tree

I didn’t get many pictures of the trees because I was so intoxicated by them. My husband grabbed photos but I just soaked the experience in. We walked the path, reading about the history of the trees, and I was again reminded of how very small we are.

woman in front of giant sequoia tree

These trees have been here for thousands of years, unlike the empty plastic water bottle I saw discarded along the North Grove trail. I won’t subject you to the rant my husband heard about the careless, selfish people who litter but suffice it to say, I was disappointed and annoyed.

woman shopping in Murphy's near the giant sequoia trees

The weather was warmer than expected so the coat I brought, never got worn, but I did need a warm vest in the evening.  Tuesday I popped in and out of several little boutiques and did my best to support the local economy. I found these slippers and decided they were too darn cute to leave at the store. Could I have bought them for a few dollars less online? Sure, but I like to support small businesses when I can.

WOMAN WEARING JEANS AND IVORY SWEATER SITTING ON WALL visting murphy's and the giant sequoia trees

Torres truffle potato chips

These Truffle Potato Chips are a dedacant treat and beyond amazing. Since they’re my daughter’s favorite, we bought two bags, but only one made it home.

woman shopping in sutter creek
My arthritis and de Quervain’s tenosynovitis have kicked up a notch so you can see I’m back in a hand brace for my right hand, oh joy!

Sutter Creek was a fun stop on our way home and even more decked out for the holidays. These cute little towns are fun to visit any time of year, but even more so around the holidays.

woman wearing sweater and jeans in sutter creek, CA

The temperature drops when the sun goes down so you need to bring layers and be prepared to bundle up. I packed nice pants to dress for dinner, but we found that jeans were totally acceptable everywhere. Murphy’s is a great place to spend the weekend, and if you get a chance, I recommend you see these amazing trees.

Are you a tree hugger?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


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  1. Thank you for sharing the pictures of the trees. I like the one with you by the tree-shows how big they are- you look so tiny,

  2. I think you look fantastic in black—so sophisticated with your blond hair! My personal preference is strong, saturated shades of colors on either the top or bottom and think most people look better in, for example, charcoal gray instead of heather gray. And yes, the trees are incredible!

    1. I love the drama of black:)

  3. Have not actually hugged a tree, but do love admiring them. On a past vacation to SF and wine country, we took a side trip to Muir Woods and admired those Redwoods. It’s like communing with God. I feel the same way about the mountains. They put things in perspective, and keeps these anxious thoughts at bay. These trees and mountains have weathered many tough times and seen difficulties and have persevered. Reminds me that this too shall pass. Thanks for your post.

    1. Good point. They have endured, and so will we.

  4. The trees are indeed magnificent. I would love to be able to hug one of those treasures of the forest….maybe someday! The little towns you visited seem so inviting. Bravo for buying local and supporting these businesses. Your outfits were so casual but beautiful! Have a great weekend Jennifer 🤩

  5. Thank you for showing me this beautiful part of your country. I am also a tree hugger. I live in the south west of Western Australia where we are also lucky enough to have some magnificent old trees remaining in old growth forests. Nature is a wonderful thing and I also am disappointed at times when people leave their rubbish behind or when beautiful old trees are destroyed for so called progress. I hope to visit your country one day. Your outfits were perfect for the occasion and I loved each of them. I love reading you posts even though the seasons are different for us here with it now being summer time. Thank you again for sharing your life and your ideas.

    1. Thanks for being here with us, Jan

  6. My parents took us on a once-in -a- lifetime Easter holiday when I was at the perfect age to remember it. We saw sea lions and sand dunes in Oregon, dug for clams as the tide went out, then ate them in a homemade clam chowder. The whole trip was spent in nature playing, breathing and eating food the ocean had provided for us. A highlight was the incredible giant redwoods in northern California. Very few people were around. It was us and those amazing trees.

    Time has moved on. My great aunt and uncle who went with us to the forest, and my parents have passed away. My parents wanted us to see the world beyond our own doorstep. We saw mountains and those trees that came before us and will be here after we are gone (I hope). Nature is our home, and we are the small guardians of this beautiful place — a trip with lessons that changed my life.

    1. Beautiful, thanks for sharing your story with us.

  7. beth byrd says:

    Love the photo of you at the bottom of the tree. Those trees are absolutely astounding!

    You look great in your hats!

    1. Thanks, Beth, I do love hats

  8. The trees are beautiful and your outfits perfect. Really like the sweaters. As a kid I loved th3 petrified forest!

  9. I am a tree hugger. Also, I love Murphy’s! Several years ago, 8 long time friends and I made a road trip from SoCal to Murphy’s to surprise our former Girl Scout leader for her 90th birthday. She and her hubby had moved to Murphy’s upon retiring many years prior. We had 2 wonderful days reminiscing and exploring Murphy’s and the surrounding area.
    Your outfit is perfect for tree hugging and exploring small towns like Murphy’s. Although, I would not wear cashmere, but some other soft sweater knit. Otherwise, that would be my outfit…even the hat! The past few years, I have become even more obsessed with hats and I still have a few from back in my teen years.

    1. What a great trip you had. How fun. I bet she was thrilled to see you all.

  10. I live in Auburn, so it’s fun to see pictures of my town and areas near me. After seeing your pics of Murphy’s, I think I will take a trip there this month. Looks like fun! I also would like to take my grandsons to see the trees. They are awesome! Thank you for sharing the places you visit and your thoughts on what to wear.

    1. Great idea. I want to take my grandson too.

  11. Karen Trainor says:

    I love how you wore a plaid scarf instead of a plaid shirt. You looked upscale, not like a lumberjack or hiphop dancer…and still warm (practicality is important to me). I definitely learned something today from you, thanks!

    1. Wow, thanks Karen:)

  12. Those trees are magnificent! I’m hoping to travel to California again. I’ve driven from Las Vegas to San Diego, with a few stops along the way. The northern area and to drive along the coast and visit wine country is on my bucket list. Hopefully life will get back to normal in the next year or two 🙂

    1. I hope things do too!

  13. It has been far too long since I visited Gold Rush country or the Sequoias. Thanks for the photos.

  14. I am living my life vicariously through you and your adventures!! Thanks for introducing me to a new source for cashmere sweaters. I have missed your video chats with your fellow bloggers. Will you be starting this back up after the holidays?

    1. We will be having a chat this Friday.

  15. Mona Rioux says:

    Thank you so much for bringing us along on your little adventure! Great photos and fun to learn about Murphy and area.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    The redwood trees are magnificent! It has been awhile since I have seen them in person! I will always cherish those memories and visiting the Kaory ancient forest in New Zealand! Something about big ancient trees puts thing in perspective! 🙂 Thanks for posting.

  17. Linda Henderson says:

    Enjoyed reading about your trip and thanks for the photos. Love to travel.

  18. I have hugged a tree now and then. Brings you closer to God.
    I would love some day to hug a majestic tree like the one you posted.

    1. It does feel that way:)

  19. Cyndi Murdoch says:

    Those little towns in the foothills are just too darn cute – I’ve never stayed in Murphy, but Sutter Creek was so fun.
    I’m interested to know how you like the Quince sweater – I’ve been eyeing them.

    Happy Holidays

  20. Julie Traxler says:

    I wish I would have seen you in Sutter creek! We were there enjoying the festivities. Love your choices from Quince. I can’t order anything right now. My husband scrutinizes all the packages that are constantly delivered to our home.😁

    1. Isn’t it an adorable town? What a small world!

  21. I too love trees and hugging them. I have over 25 varieties on my farm in Illinois. We spent a week at Angels Camp in June. What a lovely area. We enjoyed the trees as well as Murphy’s. ❤️ Thanks for sharing your fashion. 😀

  22. Jennifer-
    Love the proportion of you next to the tree. And speaking of proportion, I wrote to the Quince cashmere people to ask about making petite sizes. They are considering it. I, at 4’11”, have no choice but the few remaining petite retailers. It would be so great to have some reasonably priced cashmere sweaters that actually fit!

    1. These are shorter in the body than most so it might be worth a try with their free shipping and returns. Petites are disappearing most places which is why I appreciate J Jill, Talbots etc.

  23. Loved this post! You look great in each outfit. The classic look is so….well…..classic! I ordered some of those wonderful sweaters and can’t wait for them to arrive. Love the hat. You have inspired to wear my pearls more often. If you could see all the leaves in my yard, you would know how much I love trees. Thank you!

    1. I hope you love the sweaters as much as I do. I’m a tree nut so I’d love your yard.

  24. Jennifer, I really enjoyed your blog post today. I would love to visit the places that you and your husband enjoyed on your getaway trip. Thank you for sharing. BTW the black watch cashmere scarf is gorgeous, and it completely softens the black color of your sweater (in my humble opinion). Loved your outfits.

    1. Thanks Bea. It’s my favorite plaid.

  25. What fun that was and you look great in black and a hat. It is certainly getting chilly in the mornings here. I never know how to dress. I want to wear my sweaters but by noon it’s too warm.
    Guess I’ll layer and leave the sweater for another day. Beautiful little towns! I would love to visit there this time of year. Gets you in the spirit of the season I’ll bet. 🎄🎄🎄

    1. It certainly does! I’m ready to decorate and bake 🙂

  26. Katherine says:

    Good morning Jennifer,
    I so enjoyed seeing Murphy and the giant sequoia trees. Yes, I am too a tree hugger. My home town was Northern California, Marin County, Sausalito, and we hiked most of Marin County trials also Stinson Beach. I loved all the trees and the beauty that surrounded us. I miss all that now that we live in Arizona. We have that beauty at our home in Sedona, and also up in Flagstaff. It’s a different
    kind of beauty.
    The retail stores that you shopped in look like so much fun.
    Looks like you had a great time.

    1. Good morning! You’ve exchanged one gorgeous spot for another. Very different but oh so special! Lucky you.

  27. And thanks for the visual reminder to wear a hat to protect our hair and scalp, even this time of year.

    1. Yes! Even with sunscreen, we need sun protection.

  28. Linda Derrington says:

    I think this is my favorite of all your posts of weekend trips. We love small, quaint spots of interest!

  29. Thanks for fun trip description. Loved every word.

  30. Thank you for taking us on this little get-away; I really enjoyed it. I have ordered a Quince cashmere sweater at your suggestion and am anxious to receive it.

    1. I hope you love it as much as I do.