Home to multiple museums, performing arts venues, and gardens, the 1,200-acre Balboa Park is a stunning monument to Spanish Renaissance architecture and the pride of San Diego. It will be an ever-expanding and growing list that will hopefully help you to find many fun attractions right outside your door. Although we won’t be doing a big Thanksgiving ce, Just finished up a month of living in Tahoe, recon, #ad One of my favorite outdoor date activities in, My face when I’m daydreaming about Al Pastor bur, It’s hard to believe that I was walking through, Walk or Cycle Across the Golden Gate Bridge, Stop at In-N-Out Burger on a California Road Trip, Discover the Hydrothermal Sites at Lassen Volcanic National Park, Soak in the Eastern Sierra Natural Hot Springs, Explore the State Capitol Building in Sacramento, Hike to the Lighthouse at Point Reyes National Seashore, Grab a Bowl of Clam Chowder at Boudin Bakery, Get Spooked at the Winchester Mystery House, Take in the View from Land’s End Labyrinth, Catch a Giant’s Game & Eat Garlic Fries at Oracle Park (Formerly AT&T Park), Visit California’s Most Famous Prison on Alcatraz Island, Explore the Largest Chinatown Outside of Asia, Say Hello to the Bison at Golden Gate Park, Camp on Angel Island & Watch the Fog Roll in Over San Francisco, Visit the Most Famous Ghost Town in California at Bodie State Historic Park, Hike to the Unusual Devil’s Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, See the Thousands of Elephant Seals at Año Nuevo State Park, Step Inside a Redwood Tree at Henry Cowell State Park, Surf the Waves at Steamer Lane or Pleasure Point, Ride the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Witness Thousands of Monarch Butterflies a Natural Bridges, Visit One of the Best Aquariums in the World at the Monterey Bay, See General Sherman at Sequoia National Park, Explore the Pismo Beach Sand Dunes on an ATV, Visit the Lowest Point in North America at Badwater Basin, Take in the View from Griffith Observatory, Go to a Live Taping of Your Favorite TV Show in LA, Watch the Skateboarders at Venice Beach Boardwalk, Go Hiking in Malibu then Spend the Day on the Beach, Visit Hogwarts at Universal Studios Hollywood, Get Religiously Psychedelic at Salvation Mountain, Eat the Best Apple Pie in California in Julian, Witness the Beauty of the Desert at Anza-Borrego State Park, Walk through the Colorful Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Get Wild at the San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, Tour a Decommissioned Aircraft Carrier at the USS Midway Museum, Best Things to do in Lake Tahoe (During Any Season), The Best Things to do in San Francisco at Night, Ride a Steam Train through the Santa Cruz Redwoods, My Favorite Hike in San Diego – Torrey Pines, 8 Best Handheld GPS Devices for Hiking (2020 Buying Guide), Best Heated Gloves for Cold Weather (2020 Buying Guide), 3 Outdoor Date Ideas in the Bay Area (To Enjoy During Quarantine). You can easily plan to spend a couple of days on the trip up or down the PCH, so it’s the perfect opportunity to explore B&Bs and cute beachside towns. With such diverse terrain, it’s not surprising that this region offers practically an endless number of things to do. The world’s most famous sidewalk boasts 2,500 stars (and counting). The cold winters and cool water temperatures keep the lake’s clarity extremely high. Find accommodation, book your rental car, or sign up for a local tour. If you want to observe the animals up close, the Safari Park is a great option to see your favorites out in the open range. Things to do in California Welcome to California From southern California’s beachy San Diego and star-studded Los Angeles to history-steeped San Francisco and quieter towns in the north, the Golden State serves up an endless array of destinations and activities. The city was founded by a group of Danes in 1911 who were trying to escape the intensely cold Midwestern winters. The museum consists of every banana-related item from toys, key chain, jackets, shirt, a photo album and everything banana related you can imagine. Not only are the caverns recognized for their incredible speleothem (stalactite and stalagmite formations), but for the care in conservation and the surrounding environment. The best time to visit is in the fall during “crush” season when you have the unique opportunity to see a winery in action! And, there’s really no better way to take in its grandeur than through SUPing around the lake. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Make sure to stop at Marini’s for a bag of saltwater taffy or a caramel apple to make your visit complete. California is just filled with so many random and weird abandoned places. As expected realtors wanted to take advantage of this strange creation, homes, shops, and resorts were popping up like mushroom along the sea. A California vacation, road trip, or work trip isn’t complete without a stop at this native staple. It’s like a hipster way of recycling. Related: Best Things to do in Lake Tahoe (During Any Season). The newer Disneyland California Adventure opened in 2001 and channels the excitement and adventure of the Golden State. Must-sees are the El Prado, the Botanical Building, and the Old Globe Theatre (a replica of the Globe Theatre in London). One day was spent just walking around by Pier 39, going up the crookedest street in America, and checking out the botanical gardens. And no one is stopping the adults from doing the same thing, while taking some good Snapchats, doesn’t it sound like the perfect place to use that dog filter? You can find more information about touring the capitol building here. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. The Golden Gate Bridge provides an unforgettable walk or bike ride, with the most surreal experience of all: top-of-the-world views and a gentle sway from the suspension cables. Boudin Bakery also has beef chili, tomato bisque, and broccoli cheddar in their rotation. What were left behind were ruins of roads, broken pipes. 31 – Go thrift shopping. However, in recent years (most likely due to climate change) they’ve left by January. Insider tip: look up the secret menu on Google before ordering so you can make the most out of the simple menu on offer and enjoy burgers and fries the way locals do. However, the state is so huge, I had to break it into Northern and Southern California! You truly have to see it to believe it. If you’re looking for a good tour to take you around to the different wineries so you don’t have to drive, I’d recommend this one. Discover 30 hidden attractions, cool sights, and unusual things to do in San Diego, California from Sunny Jim Cave Store to Lemon Grove Mummies. Not only is it open every day of the year, but the temperatures rarely hit extreme colds or highs, making it easy to prep what you’re going to bring on your hike. Note: The lighthouse is currently undergoing restoration so the immediate area around the lighthouse is not accessible. Griffith Park Old Zoo 3. Start baking Christmas cookies and hanging your California-inspired holiday decorations — ‘tis the season to be jolly. Ever since its humble beginnings during the Gold Rush, Julian has made apple pie making into an art with its many apple trees. The number of sea caves you’re able to paddle through. You can admire the beauty of gigantic redwoods before witnessing one of the most hostile natural landscapes in the world. Now this place serves as a hub for street art and beautiful graffiti. If you hate Bananas look away! Note: if you plan on being in Los Angeles for at least a few days, I’d recommend grabbing an LA Go Card to get discounts on a bunch of attractions. Hit up Land’s End in San Francisco for an up-close look at the waves and the iconic Labyrinth. Tomales Bay Oyster Company provides grills and ice on top of your oysters, depending on if you like your shellfish raw or cooked. It’s actually the oldest surviving amusement park in California and one of the few oceanside amusement parks on the West Coast. This is one of the most unique states on the US mainland. Who doesn’t like zoos? Although it used to be an immigration station that screened Asian immigrants before they could set foot on the American coast, the Chinese-American community successfully lobbied for the island to be recognized as a National Historic Landmark. What exactly makes a Devil’s Postpile National Monument unusual? It’s by far one of the most quintessential places to visit in Northern California. 1. Nope, more like thousands of dead fish and abandoned ruins. From the north to the south, these are the must-have experiences and best things to do in California no matter what time of year you’re visiting. One of the best places to go sea kayaking is right off the coast of Santa Barbara, around Channel Islands National Park. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in December. Visitors can also enjoy a sweet-pea maze, themed gardens, and plenty of photo ops. Related: 4 Days in the Desert: From the Salton Sea to Joshua Tree. Do it. If you are willing to make the trek to the Eastern Sierras, the number of amazing hot spring options increases. And you can’t leave the state without trying the fusion ‘California Burrito’ that sounds disgusting to anyone who isn’t from here, but believe me when I say it’s DELICIOUS. Maybe you're a contrarian vacationer who'd rather see things others miss. Many people have no idea how much a person can like a fruit. We like our quirks in California, so it’s really not surprising that we have a whole Danish-themed town in Central California by the name of Solvang. However, if you’d rather get up close and personal, there are plenty of whale watching tour options that leave from the Monterey Bay. The skate park is a great start to an afternoon exploring Venice Beach, a counterculture hippie spot that is a unique addition to the usual LA scene. Visit the aquarium to see a living kelp forest, cute sea otters, penguins, and more! If sailing, isn’t your thing, simply spending a day or two exploring Catalina Island is well worth it. Badwater Basin is a special kind of scenic that allows you to experience the beauty of extreme and otherworldly landscapes. This expansive aquarium is all kinds of cool, educational, and inspiring. Spend a night on the island and watch Karl the Fog greet the city in the evening. There is SO much more to discover here than just famous people, sunshine, Hollywood, and Disneyland. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. It is a modern way of recycling. It’s a city of trailblazing beer culture and techniques that will take you through a journey of unique flavors and styles. California is a state where you can shake hands with Mickey Mouse and touch an Orca whale in the same day. If you’re looking for an island adventure, Catalina Island is the way to go. Lake Tahoe is one of the clearest, largest, and deepest alpine lakes in the entire world. It’s good to have a vehicle that can carry your supplies and protect you from the elements. The equivalent of New York’s Central Park (but much bigger), Golden Gate Park is a hotspot for outdoor and cultural activities. Ever since Sprinkles Cupcakes first launched in L.A., this dessert chain has amassed a cult following that can’t get enough of these mouth-watering treats. No matter what your motivation, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Golden State, no matter where you go. It’s seen as one of the best aquariums in the world, and it’s not hard to see why with how diverse our marine life is in the Monterey Bay. You can check the Guinness Book of World Record as it is recognized for having the largest collection dedicated to a single fruit. You might ask why they are there. Not only can you visit the De Young Museum and admire the nearby botanical gardens, but you can also check out the Buffalo Paddock and see American bison grazing on the wild grasses! This roughly 87-mile-long stretch of redwood and fog-trimmed waterfront between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle draws you in with a magic allure that is almost palpable: welcome to the most unforgettable coastline in the world, Big Sur. This infamous lake was accidentally created in early 1900’s (it was a strange time for California). Grab your Disneyland tickets ahead of time here. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer. Since it closed as a prison, it has become a national landmark and home to history exhibits and art installations by world-famous artists such as Ai Weiwei. Fact … To celebrate spring in style, Carlsbad opens their flower fields to the public every March to May. 55 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles (California) ... And, naturally, the Main Street parades are a big part of the fun, especially for smaller visitors. The geothermal pits in Lassen National Park are a total trip. See a haunted house come to real life on the Winchester Mystery House tour in San Jose. It’s the part that most people drive if they don’t have a ton of time and just want to see the highlights. As Mexico’s northern neighbor, California has picked up a thing or two from the culinary king next door, although be forewarned that California Mexican is a completely different experience from what you’ll find down south. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Southern California – Salvation Mountain is it. If you’re camping, I recommend staying at Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground for affordable campsites and cabins and adding in some time for hiking around this beautiful area of California. This is a great tour to get you started with seeing the most scenic spots around the island. Book a vacation rental on AirBnB (and get $40 off your first booking). California History & Culture . Hearst had very interesting interior decorating tastes that I would personally call a bit gaudy, but it’s an impressive property that’s worth touring. Or if you are just into the art of metal sculptors. Don’t be surprised to hear cheering (or heckling) skiers from KT-22 as they launch over “the fingers.”. Written by. Otherwise, this is a great group tour to go on if you don’t want to drive yourself. If you are looking for a particular one, there’s an online tool available called “Star Searcher”. However, you can take a quick peek at the museum and bookstore if you want to learn more about the town’s history. You’ll also find pictures of Dinosaurs and brands like McDonalds, GM, etc. The San Diego Zoo is easily one of the top things to do in California. It has starred in a popular film like Into the Wild, this sanctuary remains a secret to most locals and is yet to be visited by many adventurers and explorers, and that’s a reward itself for Leonard Knight who spent around thirty years of his life into creating this landmark. Make reservations, bring cash, and enjoy all that briny goodness. The weather in San Francisco is best described as “perpetually chilly,” which means that it’s always soup weather! © 2019 The Atlas Heart | made in collaboration with Ink & Honey Design Co. + Michelle Robins Creative. Tamalpais. If you’re tired of visiting the over-pretentious art galleries, we’d suggest you to visit this place for some true Bohemian art. After all, what’s not to love about buying your own wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop, enjoying a sip of butterbeer, and seeing Hogwarts with your very own eyes, adding in a thrill ride or two to keep the adrenaline pumping? While visiting the Salvation walk up to the top, you will see in the near distance two giant walls with colorful paintings on it. We have already established that California has some "interesting” places to practice your art. Salvation Mountain 2. Touring Coronado Island is a perfect daytime activity on a nice day since you can walk around the peninsula in about two hours. Having lived in California for 25 of my 30 years, there’s a lot I love about this place I call home. From that point, you can choose to make your way further to Rainbow Falls or the John Muir Trail! We’ve compiled a list of Northern California’s most unusual attractions that you’ve got to see to believe. One of the best things in California is the abundance of amazing Mexican Food. Catalina is excellent for scuba diving and snorkeling as well if you’re wanting to get in the water. When you look down, a grated catwalk makes you feel as if you are floating on air, gazing straight down 750 feet to the water. Really, you can’t not eat Mexican food in California! If you’re not much into surfing, it’s worth it to spend an hour at either of these spots watching the talented surfers below. San Francisco’s Chinatown is truly a sight to behold, with the gilded Dragon’s Gate and glowing red lanterns looming over you at its entrance. Natural Bridges is also a great point to look out for shorebirds, migrating whales off the coast, and seals and otters. Don’t feel like braving the winds in the North Bay for some of that stunning coastal goodness? The sculptures, furniture, and decor around the mansion come from all over the world, and there are rare priceless pieces of art that you can see in various rooms. But there’s no reason to complain when you have 100's of dinosaur sculptures just lying around. Related: 101 Things to do in Santa Cruz (From a Local). You’ll also find some random ducks that will walk past you, don’t step on their poop. Related: Best Joshua Tree Hotels and Campgrounds. Rent a bike and ride over to the Venice Canals for a taste of Italy, California-style. And at the end of the day have dinner at one of the local restaurants. You are reading "21 Best Things to do in Salinas, California" Back to Top. California’s least-populous county, nestled south of Lake Tahoe, shares the area’s stunning mountain landscapes. Luckily Southern California has many things to do whatever the weather. There are three hiking trails that take you up to the famous sign. You can’t go to the Boardwalk and not ride the Giant Dipper, it’s really that simple – the roller coaster has been providing thrills to riders since 1924. What makes this sea kayaking trip especially unique? One of the most iconic accommodations in California, most people notice the Madonna Inn on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip when they’re driving through San Luis Obispo. Tehama County. Enjoy a break from skiing … Hollywood Trail or the more strenuous Brush Canyon Trail. General Sherman stands at 275 feet tall and is over 36 feet in diameter. Things to do near me today, beaches with kids, romantic parks, unique places to visit in USA, hotels, tourist attractions: Sarasota, From Boston, OR, NC, From Houston, NJ, GA Even if you decide not to stay here, make sure to take a step inside to look at the quirky decor and the famous rock waterfall urinal. Most of the creations you’ll see here are created by him; however, as East Jesus gained popularity, many artists from around the country come here to add their works to the collection. It was started by a man named Charles Russell who used the trash that people dump in the desert land and turned them into beautiful art work. Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. If you’re visiting California and wondering what the best things to do are then you must see this California bucket list. This complex was built by Nazi sympathizers in America. There was an error submitting your subscription. Swan and donut floaties. Kayte Deioma. Lost Sunken City 4. And if you’re looking to purchase a tent, make sure to check out my recommendations for the best four-person tents or larger camping tents. Mix all of those up, and you have yourself a Palm Springs pool party. Related: The Best Things to do in San Francisco at Night. With its noble columns and snappy cupola, all painted wedding-cake white, the California State Capitol has a familiar aura that’s sure to captivate – it’s modeled after the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. Grab your skip-the-line tickets for the San Diego Zoo here and for the Safari Park here. What do they mean? Interested in seeing the largest tree in the world? Well we do not have an answer to that. Inside the ornate building, you’re free to walk the historic rooms, which have been restored to period-era decor to highlight the trends and politics of the time. Most people recommend California Adventure for those who aren’t traveling with kids because it’s slightly more geared for adults in terms of the number of thrill rides and the fact that they sell alcohol. However, one of the most popular coastal routes that don’t skimp on the good views in the 17-Mile Drive that goes through the gated community of Pebble Beach. I hope you’ll get to experience both the local aspects and tourist attractions around California through these recommendations. California is the third-largest state in the nation and will take you through a variety of temperatures and environments. Well it used to be, but now it’s just abandoned. There are also quite a few good foodie spots and cafes in the neighborhood (especially for vegans and vegetarians), so make sure to research a place or two to eat and drink via Yelp or Foursquare while you’re in town. Hundreds of feet inside the McCloud Limestone Mountain Range are the alluring and mysterious Lake Shasta Caverns. You’d think that a sinking town and an abandoned old zoo are not weird enough, how about a 50 acres Nazi compound in the Santa Monica Mountain which is minutes away from the popular third street promenade. The panda and gorilla exhibits are always a hit at the zoo, and you can easily get your steps in wandering from the Australia exhibit to the Tiger Trail and the Africa Rocks. We have reviews of the best places to see in California. The butterflies usually start coming in mid-October and stay around Natural Bridges until mid-February. This Victorian mansion is the result of decades of architectural oddities, no master building plan, and the whimsical tastes of heiress Sarah Winchester. Starting at California’s northern border and stretching down to San Diego, the Pacific Coast Highway takes over 10 hours to complete without stops. Regardless of whether the SF Giants are having a great season or not, it’s always a great idea to catch a game and nosh on those delicious garlic fries at Oracle Park. The Boardwalk also has a great arcade (including laser tag) next door, and a bowling alley across the street.

unique things to do in california

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