The Ultimate California Travel Guide

The Ultimate California Travel Guide

California | California Travel Guide

California: Beautiful coastline, sandy beaches, bustling downtowns, several theme parks, quaint towns, National Parks, and year-round pleasant weather makes California a great destination no matter what time of the year! Here is my California travel guide outlining major California attractions! 

To make it easy for you to navigate the content, I have organized my California travel guide into two sections. (1) A brief introduction to California, a little history, some geography, commute, and weather. (2) Major California attractions, if you wish, you can skip the introduction and move on to the next section, California Attractions

History: The area, now known as the state of California, was ceded to the United States in 1847 after the Mexican–American War. Shortly after that, the discovery of gold in California drove a lot of people to California in search of fortune, and that is how California got its nickname – “The Golden State.” In the year 1850, California was added to the union as the 31st state and is the third-largest state after Alaska and Texas.

Geography: California is bordered by Oregon on the north, Nevada, and Arizona on the east, the Pacific Ocean on the west, and Mexico on the south. California’s physical geography is very diverse. You will find tall standing mountain peaks, beaches, waterfalls, deserts, and volcanic lava beds, all in the same state of California. 

Getting There

Flight: While Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) are the major international airports, you can also choose to fly to other airports, depending on your destination in California. Burbank (BUR), Long Beach (LGB), Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF) San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC) are your other choices of airports in California and are not very expensive either. I have lived in CA for five years, and I’m not too fond of the traffic, so given a chance, I always try to avoid flying to LAX.

Train: Amtrak offers quite a few long-distance services to/from California – California Zephyr: Daily service between Chicago and Emeryville via Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, Truckee and Sacramento, Coast Starlight: Travels the West Coast daily from Seattle to LA via Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, Southwest Chief: Daily departures from Chicago and LA via Kansas City, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Barstow. Sunset Limited: Thrice-weekly service between New Orleans and LA via Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, and Palm Springs.

Drive: If you live in any of the neighboring states, you can even drive to California, but please be advised that you will have to drive a lot within California, to get to the main attractions, so please plan accordingly.

everything you need to know before you go to california

Climate: California has pleasant weather year-round! Summers are warm, and winters are mild with little to no snow. There is no wrong time to visit California; you will always find someplace you can visit no matter what time of the year. Check current weather conditions in California.

Time zone: GMT -8

Getting around: California is huge, and I prefer driving or flying between cities. If done right, you can find economical flight tickets from LAX to other cities like San Diego, San Francisco, or Oakland. Upon reaching the, I would recommend renting a car as taxi/Uber/Lyft can get quite expensive. I also recommend purchasing a multi-attraction discounted pass from CityPASS that would cover all major Southern California attractions and using Big Bus Tours in Los Angeles

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Best Places To Visit in California

San Simeon Hearst Castle

This majestic and awe-inspiring hilltop estate, standing on California Highway 1, was once the home of businessman William Randolph Hearst who named his estate the “Enchanted Hill”. 

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park preserves approximately 1,200 square miles of rugged terrain in the Sierra Nevada of California. It is home to gorgeous waterfalls, deep valleys, aged sequoia trees, and more.

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Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park lies below-sea-level, consecutive drought and record summer heat makes Death Valley a land of extremes. The Hottest, Driest, and lowest National Park!

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Catalina Island

Is an island off the shore of southern California, located just 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles. With beautiful weather year ’round and endless things you can do, it is a must-see.

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Solvang is a small quaint town located in Santa Barbara County, about one hour drive from the city of Santa Barbara. Solvang’s principal attraction is the town’s European heritage and architecture.

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San Diego

Also called “the birthplace of California” is located in the Southern part of California. This gorgeous beach city has a lot to offer, including rich history, museums, world-famous San Diego Zoo, and more.

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San Francisco

Northern California’s financial and cultural center! Besides its closeness from Silicon Valley, San Francisco is one of the most popular international tourist destinations in the United States.

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Los Angeles

The second-largest city in the US is blessed with natural beauty and is home to several attractions, including iconic Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, Chinese Theatre, and a lot more. 

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Mammoth Lakes

Sculpted from volcanic eruptions, majestic in scale and know for its natural beauty, is the year-round adventure land, Mammoth Lakes. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have seen in California.

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California Travel Guides

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