California is considered by most to be one of the most popular states to visit in the U.S. and there’s a good reason for it. In the Golden State you’ll find a wide variety of attractions and enough sites to keep anyone busy for a lifetime. In southern California, families, friends, and visitors of all types can have a blast at Disneyland or live the life of luxury in Hollywood. The central coast has some of America’s most unique and popular cities.
Even though the movies might make California seem like all beaches and movie stars, what truly makes California special is its outstanding natural beauty. Spectacular sights are around every corner in California’s national parks and scenic coastline and some of them deserve a trip all their own.
It’s sometimes called the “Happiest Place on Earth. It’s not just the most popular attraction in California, but one of the most popular in America and even the entire world. Disneyland is a theme park in Anaheim, California that is part of the larger Disneyland Resort.
The park is a series of themed “lands,” that feature rides, games, entertainment, dining and more. The entire Disneyland Resort also includes 3 hotels, retail and dining areas and the Disneyland Park original theme park and the newer Disney California Adventure Park theme park.
This district of Los Angeles, made famous by the movie industry and resulting film culture, has gone on to be one of the most popular American attractions and cultural wonders. It has been the historical center of movie production since the creation of the motion picture and the term Hollywood is even used to refer to the entire industry of American cinema.
Some of the famous landmarks and attractions in Hollywood include various movie studios, the enormous Hollywood Hills sign, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Visitors enjoy touring movie studios, bus tours of Homes of the Stars.
Venice Beach is often what one imagines when they think of a California beach. Imagine long boardwalks, beach volleyball games that last all night, street performers on every corner, and an infectious laid back vibe and you’ve got a good idea of what Venice Beach is all about. This beachfront neighborhood in west Los Angeles.
The beach which is often called Muscle Beach, and the neighboring boardwalk area is where you’ll find courts for various types of sports, a bike trail, and many businesses. The Venice Fishing Pier is also a popular stop and the Venice Breakwater is a local surf spot that is known for great surfing waves.
Yosemite National Park
The grand majestic land known simply as Yosemite is one of the most visited national parks in America. The park, which is located in central eastern California, comprises over 761, 268 acres. Yosemite’s natural beauty is unmeasured and the region is recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and its wildlife.
Within Yosemite the most popular area is the seven mile long strip called Yosemite Valley near some of the major viewpoints and hiking and climbing destinations. The Yosemite Valley is where you’ll find famous views of places like Half Dome, El Capitan, and Glacier Point. This is a popular destination for sightseers, hikers, photographers, and climbers.
One of America’s most visited cities, San Francisco is home to some of America’s most iconic landmarks, exciting neighborhoods, and all around fun places to visit. The “grand daddy” of San Francisco attractions is the Golden Gate Bridge. An equally enticing but more challenging site to visit in San Francisco, the infamous Alcatraz Island.
A few of the must-sees in San Francisco include Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, the Haight-Ashbury area, and Chinatown. Besides visiting the popular sights and neighborhoods, no visit to Frisco is complete without a ride on the old trolleys.
Top Things to do in California
San DiegoThe bustling city of San Diego has something for everyone including endless beaches, nightlife, attractions, amusement parks, and even a few historic sites. The most popular attractions in San Diego are Sea World, the city’s famous aquarium and marine park, and the San Diego Zoo where 4,000 rare and endangered animals live representing more than 800 species.
Visitors to San Diego will have a full itinerary as the list of activities and attractions is long, but a few more favorites include Balboa Park the nation’s largest urban cultural park and the home of the San Diego Zoo.
Big Sur California
The coastline of central California often referred to as Big Sur, spans roughly 90 miles of some of the most picturesque rugged coastline in the world. Because of its remarkable beauty this is a popular driving route throughout the year and especially during the summer. Along the highway one can enjoy stunning views and a pleasant drive along the winding cliff-side road.
The most popular activity in the Big Sur area is simply stopping at one of many viewpoints for photographing and taking in the views. A definite must-see is along the route it the famous Bixby Creek Bridge along Highway 1. If you plan on staying in the region, tourists might also enjoy camping, hiking, mountain climbing, and other activities.
Redwood National and State Parks
Visitors flock from all around to stand and gape at the towering giants called redwoods which have made northern California famous. On the northern coast of California are the Redwoods National and State Parks. The national park is composed of the state park and several other state parks totaling 133,000 acres.
Tourists in the Redwoods National Park enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, and passing time in the various rivers and streams with a fishing pole or kayak. One favorite drive is the Avenue of the Giants, a scenic highway of 31 miles with attractions like the Immortal Tree, Founder’s Grove, the Drive-Through Tree, Tree House and many opportunities to drive or walk through the forests of redwoods.
Napa valley Wine Country
Napa Valley is a name that is probably familiar to most and it’s no secret why this northern California region has grown to be world famous. Today it is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. The climate, geography, and geology of the region make it perfect for growing quality grapes.
Tourists in Napa Valley enjoy wine tasting, of course, and other wine related activities like touring wineries and learning about production. Trips to Napa Valley are also one of the most popular trips for couples and groups or as a destination trip.
Much like some of California’s other attractions, Death Valley is a household name and in some ways it stands up to its reputation. It is a national park in California and Nevada east of the Sierra Nevada. Death Valley is also the largest national park in the lower 48 states. The name Death Valley probably has something to do with the fact that it is the hottest and driest national park.
Visitors to Death Valley can sightsee by automobile, four wheel drive vehicle, bike or mountain bike, and hiking. The park is normally visited from October to May due to extreme temperatures in the summer. There is also a visitor center in the Furnace Creek resort area and the rangers offer interpretive tours and walks during the winter season.
Things to do in California
The old saying goes that “everything is bigger in Texas,” but California might want to claim that title for itself. The Golden State is home to the largest population in the United States, and it has some of the largest and most visited parks, bridges, cities, museums, zoos, and other attractions in the country.