California Top 10 Attractions

6: Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

This park is the driest, hottest part of the United States. Located near the Sierra Nevada mountains, it hosts a wide range of geological features such as valleys, canyons, salt flats, sand dunes, and more. Hiking is a popular draw, though it is only permissible outside of the hot summer months. Sights can also be taken in by car or motorcycle. Overnight campers often discover that Death Valley's stargazing is second to none, due to its remote location and dark night skies.

Address: Death Valley National Park, CA
Website: www.nps.gov

7: SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jack View

This original SeaWorld location was so popular in its heyday that it went on to open many other parks in many other locations across the country. Tourists have been coming here since 1964 to learn about marine life and ocean ecosystems, and get a sense of the vast and varied types of life that can be found in the world's oceans. They also come to see Shamu, the name of the park's first resident orca and the name under which all the current orcas still perform.

Address: 500 Sea World Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

8: Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Giuseppe Milo

Nestled in between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the largest freshwater lake in the United States after the Great Lakes. The natural beauty of the lake nestled in the pinecovered mountains is aweinspiring. Its high altitude makes it an alpine paradise for skiers, snowmobilers, and other winter outdoor enthusiasts. In the summer months, hiking, biking, and water sports are the main attraction. No matter how you choose to enjoy this mountain paradise, the vistas that surround you will make it a trip to remember.

Address: 3066 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

9: Santa Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Mark Fischer

One of the first things you might notice about this island is its resident herd of American bison. Fourteen animals were brought to the island to film a movie in 1924. Due to budget constraints, the buffalo were left behind once shooting was completed, and now the herd is generally comprised of 150 animals. Visitors to Santa Catalina Island can enjoy a glass bottom tour boat that takes them around the shipwrecks and coral reefs that lie offshore. Parasailing and surfing are also popular choices

Address: Santa Catalina Island, CA 90704

10: Redwood National and State Parks

Redwood National and State Parks
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Kirt Edblom

You cannot understand the magnitude of a redwood until you see it. Trees that stand wide enough to be carved out in the middle to let cars drive through are a common occurrence. Highway 101 runs through a large portion of the park, close to the coast. Motels and attractions dating back to the dawn of American automobile tourism can still be found, like Trees of Mystery featuring a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. The theme parks pale in comparison to the stately elegance of the surrounding forests, the natural beauty of which needs no augmentation.

Address: 1111 2nd St, Crescent City, CA 95531
Website: www.nps.gov

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