California is one of the most influential states of America; the symbol of diversity and prosperity of the United States. The impact of this state on the culture of the powerful American country cannot be overestimated.
Generally speaking, California is the third largest state in the US, second in size only to Alaska and Texas. On its territory, desert alternates with dense forests, mountains and gorgeous beaches. San Francisco and Los Angeles, two outstanding cities, are also located in this state. In this review, we present Top 10 Best Places to Visit in California 2016 in order to make a distinct choice.
10. Point Reyes
Cape Point Reyes is located approximately 50 km north-west of San Francisco. It is part of the national park bearing the same name. The rolling hills are dotted with trees, quiet beaches and secluded lagoons. Mild climate makes this place outstanding in any kind of weather.
If you’re lucky, you can see the whales that frequent the coast of California. We also recommend a walk to the lighthouse Point Reyes with the stunning open views. The other option is to look for the treasures of the famous privateer Francis Drake, that according to legend, are hidden somewhere nearby.
The Wow Factor: huge bird observatory
9. Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is located in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada. It possesses the biggest tree in the world, since General Sherman sequoia reaches nearly 1,500 meters! This tree is really worth seeing and taking pictures.
The park grows two types of trees: the giant and evergreen ones. They reach 100 m in height and 10 meters in circumference and their age is from 2 to 4 thousand. S. Among the other attractions of the park one can name Moro Rock with numerous caves and tunnels inside the giant sequoia fallen on the road.
The Wow Factor: Tunnel Log
8. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe undoubtedly takes pride of place in the ranking of “most beautiful places in California.” It is the second deepest lake in the United States (maximum depth – 501 m) in depth and eleventh in the world. The coastline stretches for 116 km.
The story of the lake’s name is extremely long. The Indians in their language start naming the lake “Lake District”, but the colonialists also simplified the long name to a simple Tahoe. And here you can play the games of chance – this is one of the few places where they aren’t prohibited.
The Wow Factor: a well-known casino Caesars Tahoe
7. Big Sur
Big Sur is the part of the coast, stretching between the town of San Simeon and Carmel mountain range. Last century, the region was considered the most isolated corner of the United States piled up with just a couple of houses, and had no electricity. But after the construction of the road, which later became known as the most beautiful in America, the situation has changed.
The beauty of the Big Sur was highly appreciated and due to the authors, this name appears in the novel “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” by Henry Miller and “Big Sur” by Jack Kerouac.
The Wow Factor: mountainous scenery
6. The Beach Town of Santa Cruz
The city of Santa Cruz is located on the north shore of Monterey Bay 115 km from San Francisco. Surrounded by farms, it first gives out the impression of such a rural province. But within the walls, the city is full of life, and partly due to the students of the University of California, whose campus is located there.
The coast here is incredibly picturesque. In this place, you are able to observe and even feed seals. The funny pastime is to spend hours on the pier and have fun in one of the few remaining parks in the old style.
The Wow Factor: amusement park and surfing
5. Yosemite Park
Yosemite National Park is located on the western slopes of the mountain range Sierra Nevada. The place is known for its stunning scenery: the high cliffs, scenic waterfalls and green groves. There grows more than 160 species of rare plants, including the giant Sequoia – the most massive and one of the highest and long-lived trees in the world.
Among the giants in the park there aren’t just trees. The waterfall in Yosemite is considered one of the Top 20 highest waterfalls in the world (its height is 739 m).
The Wow Factor: El Capital rock climbing
4. Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach is a small picturesque town on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It climbs steeply from the coast up the hills, eventually reaching the mark of 307 meters above sea level.
There are lots of shops and restaurants with outdoor seating, and people often walk through the streets on foot. The popularity was brought due to the work of the American artist Norman Clare, depicting local landscapes: the frothy surf, hills covered with flowers and the small villages near the ocean.
The Wow Factor: Crystal Cove Beach
3. Death Valley
Without any doubt, this place is known to everybody. The Death Valley is located in the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin, south-east of the mountain range Sierra Nevada. Its present name was received through migrants that in the era of the Gold Rush tried the shortest route to reach the goldfields.
Just a few people were able to reach the destination. And those who still managed to do it, called the place Death Valley area. It is the lowest point in North America with the recorded highest temperature in the world. The valley is also known for its moving stones, which serve the riddle to a plethora of scientists.
The Wow Factor: Rhyolite, ghost town
2. Algodones Dunes
Algodones Dunes, also known as Sand Dunes Imperial, represent the greatest concentration of sand in California. They are located near the border of Arizona and the Mexican state of Baja California. The place has appeared in cinematography hundreds of times. For example, such movies as “Road to Morocco,” “Flight of the Phoenix,” “Stargate” and “Resident Evil” were filmed there.
In addition, the dunes have become the epitome of the fantastic screen Tatooine planet from the legendary epic “Star Wars” (in particular, in the sixth episode – “Return of the Jedi”).
The Wow Factor: free riding and motorcrossing opportunities
1. La Jolla Cove, San Diego
This is #1 destination in our rating of California beauties. Carefully selected as “the most beautiful place in California», La Jolla Cove is located in the northwest area of San Diego. Its name in Spanish means “jewel.” Property prices here are among the highest in the region.
The main attractions of La Holi are stunning sandy beaches, bizarre cliffs and mysterious caves. One of the most famous beaches in the area is Children’s Pool with a lot of seals and kittens. Near the entrance you can find a funny tablet, which states that if the fur seal looks at you, it doesn’t mean that he wants you to pet him.
The Wow Factor: panoramic ocean view
To conclude it all, California is considered the state of huge tourism opportunities. The symbiosis of different conceptions of the state has created a fascinating and unique image of California. This rating of Top 10 Best Places to Visit in California 2016 is the helping hand for travelers who adore adventure and beautiful landscapes.