California is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Of the seven biomes of the world you can find three in California. This provides a wealth of different scenery and things to do, from the majestic to the sublime. California is the 3’rd largest state in the USA, but the most populous. This makes for one of the most diverse vacation spots on the planet. This article will cover the main tourist attractions that would interest a first time visitor to this magnificent state.
Regions of California
There are two major regions of California: North and South. But to stick to this very high definition would not do the state justice. These two regions are further divided into 10 sub regions, each with its own set of places to see and tourist attractions.
Often neglected by tourists these hills and mountains in the northeast corner of the state are home to dozens of natural wonders, turquoise lakes and snowcapped mountains. Golfing, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, rafting and much more, the Shasta Cascades in where to go in California.
Tourist attractions here include – the coast redwoods, the world’s tallest trees together with a majestic, rugged coastline and remote nature adventures. And of course for the wine lover there is Nappa Valley. Don’t miss the Redwood National and State Parks, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park, Ocean World, and of course, the famously spectacular coastal drives.
This is home to the famous San Francisco together with Oakland, San Jose and Silicon Valley. Check out the Gorumet Ghetto, Marin Headlands, Muir Woods National Museum, Nike Missile Site, Paramount Theatre, Point Reyes Lighthouse and Seashore, and many more, to make your travel to California memorable.
On the way to the mountains is Sacramento, the capital of California, nestled in this beautiful valley. Must visits are: Crocker Art Museum, California Museum, Second Saturday open air festivals, Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, and many, many more.
The foothills of the famous Sierra Nevada mountains this is your gateway to numerous places to see. Treat yourself to some of the best restaurants in the country while making your way to: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, Malakoff Diggins State Park, El Dorado County Historical Museum, and the list goes on and on.
These majestic mountains are home to 2 of the crown jewels of California – Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe. Snowboarding, skiing, white water rafting, cycling, rock climbing and hiking this area has it all. Make sure to visit: Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Mountain, Kings Canyon National Parks, Bodie State Historic Park, Lake Tahoe, and many more.
San Joaquin Valley
This is the breadbasket of California and it’s supply of vegetable and fruit is among the largest in the USA. Places to see are: Cesar Chavez National Monument, Forestiere Undreground Gardens, Castle Air Museum, among many others.
A rugged coastline and cool mountains this area provides some of the best isolated vacation spots for those looking to get away from it all. Check out: Ventura Oceanfront, Highway 1 Coastal Drive, Hearst Castle, East Beach, Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, and lots more.
Famous for Disneyland, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can also explore miles and miles of sundrenched beaches on this part of the coast. For the children a visit to Disneyland is a must. But don’t miss: Hollywood Boulevard, the Pacific Coast Highway, the San Diego Zoo, Santa Monica Pier and Sea World among an endless list of other tourist vacations.
Home to the highest peak, Mount Whitney, and lowest point, Death Valley, in the contiguous USA, this desert contains great sightseeing and unique tourist attractions. Some of the best are: Death Valley, Salton Sea Recreation Area, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Palm Desert, Joshua Tree National Park and many, many more.
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