California is one of the many treasures of the US, and if you’re going to spend time and money anywhere; California is where you should spend it. Here’s what you need to know.
For Beach Bums
California is the beach lover’s haven, boasting gorgeous beaches and coastal culture that is unique to sunny California. If you’re a beach bum, and you’re not already hopelessly in love with the Sunny State then you are missing out for sure. California’s beaches can easily compete with some international beaches. Here are the things you need to know
You could easily lose an entire day just enjoying the gorgeous beaches in Malibu, soaking up the sun. Even if you’re touring and you want to plan a beach day, save it for Malibu. There isn’t a shortage of beauty or fun in this place. Of course, there’s incredible food too, if you’re looking for some great grub then you should check out The Malibu Cafe, The Sunset Restaurant, Duke’s and Nobu’s (For seafood).
Hitch a Boat Ride
Okay so you love the sea and the sand, but when is the last time you did something besides lay on the beach? (not that that isn’t awesome too). Have you ever tried to get the most out of a beach vacay? Go snorkeling or scuba diving, whale watching or just go for a boat ride! Get out of your box and do at least one thing you haven’t done before.
Surf City is definitely an attraction for the young and adventurous. If you’ve never surfed before, there is literally no better place to learn than Surf City, as the name implies, it’s a fantastic place to catch a wave – but first, you’ll probably swallow more sea water than humanly possible. Hey, that’s how everyone learns! Remember to cover your head every time you fall, yes, all 700,000 times.
For Nature Lovers
One of the countless incredible things about California is that its beauty is far deeper than gorgeous shorelines. Nature in California is so picturesque and serene it’s no wonder people don’t want to leave. And if you’re interested in more than beaches, we’ve got a list for you too, of course.
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo is much more than a coastal town, it’s got incredible mountain ranges and waterfalls. Bishop Peak is the tallest of The Nine Sisters and is named that way because it looks like a bishop’s hat (apparently) and is a favorite by hikers and cyclists alike. But if you want more than just a beautiful mountain range, why not hike Reservoir Canyon known for its waterfalls? Be warned though, this is a challenging hike so pack your water bottle – you’re going to need it.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
This is a great day outing that the whole family will love. San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an 1800 acre walk-through Wild Animal Park with enclosures that are more suited to the animals’ natural habitats. At just $54 an adult and $44 per child, this is a day trip you are sure to remember. When you plan your trip you can purchase your tickets online and skip the line.
Whale watch in Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay is a hot spot for whale watching and if you’ve ever been, you’ll know why. Because right throughout the year you can go whale watching and actually see the sea mammals migrate. If you’re visiting between Dec 15th and April 15th you’re more likely to see grey whales, dolphins and killer whales (my fave). Toward the end of April to about the beginning of December, you will probably see blue whales, humpback whales and some more dolphins (these guys are just busy aren’t they?)
Something For Everyone
Of course, you don’t have to have a specific preference about what you see and where you go in California. There is something for everyone. After all, diversity is the spice of life, isn’t it? Here are a few stops that everyone will enjoy:
Salvation Mountain is a hill like no other, that’s for sure. Today it is a must-see on your bucket list, because well, you just have to see it. A man spent 28 years making and painting Salvation Mountain from scratch, and like many of the other Californian cultural eccentricities, it’s something that will knock your socks off in person.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
A movie palace on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It originally opened in May of 1927 and is one of the most historic landmarks in movie culture. You can choose to see a show, yes they show modern movies, or you can take a tour to soak up the rich history. Or both. Why not?
Golden Gate Bridge
Alright alright, so this may sound a little biased, coming from someone who would move to San Francisco in a heartbeat, but, the Golden Gate bridge is pretty freaking spectacular. If you haven’t been in this incredible city, then you definitely need to. Stat. The truth is San Francisco is more than just the bridge, this culturally rich city will easily sweep you off your feet. The painted ladies, the street art, Pierre 39, and don’t forget Alcatraz Island, do yourself a favor and mark San Francisco in red on your map because you have to go there.
Solvang the Danish Village
Not only is this place a quaint little Danish Village, but it’s also one of the coolest stops you can make if you have kids. Solvang boasts Danish delicacies, Trolley & Carriage Rides, antiques, a miniature horse ranch, and a castle-themed play park for kids! Honestly, they had me at Danish delicacies.
Located in Venice, Los Angeles the Venice Canals is a little man-made village that resembles, you guessed it, Venice. Complete with Canoe rides and bridges, it definitely makes you feel like it could be the real thing. Still, it’s a great place to just chill and on a busy Californian road-trip, you can use a little rest.