Top 10 California Travel Destinations to Inspire Your Next Vacation

10 California Travel Destinations to Inspire Your Next Vacation


California is one of the most diverse states in the U.S., and for a good reason. From its rugged coastline to its rolling vineyards, California offers a variety of experiences for every traveler.

It’s also home to some of America’s most famous cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. These are just a few examples—as well as a number of lesser-known gems that are just waiting to be explored. Here are ten places worth visiting when traveling through this amazing state:

Yosemite National Park

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Yosemite National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest national parks in the world. The park was established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864 and covers 1,170 square miles and encompasses areas within Fresno, Mariposa, Madera and Merced counties.

Yosemite is also home to some of the tallest trees in the world with some trees measuring more than 300 feet tall!

The park is also home to some of the oldest trees in the world, including Giant Sequoias and Bristlecone Pines. These trees can live up to 3,000 years! The park has over 2,000 square miles of wilderness where visitors can experience pristine wilderness and stunning views of Yosemite Valley.

San Francisco

Photo by Natalie Chaney on Unsplash

San Francisco is the most populous city in California, and it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. It’s known for its steep hills and cable cars. These will take you up to some of the best views in town.

San Francisco is also a hub for technology and innovation, with major companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Uber all having headquarters there.

In addition to being a great place to visit if you’re into history or culture, San Francisco makes an excellent vacation destination if you’re looking for things to do outdoors!

Some of my favorite things about San Francisco are:

Golden Gate Bridge – This bridge connects San Francisco with Marin County on its north end; it spans over 1 mile long!

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Lombard Street – If you’re going up Lombard Street then don’t forget your camera! I guarantee there will be plenty picturesque photo opportunities along this famous road leading up toward Coit Tower where there’s another great vantage point overlooking both sides of The Bay Area from above.


San Diego

Photo by Felix Wöstmann on Unsplash

San Diego is the second largest city in California. Located on the Pacific coast, San Diego has a mild year-round climate, making it an ideal vacation destination for travelers from all over the country.

San Diego has many different types of beaches including Coronado Beach and Mission Beach that are great spots to enjoy some sun while you’re there.

There are also plenty of other tourist attractions such as Sea World San Diego or LEGO LAND California Resort that will keep you busy if you want something more than just relaxing on the beach with a good book!

Lake Tahoe

Photo by Lukas Souza on Unsplash

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and it’s surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. This area is home to the Heavenly Ski Resort, which offers some of the best hiking trails in California. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure with a mix of relaxing time spent on the lake, Lake Tahoe is your destination!

Lake Tahoe has the perfect mix of an active lake and a relaxing escape. It’s perfect for those who want to spend their days on the water or hiking, but also enjoy spending some time in the sun by the lake.

Big Sur, California

Photo by Grant Porter on Unsplash

Big Sur is a coastal region in California. It’s known for its dramatic coastline, redwoods, and temperate rainforest. 

The beach itself is nestled between two cliffs and is one of California’s most beautiful beaches. It’s also a popular spot for swimming, surfing, or exploring the coastline from the comfort of your sea kayak.  

It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s home to some of California’s best beaches. The coast of California is a rugged wonderland, with dramatic cliffs and rocky coves that are perfect for exploring on foot or by kayak.


The Wild and Rugged Northern Coast of California

Redwood National Forest – Copyright Freedom Not Fate

The Northern Coast of California is a rugged, natural landscape dotted with quaint towns and grandiose mountains. The combination makes it a great area for outdoor adventures: hiking, biking, surfing and much more.

The North Coast also has many places to visit if you want to spend more time indoors. Along the coastal region are some of the most beautiful beaches in all of California. There are also wineries throughout this area that will provide ample opportunities to taste some delicious wines—and perhaps enjoy some live music as well!

However you decide to spend your time on this adventure-filled vacation spot, we’re sure that you’ll have a wonderful time exploring all that the north coast has to offer!

Napa and Sonoma County

Photo by Ugi K. on Unsplash

Napa and Sonoma County are located in Northern California, just 30 miles from each other. You’ll find that they both share many of the same offerings, but they also have their own unique attributes as well.

Their most famous attraction is wine-tasting: both valleys have a long history of producing exceptional wines, so it’s no surprise that you can’t walk down any street without running into at least one winery. If you’re looking for something more than wine tasting however…

Napa Valley is known for its vineyards and wineries while Sonoma Valley is known for its wineries too. Both valleys are beautiful places to hike or bike through—but if we had to pick one over another? We’d say Napa Valley has better restaurants and hotels than Sonoma Valley does!

Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood

Copyright: Freedom Not Fate

Disneyland and Universal Studios are American theme parks located in Anaheim and Los Angeles, California.

Disneyland is the first Disney theme park to open and the most visited in the world. The original park opened on July 17, 1955 with only 18 attractions, but has since grown to include over 60 rides and attractions, multiple hotels and much more!

While you can visit Disneyland as a day trip from San Diego or Los Angeles (a 2 hour drive), we recommend staying overnight so that you can take advantage of two days at this magical place.

Universal Studios Hollywood is right in the heart of Los Angeles and a must do if you’re a Harry Potter fan. 

Los Angeles

Overlook in Malibu, Los Angeles – Copyright: Freedom Not Fate

Santa Monica

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

Santa Monica is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County, California. The city is known for its sandy beaches, as well as its famous pier and Santa Monica State Beach.

The Santa Monica Pier is a 1,000 ft (300 m) long structure located at the end of Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California. It was opened on July 4th 1896 by Charles Looff (1851–1926). It’s since been rebuilt several times over the years, most recently in 2009 after suffering damage when an oil barge ran aground nearby during Hurricane Marie earlier that year.

The pier now features an aquarium which opened October 20th 2011 after being converted from an old arcade building that had previously stood on site since 1914 with only minor modifications made during its time there before becoming home to this new attraction later this decade.

The second largest city in the United States (after New York City), Los Angeles is an interesting mix of urban and suburban culture. It has one of the most diverse populations in America, and it’s also home to Hollywood—which means you can be sure that you’ll see plenty of celebrities if you visit here!

Los Angeles is more than just a place for star-gazing though! It has miles upon miles of coastline and multiple beaches from Venice Beach to Santa Monica, as well as a selection of natural attractions including Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga Canyon State Park and Runyon Canyon Park – These are all popular with hikers who enjoy being close enough to nature without having to camp out overnight.

There are so many opportunities to discover seeing what makes Los Angeles so special!

Your next vacation should be in America’s most diverse and beautiful state

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that’s big on American charm and steeped in a rich history, then California is the place for you. Located on the west coast, this state has plenty to offer visitors of all ages and interests.

From family-friendly activities like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood to more adventurous pursuits like skiing at Squaw Valley or hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail, there’s something for everyone here. It’s also home to some of America’s most beautiful natural wonders, including Yosemite National Park and the Redwood Forest.

The perfect time of year to visit California depends on what type of experience you want. When it comes down to it, there are few better ways to get away from it all than taking advantage of winter weather conditions by going camping!

You really can’t go wrong with a trip to California. Whether you like the mountains, beaches or cities, there are plenty of things to do and see. The state is home to some of the most beautiful areas in the world and it’s perfect for travelers who want an exciting vacation experience.

Contributed by Mary Biron of Dive In 


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