Many of you will know that I am lucky enough to Call California my home, and when you live in such a fantastic place, it means you don’t have to travel far for some of the best views, experiences, and dining either. In fact, my home state is packed with adventures, ripe for the picking, and you can find out about some of the best ones by reading my post below.
Fun is the name of the game when it comes to theme parks in Cali. After all, it has two of the most world-famous ones, Universal and Disneyland. Of course, this is excellent news for Cali residents or visitors that are exploring the West Coast, as it means they don’t have to hike all the way across the country to Orlando to have a similar experience.
First, let’s take a peek at Universal Studios Hollywood and the sort of things you can enjoy there. While Universal is suitable for under 18’s, it definitely has a more grown-up vibe to it that Disneyland, with the rides being more about excitement and adventure that cartoon characters.
In particular, visitors can experience the thrill of running form a horde of Zombies in the Walking Dead Attraction, or how about the Water World show where you can get first row seats to a plane crash and some pretty amazing jet skiers? Then there is the choice of two studios tours, the second being the supercharged one which is even more jam-packed with thrill and spills, so you get to feel like you are a star in your very own adventure movie!
Areas more suited to younger as well as older visitors include in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can ride your broom as if you were in a Quidditch match, and even visit Diagon Alley. Then there is Springfield USA otherwise known as the home of the famous Simpson family, just be sure you don’t get mixed up in any of Homer, or Bart’s mischief!
For those thinking of heading over to Universal Studios, California it is useful to note that most folks want to spend at least an entire day here to get everything in.
Ah, Disneyland, one of the things that California and the USA is best known for, through the world! It’s hardly surprising then that this is one of the top attractions for both those that live on the West Coast and those that come to visit.
Of course, you can find thousands of pages online about how to make the best of your trip, including some of the cool secret things like finding the hidden Mickeys, and that Neil Patrick Harris voices the countdown for the Screamin’ ride. In fact, these smaller secrets are great for those of us that get to make the Disney pilgrimage regularly because we live in-State, as they provide something new and exciting to look out for every time we go.
Although, whether it’s your first time at Disneyland, or your 100th time there are some things that you will always want to do. These include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is located in Frontierland, as well as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in Tomorrowland. Then there is the classic Splash Mountain Log Flume ride situated in Critter Canyon. Just don’t forget to take your ponchos with you for this one, because it’s pretty likely that you will get wet!
Also, for those folks that are from out of state, or that are Cali residence but want to extend the fun a little, why not consider staying in on of the official Disney themed hotels for a night? One of the newer residences is the Paradise Pier Hotel, and with its rooftop pools and the fact that some rooms will allow you to see the World Of Color show form your window, makes it a great pick!
If roller coasters and grown men dressed up as mice aren’t your thing, then California residents are lucky because they can spend their time appreciating the gorgeous and spectacular natural wonders that are on offer in California instead.
Yosemite National Park
The first one of which is the vast and very famous Yosemite National Park, that has almost 1,200 square miles of land to be explored and appreciated. Regular visitors and Cali natives know that spending some time camping out in the world in Yosemite is a great way to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It is also a hugely popular hiking ground, with sites such as stunning waterfalls, sequoia forests, and winding valleys to explore.
Air quality in Yosemite Valley and throughout the park has been good to moderate over the past several days and we’re excited for everyone to be out and enjoying the park! Remember, it’s always a good idea to check the current conditions and weather forecast before heading out on your adventure. ☀️⛈ Wawona Road is tentatively set to reopen at 8 am on Friday, August 24. You can find current road status information on our website: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm. 🚐 The Ferguson Fire is now at 100% containment! Thank you to all of the firefighters for their hard work and dedication. As some places continue to burn within the contained area, smoke may still be present and firefighters are still working; please use caution when driving on park roads. #Yosemite #NationalPark #FergusonFire
Although, even the California locals need to keep abreast of the weather and safety conditions in the park before they set out. Luckily, their website makes this pretty easy, as you can track any alerts, and road closures, something that can help to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
Lovers’ Cove, Catalina
Us California residents that love the grandeur of nature are so lucky because it’s not just Yosemite that we can explore. There is the Death Valley National Park, as well as the forests up towards the northern end of the state as well. Although, for those looking for something a bit more beach oriented there is Lovers’ Cove, Catalina, which is just off the shore of LA.
There you will find the gorgeous and scenic beach of Lover’s Cove which is a favorite spot for glass bottom boats as well as snorkelers. Of course, to get the best out of your trip, you will want to equip yourself properly so you can see the many varieties of fish, as well as the odd turtle that lurks in the crystal clear depths.
Lovers’ Cove is one of the most popular places in California to scuba dive.
To do this, it can be worth investigating in a full face snorkel mask, instead of one that just covers your eyes and nose, because they are much easier to equalize if you want to drive a little deeper. Some even have an integrated mount for your GoPro on top as well, which means you can record your entire underwater adventure and relive it time and time again!
California natives aren’t just blessed with all the natural wonders that are on offer in this fine state, but the man-made ones as well, and boy are there some to wrap your head around!
The first that is worth a visit is the marvelous Golden Gate bridge located in San Francisco. This 2,737m long art deco structure is a world-famous landmark and spans the Golden Gate Strait while connecting the city with the Marin Headlands. Bike or walk its length for some great views, spatially of Alcatraz, or take in the majesty of the bridge itself by visiting other spots on the city such as Baker Beach and Lands End.
Another man-made marvel, in the strictest sense, that is popular with Cali residents is the fabulous Hearst castle, built by the magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Located in San Simeon, the castle was built in 1919, despite its very medieval appearance in many places. However, don’t let the modern construction disappoint you as the 125+ rooms, classical Neptune swimming pool, and a myriad of guest cottage all decked out in the most lavish style are bound to keep you enthralled and amused.
Last of all, when it comes to man-made marvels in California, Lombard Street is a must-see for both residents or those that have traveled from further afield.
The street itself is a single block area located on Russian Hill, and the thing that marks it out as extraordinary is the crazy number of hairpins turns, 8 in total, all on a steep incline.
Of course, this makes Lombard street a lot of fun, or a minor nightmare to drive, depending on your perspective. Those with the gumption to try it out for themselves can rent a car and drive it, or alternatively walk it instead.
Lastly, when it comes to food, we are lucky enough in California to have some of the best in the world on offer, and I don’t just mean all that high-end stuff either. In fact, if you like eating out at achingly hip, and reasonably priced joints then California is the perfect place.
In particular, Night + Market in the WeHo area of LA is a place everyone should try. There you will find delicious Thai food that hails mostly from the North of the country such as spicy chicken wings, curries, and sticky rice. Their larb is also excellent, and the decor is a kitsch delight that cannot be missed. Expect the color orange, bold floral patterns, and a visual assault to the eyes that somehow works a treat.
Then there is, the Devil’s Teeth Baking Company in San Francisco, and with a name like that how could anyone in a 100-mile radius resist? Of course, the name actually refers to a local rocky outcrop and not what will happen to your teeth if you eat there!
Expect home baking done well here including whoopie pies, turnover doughnut muffins, and savory scones including cheddar, bacon, and beer as well as Parmesan and kale. You can also get some homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches too, making it the perfect place to stop for lunch before you go on to explore the rest of the area which includes the beautiful Ocean Beach.