Welcome to the Golden State of California, home to some of the nation’s best wine, beaches and the ever famous Hollywood. With the Pacific Ocean to the left, the Sierra Nevada to the right, the Redwood forests to the top and the Mojave Desert in the south, California caters to all kinds of outdoor activities – so all you surfers, hikers, snowboarders and bikers, you’ll never want to leave!
California has six of fifty of the country’s biggest cities – Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego, among others. And each one of these has its own unique character. Starting with warm and sunny Southern California, people often migrate this way to enjoy the fabulous weather, gorgeous beaches and get some great surfing. San Diego is a famous hotspot, particularly popular with surfers. It is better known for its Gaslamp District and day trips to Coronado Island. Los Angeles is the biggest city in the area – the hallmark Hollywood sign and the Rose Bowl are two among many highlights. Anaheim is a popular family vacation destination for both Universal Studios and Disneyland. Manhattan Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Monica are other extremely popular stops located along the state’s endless coastline. Long Beach and Huntington Beach are also very close to LA. You cannot leave SoCal without at least a pit stop in hilly Santa Barbara. Breathtakingly scenic, it’s no wonder that numerous celebrities now call it home. Wine tasting and biking are two popular tourist activities.
As you continue to make your way north on the scenic 101 drive, you can also take a break in San Luis Obispo popularly known as SLO. Locals recommend being on foot as the best way to explore its many treasures. And, what better way to end your trip than San Francisco. Tony Bennett echoed every tourist’s sentiment when he sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Rich in culture, home to some of the best restaurants and oh-so-popular for its multiple costume parades, this city is truly endearing. Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf are two prominent tourist stops in the city. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to Muir Woods, a gorgeous national park that stands tall with its amazing redwood trees. Oakland’s Port tour is another interesting experience – the numerous cranes in the Bay explain the inspiration for the Star Wars’ ATATs.
Wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma, the Monterey Aquarium and Carmel’s 18 mile drive are easy and fun day trips. Yosemite, Tahoe and Big Sur are some preferred weekend getaways within easy reach. The state’s capital city of Sacramento is also just a few hours away. Old Sacramento with its cobblestone streets and wooden boardwalks has a rustic charm to it. California also has some of the country’s most prominent sports teams – the Oakland Raiders (NFL), San Francisco 49ers (NFL), Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB), and San Francisco Giants (MLB) to name a few. Try and grab a game or two while visiting during season.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are the two main airports in the state. Most cities are connected by bus routes and even Amtrak. Because of its diverse geography, one has many different options in terms of places to stay. The perfect California vacation rental could range from holiday homes in Palm Springs to condos for rent in downtown Los Angeles. Beach rentals, villa rentals and cabin rentals are some other fun options when moving away from urban life. Home rentals are also a great way to save on those pricey big city hotels. So book your flights today and don’t forget your sunblock!
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