8 incredible places to visit in California

8 incredible places to visit in California

California has dry deserts, snow-capped mountains, ancient tropical redwood forests and hilly vineyards. Here you can ski down the slopes of the high Sierras, hike through the desert canyons of the Mojave National Forest, or visit some of the best wineries in the world. One of the state's most exciting attractions is driving along its rugged coastline.

Monterey 8 incredible places to visit in CaliforniaAbout 200 kilometers south of San Francisco lies the charming city of Monterey. The historic cannery buildings on the ocean are full of shops and restaurants. In the 19th century, sardines caught in Monterey Bay were packed in these plants along the waterfront. Explore the hidden wonders of the ocean at Monterey Bay Aquarium. It has 200 exhibits, including penguins, sea otters and octopuses. Don't miss the sea turtles, tunas, sharks and barracudas at Outer Bay.


A short drive from Monterey is the delightful seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Since the days of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, this resort town has been a favorite location for Hollywood filming. Even today, anyone you meet on the street can be a celebrity. Visit galleries, gift shops and boutiques that cater to the most discerning clientele. Visit the gallery of America's most respected living artist, Thomas Kinkade. His paintings, sketches and lithographs are exhibited in the studio in the garden.

Big Sur 8 incredible places to visit in California

Between Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Simeon is Big Sur. The views as the highway twists and turns between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the rocky Pacific coast are breathtaking. Visit Pfeiffer Beach and hike along the trails of the Point Lobos Nature Reserve. Explore one of California's popular landmarks perched on a hill above the San Simeon Highway.

Hearst Castle

The monumental Hearst Castle is a 165-room Moorish castle that was once the home of a newspaper magnate. Set among terraced gardens, the castle is adorned with Spanish and Italian antiques and art. Hearst Castle is a few hours north.

San Luis Bishop 8 incredible places to visit in CaliforniaThis market town is a little inland, and its restaurants source fresh produce from nearby farms and ranches. Walking around the city you can see many architectural sights. Pop in for seafood tacos and a glass of local wine at the popular Big Sky Café. The eatery attracts visitors from all over the state with its delicious outdoor food.

Santa Barbara

For many, Santa Barbara's beautiful sandy beaches, palm trees, marinas, and jogging trails are the essence of California. In the early 1900s, before Hollywood moved to Los Angeles, major film studios from New York and Chicago filmed the early classics in Santa Barbara. Montecito is home to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Costner, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise and John Cleese. The road from Santa Barbara on the highway through Ventura and Oxnard passes another beautiful stretch of coastline in Malibu. Here, shiny luxury sports cars drive slowly past multi-million dollar beach houses.

San Francisco 8 incredible places to visit in California

Fun San Francisco style at Teatro Zinzani. The dinner show is an exciting mix of cabaret, vaudeville, improv and pop music. You can also look here for celebrities walking their dogs in Runyon Canyon Park. The park is located two blocks north of Hollywood Boulevard. Coal magnate Carman Runyon once used the site as a private hunting ground. There are steep climbs overlooking the San Fernando Valley, the Pacific Ocean, and on a clear day, Catalina Island.

Lake Tahoe

The lake is located in the Sierra Nevada. This is a stunningly beautiful place in California. In winter, you can have a fantastic time at one of the ski resorts on the lake. Here you can go skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Divided between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe offers the best of the best from both states. In fact, you can start skiing in California and end up in Nevada.