What to Know Before You Visit California?
California is a state unlike any other. It is home to gorgeous redwoods, natural landscapes, Hollywood, and all things that make life worth living. There is plenty to do in California. No matter which city you plan to visit, you are bound to have a great time. Besides, the state has some of the best highways in the country. As drive towards Oregon or Mexico, you will get to experience different cultures, art, and more. If you are planning to visit this diverse state, here is everything that you need to know.
Are There Any Tips for Visiting California?
As California is known as the Golden State, it is important that you protect yourself from the sun. Although it can be refreshing to not have to deal with cloudy weather during your stay, the sun has its fair share of issues that you need to prepare for. Make sure that you apply plenty of sunscreen and wear sunglasses when you head outside. In addition to this, you could also put on a hat for greater protection.
Moreover, a sunny day in California can easily turn chilly. This is why it is best that you wear layers. Take a jacket or sweater along on your adventures to ensure that you can easily throw one on if it starts to get breezy. Keep in mind that it is much cooler next to the coast in comparison to the mountains. A weather app will help prepare you for each day. If you want to go hiking, you should check the advisories as remote areas do not provide proper cell phone service. Stick to the trails and bring a water bottle along to stay on the safe side.
What Is The Drinking And Smoking Age In California?
Anyone who wants to drink or smoke in California has to be at least 21 years old. If you are younger, you would not be allowed to purchase alcohol or even enter a venue that serves liquor. The state takes drinking and driving very seriously. Therefore, you should have a designated driver or take a cab.
When To Visit California?
Although California is worth visiting throughout the year, the best time to visit is in April when spring rolls around. Otherwise, you should visit in the fall which starts in September. When you visit during these times, there would be fewer crowds and the temperatures would be more pleasant which means that you would be able to go outside more and spend time in nature.
What Are The Top Things To Do In California?
The following are the best places in California that you need to visit.
1. Hollywood Sign
No trip to California is complete without a visit to the Hollywood Sign. It is an iconic landmark that attracts people from across the globe. Grab a selfie next to the famous sign to let your friends know about your adventures. You can either hike to get the perfect shot or head to the nearby observation tower. However, you must not get too close to the sign.
2. Venice Beach Boardwalk
Another popular attraction in California that you need to check out is Venice Beach Boardwalk. It offers a colorful and vibrant atmosphere where you can enjoy a fun evening with friends or family. The area is full of energy and there are street musicians, face painters, and fortune-tellers. You can walk, cycle or skateboard on the boardwalk to be a part of it all. There is always something going on in Venice Beach Boardwalk that makes it a must-visit.
3. Big Sur
Big Sur is known for being the most breathtaking destination in the United States. It has the Pacific Ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Go on a scenic drive along Big Sur and take in the waterfalls, lighthouses, canyons, crags, and bridges. The views of the dramatic waves and enchanting hills will make you forget all your worries. The route is about 90 miles. If you have the time, you can even check out the nearby beaches, parks, and forests for the ultimate experience.
4. Old Sacramento
If you are interested in California’s history, you should head over to Old Sacramento. It is a relic that dates back to the Gold Rush and has memorials, museums, railways, and buildings that celebrate a bygone era. The old-fashioned schoolhouses and courthouses in Old Sacramento will transport you back in time. There is a lot that you can do while you are in Sacramento.
5. Death Valley National Park
Known for its extreme landscapes, Death Valley National Park is truly unique. It is hot and dangerous which is where it gets its name from. You have to check out Badwater Basin as it is the lowest point of North America and it is just as dazzling as it is detached. If you are not scared of snakes, you should have no trouble going hiking, climbing, biking, stargazing, and camping. The one-of-a-kind views offer the perfect escape.
6. Santa Cruz Vineyards
When people think about wine, Napa Valley is the first place that comes to mind. However, you can beat the crowds by heading to Santa Cruz Vineyards. Go on a tour and taste some of the best wines in the country. You will appreciate the laidback atmosphere and the live music that helps keep the conversation flowing. It is also a good idea to go hiking in the mountains or have a picnic at the Beauregard Vineyard. Ridge Vineyards will help brush up your wine history. Make sure to stomp on the grapes as it is considered good luck.
Whether you are traveling with kids or on your own, you have to visit Disneyland. Based in Anaheim, it offers all the activities and rides that you could possibly want to try. You can stay in luxury accommodation during your visit and have the time of your life. There is plenty to do in Disneyland, from jungle cruises to haunted houses. You can ride the train to ensure that you do not miss out on any activity. The food at Disneyland is just as good.
8. Malibu Surfrider Beach
Although Malibu has been known for its famous residents, it is finally getting gaining traction as a surfer spot. Enjoy the moderate climate and go surfing on its crystal-clear waters. Even if you are a beginner, you should still consider visiting as Malibu Surfrider Beach caters to all skill levels. Besides, you might even bump into a celebrity during your time at the beach.
9. San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo is easily the best zoo in the country. It offers a habitat for thousands of animals. Not only is it home to lions and elephants but it also has unique species such as clouded leopards and pancake tortoises. Ride the gondola or train to visit all the enclosures. There are special events held at the zoo every weekend. Your kids will love you for taking them.
10. Alcatraz Island
If you happen to visit San Francisco, you can take a ferry to Alcatraz Island. It has many tourist attractions including a prison that has housed some of the most well-known criminals such as Machine Gun Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, and Al Capone. The island even has an abandoned military fortress and a local lighthouse. You might even encounter migratory birds during your trip.
Solvang is another popular place that you need to check out when in California. The city is known for its many wineries and Danish-style architecture. Go on a European vacation without heading to Europe by visiting this city. It is quaint and charming. With streets filled with shoe cobblers, chocolate shops, wineries, and bakeries, you will feel like you are in Denmark. There is even a Hans Christian Anderson Museum.
12. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is one of the best treasures of California. It is surrounded by lush mountains and water so blue that you will think that it is a child’s drawing. In addition to offering gorgeous panoramas, there are a lot of fun things that you can do. If you visit during the winter, you can go snowmobile riding, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and skiing. During the summer, you can try camping, biking, and hiking. If you prefer water activities, you can go scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, sailing, and swimming.
13. Universal Studios Hollywood
The most iconic Universal Studios is located in Hollywood. Since it is where movies are made, you will be blown away by everything it has to offer. It features parks that are dedicated to blockbusters like King Kong and Harry Potter. There are a lot of things that you can do including rides, motion simulators, mazes, games, stunt shows, studio tours, and more.