Visitors to California are often understandably overwhelmed by the plethora of exciting, “can’t-miss” opportunities that await travelers. But with a little guidance, it’s actually not difficult to narrow them down. Here are 5 of the best attractions that the Golden State has to offer.
Wine Tasting in the Napa Valley
This activity is such an iconic West Coast staple, numerous films have been made around it (see Sideways and Bottle Shock for two prime examples). Don’t forget to assign a designated driver — or better yet, sign up for an expert-guided tour that will show you the cream of the crop. Not a wine drinker? Sign up for a hot-air balloon ride instead — the views of the valley are unforgettable.
Yosemite National Park
While Yosemite was America’s second-ever national park, the stunning scenery featured within is second to none. From El Capitan (the largest granite monolith in the world) to Yosemite Falls, there’s something to delight the eye around every turn. See the par’s website for hours and information.
Golden Gate Bridge
Speaking of icons, there are few that beckon quite like this San Francisco landmark, which connects San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Not only does it represent a landmark feat of engineering for its day, it’s likely the most photogenic bridge ever constructed.
Redwood National Park
Where else can you visit a tree with a trunk wide enough to drive a car through, and one that’s literally older than the republic in which it stands? Home to the tallest trees on the planet, this park (see website for further details) represents a bucket-list experience for the ages.
Not unlike Hawaii’s famed Road to Hana, this is a driving experience that all visitors to the state should take to see what all the fuss is about. Featuring more than 90 miles of rugged, fog-shrouded coastline, the Big Sur trip contains surprises and photo opportunities around every turn. Plan on taking a day or even two for the trip — there are so many quaint hamlets tucked along the way, it will be difficult enough to pick just one to stop in for the night.
Remember — whatever gets left off the list during this trip can wait for the next one, giving you something to look forward to as you savor the memories. Bon voyage!
Paul Deloughery is an law insurance dispute consultant and avid traveler. Check out his latest Travel blog or visit his Twitter!