California – Your Complete Travel Guide
Planning a trip to the golden state of California is nothing but a mix of all great things and experiences. Whether you plan to roam around the redwoods, go on a ride at the towering redwoods or take a wine tour at the famous Napa valley California sums it all up.
Places you can visit in California.
Yosemite National Park
Located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, the Yosemite National Park is a 1200 square mile stretched UNESCO World Heritage Site that is regarded for its awe-inspiring and incredible beauty that has been surrounded by cliffs and domes that are the result of glaciers years ago. The national park was discovered in 1860 by John Muir who described it as the grandest of all special temples of Nature who further also helped to establish the area as a protected national park.
The Yosemite National Park has over 800 miles of hiking trails out of which the Pacific Crest Trail near the Tuolumne River is considered absolutely spectacular to witness. Another great trek at the Yosemite National Park is the trek up to the Half Dome. It is considered as one of the most challenging hikes among all and advised only for people who have a great fitness level. If you want to try an easier trek then the Vernal Falls footbridge and the loop around Mirror Lake can be attempted. People visiting here get to surround themselves by stunning meadows, flowing waterfalls that have water as clear as crystal.
One of the most phenomenal sites to witness is the Yosemite Falls that have an incredible height of 2,425 foot. The park has incredible biological diversity as it boasts more than 400 different animal species which include 262 types of birds. Every year approximately four million people across the globe visit the Yosemite National Park. The Park also has lodges, (The Majestic Yosemite Hotel and the Big Trees Lodge), modern Yosemite Valley Lodge and hotels for accommodation outside the park too.
A little around 30 km away from Los Angeles around the southern side of California lies everyone’s favourite and loved amusement park, the Disneyland resort. The park has been loved beyond years by kids and grown-ups around California and the globe. The park has tons of thrilling theme rides and recreational worlds for your entertainment. It also hosts many entertainment shows for you to enjoy with your kids and family where you could explore the bushy forest, take a dip in the sea world, take a trip to the outer space world, sail on a ship with pirates and click pictures with your favourite Disney characters. Just some time ago the park had added a new themed land, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge brings a whole new world of excitement for people visiting the park. The Disneyland Resort has been divided into two theme parks, one being the Disneyland Park and the Disney California Adventure for adventure. Visit for some stomach twisting and a trip memory down lane fun. Don’t forget to stay back to enjoy the fireworks. The tickets cost around eight thousand rupees per person.
Encapsulated by the warmth of the snow lit mountains, Lake Tahoe in California is one of the most magnificent spots of nature to witness. One of the most pristine beauties of nature, Lake Tahoe has crystal clear waters that’ll surely leave you in awe. The lake is considered the best spot to visit during the hot summer months as one can indulge themselves in some outdoor adventure activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, water sports, and sunbathing on the sides of the lake.
One will also be able to find great picnicking space right next to the lake. Some of the parks that you will be able to relax at include the Emerald Bay State Park, the Bliss State Park, Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park and the Kings Beach on the northern shore. There you can spot people swimming, boating, kayaking and paddle boating in the lake waters. You can also choose to drop by the popular Kings Beach that is lit with various eating spots and shopping centres. In the winter months when it is snowing the water of the Lake Tahoe freezes entirely giving skiers the greatest opportunity to opt for downhill skiing in powder-snow conditions, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledging.
Located in the south-eastern wing of the state of California, between the Amargosa Desert in Nevada and the Inyo National Forest in California is the Death Valley, National Park. Death Valley is the largest national park in the entire country of the United States, and also the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks. The Death valley has been signified for its stunning natural beauty and scientific importance which was in the late 20s brought under attention by the National Park Service by the director of the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather. On the 11th of February 1993, it was further shared as a national monument by the United States President Herbert Hoover.
With passing time the Death valley has spread in size by 1,200,000 acres which calculates up to 3,336,000 acres in total. The park comprises salt fields, drought lands, dunes, hilly mountains, canyons, and a lake that lies below the sea level which creates a uniquely phenomenal landscape in this remote valley. The Death Valley is home to various plants and animals that have over the years accustomed themselves with its drying conditions. Some of the numerous animals that you will be able to spot here include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish.
The way to enjoy the Death Valley is by driving through the park where you whenever willing can stop and adore your view around. You can also opt to hike around the known trails, view the ruins of the valley’s former industry and also paddle at the Badwater Lake (only if there is any water at that point).
Muir Woods National Monument
Regarded as a United States National Monument, the Muir Woods National Monument is another great place to visit in the state of California. Named after John Muir, the monument is located in the southwestern Marin County region of the state. The Muir woods form a part of the great Golden Gate National Recreation Area where once when you will reach the woods you’ll be welcomed with two hundred feet tall coastal redwood trees that are loved for their towering length.
The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest which due to its presence to the Pacific Ocean it is regularly enveloped in a coastal marine layer fog that is responsible for contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. The fog that surrounds the place has been marked essential for the growth of the redwoods as they utilise moisture from the fog during drought seasons definitely during the dry summer months. Hikers are bound to fall in love with this place as they will get to cross some beautiful forest trails that lead to great peaks which overlook the beautiful Pacific Ocean. You can choose to spend some time at the top of the peak where you can stand and unwind. People choose to stay at the peak for a while and some also like to indulge in some cardio exercises as the entire surrounding is so beyond perfect to enjoy.
If you are searching for a meal that is right out of the organic gardens then the French Laundry should be your pick. Launched in 1994, the French Laundry was once named as the best restaurant in the world. Little do people know the inspiration behind the name French Laundry. In the twentieth century, the restaurant served as an actual French laundry. Hence, when the transition was being made from an actual french laundry to a restaurant they chose to let the name be for authentic purposes. The old stone structure of French Laundry is a three Michelin star which is owned by chef Thomas Keller. Enjoy some crispy garden cauliflower, charcoal-grilled Japanese wagyu with cèpe mushrooms, oysters and veal at the French Laundry.
Trois Mac in the city of Los Angeles is one of the most delicious eateries points that offer a high dining experience that is in the front strip mall pizza joint. It is handled by the wonderful trio of Chef Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. In the beginning, you will be offered some snacks such as the mustard crème brûlée and crispy tapioca with parmesan and passion fruit to help you gear you for your five-course meal. The main course that is loved by various people visiting here generally includes roasted lobster with charred pineapple or lamb with mint pesto and smoked eel. The Trois Mec is slightly short of seating space as it has only twenty-four seats. Hence, if you are planning to visit here it will be advisable that you buy tickets much in advance.
State Bird Provisions
Owned by the famous chef husband and wife team Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, the State Bird Provisions is one of the famous spots to eat in San Francisco. The restaurant was earlier a temporary eatery in an adjacent storefront as there wasn’t much room for a full kitchen. Freshly prepared meals with gleaming smiles are offered to you at all times in a dim sum style at a cosy dining room. After a couple of years, it was named Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant of the Year. The restaurant has some delicious dishes to offer such as miso caesar asparagus with seaweed breadcrumb and sourdough pancakes with sauerkraut, pecorino & ricotta.
Opened by Alice Waters, the Chez Panisse is a small Berkeley restaurant that offers the most delicate and simple prepared food. The forty-seven-year-old destination stop still has it as evidenced by a kitchen that turns out both consistently excellent dishes. Despite inviting Portlandia-Esque quips, Chez Panisse’s prix fixe menus still read like a list of local food producers as in the hand-cut linguine with Hog Island clams, pancetta, and sweet peas or Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with sage, braised green garlic, and porcini mushrooms. People who are looking for a simpler and rustic tasting menu can choose to visit here on Mondays where the prices are also easier on your pocket.
Some small bites for your taste buds
Who doesn’t love tacos, right? Over the years the state of California has been influenced by the great and vibrant Mexican culture. Due to which you will see many street-side vendors selling some delicious and mouth-watering tacos at the bare minimum price. If you are a little health conscious and tad bot frenzy about eating at the street corner then you can always drop by at some of the famous shops who sell tacos. Some of them include the Guerrilla Tacos in Los Angeles, Ensenada for some fish tacos, Nuestro Mexico in Bakersfield and the classic La Taqueria in San Francisco.
Are you a self-proclaimed bread lover? Then the most delicious sourdough bread is supposed to be on your things to eat when in the California bucket list. The Sourdough bread is made by fermenting the dough by using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. Sourdough bread has a more sour taste so make sure you try some first before taking an entire loaf with you. It also has better natural keeping qualities than other loaves of bread made with baker’s yeast as the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli helps in its production. Though California has a bit of a history with the bread as the French bakers used to set up shop in San Francisco to feed the miners. If you are looking to try the perfect Sourdough bread then you can drop by the Boudin Bakery in San Francisco as they have been making it since 1849.
Chicken and Waffles
In the mood to try some chicken and waffles? Well, then you should definitely stop by the popular restaurant chain Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. Found in the year 1975 by Herb Herson, it is famous all over California for serving mouth-watering chicken and waffles. The Los Angeles Times has referred to it as an L.A. institution that people don’t even question the strange combo of chicken and waffles anymore. The New York Times refers to it as a beloved soul food chain. The original location of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood remains popular among celebrities even today. There are chains all over the state so you don’t need to worry.
Little unknown facts about California
- California was originally known as the Grizzly Bear State. As California grew and the bear population vanished it became the Golden State.
- In 1964, San Francisco’s cable cars were named the first moving National Historic Landmark.
- General Sherman in Sequoia National Park is the world’s largest tree with a great height of 275 feet hall.
- More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.
- Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California’s 58 counties. It has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.
- Fallbrook is known as the Avocado Capital of the World and it also hosts an annual Avocado Festival.
- In the late 1850s, the Kennedy Mine in Jackson was considered as one of the richest gold mines in the world and the deepest mine in North America.
- Three out of the ten largest U. S. cities are in California, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose.
- The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheatre.
- The Hollywood Bowl is the largest outdoor amphitheatre in the United States.