From the snow-topped Sierra Nevada to the scorching sands of Death Valley, California could be a country all of its own. It’s the USA’s third-largest state, stretching along the west coast between Mexican Baja California to its south, and Oregon to its north.
Across the world, say the word ‘California’ and everybody will have a cliché that comes to mind. Maybe the 60s flower-power of San Francisco, or oiled bodies sunning themselves on Muscle Beach. But with so much to see, you can easily miss out when you visit this great state. Here are a few pointers on what California has to offer.
The Californian cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego all have airports. At any of these airports, you can pick up a vehicle booked with Advantage Rent a Car, allowing you to make the most of your journey from the very beginning.
Starting the obvious; California occupies a huge stretch of the West Coast. So it’s no wonder it has some of the world’s best beaches on offer. There are great beaches across the breadth of the country, but unsurprisingly some of the best lie in the sunny south.
Californians have a lot to offer beach-going tourists, whatever their preferences. In the far south, at San Diego, is the famous Mission Beach, a popular beach for activities like surfing and kite boarding. There are also arcades, rides, and amusements nearby at Belmont Park.
Just a little further north is the 1000 Steps Beach, Laguna. Famous for its long descent (in fact only around 230 steps), shrouded in trees and vines, this is a real treasure of the Pacific Coast. The sheer cliffs give the beach a sense of tranquility and seclusion, but it is still a popular destination for surfers and beach volleyball enthusiasts.
Hikers will fall in love with California for all its national parks. When it comes to forests, there are many across the state. But most impressive is the long, unbroken chain of national parks and forests stretching from the Sequoia National Forest, northwards to the Lassen National Forest, with several others along the way.
Explorers will be overwhelmed with the diversity of the landscapes, the flora, and fauna. Friendly, knowledgeable rangers are widely available to offer their help, and the state has a liberal attitude towards camping. Nonetheless, check the rules if your planning on visiting these places of astounding beauty.
Trekking in the desert, whether on foot, horseback, or in the seat of a car, is a powerfully tranquil experience. If you’ve taken your holiday solo, the desert is a wonderful place for solitude. South east California has some of the world’s best desert.
There is the expansive (over 3.4 million acres) Death Valley, famed as one of the world’s hottest locations. Staying hydrated is of serious importance as you marvel at the colors of the mountains, and the sheer vastness of the desert. Visitors often recommend finding a nice spot at dawn and dusk, as the colors and contours of the place become all the more spectacular.
Further south there is the Mojave desert, and then south again is the Joshua Tree National park, with its unique fuzzy trees and cacti set amongst sand and beautiful smooth stone formations. – Travel Feeder