Usually, when people think California's best bucket-list hike, they think long.
And of course, Pacific Crest.
We'd like to suggest a three-day hike with views just as good within a tank of gas: the Skyline-to-Sea.
It's around 30 miles — which makes it either a fast two-day or leisurely three-day hike. (Or a very fast one day.)
Bonus: As the name suggests, you're heading down to the beach — emphasis on the word down.
If you do plan to stop and smell the redwoods, don't neglect booking your camping site. See here for a trip report with camping suggestions.
Since you might be moving fast — what's three days of natural splendor when you can pack it all into one? — we recommend thinking hard about your hydration.
In this case, we suggest checking out the S.F.-based Mission Workshop's Hauser Hydration Pack, made to incorporate three-liter water packs from your choice of brands (Camelbak, HydraPack, etc.)
Don't forget to take pictures.