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20 Best Places to Visit in California

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10. Hollywood Boulevard

HollywoodB

Photo source: Thomas Ormston

Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most well-known locations in the area and features plenty of attractions. You can take a guided tour of the Boulevard or set out on your own to view the numerous theaters and museums in the area. Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the hand- and footprints in the Graman’s Chinese Theatre forecourt or Madame Tussauds Hollywood.

09. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia

Photo source: Andrew

For more natural beauty and giant trees don’t miss out on Sequoia and Kings National Park. Here you can drive through some epic tree tunnels, visit the beautiful crystal cave, and view some of the oldest, widest and tallest trees in the world. You’ll also find plenty of breathtaking hiking trails and some nice picnic spots in the park.

08. Legoland

LegolandC

Photo source: Will Gearhart

You don’t have to be a Lego fan to enjoy Legoland, but it certainly helps. The colorful bricks are definitely a big draw, but you’ll also find a water park and aquarium. The resort features more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, so set aside a full day to experience everything it has to offer.

07. La Jolla

LaJolla

Photo source: Nathan Rupert

The La Jolla coastline is long and varied, offering plenty of scenic spots. You are not restricted to watching either as kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding and scuba diving are all popular local pastimes. Out of the water, there are plenty of golf courses to frequent as well as upscale boutiques and cafes in La Jolla Village.

06. Seaworld

Seaworld

Photo source: Kev Purcell

SeaWorld San Diego is not just an oceanarium and outside aquarium, but also a marine mammal park and animal theme park with plenty of attractions. It features numerous animal habitats, rides, shows and play areas. With incredible live shows and the opportunity to up close to the marine life, SeaWorld San Diego offers plenty of family oriented fun.

05. Venice Beach

VeniceBeach

Photo source: Andy Carr

Venice Beach is the place to go for anyone looking to soak up the sunlight and experience the quirky local culture. Watch the graffiti art featured on the Venice Art Walls along the beach and check out the art studios as well as independent designers found in the area. It is a great place for those who like to keep active as well with easy access to miles of beaches, outdoor basketball courts and paddle tennis courts. If the hustle and bustle of the famous Boardwalk becomes too much, there are also the tranquil Venice Canals to explore.

04. Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Photo source: Todd Lappin

The former prison, known famously as “The Rock”, is now a popular tourist stop for anyone heading towards San Francisco. Catch a short ferry ride from Pier 33 to check out where notorious criminals such as Mickey Cohen and Al Capone were incarcerated. The tours offer a fascinating glimpse into what inside this prison facility was like and in addition to taking the cellhouse audio tour the historic exhibits on the rest of the island is also worth a look.

03. Napa Valley

NappaValley

Photo source: Tom Post

Napa Valley is known for its stunning views, but a trip to this area also guarantees access to great wines and fabulous foods. After all, the area is widely considered to be one of the premier wine regions not only in the United States, but in the world. Although a visit to all the wineries are a must, there is more to do in the area. There are seasonal guided tours for hiking as well as plenty of bicycle routes, while anyone who feels like a bit of pampering should visit the natural hot springs at the northern end of the valley.

02. Big Sur

Big_Sur

Photo source: Bobby C

To view some of the most breathtaking views in the United States take a trip along Highway 1 through Big Sur. There are numerous vista points placed along the road to stop, stretch your legs and snap photos of the beautiful landscape. There is plenty of sightseeing to be done in the area without ever leaving the highway, but outdoor enthusiasts can also go mountain climbing or hiking in the area. There are nine state parks in the area and plenty of interesting spots, such as McWay Falls, Jade Cove, Bixby Creek Bridge and Point Sur Lighthouse.

01. Death Valley

Death_Valley

Photo source: Roberta Barbero

It is one of the driest, lowest and hottest areas of North America, but there are still a couple of compelling reasons to visit Death Valley in Eastern California. Go for a scenic drive or take in the fabulous panoramas found in the Furnace Creek area. In the Stovepipe Wells area there is a ghost town to explore as well as Indian petroglyphs while Golden Canyon Trail, Badwater Salt Flats and Natural Bridge Canyon are all great hiking spots. Despite the name, Death Valley is not a lifeless wasteland, but actually home to thousands of plant species as well as plenty of mammals, birds and reptiles.


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