10 Best Things To Do in California

The biggest melting pot of the West, California melds both southern and northern flavors together with its borders along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The geography is just as diverse as its people, California is home to the deep valleys along its fault lines, lush forests filled with giant redwoods and sequoias, mountains of the Sierra Nevada, and flatlands that make up the Mojave Desert. Without further ado, here are 10 places you must check off your to-do list, if you want to do any extended visit to California justice.

1: Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Bruce Tuten

Yosemite is a wild and untamed park that has such a wide variety of wildlife and landscapes. It would take you years of camping to ever experience it all, but one place you should try to go out of your way to visit is Glacier Point. This scenic and fairytale atmosphere will make you forget about all the world’s ills, if just for a few hours, and you’ll never want to leave this serene example of peace with Mother Nature.

Address: Glacier Point Rd, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389
Website: www.nps.gov

2: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Nicolas Raymond

You can’t miss it, one of the best examples of American engineering with that iconic coat of paint. The Golden Gate is synonymous with San Francisco, meaning you haven’t been there unless you’ve crossed that bridge! The bridge is at its most vibrant during a sunny afternoon, but because of its golden-ness, it’s a sight to behold during any time of day and no amount of fog can hide its glory.

Address: Lincoln Boulevard, near Doyle Drive and Fort Point, San Francisco, CA 94129

3: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

It may be an ugly remnant of the past, but the Alcatraz is worth the visit, just to see for yourself how ominous and grim the once deemed impenetrable, infamous prison island surrounded by sharks. The tour guides here are especially memorable and will teach you a lot about Alcatraz’s past. Fitting for scares, but also an important chapter of history to learn.

Address: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133
Website: www.nps.gov

4: The Getty Center, Los Angeles

The Getty Center, Los Angeles
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Clinton Steeds

If you’re a fan of western societal history and art, this is one specially curated museum that you can’t miss out on. Set on the grounds of a magnificent pair of buildings that are worth gawking at for their own beauty, you will find numerous one-of-a-kind works of art by famous artists from Greco-Roman history, Italian, and American greats.

Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Website: www.getty.edu

5: Napa and Sonoma Wine Country

Napa and Sonoma Wine Country

Make a detour to the world’s famous vineyards or plan an entire adult getaway around being pampered and spoiled at the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. This is food and beverage served to you in its most refined form. Make sure you reserve your place at the most popular wineries, you won’t be able to just show up with a glass and expect to get in, so plan ahead and start now.

Address: Napa Valley, CA

6: San Diego Zoo, San Diego

San Diego Zoo, San Diego

The variety of animals at the San Diego Zoo is simply staggering, with over 600 species to discover. They are leaders in conservation efforts and take pride in creating the most natural environments for their animals as possible, so that they can smoothly transition rescue animals back into the wild.

Address: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

7: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Omar Bárcena

This is not your father’s tram ride, the Palm Springs Aerial is a tram that hauls up to 80 people up the side of Mt. Jacinto, with the climb spanning the distance of about six thousand feet. Plus, there is no such thing as a bad view on this tram car, it makes an entire rotation so you don’t have to run around to get a look from all sides of the mountain. The trip takes about ten minutes, but you’ll want to ride it again as soon as you step off.

Address: 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

8: California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento

California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/A Yee

Another great opportunity to combine your California travels with a slice of American history, the State Railroad Museum is a snapshot into the wild west. You get to see the mammoth trains that ran as the heart of economy and public transportation for so many years, up close and personal. These trains aren’t just pieces on display, they’re replicas of the real thing.

Address: 125 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814

9: La Jolla Cove, La Jolla

La Jolla Cove, La Jolla
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Vince Smith

A picturesque beach that is often missed on many California tourist packages. Here you will find plenty of exciting entertainment and relaxation for the whole family to enjoy. Partake in every watersport you can imagine, lounge on the beach, or go on a tour of the Underwater Park. You can get up close and personal with marine life native to Cali beaches. This is an ocean-lover’s paradise.

Address: Coast Blvd S, La Jolla, CA 92037

10: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

We had to fit one more remarkable display of Mother Nature on our list, even though California has so much to choose from. As a highly recommended dose of human humility and breath-taking beauty, there is no comparing the legendary Sequoias and Kings Canyon National Parks. This is the perfect marriage of majestic trees and poetic rock formations that should make any man, woman, or child feel deeply connected to our precious country and planet.

Address: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Website: www.nps.gov

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