Best Places to Visit in California
There’s more to California than just movie stars and Disneyland. This is a state that boasts a large number of stunning natural attractions, including beautiful beaches, serene deserts and majestic mountains. California is also home to a number of exciting major cities, charming towns and to some of the world’s best wineries. An overview of the best places to visit in California.
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. 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. But the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Palm Springs is also home to many fine-dining restaurants and to a large number of bars, clubs and casinos.
This charming island is located approximately 22 miles 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.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal city that is located about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. Sometimes referred to as “The American Riviera,” Santa Barbara is famous for its mild temperatures and for the California Mission-style architecture that is very common in this city. A long-standing local ordinance ensures that all commercial construction follows the Mission theme, which results in a plethora of red-tiled roofs and adobe supermarkets. In addition, Santa Barbara boasts beautiful beaches and is a popular getaway spot for Los Angeles residents. Santa Barbara’s most popular attractions are its Stearns Wharf and the Mission Santa Barbara, a Spanish outpost founded by the Franciscan order in 1786.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These two national parks are located next door to each other in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, and both are famous for their enormous giant sequoia trees. These trees can grow to be more than 300 feet (90 meters) tall and their trunks can be as much as 100 feet wide. Sequoia National Park, which was established in 1890, is also home to Mount Whitney, which is the highest point in the contiguous United States. Interestingly enough, Kings Canyon boasts the deepest canyon in America. The parks are also home to a lot of wildlife species, including bobcats, gray foxes, bears and mule deer. If they’re lucky, visitors might even be able to spot bighorn sheep or mountain lions. Both parks are popular with backpackers and hikers, and there are 14 campgrounds available for visitors.