California is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, beaten only by New York City in terms of the number of visitors. The state is the most populous in the US with a population of some 39.25 million, including just under 4 million in the city of Los Angeles alone. Not only does the state contain Los Angeles, arguably the cultural center of the United States owing to the presence of Hollywood, it also contains a diverse geography that encompasses beaches, mountains, and deserts. With both urban and natural landscapes to explore there is something to do for everyone in California. If you’re planning a getaway to the Western Coast of the US, alone or with a partner, below is a quick guide to the best places to visit in California.
San Diego is a city that sits right next to the Mexican border, and like much of southern California, it retains a good deal of the Spanish culture that existed before the Mexican-American war of 1846. The San Diego Zoo is one of the most popular in the country and features giant pandas and polar bears amongst its main attractions. There is also a lot of history in the city, some owing to the city’s strong Spanish heritage, but also because it is still home to a large Native American population. Among the San Diego Events that consistently bring in tourists and locals alike are those held at popular casinos, like Sycuan Casino.
Hollywood is part of the city of Los Angeles, but owing to its importance as the birthplace of the modern film industry, it has developed an identity in its own right, including the iconic Hollywood sign perched on Hollywood Hill. Amongst the sights to see in Hollywood are the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which immortalizes the biggest names on the big screen throughout the history of film. The Universal Studios Park contains not only a world-renowned theme park that features Universal properties such as Indiana Jones, E.T, and Jaws but also a working studio where visitors can take a tour and see behind the scenes of a major film studio.
Yosemite National Park
Another world-renowned location, Yosemite is one of the United States’ most famous national parks, and for good reason. Yosemite offers stunning views of the diverse Californian landscape and the park is home to a range of wildlife, including the American black bear, the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, bobcats, coyotes, and mule deer amongst many others. Yosemite is a must-see location for any wildlife lovers visiting the state.
The Huntington Library
The Huntington Library in San Marino is a popular destination, containing a library, an art gallery, and beautiful botanical gardens. The library houses some very rare books, including a first edition of The Canterbury Tales.
California is a wonderful place to visit and offers a broad range of activities, as well as some of the most beautiful and unique geography the United States has to offer.