Ahh, the Golden Coast. From movie-famous beaches to picturesque redwood forests and snow-covered mountaintops, California has always been lauded as the “ideal state” for having it all.
Though visitors might not know that there’s more than just Los Angeles and San Francisco in the sprawling, 400,000 sq. m. plus “Golden State”. If you ever find yourself stepping foot in this sunny dreamland, take a road trip up, or down, to visit these cool spots.
This ethereal California desert is the best choice for groups of friends looking for a couple nights out of town. As a national park, Joshua Tree has tons to show for with its unique plants and wildlife, unbelievable stargazing spots, and diverse hiking trails. Be prepared, however, for hot days and freezing nights!
Ride down California’s central coast through the breathtaking area of Big Sur. As the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States,” Big Sur has been known to stun visitors with its steep cliffs overlooking the sea. Aside from the view, this place also offers hiking, whale watching, and camping as activities for adventurous tourists.
Just a two-hour drive from Big Sur is Pismo Beach, a dreamy expanse of sand and blue waters amidst the slow city of SLO, or San Luis Obispo. At Pismo Beach, you can experience their world-famous clams and watch the sunset on the 1,200-foot pier. Butterfly enthusiasts can also get their fix at the Monarch Butterfly Grove, where thousands of monarchs fly through every season.
Both a great summer and winter destination, Lake Arrowhead is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, down in Southern California. In the summer, you can enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking and bungee jumping; for the winter, you can try out snowboarding and skiing. Whether it’s with friends or family, Lake Arrowhead is a super fun spot for all.
Take a stroll through this mini-New England type village in Mendocino, located in northern California. With tall lighthouses and beautiful coastlines, this city is great for tourists looking to relax on a romantic getaway. Artists can also find peace in this small town, as Mendocino boasts a strong community of artists and writers. They’ve got a number of galleries and local shops for the creative at heart.