Boasting sun kissed beaches, vast deserts, misty forests and iconic cities, the Golden State has an enticing allure that most find impossible to resist. Taking a California trip is a bucketlist essential for those who love big city smiles and quiet moments of reflection in equal measure.
What are the main pulls of sunny California? This is a state best known for the all singing, all dancing fame of Hollywood, but not everyone who comes here seeks adoration and fortune. Culture, cuisine and a rainbow of history can be found on the colourful streets of San Francisco, whilst heading to Yosemite National Park will reward you with ancient sequoia trees, iconic legends (best known as Half Dome & El Capitan) and drenching waterfalls. For those seeking the sparse over the succulent, the Mojave Desert has the ability to make you feel like a very small fish in a very big, dry pond, or if it’s a whiter, wintery scene you’re seeking, the slopes of Lake Tahoe will likely pique your interest.
Of course, no tour of California is complete without tasting the best of what this state has to offer. In-n-Out burgers, vegan treats and brekkie burritos are on the menu in Los Angeles (plus pretty much every cuisine under the sun), whilst in San Diego it’s all smoothies, seafood, and anything that compliments sunshine and surf. San Fran has also long established its reputation as one of the big foodie players of the state – hit up China Town, graze on $2 tacos from trucks like El Gallo Giro, or explore a local farmer’s market for the freshest farm to table tasties.
And then of course, we have the beaches – long, golden stretches of perfect sand that meet the pounding Pacific in perfect harmony. In LA, Venice Beach is a hive of bohemian activity, where the free spirited gather amongst independent shops, street performers and colorful murals, whilst in San Diego, Mission Beach is an intoxicating blend of surf culture, volleyball players and tasty cafes. California - just letting it play on your tongue conjures up sunshine, smiles and a sense of possibility, so just imagine what it must be like to experience it for real.
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In a state that gave us everything from the gold rush to Mickey Mouse to Silicon Valley, you better believe the museums here are varied, vast, and even a little odd. Taking you from past to present and even dancing with the future, these are the museums which may just become your California highlights.