California is one of the most visited states in the nation, and for good reason. With it’s great weather, and abundant natural and man-made attractions, it’s no wonder tourists flock to this west coast state.
One of the top reasons for visiting California is simply the land itself. Obviously, miles and miles of beautiful beaches draw thousands of visitors each year. Looking more inland, consider the Redwood State and National Parks. Who hasn’t seen pictures of people looking miniature when surrounded by super-sized ferns and trees of unreal size–up to 350 ft, and not wanted to go there? Beyond the Redwoods, Yosemite National Park is said to be unmatched anywhere in the world for natural beauty. With 3 of the highest waterfalls on earth, the biggest granite monolith anywhere, and acres and acres of vast wilderness, Yosemite is a big draw for visitors from around the world. Moving toward the Nevada border, visitors flock to Lake Tahoe, one of the most magnificent bodies of fresh water. It holds almost 40 trillion gallons of water, making it the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe’s water is 99.9 percent pure; it’s so clear that a white 10 inch dinner plate is visible even when submerged 75 feet.
California’s climate is another great reason so many people visit the state. With an average of 354 days of sunshine a year, the weather is generally warm and dry year round in California. Along the southern coast, sea breezes keep the temperature lower in the summer and warmer in the winter than places more inland where the climate is high desert. Along the central and northern coast, average temperatures range from low 40s to mid 50s for lows and mid 50s to low 70s for highs.
If you’re looking for something more high minded to do, California has over a thousand registered historical and art sites to visit. In San Diego, Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first mission built in California, still functions as an active Catholic parish and is a beautiful place to explore and learn about history. Other historic missions dot the state. The California State Railroad museum in Sacramento is a popular stop for visitors. At one point this station was the terminus for the Transcontinental Railroad, and today houses many restored locomotives and railway cars among other attractions. Another museum not to be missed is the J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A. Not only is the actual museum building an architectural landmark, but its permanent collection includes Van Gogh’s “Irises,” a spectacular piece of art.
Of course California is full of many man-made attractions as well. Southern California is dotted with theme parks such as Disney Land, Disney’s California Adventure, Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, San Diego’s Wild Animal Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Legoland, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Six Flags, and Universal Studios Hollywood. These parks attract thousands of visitors each year and for good reason: they’re fun!
Finally, one of the biggest reasons people flock to California is Wine Country. Multiple magazines and plenty of tour and travel groups are dedicated to this region in Northern California because so many people love it. Napa and Sonoma are two of the biggest and best wine-producing regions in the world, and they cater to the traveler with win tastings and outstanding restaurants. Beyond the vineyard tours and wine tasting, there are many spas which feature vineyard inspired treatments with grape-seed products or local mud. If that weren’t enough, the scenery is fantastic, and scenic back roads for hikers, bikers, and cars abound.
So, consider these 5 great reasons to visit California and start planning your trip; you won’t be disappointed!