California is known as the ultimate vacation spot across the US & there’s a reason. California truly seems to have a little bit of everything, from mountains, forests, & some of the most beautiful beaches. There are so many adventures to be had while visiting, & honestly, some of them may not be what you think. When you picture California, you probably think of big cities & beaches, & while those have their perks, there’s more to the state than you think! So for today, we’re going to name off the top 7 destination spots you have to visit in California at least once for the ultimate vacation!
To kick things off, we have to start with the famous theme park that started it all! Disneyland is a place where many tourists from all around the world flock to every year to share a part in all its magic, & there’s a reason. Full of pure magic & adventure, here, you can live out your childhood no matter your age. Disneyland is just one of those places that makes you feel happy & reminds you to enjoy all those little moments in life again. It also teaches you to cherish those childhood memories & relive all the good times you used to have.
Not to mention, you can see some of the most amazing firework shows, see your favorite childhood characters come to life, & ride some of the best theme parks rides you’ve ever been on. Overall, if you’ve never visited Disney before, it’s definitely time to plan a trip for the entire family!
To truly make the most of your trip, be sure to check out the blog, “40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland” for great tips & tricks!
2. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a highly sought after vacation spot worldwide & a huge tourist destination in the summer & winter, & there’s definitely a reason. Tahoe is one of the most breathtaking places on the west coast where you can see just about everything. Here, you’ll find a gorgeous clear blue lake surrounded by huge mountain peaks on all angles, with forest filling in all the empty spaces for endless hiking & outdoor adventures. You can also camp here deep in the woods or even on the beach next to the beautiful waves & take a refreshing swim. Overall, if you’re looking for an escape, Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for you to relax & rejuvenate with the fresh mountain air.
If you’re looking for more ideas on things to do while in Tahoe, be sure to check out our article all about it here.
3. San Francisco
The next on the list is San Franciso. No matter what part of the world you’re from, San Francisco is a place you’ve definitely heard of. You’ve probably seen this place in a few famous movies, & trust us; it definitely lives up to all it’s made to be. From countless places to visit from piers to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, there are tons of fun activities to do here. While in town, be sure to visit Pier 39 & the Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can look out to see the infamous Alcatraz prison. If you’re brave, you can even take a ferry out there & explore the interiors yourself. Oh, & don’t forget to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge while you’re at it!
No matter what you do, you’ll have a great time explore this unique California city & get a feel for what it means to live the California life!
4. San Diego
The next place that is a must to visit in California is San Diego. Being one of the most famous & beautiful locations in southern California, you definitely don’t want to miss out on a city like this! Not only does this city have a little bit of everything, from beautiful beaches to amazing historical sites, & beautiful landscape, but it’s also a city full of celebration. One of the most popular celebrations that people flock to each summer is that of the San Diego Comic-Con. Here, you can dress up, meet celebrities, & let your inner geek shine. Talk about a unique place! Not to mention, you can eat some of the biggest pizza & lasagna you’ve ever had down in Little Italy. Oh, & don’t miss out on a tour of the famous Balboa Park.
No matter what you do, San Diego is a perfect weekend getaway for the entire family at any time of the year!
The next place on the list is Yosemite. Many people think that California is all about beaches & big cities, but to be honest, if you want to experience California for all that it is, you need to go deeper into the woods, & Yosemite is a perfect place to do that. Here, you can go hiking or swimming, & see sights, unlike anywhere else in the world, such as the famous Half Dome. But if you truly want to experience the California woods at it’s finest, spend a weekend here camping away from technology & city life. Trust us; you’ll leave with a much different perspective of the state than you ever had before.
If you truly want to make the most of your trip, be sure to check out the article, “7 Best Things To Do In Yosemite” for more adventurous ideas!
Now, since we’ve talked about the cities & the mountains, it’s time to move to the beaches. California is most known for its beach life, & one of the most beautiful beaches you can visit while here is Malibu. Located in so cal just out of LA, here you’ll find some of the warmest weather year-round with some of the most beautiful sunsets to top it off. This is a great place to kick back, rejuvenate, & have fun. Not to mention, you’ll get a feel for the authentic vibe of the laid-back California surfer stereotypes & may even make a few friends!
No matter what you do, this is a beautiful place to visit along the coast that you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
7. Santa Cruz
And lastly, we have to feature this other unique beach town that’s unlike any other beaches in the whole state of California. Home to a totally different vibe than that of the so cal beaches, here you’ll have the opportunity to adventure, relax, & just let loose. Wedge deep in the mountains, this a great little mysterious town where you can shop the local mini-markets, listen to the musicians as you walk the streets, hike through the misty mountains, or even check out the famous Santa Cruz boardwalk. Not to mention, this quaint beach town has been featured in countless movies, perhaps the most notable being, “The Lost Boys,” so it’s an excellent way for fans to relive all of their favorite cinematic moments!
Overall, this town has a little bit of everything to keep you busy & entertained & is the perfect place for an authentic California getaway. PS – don’t forget the garlic!