California Travel Guide
- California Attractions
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Yosemite National Park
- Redwood National Park
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon
- Death Valley National Park
With so many California vacation spots available, it may be hard to decide where to go, especially if you have never visited the Golden State before. Our California travel tips article will introduce you to interesting attractions and landmarks in major tourism destination points in the state and guide you through the maze of choices.
California located on the Western coast of the US overlooking the largest ocean in the world, the Pacific, is one of the prestigious and most expensive locations to call home for any born American or immigrant arriving to this Land of Milk and Honey. Indeed, a precious gem on the royal crown of US tourism industry, California offers some of the most alluring attractions in the whole US. From wine making Napa Valley to eccentric LA with its celebrity studded Beverly Hills scenes, to whacky Bay area SF that tops just about any list of odd things to do and see in the country, to breathtaking views of the Yosemite National Park at the backdrop of Sierra Nevada Mountains, Redwood National Park (home to unique redwood tree habitat), Sequoia National Park with its world’s tallest trees and Kings Canyon with Mount Whitney, one of the tallest mountains in North America, deserts and valleys, California attractions are yours to explore by day or night. If that’s not enough to convince you to visit CA, try the Big Sur region in the coastal California, the place of primal and untamed beauty that has not been touched by civilization.
The geography of the state is as diverse as its population with climates that sharply differ from one region to another from frigid winters in the mountainous regions to brutal summers in the desert (with its epicenter in the Death Valley, the lowest point in the US) areas without a single drop of water for months. This creates unique and varied ecosystems, including forests both on land and kelp forests in the ocean, shrublands, deserts and valleys, coastal prairies and woodlands. So deciding when to visit your favorite California vacation spots might seem easy at a first glance, especially if you are headed to sunny LA and balmy SF, however, weather differs dramatically across the north and south, west and east of the state. So check the weather specifically for the parts of California you are planning on visiting during your next trip.
The population in California is extremely diverse and multicultural, think of it as a mish-mash of religions, cultures and opinions that manage to co-exist successfully side by side. This creates one of the best and culturally rich experiences no matter which California vacation spots you opt for during your next vacation. In addition, it seems like there are more free spirited and creative individuals in the state of California than anywhere else in the country that is expressed in the most outrageous fashions, shocking opinions on the way of life, unusual events and happenings, all these create some of the most unparalleled experiences you are unlikely to come by anywhere else in the US.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular California travel destinations suitable for virtually any type of travelers.
Los Angeles is by far one of the most visited cities in the US. Located on the sunny shores of Golden State at the backdrop of Santa Monica Mountains attracting all sorts of migrating beach bums, aspiring actors, dancers, filmmakers, starving artists, inventors and free thinkers alike because anything is possible here. From dirt to riches, from acting to politics to same sex marriages, the City of Angels is a symbol of opportunities for even what might seem impossible at the beginning. LA is a major business, cultural and movie industry centers in the world setting multiple trends in these areas. All these aspects create one of a kind exploration scene and one of the most interesting attractions in one city. If you only have a few hours to spend in LA, by all means head to the Venice Boardwalk, the official Whack Place of America where peculiar talents of palm reading, chakra correcting and mind reading are elevated to art forms, where you can see just about any style of street performance intermingled with never ending stream of bicyclists, rollebladers and skateboarders. One of a kind human zoo experience is guaranteed! A short walk from LA’s Venice Boardwalk will guide you to the Canal Walk, one of the most beautiful areas of the city providing stunning beach paradise views in the midst of a busy city. There’s no shortage of museums and art galleries in the city, some of the best include LA County Museum of Art, The Getty Center and the Museum of the Contemporary Arts. Hollywood Forever Cemetery pays a timeless tribute to the legacy of famous musicians, actors and outstanding individuals. And, of course, do not miss an incredible opportunity to snap a photo at the background of the iconic “Hollywood” sign located in West Hollywood Hills. According to widely known California travel tips, the cuisine in LA deserves a special mentioning because only here you can sample some of the tastiest and most authentic foods, so no matter if you are in the mood for a good hot dog purchased from a food truck to an all macrobiotic meal served at a posh celebrity frequented restaurant, you are in for a treat.
San Diego is one of the most well known California resorts with only one season present. Mild balmy temperatures all year round create the most comfortable place to visit any time of the year. Trust our California travel tips guide and come here any day, for any occasion, with family, with your loved one or simply alone. Everyone is invited to the ultimate outdoor party destination. From highly popular Sea World, home to Shamu orca whale, to one of the top Zoo’s in the country, San Diego Zoo, SD offers attractions to suit any budget or interest levels. True art connoisseurs and nerds will love visiting majestic Balboa Park, which territory is studded with museums and galleries like a royal crown. Among favorite cultural attractions, you would love Japanese Friendship Gardens, SD Museum of Art, SD Natural History Museum and 14 other great venues. Do not forget purchasing “Passport to Balboa Park” granting you a discounted admission to its 14 coveted museums and galleries. History buffs will rejoice at the Old Town depicting the most interesting historical structures and buildings like an old school or sheriff’s quarters along with authentic Mexican cuisine places to feed hungry visitors. At night make sure to head to the famous Gaslamp District awaiting you with a copious selection of clubs, restaurants and bars. Check out the Fluxx and Sevilla that are highly recommended by the locals.
San Francisco is one of the most beloved California vacation spots where anything goes, where the border of normalcy is greatly altered and what’s abnormal becomes normal within a few short hours of your arrival. Locals are proud of the fact that the number of eccentric individuals or simply weirdoes is significantly higher in the Bay City than in any other corner in the world, except perhaps LA. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the US’s iconic attractions that simply must be visited by all visitors coming to San Francisco. Connecting SF city to the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, The Golden Gate Bridge opens spectacular views of the downtown, the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. There’s no shortage of ways of exploring it: drive, bicycle and even walk across the greatest bridge of the country. The adjacent Golden Gate park opens a plethora of fun options for the little ones including, carousel rides, playground and paddle boats. Next comes the infamous Alcatraz prison, one of the most sinister places in the Bay area. Located on an island and accessible only via a ferry ride, it once served as a military prison and now a great place to tour and see prison cells, inmate escape paraphernalia and personal belongings and listen to one of intriguing escape stories. Afterwards head to Pier 39 to look at sea lions bumming around one of many spectacular SF beaches. If you have more time on your hands, drive to the Monterey Bay, a beautiful historical place with incredible coastline and beaches.
Sacramento is the capital of the Golden State is situated at the northern tip of the Central Valley, major cultural, political and business center in the state. There are a lot of historical remnants of the pioneers and even the Gold Rush Era that visitors can marvel at, including its Sutter’s Fort, State Indian Museum and Victorian style buildings and structures. One of the most significant landmarks in the city is the Governor’s Mansion Historical Park that offers multiple tours through early California history. American River Parkway features capital’s best feature, American River, that is complimented by a vast infrastructure of biking and walking trails.
We sincerely hope that our California travel guide has helped you decide which places to visit during your next trip to the West coast.