By Megan Millisky
Nearly 40 million people call California home, and it’s easy to see why! Balmy weather year-round, glamorous neighborhoods, sandy beaches, and delicious food. You’ll find sprawling national parks, famous buildings and bridges, and so much more.
Yosemite National Park
Visit this huge national park for waterfalls, scenic views, and long hikes! The park is famous for Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Gaze at El Capitan, a favorite for rock-climbers, or take a picture in front of the Half Dome rock! You’ll find miles of wilderness to trek through, spotting wildlife along the way. Throughout the year the park even offers nature-themed painting classes and theatrical performances!
Address: Yosemite National Park California
Joshua Tree National Park
Discover the many animals and wildlife that make up Joshua Tree National Park! Be sure to snap a pic of the quirky-looking Joshua trees. There are nine campgrounds here, but most of the park has been left to the wild. Take a ranger-led tour, or explore the Joshua Tree Museum! You’ll never want to leave this nature haven.
Address: Joshua Tree National Park California
Golden Gate Bridge & Park
Visit San Francisco’s truly iconic bridge! The Golden Gate Bridge has been featured in countless TV shows, movies, and photographs. Visit the Welcome Center to see the 12-foot test replica of the bridge and to learn more about the bridges’ history. Take a free walking tour of the bridge, offered several days per week. Then stroll through the vast parks on both sides of the bridge to soak in the sunshine and warm weather!
Santa Monica Pier
Bright lights, high-flying carnival rides, and the smell of funnel cakes in the air - welcome to Santa Monica Pier! This one-stop amusement park offers hours of fun, from thrilling rides to the historical carousel. Spot trapeze artists high in the air, or watch street performers dance. Have a burger or some pizza, then visit the Santa Monica Aquarium!
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Over 2,600 celebrities have recieved stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! This continues to be a popular attraction on Hollywood Boulevard. Constructed in 1960, celebrities still receive the legendary stars today! Stroll down the Boulevard and you’ll recognize the names of many popular actors, musicians, and other entertainers. Usually about two stars per month are added to the sidewalk. Stroll this lovely area to “stargaze,” then explore more popular attractions in the neighborhood!
Spend some time walking through the neighborhood of Fisherman’s Wharf! This popular area by the waterfront is known for its streetcars, sea lions, and seafood! Watch fishermen cast their lines, then dine on fresh fish or crab at a waterfront restaurant! Make sure to try the sourdough bread with your seafood - it’s baked daily and is a popular snack among locals! Stop by Pier 39 to see a loud pack of sea lions who call the floating docks home.
Address: Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco, CA