Don’t be fooled by its perpetually fresh outlook and adventurous attitude: California is older than it seems. Coastal bluffs and snowy peaks were created over millennia of tectonic upheavals that threatened to shake California right off the continent. After 19th-century mining, logging and oil-drilling threatened the state’s natural splendours, California’s pioneering environmentalists rescued old-growth trees, reclaimed rivers and cleaned the beaches. Thanks to the leadership of Californian conservationist John Muir and his Sierra Club, California’s national and state parks continue to astound visitors today.
Without California, America’s menu would be drab and predictable: the Golden State produces most of the country’s fresh produce and kicks off nationwide food trends. Every time they sit down to eat, Californians take a stand on food issues: would you like that salad certified organic or spray-free, your toast with farm-to-table jam or urban-beehive honey, and your burger vegan or with humanely raised grass-fed meat? No matter what you order, it’s bound to be local and creative – and it had better be good. For a chaser, California produces over 90% of the nation’s wine-making grapes and has twice as many breweries as any other state. Whether you dream of carving a wave (maybe for the first time), relaxing at a wine country estate, taking a spin on an iconic theme park ride, or walking through soaring redwoods, you’ll find your perfect getaway in California.
Top 9 Places to Visit in California
1. San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco is, indeed, one of the largest, vastest, most beautiful, and iconic cities in the USA. Located in California, the city is definitely a point in the bucket list of many tourists and travellers and there is no wonder why. The ocean and surrounding hills provide some stunning views and natural setting and the historic sites, quirky neighbourhoods, many green spaces and areas, and inspiring cultural institution just add up to the enriching experience visiting SF is. Of course, the Golden Gate Bridge is the must-see attraction in this cosmopolitan city.
2. Yosemite National Park – Yosemite National Park is located and Southern California and deserves all the interest and attention because it is one of America’s most scenic and beautiful natural parks. A home to beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers, and stunning waterfalls, the National Park have attracted thousands of tourists, outdoor enthusiasts, and adventurers for many years. Some of the key things to see, visit, and experience in Yosemite National Park include the Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, and more.
3. Disneyland – Of course, what would be a visit to California without taking some time off in the happiest place in the world – Disneyland. The most popular amusement park in the world definitely doesn’t need any introduction. In fact, the theme park is more than just a place for entertainment of the little ones as it offers an unforgettable experience in a land that does not exist anywhere in the world, but you should experience Disneyland yourself in order to believe in its magic.
4. Death Valley National Park – Equally popular as some of the most iconic natural sites, wonders, and spots in the USA such as Grand Canyon, the Death Valley National Park is a must-see when in California. The national park houses some of the country’s most inhospitable terrain. Quirky and strangely beautiful, this deserted area could welcome you with an extreme heat and a sandy and dry landscape that looks like out of a magical tale. Visitors can drive through the park and stop at viewpoints allowing getting to know this land of quirky nature and landscape.
5. Big Sur – If nature is your thing, this beautiful stretch of fertile and lush land along the Central Coast of California will meet all your expectations. Hiking and camping are some of the most popular activities in the area. In addition, visiting the Garrapata State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a must. Big Sur begins south of Carmel in Yankee Point and stretches as far as Salmon Cove. To the east is where you can enjoy some spectacular wilderness including the Santa Lucia Mountains and Ventana Forests.
6. Venice Beach – Venice Beach are also called the “Venice of America” is a stretch of the shoreline of Southern California, once uncomely and marshy, then living its best identity change, when the tobacco magnate Abbot Kinney transformed it into one of the most popular and recognizable spots in the state of California. In 1904 he turned the series of drainage channels into scenic canals just like in the Italian city, then constructed a Venetian-inspired arcade on the beach to add even more to the whole Renaissance and European atmosphere and vibe. The canals are definitely one of the top attractions in Venice Beach, but not the single ones you can explore there, as the world-famous boardwalk offers plenty of choices when it comes to top attractions, shops, stalls, food stands, and plenty of attractive street performances. The pier located on the southern part of Venice Beach is a great place for fishing.
7. San Diego – San Diego is the epitome of a summer getaway in Southern California with its miles of sandy beaches, amazing climate, picturesque harbour, and luxury resorts. San Diego is located near the border with Mexico and most popular as a family-friendly destination, catering for all needs and offering great experience for the whole family, including a lot of cultural attractions, theme parks such as SeaWorld San Diego and the Birch Aquarium, historic sights, and the world-famous zoo in Balboa Park. In addition, San Diego makes up for a great historical destination as it is known as the Birthplace of the Golden State, so make sure to visit the Old Town San Diego Historic District where you can tour the mission founded by Father Junipero Serra.
8. Hollywood – of course, what would be a visit to Southern California if you miss the most popular, attractive, cultural, and visited district in the entire world – Hollywood. Assumed to be the capital of the movie and entertainment business since the early days of the silent films, Hollywood is the most eclectic, vibrant, and unique neighbourhood in the city of Los Angeles. Since many television studios are still based in Tinseltown, you can book ahead tickets for some of the world-famous TV shows while you are in LA. A stroll along the star-studded Walk of Fame leading to the Chinese Theatre is probably the most traditional experience in Hollywood. The most iconic Hollywood sign is located in Griffith Park where you can enjoy plenty of attractions too.
9. Santa Barbara – Less than 100 miles of LA is where the beautiful and laidback coastal city Santa Barbara is located. Differing dramatically from its busy and hectic neighbourhood in the south, Santa Barbara is appreciated as an amazing sun, sand, and sea summer destination for everyone interested in beautiful beaches, mild temperatures, and the California Mission-style architecture. The highlights of Santa Barbara are Stearns Wharf and the Mission Santa Barbara, which is a Spanish outpost founded by the Franciscan order in 1786.