Sunny California, one of the most desired travel destinations of so many. The palm trees, the beaches, the long desert roads, and the feeling like your whole life has been waiting for that moment. When we think of this state, we instantly think of Los Angeles or San Francisco, but the truth is this country has so much more to offer.
You may have already heard of Yosemite National Park or the Sequoia National Park, but they are just two among so many beautiful natural wonders. If you want to see this side of the Cali experience and check out the ten places we picked for you .
1. Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
Located in the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat, this colorful park full of poppies and other wildflowers is the perfect way to enjoy far from the city crowds. Open any time of the day; it’s especially nice during sunrise or sunset. The only thing you have to pay for is the parking and a tour. It’s best to visit the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve during the blooming season, which varies, but generally, it starts in February and lasts until May.
2. Point Reyes National Seashore
This breathtaking seashore is located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County. The whole nature experience here will surely leave you impressed. The beaches, the flowers, the calmness of the whole place. There are many historic dates connected to it – the oldest one is believed to be 8,400 B.C! Many animals can be seen here, and it mostly depends on the season. There are many activities to do here, such as camping, hiking, trailing and so on.
3. Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is the typical mountain place from your dreams: it has the lake, the forest, the wildlife. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway! The lake is located on the border between California and Nevada. If you like sports, lake Tahoe can give you all the excitement – skiing, snowboarding, skating, and many more. If you like your vacations more relaxing, there’s always some spa to help you relax!
4. Dumont Dunes
Yes, if you haven’t heard before, but California has dunes as well. The Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Area, also called the Open Area, is located in the Mojave Desert, about 31 miles from Baker, California. Most of the visitors come to ride motorcycles or ATVs. If that’s not your thing, there are other activities to do such as hiking, bird or wildlife watching, rockhounding, and rock scrambling.
5. Joshua Tree National Park
The Joshua Tree National Park brings together two deserts: Mojave and Colorado. The wild nature here will make happy any traveler who likes this type of exploring. So, what’s so special about the Joshua tree, you may ask? These trees can only be found in the Mojave – Colorado desert region, in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Years ago, they were used by the Indians for different purposes, such as using the trees’ leaves for making baskets or sandals.
6. Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta has it all – if you are dreaming about a winter getaway, don’t hesitate to choose it as your destination. The Mount is actually a potentially active volcano, which is a part of the Cascade range. It offers you beautiful nature, such as lavender fields, plants, wildlife, and it’s also good for family vacations. There are many water sports that you can do, mountaineering, bird watching, and camping, among others.
7. Death Valley
The famous Californian Death Valley is the hottest place on Earth and the lowest and the driest in North America. It’s not the typical nature you are used to seeing, but it has a unique beauty that you might be fascinated by. The park brings together both California and Nevada, and before visiting it, I know that many activities are not recommended because of the extremely hot weather. Oh, and did you know there are ghost towns?
8. Yosemite National Park
Fresh air, birds singing, the sound of the waterfall, no cars and crowd… Isn’t that the perfect option for relaxing? If your answer is yes, then visiting the Yosemite National Park should be on the top of your list. The Park is most known for the waterfalls, but you are going to love the meadows and valleys. But, be careful – there are many bears here!
9. Napa Valley
Does it remind you a bit of the Tuscany fields in Italy? It is located in the northern part of the country and if you go, don’t miss taking a wine tour! If you haven’t known by now, Napa Valley is famous for the wine industry. The wine produced there is considered one of the best in the world. It’s a good option to see another side of Californian life. If you have a chance to visit Napa Valley, don’t hesitate to do so.
10. Huntington Beach
Let’s not forget that one of the things California is famous for is exactly the beaches! The soft sand, the palm trees, the salty ocean water… Sometimes that’s the best way to spend the day. Relaxing at the beach with our favorite drink and friends can do the trick for us. This beach here in Huntington Beach in Orange County, but most of the beaches in California will leave you breathless – especially during sunrise or sunset. If this attracts you, book a party bus to California and start to plan you trip.