So much to do, so much to see, California has an adventure waiting for everyone! Gorgeous beaches, tons of parks and outdoor activities, wine country, amuzement parks and sooooo much more!
Even before the first forty-niner hitched up his wagon and went west in search of gold, people have been wanting to get to California. This warm, fertile valley, protected from its neighbors by high mountains to the east, deserts to the south, and thick forests in the north, produced a peaceful environment that attracted both Native Americans and, later, Spanish settlers in the 18th century. California was claimed by America after the Mexican-American War in 1848, and soon after the discovery of gold created a boom in California’s population and the rapid growth of cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. California was admitted as the 31st state in the Union in 1850, and since then has grown into one of America’s most populous, productive, and famous states. California travel attracts people from all over the world.
The laid-back California attitude is part of life in the state, and you can experience it wherever you go. California has always had a reputation as a haven for freethinkers and the unconventional, and the various group that make up the Californian populace — Latino, Anglo, Chinese, African-American, and more — provide a rich, diverse culture like nowhere else on earth.
California travel offers a little something for everyone. Want to dine and rub elbows with the elite? Visit Beverly Hills and Orange County. Want to enjoy California’s quirky side? Stroll down Venice Beach Boardwalk or visit the Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. Want to get away from it all? Yosemite National Park offers acres of untouched wilderness, and Death Valley has another kind of wilderness for those who can endure it.
It’s important to set your goals in advance and decide exactly what you want to see and do. Southern California’s theme parks, such as Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Universal Studios, can be entire vacations in themselves. Likewise, the larger cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, can take a week or more to see properly. California is so big and offers such a diversity of experiences that it’s best to plan carefully before embarking on California travel.
Be sure to check the local weather before you go. Many people think all of California is a tropical paradise, but up north around the San Francisco Bay Area, the climate can be surprisingly cool and wet, even in August. This makes it hard to generalize about the best time for California travel. Early autumn can be surprisingly pleasant, however, and a great time to go to avoid the crowds in midsummer.
Top California Activities & Things To Do
1) Hit the beach anywhere along the coast — surfing, sunning, swimming, or just watching
2) Hike or camp in Yosemite National Park
3) Take a studio tour and see where movies are made
4) View California redwoods at numerous state parks and reserves on the northern coast
5) Visit the wineries in the Napa Valley Wine Country
6) Explore California’s Spanish history at the missions
7) Drive the Big Sur coast on California Highway 1
8) Cruise the shops on Rodeo Drive
9) Brave the heat in Death Valley
10) Go whale watching off San Diego
11) Gamble or golf on Catalina Island
12) Take a deep sea fishing cruise off the southern coast
Top California Attractions and Sightseeing
1) Disneyland, Anaheim
2) Venice Boardwalk, Los Angeles
3) Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
4) Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco
5) Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles
6) Napa Valley
7) San Diego Zoo
8) Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
9) Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento
10) Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
11) SeaWorld, San Diego
12) Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
13) Chinatown, San Francisco
View Larger Map