With summer just around the corner, it’s about time that we start thinking about our upcoming travel plans. What better place is there to visit than sunny California? No matter what your interests are – from camping in nature to visiting one of many beautiful cities – there is a Californian destination for you. Need some help planning your dream vacation? Let us help you decide with these ten amazing California vacation destinations!
Located just south of Los Angeles, in the City of Anaheim, Disneyland is a favorite destination for not only families, but for Disney fans of all ages. It has long been dubbed “The Happiest Place on Earth”. It opened under the guidance of creator Walt Disney in 1955, and has since added an additional park directly next door named California Adventure. Both theme parks are filled to the brim with rides, food, and attractions, making this a beloved destination.
The lonely island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay once housed some of the nation’s most notorious criminals. Now that the jail has long been closed, the island and it’s abandoned facilities remain open to the public. Curious minds can take a ferry to the museum and tour the bleak hallways and cells, and try to imagine life inside “The Rock’s” walls.
8. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is widely known as one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Located in the western Sierra Nevada and covering 747,956 acres, Yosemite contains granite cliffs, waterfalls, streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, and even glaciers. It is also the home of the Half Dome, a well known granite rock formation that is also a popular hiking destination.
7. Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier has been a tourist staple for over 100 years. To many, the iconic pier is the epitome of the Southern Californian lifestyle. It’s wooden structure stretches out over the Pacific Ocean and has rides, restaurants, arcades, and even an aquarium. During summer months, weekly concerts are even held – free of charge!
6. Hollywood Boulevard
Another popular stop in the Los Angeles area is Hollywood Boulevard. It’s most notable sight is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which consists of more than 2,600 brass stars embedded into the sidewalk, honoring various famous members of the entertainment industry. Hollywood Boulevard is also home to famous structures such as the Chinese Theater, Capitol Records Tower, and many more!
5. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, which serves as the border between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, is one of the most recognized structures in the world. Spanning one mile across the water, it connects the City of San Francisco to the neighboring Marin County. Tourists can walk, bike, or drive across the bridge and witness the beautiful views of the Bay.
4. San Diego Zoo
Located in Balboa Park, in the heart of San Diego, the San Diego Zoo has long been known as one of the biggest and most beautiful zoos in the nation. The zoo is approximately 100 acres in size, and is home to over 3,700 animals. It is one of only a few zoos in the world that houses and breeds the giant panda, making it a must see when visiting the state’s most southern city.
3. Joshua Tree National Park
This 790,636 acre park is both a National Park and a US National Monument. It is located in southeastern California, and is named for the native Joshua trees that flourish in this area. The entire park is slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. The desert area is a mecca for campers and hikers alike, and is a popular place to travel to for meteor showers.
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium
This massive aquarium has been a ground breaking attraction since it opened in 1984. Not only did it boast the first living kelp forest, it also was the first to showcase and care for a great white shark. It typically aims to focus on the local Monterey Bay habitat, but marine life from all reaches of the world are on display in this magical place.
1. Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle was once the residence of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. The incredible mansion and grounds have been preserved and are now listed as both a California Historical Landmark and a National Historical Landmark. The total square footage of the buildings equal over 90,000 square feet, and include multiple pools, guest houses, tennis courts, and the world’s largest private zoo. This beautiful attraction is located outside of San Luis Obispo.
It is universally agreed upon that California is a dream destination for all walks of life. From the mountains and trees, to the blooming deserts, all the way to the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean – this large state offers more diversity than many countries combined! A trip to the Golden State is not one that will ever end in disappointment – so what are you waiting for?