This is a collaborative post.
California is one of those places that sparks imagination like few other locations in the world. It immediately conjures images of glorious beaches, the famous, and the American dream. With that in mind, we are going to take a brief walk through some of the cities that the Golden State has to offer and explore some of the things you might want to do while visiting. The third biggest state in the US is waiting for your tourist dollars, so let’s see what you can do.
It is a close call every year, but recent figures say that Anaheim is the most visited city in California and that is due, in no small part, to it being the home of the original Disney theme park. Disneyland was opened in Orange County was opened in 1955 by Walt Disney and has gone on to become one of the most popular tourist attractions around the world, boosting tourism to Anaheim like nothing else. Disneyland has all of the classic attractions that you would expect to come across at a Disney park including Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge due to open in 2019.
However, Anaheim isn’t just the home of Disneyland, there are many other things to do in this beautiful part of California. Whale watching enthusiasts will be thrilled by the likes of humpback whales, orca whales, and gray whales. Additionally, you can take a trip out to Catalina Island just off the coast of the state which is famous for its wildlife and highest peak Mt. Orizaba. Of course, the most popular reason to visit this part of the world is the theme parks, but there is a host of things to see and do when you want a break from the rides.
When you say California, most people will think of Los Angeles. The City of Angels is home to some of the most iconic scenes in the history of the world, perhaps none more so than the infamous Hollywood sign. Sat atop Mount Lee the 45 foot tall letters spelling out the location of the home of American cinema, the Hollywood sign has become a symbol of LA and a tourist hot spot year round. The best view of the sign is not to go right up to it, but rather to visit Beachwood Canyon where you will get the view that you are most familiar with from the movies. It is worth noting that a lot of tours of Hollywood will take you to great locations so that you can get your own photo of the sign.
And that is really just the beginning of what Los Angeles has to offer. A tour of Beverly Hills is for everyone, even those of you without an interest in the world of the rich and famous. It is just an interesting thing to do to see how the other half live in the hills of Los Angeles. While in this part of the city, be sure to take a walk along Hollywood Boulevard so that you can see the world-famous walk of fame, the Chinese Theatre, and, the home of the Oscars, the Dolby Theatre.
It is important to move on from Hollywood and remember that Los Angeles is a big place with lots of places to visit and enjoy. Down towards the coast you are going to come across Santa Monica, home of the beach and the historic Looff Hippodrome Carousel. This is the place in LA that you can just take a walk and take in the California way of living; sun, sea, and beauty. Next to the pier in Santa Monica there is Muscle Beach, an outdoor gym where you will have seen images of Arnold Schwarzenegger working out in the past. This really is a part of the city that you need to visit to get an idea of what it means to be a member of the Los Angeles locals.
Finally, if sports is your thing then LA is going to be an ideal place to visit. There are currently two NFL, two NBA, two MLS, and two MLB teams as well as one NHL team in this part of the US; so you should be able to catch at least a game of one sport if not more. There is overlap between all of the sports with the NFL starting its preseason in August and all of the other sports following throughout the calendar through to the spring with baseball starting in March and ending in October.
When you think of images of California there is a good chance that a giant red structure isn’t far from your mind. The Golden Gate Bridge starts in San Francisco and crosses over the Pacific Ocean connecting to Marin County. Icons of human engineering don’t come much grander than the Golden Gate Bridge and that is why it is the first place to start when we think about reasons to visit the Golden City. You can walk across this magnificent structure and get a stunning view of San Francisco from the other side.
Much like Los Angeles, San Francisco has a lot of attractions and things to do, but different from LA it is much easier to navigate. Getting around San Fran on foot is something that most tourists find relatively easy to do, and for those needing some assistance, there is the infamous tram system that will take you all around the city. One of the major attractions of San Francisco actually sits in the bay just off of the main island, and that is Alcatraz. Quite possibly the most famous US prison of all time, Alcatraz tours are one of the single most popular and enjoyable things you can do in San Francisco.
In addition to this fascinating slice of American history, there are many things that can be explored around San Francisco that will keep you going for weeks. There is the famous Lombard Street with its winding road, Pier 39 where you can get up close and personal with sea lions, and for those interested in the tech world, it is a short drive to Silicon Valley. You see much as the rest of the Golden State, there is a lot to do in San Francisco and the best thing to do is just get there.