I remember the first time I saw San Francisco. I think I left my heart there. I wasn’t even there for The Golden Gate Bridge. So it really wasn’t the place that I had good memory of it. It was the people in the street and their agendas. I see a line of tables of people playing chess on one scene. I see street dancers on the other corner. I remember a woman verbally attacking a man. Everyone has their own businesses, I guess. Those are very California-ish/esque/like. You go to Santa Monica and it’s not just the beach. As soon as I stepped on a sidewalk, I saw a meditator in the park with a stereo playing serene music. There are apocalyptic preachers, street performers like musicians and dancers, the homeless, people who are showing their talking parrots and jugglers. You go down the beach, and there is an acrobat and exercise area set up for fitness buffs. Beaches are the playing field for outdoor activities such as biking, walking the dog, jugging, skating and running. Of course, pleanty of water activities as well. Although, beaches in California have cold water. To say the least, people in California are attractions in itself. I’ve been in many places, but it wasn’t as various and diversified as you might find in California.
If you’re ever in Los Angeles, don’t exclude Venice Beach Broadwalk as your sidetrip.
Other Beaches and Waterfront: Malibu, Santa Catalina, Santa Monica, La Jolla and Pismo Beach
California highways are also blessed with scenic views. Getting to your destination alone will have you rubbernecking out your window. Every pull over to one of the numerous vista points in Pacific Coast Highway is worth the stop. It’s no wonder why there are so many RV’s around. Many of you may have heard of the ever famous Historical Route 66. You might wanna readjust your roadtrip if you’re on the way of this route. Actually, the major downside of traveling in California are the traffic, the high cost of living and the soaring price of gas. I suggest you arrange your route preference into lesser use of freeways when driving during busy hours. Or, if you truly are a traveler, you’d know to either avoid the cluster by driving early or stay patient for the love of looking at the scenic views.
As a matter of fact, I sometimes get out without paying a dime for the places I go to (except for gas and parking of course). California is generous with open-to-public locations. Take note about the plenty of inviting hiking trails along the way of the beautiful California highways.
Recommended Natural California and Parks: Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Parks, Mount Shasta, Joshua Tree Park, Redwood and Channel Islands Island Tours.
By the way, seagulls, to me are very representative of California.
However, California offers many art exhibits and museums, theme parks, zoos and tours of historical sites, and plenty of wineries around Central and Southern coasts. There are so many arts and crafts in California. The Museum of Contemporary Arts is probably the most visited art museum in the state. Los Angeles alone offers a variety of amusement parks such as Universal Studios, Six Flags, Knotts Berry Farms and the ever-magical Disneyland. You can find Sea World in San Diego. There are just a ton of parks and family fun in California. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is highlighted in my bucketlist.
Recommended Family Fun: San Diego Zoos, Monterey and Disneyland Resort
Wineries: Santa Barbara, Napa Valley and Ojai
Californians boast about the weather. Having resided here for accumulated 2 years, I can attest that they do have a reason to praise. Exploring the places ain’t that bad at all. It just guarantees to satisfy whatever it is that you are aiming for. I suggest to make good use of Information Centers that often located right on the tourist spots and city centers. Bring quarters to pay for parking in case you get lucky to find a spot on the side of the road. Pack your lunch, or indulge in variety and multi-cultural choices of food California serves. Don’t miss out on vista points en route to your destinations. Avoid paying at the counter when going to museums and theme parks. It’s better to go online and check for discounts. Also, taking tours are recommended saving gas and the hassle of traffic esp. in San Francisco and Hollywood. Make good use of the train. Two-way ticket costs less than $30 anywhere in California.
Recommended Landmarks: Golden Gate Bridge, Hearst Castle, Alcatraz, Disneyland and Hollywood Sign (Griffith Park offers a good picture-taking spot)
Note: A lot of places mentioned are from research. All photos are mine.
Here are some more overview and previews of my California travels. Be sure to click on my California tag.
Going to California, check out Compass Tales
The compass reached the summit of the Yosemite. An accomplishment I’m reaching for. The blog offers views and suggestions on many trails and other travel adventures to various locations in California and its neighboring states to include other close boundaries such as Mexico and Canada.