California Attractions and Sites of Interest
California State Flag
Even people who have lived in California all of their lives have probably not seen every nook and cranny of this huge state which, except for Alaska and Texas, is the third largest by way of land.
Having had the opportunity to visit this vast western state on several occasions, I thought that I would compile a list of some of my articles that have been written about various places of interest.
No matter what type of scenery is a personal favorite...practically everyone's idea of perfection can be found in California because the land is so varied.
Adventurous mountain climbers might like ascending Mount Whitney...the highest point in the contiguous United States at an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). Although I have not attempted that feat, I have driven in the mountains and a friend and I did go to the lowest point in the contiguous United States...a place called Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park. It is an amazing 232 feet or 86 meters below sea level!
From rocky Pacific Ocean shorelines to lush ancient forests, farmlands to cityscapes, desert lands and more, join me on this look at the most populated of our states which is bordered by Mexico to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Oregon to the north and the states of Nevada and Arizona to the east. You will be in for an amazing journey!
San Francisco cable car with Alcatraz Island in background
Lombard Street in San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Sites
Except for one vacation when a friend rode with me in my car from Houston to California and back, most of the time our California vacations have started with an airplane ride to San Francisco. After renting a car, but before heading out in various directions, we would always made it a point to see and do a few more things in that scenic city.
San Francisco is a beautiful tourist spot and for good reason. It has a very mild climate and therefore beautiful vegetation as can readily be seen in the gorgeous parks and surrounding areas.
It is a city comprised of hills...50 of them in fact and the buildings are constructed to blend into the topography of the land. My hubby and I have huffed and puffed our way up and over quite a few of those hills!
Of course we have also ridden the famous cable cars of San Francisco fame and gone down the crookedest street (supposedly in the world) with hairpin turns called Lombard Street.
There are marvelous San Francisco restaurants representing just about every ethnicity of cuisine and we have relished many a good meal there.
So many iconic sites exist in San Francisco including the Golden Gate Bridge, the large and most interesting Chinatown, the famed Alcatraz Island and so much more.
For a look at some sites in San Francisco that we have enjoyed, click on the links that are highlighted below to read the full article. The photos to the side are a small sample of what you will find in the entire hub.
I Left My Heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett...Many photos!
Sailboats and Golden Gate Bridge
See wonderful photos from the water & while on land in the charming town of Sausalito.
Looking down on the Sutro Bath ruins
Breathtaking scenery on the walk there & back along San Francisco Bay. Historic place!
Photo taken from Top of the Mark in San Francisco
Historic hotel on top of Nob Hill. Great lounge and bar with large picture windows overlooking the city.
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
One could spend days there! We have and we have still not seen it all!
Looking down on Huntington Park in San Francisco
One of the "Big Four" of railroad tycoon fame, Mr. Huntington's place in history is secure.
Heading out of the city of San Francisco and to the north one can be whisked away into what feels like a primeval forest where one can hike and commune with nature. It is the fabulous Muir Woods named after naturalist and environmentalist John Muir. It is such a peaceful place to spend some time decompressing from the daily rigors of life. You can read the full hub by clicking on the link below.
Redwood Creek in Muir Woods National Monument
California Wine Country
There are many notable wineries all throughout California and my hubby and I have visited quite a few of them. I may add information about some others in the future, but to get an idea of what there is to do and see, click on the links below to read about these wineries and our experiences while there.
Lillie Langtry's old house in California
That is an experience we will never forget!
The next part of our adventures into some of the national parks in California as well as other notable scenic areas can be enjoyed by clicking on the links below.
Indian pictographs found at Hospital Rock in Sequoia National Park
See pictographs, areas in rocks where native Indians ground their acorns, hiking and playing in the nearby water.
Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park
What a terrific campground for young and old alike! Learn about lumber flumes and more.
Giant sequoia tree
Learn about the history of these adjacent national parks containing so much spectacular beauty. Did you know that some of these ancient trees are named after U.S. generals like Grant and Sherman? People have sought shelter in some of these massive trees and have also driven through them in the past.
Seacoast Picture from Famous 17 Mile Drive in California
Heard of the Lone Cypress Tree? How about Pebble Beach Golf Course? See those areas and more on this spectacular drive.
Yosemite National Park in California
See many photos of our hikes to waterfalls, meadows and other places in this wondrous park containing so much natural beauty.
Death Valley National Park mountains & sand dunes
Talk about extremes! The scenery...the temperatures...this must be seen to be believed! Here is where Badwater Basin at minus 282 feet below sea level is located.
Joshua Tree National Park in California
Experience desert lands and unique scenery in this park where rock climbers come to practice their skills on the Jumbo Rocks. See Skull Rock and more!
Sunset in Smith River, California
Beautiful coastline images, redwood forests and great camping sites are a part of what this area has to offer between the coastal towns.
Forested area in Muir Woods
Central Valley of California pictured in Green.
Do I have your attention yet as to some of the spectacular sites that can be enjoyed in this most populated of states in the U.S? Los Angeles is the second largest of all cities in the United States and using the 2010 census just had shy of 3,800,000 people living there. Other populated cities in California include in descending order San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco the latter of which had a little over 800,000 people using the same census. The capitol city of Sacramento had 466,000+ people.
The attractions in the various cities are many as one might expect. Is there anyone in the world who has not heard of Disneyland? Walt Disney made this theme park in Anaheim famous. The success of this park spawned Disney World on the other side of the U.S. continent in Orlando, Florida where more people can experience those thrilling rides and amusements.
But leaving the cities behind, Mother Nature pulls out all the stops when it comes to what she has created in California. Around 45% of the state is forested some of which are those tallest redwood trees and the cypress trees of such massive dimensions which must be seen to be fully appreciated.
Did you know that California has the 3rd longest coastline after Alaska and Florida? We have driven along different areas of it and it never fails to impress the senses with its wild power and beauty.
Did you realize that farmers in the Central Valley of California grow about 8% of all the food produced in the United States? Hundreds of crops in this fertile centrally located valley that is 450 miles (720km) long and about 40 to 60 miles (60 - 100km) wide can be viewed as the seemingly endless fields stretch out on all sides almost as far as the eye can see. My friend and I purchased fresh picked strawberries from a roadside stand in the Central Valley and feasted upon them for days!
If you have not yet visited California, just know that seemingly endless treats await your discovery. I know that I would enjoy seeing more of this wondrous state someday.
California Dreamin - Mamas & The Papas ( A Golden Oldie )
If you have not yet visited California, did reading this spark your interest in doing so?
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Location of California in the United States
© 2012 Peggy Woods