Many dream of traveling to the ‘Golden State’ — otherwise known as California. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
For centuries, people have flocked to this coastal state. Although California is home to some of the biggest names in Hollywood and technology, it’s also an incredible place for tourists. If you’re planning on visiting California, make sure you see and do the following.
What California Has to Offer
Before we dive into some of the specific things you can see and do, let’s focus on what this state — as a whole, has to offer.
- Beaches — With dozens of beaches, California is a surfer’s paradise. Some note-worthy beaches to check out include: Santa Monica Beach; Crystal Cove State Park; Coronado Beach; Manhattan Beach; Capitola Beach; Hermosa Beach; and Huntington Beach — just to name a few.
- Natural Wonder — If you’re a nature enthusiast, California holds wonder everywhere you turn. From Yosemite Valley to Sequoia National Park, you will witness some of the most beautiful sights imaginable. It is here that you will find the oldest trees in the world — Bristle Cone pine trees.
- The Ultimate Highway — If you’re looking to cruise the coast, you can do just that on Highway 1. Between Morro Bay and Carmel by the Sea, you will experience a road trip unlike any other.
- Sip Some Wine — California is known for some of the most stunning wineries, including those in Sonoma Valley. Just north of San Francisco, it is here that you find some of the state’s oldest wineries.
- Uncover California’s History — From Alcatraz to the Hearst Castle, there is so much to discover. California has a vast history — including one of the largest gold rushes throughout time.
Be Sure to See and Do the Following…
If you’re only in California for a short period of time, you’ll want to maximize your holiday. In order to do so, you’ll need to plan ahead. With so much to see and do, here are five options to get you started.
- Visit Alcatraz
No matter what your background or main area of interest, Alcatraz is a place that everyone should visit at least once. Of course, this destination and history go hand-in-hand. During its operation, between the years 1934 and 1963, Alcatraz was home to some of the most notorious American criminals.
Today, this island is not only home to interesting stories, but also vibrant plant- and wildlife. If you’re looking to do a couple of tours, you can often book a package that includes both Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge — a notorious suspension bridge, stunning in its construction.
- Yosemite National Park
Being one of the United States’ most famous and scenic national parks, it is here where you’ll experience a combination of valleys, mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. Within Yosemite National Park, there are so many things to see and do, but some of the favorites include:
- Tunnel View — This scenic overlook is most certainly an iconic viewpoint.
- Yosemite Valley — This 8-mile long glacial valley is home to Yosemite Falls — the highest waterfall in North America. You can enjoy a range of hiking trails that either loop, staying within the valley — or take you to higher elevations.
- Glacier Point — Once again, this is most certainly a photo-worthy spot, offering top-down views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome.
- San Diego Zoo
This isn’t just any old zoo. The San Diego Zoo is home to more than 3,700 animals — across more than 650 species. Being a pioneer in open-air animal habitats, it is one of the few spots in the world that successfully breeds the adorable giant panda. From the Elephant Odyssey to the Polar Bear Plunge, you will witness species from all walks of life.
- San Francisco Bay
The San Francisco Bay area is a stunning region. Known, of course, for the Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars, this area is one of the world’s greatest cities. Once again, this region is home to some of the best wineries, including those in Sonoma and Napa Valley. If you’re a foodie — say no more. You will be in heaven once you reach San Fran.
- Venice Beach
If you’re coming to California in the summer, you can expect a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Venice Beach. Located on the westside of Los Angeles, it is here that you will find not only a beautiful, thriving beach — but also a number of unique opportunities.
Watch talented street performers, roller skate along the boardwalk, and check out a long list of unique shops. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out The Getty Center, as well as Universal Studios Hollywood.
It’s clear that California offers it all — top-rated cuisine, adventure, and history. On that note, I will leave you with this — “If they can’t do it in California, it can’t be done anywhere.”
About The Author
I’m Dan, and I’m the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics. I’m also an avid adventurer, digital nomad and traveler. I enjoy all types of outdoor sports, a good golf tan, and spontaneous weekend trips. I currently live in Brazil where I can be found frequently hiking the rain forest around my city!