Ah, California. The Golden State is home to beautiful people and even more stunning landscapes. Take a trip to this massive state and you can do anything from surfing at Venice Beach to snowboarding in Bear Mountain. You can even sip wine in the countryside with some of most fashionable trendsetters on the planet. California really does have it all - each city is diverse and eclectic in its own sense. Whether you’re traveling here to attend a major event, head to one of the nation’s most beloved attractions or experience nature like never before, we can assure you that you’ll love it here.
Yosemite National Park:
One of the most awe-inspiring and visually stunning locations in the world, Yosemite National Park offers activities and sightseeing for people of all ages. Spanning more than 1,200 square miles, this park is best known for its cascading waterfalls, ancient grand sequoias and deep valleys that are almost unbelievable until you see them with your own eyes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nature enthusiast or you’ve never strapped on a pair of hiking boots before, Yosemite is a grand and mighty national park.
San Diego Zoo:
Home to more than 4,000 animals in beautiful Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo covers more than 100 acres and features exhibits like Lost Forest, Africa Rocks, Asian Passage and Outback. With so much to explore, you’ll want to spend an entire day here. Because it’s so large, this zoo offers a guided tour bus ride that introduces you to all the best spots.
Sitting up on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood sign is an iconic landmark that was put up in 1923 as “Hollywoodland.” Although the sign has seen its good and bad days, it remains one of the state’s most beloved attractions.
Golden Gate Bridge:
Quite possibly the most famous bridge in the country, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County and beyond. Towering 746 feet into the air, this Art Deco architecture masterpiece is more than just a bridge.
Things to Do
Hollywood Walk of Fame:
Stroll down the same street as some of the most beloved and well-known entertainers along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. More than 2,400 stars are embedded into Hollywood Boulevard, which stretches for more than 15 blocks. All inductee ceremonies are free to attend, so check to see if anyone will be making an appearance during your stay.
Some may find it a bit morbid to visit an old penitentiary, but Alcatraz Island is deeply rooted in America’s history. This locale was once home to Native Americans who were evacuated by the U.S. government, and the massive rock was turned into a prison for inmates like Al Capone. But don’t expect this place to be dark and gloomy. There is actually beautiful views and bird colonies here.
Attend a Festival:
California is home to some of the nation’s best festivals. The Newport Beach Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Treasure Island Music Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and Carlsbad Marathon are just to name a few. No matter what time of the year you’re traveling here, you’ll be able to find an event or festival to suit your fancy.
Top Restaurants and Shopping Areas
Rodeo Drive is known as one of the best shopping hubs for high-end attire and accessories, but if you’re looking for more of a variety, head to Santa Monica. From the pedestrian-only 3rd Street Promenade to Main Street to Santa Monica Place, this city is bursting at the seams with places to drop a few bucks. Located just north of L.A., Santa Monica features everything from boutiques to second hand stores to art galleries to antique shops.
Californians always seem to be one step ahead of the rest in terms of innovation, so you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll eat some of the most decadent cuisine while you’re here. Major dining hubs are Los Angeles and San Francisco, although you’ll be able to find delicious eats no matter where you go. Check out Michael Mina in San Francisco, Osteria Mozza in L.A. or Mustards Grill in Napa.
As you might know, California has a higher cost of living, meaning that food, attractions and gas is going to cost you a bit more. Plan ahead of time to save enough dough so that you don’t have to skip out on the legendary cuisine or world-famous sites, because if you’re in California, you might as well do it right!