California contains some remarkably diverse landscapes, from barren desert to lush forests, rugged coastline, blooming prairies, and towering mountains, California has it all.
When to Go – I highly recommend checking California out in the spring/summer when everything is in full bloom. We went during April and Ive never seen so much color.
Where to Go – Everywhere! If you are wanting a beach vacation try Laguna Beach, and Big Sur. If you are craving mountains and forests check out Yosemite and Redwoods National Park.
Getting Around – Rent a car to maximize everything to see in California, things are spread apart so a car will do you some good. If you plan on visiting mountainous regions, a 4wd vehicle is recommended. Be sure shop around for cars especially if you start in LA or San Fransisco as you can find a much better rate outside of the airport.
Cost – California is not cheap. Restaurants, hotels, gas, rental cars are all well above the national average. For a moderately nice hotel you will be spending $200+ night. Camping is always an option to save some cash and theres tons of places to camp. Most places still charge around $15-25 to camp and use their facilities.
Things to Do
Drive the Pacific Coast Highway 1 – This beautiful stretch of road is one of the most scenic drives in the country. It stretches along the coastline from north of LA all the way to Oregon. There are pull-outs everywhere for some great selfies and photo ops!
Big Sur – This section of Highway 1 is particularly remarkable with insane views and some beautiful state parks to check out.
Carmel By the Sea – Just south of Monterey there is a beautiful little town called Carmel. Tons of great restaurants and shops to check out. Nearby there is another scenic drive called “17-Mile Drive” that is worth checking out as it meanders through golf courses, expensive homes, and great ocean views.
Coastal Redwoods – North of San Fransisco you will find some of the largest trees on Earth. There is a 30 mile stretch of drive called, “The Avenue of the Giants” I highly recommend for anyone wanting to experience these remarkable trees.
Yosemite National Park – Filled with incredible vistas, mountains, valleys, forests, and wildlife, this is one of the country’s best national parks.
Death Valley – Over 3.4 million acres of desert perfect for camping, hiking, biking, and photo ops.