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Exciting Holidays in California

Updated on January 29, 2016

I asked a Californian to tell me about their neck of the woods and especially what we would find if we were looking for active holidays in California. She had so much to enthuse about, so much to tell us, so much to say...

“If you are an adventure seeker thinking about California holidays, then you should take time to understand that this golden state has so much to offer. It’s so much more than golden beaches, famous film stars, and Disneyland. You could spend your holidays in California for years to come and never do the same thing twice.

Of course you could start with the famous beaches, and if sunbathing isn't your thing, and you plan to get active, there are plenty of amazing opportunities to ride the waves, as California has some of the greatest surfing anywhere in the world. If you go at the right time of year, you can even catch the whale watching tours.

But to find the best nuggets in the golden state, you'll have to look beyond the beach.

We call it the Golden State because of its rich history in gold mining and California still has a number of working mines, which offer very interesting tours to visitors, as do many of the old west mines, which are now state parks or historical landmarks. You can even join in one of many gold-panning adventures and find a real gold nugget to keep as a souvenir.

If you would rather see the underside of the state as Mother Nature intended, there are a number of naturally occurring caves to visit too. You can go from underground to the top of the mountains in California.

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe | Source

Although known for sunshine and great weather, California also has world famous skiing and snow boarding resorts. Squaw Valley was host to the 1960 Winter Olympics. Known as Sierra Cement the snow here is heavy and sticks, making an amazing base for the slopes. I love skiing!

If you prefer your mountains not to be covered in snow, you can spend your holidays in California rock climbing. Some of the best rock-climbing is found in the Grizzly Dome area of the Feather River canyon. It is known for having a little bit of everything. Visit Yosemite National Park where you can camp, see the wildlife, ride an authentic steam train, or rent a Model-T for the day.

Tours in California: For those who would rather stay upright on a trail, there are hiking opportunities from one end of the state to the other. Abundant wildlife including deer, chipmunks, raccoons, and even the famous Monarch butterflies are found throughout the state.

There are few places in the world where the beauty of the desert is more evident than Death Valley. I have been on many day trips, and I because I am not an experienced camper I have never camped there, but people do.

For a cooler and shadier hiking experience, I love Big Trees Park, where prehistoric sequoias tower overhead.

If you are with a family then Lassen Park has a hiking and family camping experience centre, where you can get up close and personal with (dormant) volcanic activity.

If you’re passion is water sports, then head inland to the lakes and rivers and away from the beaches. People travel from around the world to spend holidays in California white-water rafting. This is where Yosemite comes into its own. It is really cool for camping and hiking and is also famous for rafting. You will raft down the fantastic American River runs from the Sierra Nevada mountain range through to Sacramento.

There are of course roads and highways to venture on. You should take a drive on State Highway 26, because it is named one of the most scenic routes in the United States. Although it is a challenge it can be done on bicycle or motorcycle.

No holiday in California is complete without a visit to the Wild West, and they are fantastic! There are working ghost towns, such as Columbia State Park, where you can get a taste of life in the old west. Walk into a saloon, or take a stagecoach ride.

  • Make time for the 'Devil's Punchbowl' in San Diego because you’ll see the wonder of the ocean in action!
  • If you're into ghost hunting, don't miss the world famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.
  • To see the latest marvels in scientific discovery, check out the Berkley Hall of Science.
  • For the wine connoisseur, you can't come to this state with out touring a few wineries and attending the famous wine tasting.

You could spend all of your holidays in California and never stop discovering hidden nuggets!

Also, the whole place changes dramatically according to when you visit, so if you visit in spring, you will see everywhere comes alive with vibrant wildflowers, including the California poppy, in fact each season is a picture to embrace.

There are so many other things to do in California and I can guarantee that once you get here you won’t want your holiday to end

I haven’t even mentioned the great cities. You can have wonderful city break holidays in San Francisco, and there are many fantastic holidays to Los Angeles too, both these iconic cities will fill you with lifelong memories!

I hope I have inspired you! Have fun - Dana."

Thanks very much Dana for contributing to my hub about California. Here's another article about India: Holidays in India

© 2014 Giovanna Sanguinetti


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    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from Perth UK

      Yes - I'd love to go to all of them! Thanks for your visit.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Some beautiful and exciting destinations.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      Thanks so much! I bought my son an electric guitar kit today - it's his 15th birthday and he's a great player. Have you ever made a guitar from a kit - I hope we'll be able to do it! My husband will be put through his paces I think! Wish us luck. Thanks for your visit.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      California is nice and I love visiting there and seeing my uncle. I have not been to all of the state but hope to this year. Great hub as all yours are good.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      I'd love to do that! It' must be a very exciting place to be. Thanks very much indeed fro your visit.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      I prefer driving the Pacific Coast Highway but it's all good!

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      Hello thanks very much for your visit. I've never been to California and I would certainly love to - especially love to see the National parks. Hope you're enjoying the holidays. Happy New Year!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the opening photo in this hub! California sounds like a great place to explore. I've been there one, but I didn't see much of the state. I hope to return soon and explore the state in more detail.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      Thanks very much indeed for your visit. I can imagine how wonderful living there must be. Merry Christmas - I hope you have a peaceful and fun time.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      wow you are lucky - I live in the UK and I've haven't been there - yet! Thanks very much for your visit. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays.

    • Kyla Janelle profile image

      Kyla McCulty 3 years ago from Southern California

      I do love my home in southern California! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've visited most of this state, and there are some wonderful places to see. I'm not a big fan of southern California, but the northern part has more than enough to keep me spellbound. :) Nice tour...and Merry Christmas to you.