Top 10 Must See Places on Your Californian Road Trip

We can all agree that one of the most beloved tourist destinations is the state of California. The State is located in the Pacific region of the United States and it is number 1 most popular state among tourists. So, what makes California so special? Is it the long, white sand beaches with amazing oceanfront and fun surfing scene? Or, maybe the numerous breathtaking nature parks with amazing lakes, forests and wildlife?

No matter what you’re looking for in a vacation, California has it all. We’ve all heard about Los Angeles, San Francisco, Malibu and Yosemite National Park, so we decided to show you ten other places that offer just as much as fun and beauty. Read along and let us know which of these places you’d like to visit!

1. Santa Cruz


Santa Cruz is situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bay and it is exactly the kind of Californian town you dream of – long beaches, amazing ocean views and plenty of activities to enjoy. Being a well-known surf town, you can start a surfing class or enjoy the surfing at the Steamer Lane if you already know how to. You can also take a ride on the Giant Dipper, an iconic 1924 wooden roller coaster, or enjoy the relaxing nature of the nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

2. Pismo Beach


Located in San Luis Obispo County, Pismo Beach is a very small town that will charm you with its Californian vibes. Here you will find that the Pismo Beach Pier is the town’s trademark – it is 1,200 feet long and built in 1928! Thanks to the flat expanses, Pismo Beach has one of the most walkable beaches in all of California. If you want to experience the good old Cali vibes without the crazy tourist crowds, then Pismo Beach is the place to visit.

3. Big Sur


Big Sur is of the most picturesque spots in California, so it’s no wonder why you can see it so often on social media. The Big Sur is a rugged stretch of roughly 85 miles and driving through will fascinate you with the scenery. It’s a long ride with plenty of places to stop along the way, but note that the Big Sur is an extremely popular tourist destination, so it’s going to be crowded, and places are far away from each other. Plan you’re trip well so that you can enjoy the ride without stressing out or being in a rush.

4. Huntington Beach


Huntington Beach is voted the 10th happiest city in the U.S. and was also voted the best beach in California. This means that having some beach fun is completely a must! The whole city is inspired by this, and you can easily see that by visiting the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, or the Huntington Beach Art Center. If you’re more into nature stuff, then you should definitely visit the nearby Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

5. Carmel-by-the-Sea


Carmel is one of the most unique places in California. It is the typical Californian beach town, except that this one has European fairy tale look alike cottages. Yes, that’s right, it’s like a medieval European village, but this one is situated by the ocean and has plenty of palms! Carmel offers amazing experiences besides surfing and beach fun – you can go for wine tasting, visit art galleries and enjoy the plenty of cultural activities going on.

6. Morro Bay


Located in the San Luis Obispo County, Morro Bay is home of one of the famous Californian volcano plug Morro Rock. It adds such charm to the ocean scenery! If you ever visit Morro Bay, you’re going to love this small and lovely Californian town for its quietness and nature. It’s the perfect place for a rest-and-relaxation kind of holiday. Visit the nearby state parks and the bird estuary to really get what is like living here.

7. Point Reyes


Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern California. It is located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County and was established in order to preserve and save the wilderness in this part of the state. One of the most popular spots here is the cypress tree tunnel that leads to the famous KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station.

8. Mammoth Lakes


If you want to get away from the surfing scene, then California has other options to offer: amazing mountains and camping conditions! Mammoth Lakes is a small town in Mono County and is home of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, one of California’s top ski spots. If you’re not a fan of skiing, in Mammoth Lakes you can enjoy plenty of other outdoor activities, or simple enjoy the quiet, surrounding nature.

9. Sequoia National Park


Established in 1890, the Sequoya National Park is home of the famous giant trees known as Sequoya, and here you can see the world’s largest living tree – the General Sherman. Visiting the park is really must because you won’t find anything like this somewhere else! The Park is located in Tulare County and we also recommend you to take one of the historic tours being offered there.

10. Mojave National Preserve


The Mojave National Preserve is located in Southern California, between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. This is something you haven’t seen before – the whole place offers so much to be seen, from the famous Joshua tree forests, to sand dunes and volcanic cinder cones. The wildflowers carpets are making the place even more majestic! The Mojave National Preserve is always open, however make sure to plan your trip here well.


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