5 Awesome Places in California You Need to Visit

A view of Big Sur in California

California is one of the most beautiful states and therefore a top destination for tourists. Home to nearly 40 million residents, California is just as welcoming to visitors. The quick look that follows at five of the state’s top destinations for tourists will make it clear why so many vacations there every year. Compared to just about every other state, California excels with regard to its variety. From the harsh, low-lying desert of Death Valley to the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, California ranges more widely than just about any other area of similar size. Visiting the following five destinations will provide a great feeling for all that California has to offer:

Carlsbad

Street view in Carlsbad, California.

As one of California’s top tourist destinations, Carlsbad makes for a great place to start. A huge number of Carlsbad hotels and other establishments are ready to cater to every conceivable need and desire of visitors. What attracts so many to Carlsbad, above all else, is the city’s a truly enviable location. Only a short drive from both Los Angeles and San Diego, it makes for the perfect launching pad for a wide range of adventures throughout Southern California. That is not to say that Carlsbad does not have plenty of its own inherent appeal. The city’s vibrant tourism industry and excellent weather allow it to host exciting festivals and other special events more or less year-round.

Yosemite National Park

A hiker looking over a cliff in Yosemite National Park in California.

A true jewel of the National Park system, Yosemite is full of unforgettable sights. The towering granite walls of El Capitan and Half Dome bowl visitors over right as they enter the legendary valley. While few will be able to scale such heights on their own, Yosemite has plenty to offer to everyone. From casual hikes through alpine meadows to relaxing by the campfire, Yosemite visitors always find enjoyable things to do.

San Francisco

A view of the San Fransisco skyline

Since it’s official incorporation in 1850, San Francisco has been as iconic of an American city as any. Just as Carlsbad serves as a perfect camp from which to explore the southern part of the state, so does San Francisco open up many options for those interested in what lies further north. San Francisco itself is truly beautiful, with steep hills and views of the Bay livening up every moment spent there. A scenic drive of only a couple of hours will also take visitors up into the wine country of Sonoma County and Napa Valley.

Big Sur

A view of Big Sur in California

California is famous for its beaches, but some of its most spectacular stretches of coastline plummet straight into the Pacific Ocean. The cliff-enabled vistas of California’s Central Coast region are at their best along the stretch called “Big Sur.” One of the things that make Big Sur so appealing is just how accessible it is. With California State Route 1 running right alongside the sea, there is no easier way to experience views so majestic.

Calaveras County

A view of a lake in a forest in Calaveras County California

The Gold Rush of 1849 was a pivotal event in California’s history, and some of its impacts can still be felt today. Standing high up in the Sierra Nevada, Calaveras County has preserved much of the character of that long-ago time. While it is a bit off the beaten path, Calaveras County rewards visitors with a wealth of unspoiled nature and plenty of historical interest.

While California has dozens of destinations and attractions that are worth visiting, the five above rank among the finest. Whether for first-time visitors or veterans looking to become reacquainted with old favorites, these five spots consistently impress and satisfy those who spend time in them.

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