Most of us would have either heard of or been to California. But do we know the state enough to identify some of the best places to visit in California? Firstly, California is one of 50 states in the United States (US). It is located in the South-Western part of the country. Many people who are familiar with the state will tell you how amazing of a travel destination California is. It is not only a hotspot for tourists but also for people residing in the US.
Most of its attraction comes from the various fun and exciting places you can travel to within the state of California. From stunning beaches to beautiful sunny weather to top-notch restaurants, California is the type of place that most travelers would dream of when it comes to ideal travel destinations. Since there are over hundreds of cities and towns in the state, it will take you quite a few trips to ultimately cover the whole of California. Thus, to make life easier for you, here are 15 spots that have been widely acknowledged by tourists as the best places to visit in California.
As one of the more prominent places in California, San Francisco has always been a popular tourist destination for most people traveling to the US. When it comes to San Francisco, there is nothing more iconic in the city than the Golden Gate Bridge itself. Most of us, regardless if we are avid travelers would have definitely seen this famous bridge somewhere; either in a photo, postcard, or a movie. The city is also recognized for its incredible scenic beauty and unique sightseeing attractions. These are the main aspects of the city that continuously attracts tourists. It is hard to find another city in the US that is able to create such a comforting yet enlivening atmosphere for tourists.
Los Angeles (LA), the home of stars and endless fun. It is the second-largest city in the US, only behind New York City. The first thought that comes to most people when they think of LA is, Hollywood. Hollywood is situated in the Western part of LA and is home to several big-name entertainment companies such as Dreamworks, Viacom, Time Warner, and Walt Disney. Although Hollywood is definitely one of the places in LA that tourists often visit, it is not the only place. LA is home to numerous attractions like Griffith Park, Staples Center, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and Disneyland Resort. There is certainly no shortage of things to do when in LA.
Yosemite National Park
When it comes to national parks anywhere around the globe, Yosemite National Park has to be up there as one of the best in the world. It spans over 750,000 acres and offers the most scenic views you can ever imagine. This is a great place to visit if you are traveling to California with the kids. Kids are definitely going to enjoy some of the thrilling outdoor activities that the park has to offer. Some of these activities include fishing, boating, hiking, and best of all, a rugged ATV tour around the park. There is always the option for a guided tour if you are interested to learn more about the park and its outstanding features.
San Diego is the second-largest city in the state of California. The city encapsulates everything great about California. From amazing warm weather to its awesome nightlife scene, San Diego is a city you should definitely add to your list of best places to visit in California. Similar to most of the cities on this list, San Diego has a number of spectacular beaches all across the city. Beach lovers are sure to enjoy a trip to some of these fabulous beaches. The city is also known for its eye-catching cultural attractions. Balboa Park, Old Town State Historic Park, and the San Diego Museum of Art are just some of the many magnificent attractions within the city of San Diego.
Most people who are familiar with Santa Barbara would acknowledge that it is one of the most picturesque coastal cities in the state of California. Other than its stunning beaches, Santa Barbara has tons of magnificent architecture to go along with its numerous majestic mountains that span all across the city. Tourists tend to recommend cycling tours when trying to get around the city. They deem it an excellent way to fully experience the beauty of Santa Barbara. It is also a better mode of getting around the city compared to walking. Hence, if you are someone that loves culture, history, and nature, then you should most certainly add a trip to Santa Barbara to your travel bucket list.
Located in Northern California, Napa Valley is home to a number of exceptional amenities such as first-class wineries, immaculate vineyards, and top-notch restaurants. Napa Valley is famous for being a food haven. You can find a variety of different cuisines from all over the world in Napa Valley. From Japanese to French to American cuisine, you are able to please your tastebuds with any cuisine of your choice. If you are someone who is not in favor of the hustle and bustle lifestyle of the city, then Napa Valley is a great place for you to visit and relax. It is a peaceful yet breathtaking area with an abundance of enjoyable outdoor activities waiting for you.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park, is the second national park on our list of best places to visit in California. The park was first established as a national monument back in 1936 and was soon after acknowledged as a national park in the year 1994. Since it is located in a desert, the weather can actually turn out to be quite hot. So, if you are planning on day-tripping around the park, be sure to bring along your sunglasses and put on some sunscreen. It also has one of the most breathtaking views anywhere across the state of California. With a diverse array of fascinating plants and animals dispersed all across the park, it definitely makes for a worthwhile trip.
For couples looking for romantic travel destinations, Monterey is a great choice. Monterey is a city renowned for its laidback yet urban lifestyle. It is a suitable destination for almost any type of traveler. Many Californians love heading down to Monterey for a good old road trip. Similar to most other cities in California, Monterey has its fair share of incredible coastlines. What’s more, the city is host to a number of first-class seafood restaurants that serve the finest seafood dishes. The Colten Inn is a great place to stay when traveling to Monterey. The location is just walking distance to most of the city’s main attractions such as the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Pebble Beach.
One of the areas within California that constantly attracts tourists year in and year out is Palm Springs. It is the sort of place you would romanticize when pondering about your ideal travel destination. Tourists love the peaceful and slow-paced lifestyle of Palm Springs. This tranquil setting is the main reason why it is referred to as a retirement site by the locals. In addition to its outstanding mid-century modern architecture and exquisite cultural scene, it is also a hub for nature lovers. Nature enthusiasts are sure to enjoy visiting the many captivating botanical gardens that the city has to offer. There are even some really awesome camping spots for those of you who love the outdoors.
Lake Tahoe, is one of the most awe-inspiring lakes you can find anywhere around the world. Surrounded by beautiful nature and picturesque landscapes, Lake Tahoe has got to be one spot you do not want to miss out on when visiting California. It has always been a huge tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. This is mainly due to the countless number of recreational activities available at the site. Some of these activities include hiking, biking, rock climbing, and fishing. There is also the option of guided tours which you can join to learn more about the amazing history behind Lake Tahoe. Moreover, there is even a two-hour sightseeing cruise that tours around the entire lake.
Santa Monica is a beachside city located just west of Los Angeles. Though it is situated close to LA, Santa Monica is vastly different from the city of LA in terms of lifestyle. LA is famous for its dynamic urban way of life. Santa Monica on the other hand, has more of a laidback lifestyle. You could even plan on visiting both these two cities during your trip to California since they are in such close proximity to each other. Santa Monica Pier is one of the biggest attractions in Santa Monica. Tourists who tend to travel with their kids love visiting this area as there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do at the pier.
If you love mountains and gorgeous coastlines, then Big Sur is definitely a place you would want to visit when in California. It is a magnificent stretch of land that is situated between the Carmel Highlands and San Simeon. A place like none other in the state of California, Big Sur regularly draws tourists from all over the globe to its location. With breathtaking views, first-class restaurants, and remarkable hiking trails, a trip to Big Sur is certainly going to be an unforgettable experience for all nature lovers. Thus, when visiting Big Sur, make sure to set aside ample time during your day as you never know how much time you will need for exploring and admiring its beauty.
Situated just north of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz is considered a beach town among many locals. This is mainly because of its wonderful array of amenities which gives visitors a relaxing and comforting feel. You will be able to spot quite a number of young people in Santa Cruz. Young people love the calming ambiance within the city. There are plenty of fascinating sightseeing places to visit in Santa Cruz like West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz Beach Broadway, Santa Cruz Wharf, and the UCSC Arboretum. On top of this, there are also a variety of thrilling outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and scavenger hunts. Hence, when it comes to fun, Santa Cruz has heaps of it waiting for you.
Mendocino might not be the fanciest of places to visit in California but it is definitely one place that you want to visit if you are a fan of oceanfront views and an adventuristic lifestyle. The locals love visiting the town of Mendocino for its vast array of enthusing outdoor activities. If you are someone who relishes an escapade, then a trip to Mendocino is one that you would want to add to your list of places to visit in California. The town is also a perfect spot for stargazing. During the night, you can appreciate the true beauty of Mendocino through its scenic coastal landscape and picturesque sky that is almost entirely covered with stars.
Mammoth Lakes is another one of those locations where you can just lay back and admire its magnificence. It is famous for its majestic ski slopes, soothing hot springs, and rousing hiking trails. Similar to Mendocino, it is definitely a place for all you adventure enthusiasts. There is no shortage of adventuristic activities in Mammoth Lakes. Furthermore, it is home to the iconic Mammoth Mountain, which is one of the biggest ski areas in North America. When traveling during Winter, there is no better place to visit in California than the beautiful Mammoth Lakes itself. With epic skiing slopes and relaxing hot springs, this has surely got to be one of the best places to visit in California.