15 Amazing Places to Visit in California

California is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and not just for its family-friendly theme parks that can keep you entertained for days on end. Like other states along the West Coast, California has gorgeous coastlines, national parks, waterfronts, and even deserts. There are also iconic pieces of architecture worth a view and the chance to see a celebrity in Hollywood.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite National Park is in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s famed for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, and for Tunnel View, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome.

In Yosemite Village are shops, restaurants, lodging, the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery, with prints of the photographer’s renowned black-and-white landscapes of the area

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA

The Golden Gate Bridge stretches 4,200 feet to connect Pacific Ocean to the San Francisco Bay. According to most well known Golden Gate Bridge facts the construction phase took 4 years.

The Golden Gate Bridge is undoubtedly the symbol of San Francisco and the most photographed attraction in the city.

Death Valley

Death Valley, California, USA

Death Valley encompasses much of the Death Valley National Park. Although regarded as the driest and lowest place in North America, Death Valley offers a variety of outdoor activities, historic sites and nature viewing. From snow-capped mountains to colorful sand dunes, the unique desert landscapes of Death Valley are like no other place in California.

California's Pacific Coast Highway

California’s Pacific Coast Highway, California, USA

The Pacific Coast Highway in California is one of the most beautiful drives there is. It runs along most of the coastline of California and is famous across the world for its beautiful scenery. starting from California’s northern border with Oregon and stretching all the way down to San Diego the route takes round ten hours to complete at a leisurely pace with no stops.

Redwood National and State Parks

Redwood National and State Parks, California, USA

The Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests located in the United States, along the coast of northern California.

The name of this park may seem strange, but that's because it actually comprises a number of state parks. More than 133,000 majestic acres of parkland, the park protects 45% of remaining coastal redwood trees.

These trees are the tallest and among the most massive trees on earth. Hiking and back-country camping are permitted; the only hotels are in nearby towns including Klamath.

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California, USA

Santa Cruz is one of the surfing mecca’s of the United States. The city itself is only small with a population of approximately 50,000 but the beautiful beaches and bohemian vibe attracts many visitors from across the world. The all year summer feel adds to the feeling of never ending paradise that you will always feel in this city.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, California, USA

The largest freshwater alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is a vacation destination for foreign and domestic travelers alike. Famous for its outdoor recreation opportunities, including skiiing, waterskiiing, hiking, fishing, and camping.

Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada, California

Lake Tahoe's south shore (technically in Nevada) features a number of large casinos for gambling and entertainment.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley, California, USA

In the north of California you will find the Napa Valley. The area is famous for its beautiful landscapes and legendary wineries.

The area is perfect for those that want to get away from it all and pamper themselves for a few days in the award winning restaurants and spas.

Pomponio Beach

Pomponio Beach, California, USA

Stretching along two miles of the Californian coast is Pomponio Beach. The beach is situated below steep sandstone cliffs and hillsides that are thick with vegetation. The beach is remote and due to its location it is not accessible from the highway making it a secluded paradise.

Bishop, California

Bishop, California, USA

Bishop in California is a small town that offers much to the person who loves the great outdoors. You can trek to the top of White Mountain Peak which is 14,246 feet at its altitude and offers stunning views of the landscape below.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Joshua Tree National Park is named this because of the Joshua trees that are native to the park. The area is a designated wilderness and encompasses two very different deserts.Visitors to the park can experience camping, hiking, and climbing.

Lassen National Park

Lassen National Park, California, USA

This fascinating volcanic park is less-visited than some in California, but hosts some of the most incredible views in the state. With over 150 miles of hiking trails, eight campsites, and the largest plug-dome volcano in the world (Lassen Peak), the park sits on an area known for its hydrothermal activity.Trails take visitors past roaring fumaroles (steam and volcanic-gas vents), noisy "thumping" mud pots, boiling pools, and steaming ground.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California, USA

Located in the California desert, Palm Springs has long been a popular winter playground for the rich and famous.

The sun shines for approximately 350 days of the year on Palm Springs and during the winter months, it enjoys pleasant daytime highs in the mid 60 °F degrees (16 °C). Visitors to Palm Springs can take advantage of all of this sunshine in a number of ways.

One of the most popular ways is on one of the city’s many golf courses and driving ranges. Palm Springs also boasts a number of exciting annual events, including the famous Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island, California, USA

This charming island is located approximately 22 miles (35 km) across the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles. It is both a favorite day trip for visitors to L.A., as well as a popular vacation and honeymoon spot.

Santa Catalina is a small island with two main centers of population, Two Harbors and Avalon. Most travelers to the island stay mainly in the Avalon area. Surprisingly, the island even boasts a small population of American bison that were brought to the island during the filming of a movie.

Travelers can reach the island by private boat, ferries, helicopters or small planes. Once on the island, transportation is limited to bicycles, taxis and golf carts.

San Diego, California

San Diego, California, USA

Along the coast of the Pacific Ocean is the vibrant and gorgeous city of San Diego.There are plenty of beautiful beaches to explore which when tempered with the mild climate of the area make this a fantastic place to visit.

San Diego has the nickname “America’s Finest City” which should say it all really.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica, California, USA

McArthur–Burney Falls State Park, California

McArthur–Burney Falls State Park, California

La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California

La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California

California Street in San Francisco

California Street in San Francisco, USA

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