California is the most populous state in the United States. With vibrant cities, beaches, amusement parks, and natural wonders, it is the most preferred destination for visitors from across the world. Plan your trip to the US and California so that when you receive your US visa, you are fully prepared to have a fabulous visit to the Golden state.
California is a big state and also one of the most diverse, both culturally and geographically. Though it may not be possible to cover all its attractions during a single visit, experience the following places at least, to get an idea of what California is all about.
Here are 9 things to do in California and why they’ll rock your socks off !
San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge:
San Francisco is known for its great counter-cultural history, incredibly steep hills, and it is also as a city of global technology and innovation powerhouse. The Golden Gate Bridge is first on the list of places to visit. You can walk, drive, or bike over it, and enjoy the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, Alcatraz, and San Francisco from the bridge. Tour Alcatraz, a former federal prison and now a national historic landmark. Other places of interest here are the Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco Chinatown, Muir Woods, etc.
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Disneyland & Anaheim:
Disneyland Park, a park built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, is the only theme park designed and built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. The dream destination of children and adults alike, Disneyland is called “The Happiest Place on Earth”. With over 60 incredible attractions, magical parades, and world-renowned treats, it is a dream world where you get to meet your favorite Disney characters. Disneyland is in Anaheim, a city where the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play professional baseball at the Angel Stadium. With good food and shopping, Anaheim is a city worth visiting.
Big Sur & Hearst Castle:
This is a rugged, mountainous section of the Central Coast of California. Take a drive on this magnificent stretch of road where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise from the wild Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the splendid views over the picturesque coastline. Other attractions are camping and hiking at Garrapata State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Hearst Castle here is an architectural masterpiece that resembles a 16th-century Spanish cathedral, perched on a hilltop. Walk around the museum here. Enjoy the scenic view from the castle on a sunny day.
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Yosemite National Park:
A national treasure for over 125 years, it is a natural creation of glaciers grinding through granite creating mountains and valleys in the Sierra Nevada. Over 95% of Yosemite National Park is designated as Wilderness. Visit its dramatic waterfalls, giant sequoias, abundant wildlife, and awe-inspiring cliffs like Half Dome and El Capitan. Half Dome is a massive granite rock face that is sheer on one side and smooth on the other three sides. Hiking to the top of the Half Dome is popular.
The amazing Lake Tahoe lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The blue lake, with its turquoise coves and surrounding mountains, is a popular year-round vacation destination in California for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, water sports, and sunbathing. Admire the scenery of the Emerald Bay State Park, D. L. Bliss State Park, and the densely-wooded Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park. If your visit here is in winter, enjoy skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. Visit world-class ski resorts like Squaw Valley and Heavenly.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks:
With its deep valleys, skyscraping trees, and distinctive rock outcroppings, Kings Canyon National Park is composed of two distinct areas – Grant Grove and Cedar Grove. Visit the General Grant Tree, the largest giant sequoia tree. Kings Canyon is also home to Redwood Canyon, the largest grove of sequoia trees in the world. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hiking, riding, and camping here. Don’t miss visiting Roaring River Falls, the Watchtower, Seville Lake, Lost Lake and other hiking trails.
Hollywood in Los Angeles, California is identified with the film industry. Visit the Walk of Fame where Hollywood’s most recognized names are represented by bronze-rimmed stars laid on the sidewalk. The iconic Hollywood sign is another must-see. The La Brea Tar Pits, located within Hancock Park, are worth a visit as this is the only actively excavated Ice Age fossil site found in an urban location in the world. Walk on Hollywood Boulevard and experience its entertainment and nightlife. Other places of interest here are the Hollywood Wax Museum, the Griffith Observatory, etc.
Universal Studios Hollywood:
This is an amusement park and film studio in Los Angeles. It is one of the most popular attractions in California, and the perfect place to enjoy with your family. Tour huge sets on studio tours. Some of the most popular experiences here are – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Despicable Me, and Minion Mayhem, among others. Enjoy thrilling film-inspired rides, entertaining live shows, explore the world’s largest working movie studio, and glimpse the behind-the-scenes magic of films and TV shows.
Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley:
Napa County is known for its hillside vineyards in the Napa Valley wine region. The fertile soil of the valley, combined with its near-perfect climate, has made Napa Valley a prime location for grape growing and wine-producing. Travel on The Napa Valley Wine Train for just a ride on the train or a full-day trip with stops at multiple vineyards. Sonoma Valley, a short distance away from Napa, is known for its down-to-earth rustic vibes and celebrated farm-to-table cuisine. Visit the wineries here and go wine tasting. Sonoma County is also home to dozens of artisan cheesemakers and you can explore the cheese trails too.
California is home to the highest and lowest points in the USA. Similarly, there are many other unique and diverse curiosities. Enjoy your visit to this wonderful state and dream of returning here to explore more of its cities, coastlines, national parks, and deserts.