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Why you Should Visit California

Updated on November 18, 2014

Visiting California

Thinking about visiting the Golden State and wondering about nice places to visit in California?

Whether you're looking for a nice couple's weekend getaway, hanging out with friends or a family friendly vacation, California has lots of interesting, fun and historical places to visit.

Spend time at the ocean, visit an assortment of amusement parks, shop where the stars do or see where gold was discovered. Interested, yet?

California has a quite a diverse culture and is truly a melting pot. Oftentimes people come to visit and decide to stay. Let's take a journey and discover the many great destinations and attractions that await you when you come to California.

Beach image by Slipshod Photog at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

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Romantic Weekend Getaways in California

California is filled with locations that would be great for a romantic weekend getaway.

One place I love is Lake Tahoe. In the summer I enjoy hanging out at the beach and during the winter months, it's playtime in the snow. To get a rustic feel of the area, rent a cabin. If looking for some adult fun, cross the stateline into Nevada and enjoy the casinos

.If you adore the ocean, you might like a visit to Half Moon Bay located in San Mateo county, south of San Francisco. Ride a horse, stroll along the beach and enjoy this quaint ocean town filled with wonderful restaurants and shops. Looking for fine dining with a twist? Try the Haunted Moss Beach Distillary located nearby. If visiting, I would recommend staying at one of the great bed and breakfasts in the area.

Feel like a fairy tale weekend? If so, you'll love the Danish town of Solvang located in southern California's Santa Inez Valley. Hans Christian Andersen's influence is definitely felt here. Take a horse drawn wagon ride, visit the Hans Christian Andersen museum and be sure to try some of the delightful local Danish pastries.

One of the most romantic destinations in California is Napa Valley. This is wine country area in northern California. Spend the day visiting local wineries and partaking in wine tasting. For a real scenic thrill, take a hot air balloon ride. There are numerous charming places to stay in the area.

I like staying in Calistoga at one of the lodgings that features natural hot water springs. It is so relaxing!

Ever dreamed of a romantic island getaway? Then Catalina Island is for you. Enjoy water activities, take a glass bottom boat ride or casually walk along the beach hand in hand at sunset.

Stay in a cottage or a country inn. Don't forget to try one of the local spas. You won't be disappointed!

Palm Springs has always been a popular vacation destination, especially since in the past, as it was known for being a getaway for Hollywood stars. A must do here for a romantic weekend is to take a ride on the aerial tramway to enjoy spectacular views of the area. Staying here can be a bit costly. You can enjoy everything Palm Springs has to offer, but save money by staying in one of the surrounding areas.

I happen to like Palm Desert which is just as beautiful.As crazy and wild as California can be, it can also be a very romantic place to visit whether it be for a weekend, vacation or honeymoon.

Hot air balloon photo by acrylicartist at morgueFile.

Sunset at Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe sunset photo by prov31wmn at morgueFile. Doesn't it look beautiful?

Romantic California

Here are some good travel books. I have always relied on these when I plan a vacation.

Interesting Places to Visit in California

California has a variety of interesting locations to suit everyone's tastes. Visit historic Coloma where gold was first discovered and have fun exploring this scenic state park.

Go underground and explore the California Caverns. I happen to like the ones in Calaveras County. There are many beautiful locations in the state for a scenic drive.

A really pretty one is the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach near Monterey.

Just outside of Los Angeles are the La Brea Tar Pits which are a series of tar pits that have produced numerous fossils from the days of the dinosaurs.

Looking to step back to the days of Vaudeville? The Palm Springs Follies will take you on that journey. What's really cool about this Broadway type prduction is that many of the performers are senior citizens.

For a bizarre experience, there's the museum of death in Hollywood which includes a coffin collection.

See what Bigfoot's been up to at the Bigfoot Museum in Willow Creek.

Gravity takes an odd turn at the Mystery Spot near Santa Cruz. This is only the beginning of interesting attractions that can be visited in California.

The La Brea Tar Pits

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La Brea Tar Pits photo by 3scandal0 at Wikimedia.

Cool California T-Shirts

Check out these great T-shirts that represent California.

Have you ever been to California?

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Famous Hollywood Sign

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Hollywood sign photo by Jon Sullivan at Wikimedia.

Things to do in California for Kids

Throughtout California there are numerous attractions that kids will love. If your family likes to camp, there are endless possibilities. Some places kids will stay entertained at are Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Santa Cruz.

If possible, take kids for a trip to the ocean. Do keep in mind, though, that not all beaches are suited for swimming.

There are aquariums in different cities in the state, but if planning on visiting one, my recommendations are the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco.

Of course California is known for it's theme parks. One of my favorite vacations to plan is one visiting different theme parks in southern California. Disneyland is always on my list as is California Adventure.

Other great attractions include Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm and Sea World. For young kids, there's Legoland.

If you prefer hands on museums, there are plenty to choose from. A great one is the Tech Museum in San Jose. My family also has a fun time at the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. Want to visit the Old West? Explore Calico Ghost Town. Now, if you prefer something more low key, there are numerous hiking opportunities available along beautiful state parks.See anything your kids might like?

Small World ride in Disneyland photo by SolarSurfer at Wikimedia Commons.


Great California Travel Kid Book

If planning a trip to California with kids, I really recommend The Unofficial Guide to California with Kids. It's filled with family attractions, along with kid friendly lodgings and restaurants. I've used mine over and over again.

What would you like to do in California?

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Rodeo Drive Shopping

If you're going to be in southern California, treat yourself to some shopping, (even if only window shopping,) on Rodeo Drive. This famous street is home to some of the world's most famous designers including:CartierChanelFendiGucciRalph LaurenValentinoVersaceOf course, it wouldn't hurt to treat yourself to a little something while you're there.

The Famous Golden Gate Bridge

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Golden Gate Bridge photo by seemann at morgueFile.

Please give a thumbs up if you enjoyed this!

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Come to California

Why visit California? Because there are a vast amount of attractions and things to do. Whether it's a romantic dinner in Wine Country, a day of froliking in the ocean or screaming on roller coasters, there is plenty to keep people busy when they visit the Golden State.

San Diego Zoo photo by Norvy at Wikimedia.

Give a warm California hello!

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @catravel: I see you really like it.

    • catravel profile image

      Zoka 3 years ago

      California is so inspired country.There is so many beautiful places...No 1 country on the world!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @Merrci: Legoland is really fun for young kids.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      California does have a lot to offer! Wonderful national and state parks too, and don't miss Legoland!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @TanoCalvenoa: I'm glad I was able to capture lots of your favorite places in the state. There really is so so much to do here.

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      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Wow, this is a great guide to California. I live here and have been practically everywhere in the entire state north and south, and you listed a bunch of my favorites. There were several where I would wonder, "Is she going to mention (some place)" and then it was there. Good job.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @SavioC: Hollywood is pretty cool.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @SavioC: Hollywood is pretty cool.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @HappyTom LM: You will very much enjoy it.

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 4 years ago

      Hi. Yes California is up there on my travel list , want to check out the main places there (there are many) but Hollywood tops the list. Thanks for this sharing.

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 4 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      I am from Switzerland, living in Ecuador at the moment... and I say hello and thank you very much for sharing this beautiful lens. I defiantly will come to California once....

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Socialpro54 LM: You are from a beautiful country. I have visited there before.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      I've been to California quite a few times. It used to be more exotic when I lived in WI but now that I live in AZ we go all the time. There's such a great variety of awesome places to visit that really are very different from one another all in the same state.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Socialpro54 LM: You are from a beautiful country. I have visited there before.

    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 4 years ago

      I'm from Belgium, maybe I make it a nice trip, I put it on my to do list :-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Melissa Miotke: How fun that you get to visit so often. You're right. There are so many different places to visit that are all in one state,

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Melissa Miotke: How fun that you get to visit so often. You're right. There are so many different places to visit that are all in one state,

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Dusty2 LM: The traffic in southern CA is terrible! Glad you enjoyed Disneyland. It's like a second home to me.

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 4 years ago

      California was nice. Enjoyed the area north of San Fran. Did not like the area around L.A. as it was too crowded for me; especially on the freeways. YUKO! However, I wouldn't mind visiting Disneyland again as that was a good time for two days. Thank You for stopping by my Unique Peacock Theme Wedding Favors, Gifts & Accessories lens and giving it a "thumbs up" as I really appreciate it. I also did a Peacock Theme for Christmas as well because I just love the peacock. I remember sitting at the various zoos and just listening to the peacocks calling each other. They are one majestic and regal bird! Hope You Have a Great Day WriterJanis!

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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @TolovajWordsmith: People love the The Lakers.

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      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      California has so much to offer. And of course there are also The Lakers as special bonus. They suck this year but still they are The Lakers:)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: Doesn't sound like much fun.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: There are lots of famous places in CA.

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      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like to go to California as it is always to be with my close friends.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @aesta1: That's a great reason to go.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Disneyland has grown so much. Maybe you'll get a chance to visit again.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I spent time in California this winter - that's where I was sick in the hotel and wrote a lens about it.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I just want to visit all the famous places in California. Blessed :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      I've driven through California and been to Disneyland as a kid - beautiful state.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @kabbalah lm: That's a pretty ride,

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: Let me know if you do.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Juliusdog: I hope you get to.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I think you would love the ocean.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @DeborahDian: Especially in southern CA. There is so much to do there.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 5 years ago

      I used to live in Southern California. I miss cycling on the beach paths

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      I'd love to visit all that California has to offer. Hopefully, I'll get the chance someday.

    • Juliusdog profile image

      Juliusdog 5 years ago

      i hope to visit someday

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Janis, I have not been to CA, but I would love to someday. Would you believe I have not seen an ocean? Yeah! :)

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      As a Southern California resident, I think there are tons of reasons why anyone would want to visit our beautiful state. You've done a great job letting people know what we have to offer!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi back!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @TheDeeperWell: I just checked it out. It's beautiful.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      HELLO

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      TheDeeperWell 5 years ago

      Janis, I live at the entrance to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in a very small town called Three Rivers...I love it here and I also love to travel around California. I have not been to your side of the globe (yet). Thank you for this lovely lens about CA. Next time you are here, don't miss walking among the Big Trees in Giant Forest. PS. I also have a lovely bed and breakfast cottage called Cort Cottage...Elsah

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @evannecarter: Hope you get a chance to soon.

    • evannecarter profile image

      evannecarter 5 years ago

      Hello, Thanks for the comment on my lens (tool kits for women). Looking forward to visiting California; it is one of those must see places.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: I've heard this is a pretty area.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @CoeGurl: Hope you can visit more.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Hello from the northernmost edge of California... I live in the Klamath River Valley... and love to read about California.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 5 years ago from USA

      I love visiting California!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: It really is any time of the year.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Tonto Murray: Sounds like you really enjoyed living in CA.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      grate place for a visit.

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 5 years ago

      Nice, used to live in Cali for several years. Such great travel from anywhere in the state. Blessed

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @WindyWintersHubs: There are tons of kid-friendly places in CA. That's one of the reasons I like CA so much. Of course, Disneyland is a favorite.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @adragast24: Sorry you had to cancel your trip. Hopefully, you'll be able to visit next year. Let me know if you do.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Love traveling and have enjoyed our visits to California. There is sure a lot to see and do. We have been down a few times in last year and managed to do a little sightseeing (between layovers) but would enjoy visiting again for a longer vacation. I see lots of things here that I have missed on previous trips. There are sure lots of kid-friendly places that are still great for adults. Our kids are older now and they really enjoyed our road trips to Disneyland...but I wouldn't mind seeing it again or do more sightseeing. Thanks for all these great ideas.

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 5 years ago

      Thanks for those tips, I would love to visit California and was even intending to go there this year! Unfortunately, I had to cancel because of last minute problems... Anyway great lens. I just wish there was an option "go to the La Brea Tar Pits" in the poll about what I want to do, as this is something you just showed me and which seems really nice.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Rankography: Thanks so much!

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 5 years ago

      Outstanding vacation Ideas. Blessings.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @piedromolinero: I hope that any of you who want to go get the chance to.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      California is definitely on my bucket list!

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      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      It would be lovely to visit sunny California.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I've been to California several times - so many wonderful memories!

    • joannalynn lm profile image

      joannalynn lm 5 years ago

      Hi Janis: We're leaving tomorrow morning for our yearly return to my native state :). Since my boys were born in Idaho, I'm always looking for new activities. We usually go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium with lunch at Bubba Gumps (this is a yearly activity because we love it), Disneyland (as you know), and Hearst Castle (there are so many different tours we never tire of it). The old San Simeon lighthouse has opened with tours, and an interpretive natural history walk every Wednesday now (I think Wednesdays). We tide pool and surf because my Mom lives 15-minutes from the beach, and she manages Castoro Cellars so we stay in the heart of the wine country. I think I'm getting a little old for a surfboard, but my kids don't seem to think so! I'm thinking a boat trip to Avalon. I used to camp on Catalina with my Girl Scout troop, and we sailed there a lot when we were teens (family with a sailboat). San Luis Obispo Farmer's Market of course. We do most of our activities around San Luis/Cayucos/Cambria/Monterey because that is where my family lives, but I want to branch out. Isn't the Laguna Arts Festival going on about now? My Dad lives in San Francisco, so I guess that's an option. We spend so much time at our cabin in Mineral King that the time gets away from us! Well, thanks for some great ideas. I've thought about taking them to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, and they should someday see the La Brea Tar Pits. I've seen them and they are really cool for sure. Have you ever been to the Mystery house?

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      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Love to visit California. It's been fun reading your work here.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      I've done a fair bit of California, especially around Tahoe

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      Ajeet 5 years ago

      Any reasons to visit Texas? :)

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      I am ready to go back to Disneyland. Such fun!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Bellezza-Decor: Fingers crossed you get to.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @LouisaDembul: Have fun if you do.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @LisaDH: There is a wide variety of things to do in CA.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @BuddyBink: You'll find lots to do there.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @awayb: That's my fav!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      This is one more sunny state I should visit one of these days!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      We have friends close to Fresno, and they keep inviting us to visit. We're thinking of it!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I've lived in California for over 30 years, but I'm still finding great new places to visit throughout the state.

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 5 years ago

      I spent four years at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County and lived in Oceanside and Vista. It was a great time. When not training I divided my time between Century City, Costa Mesa and San Diego. Next time I get there I plan on spending time in Northern California. Thanks

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      awayb 5 years ago

      definitely for disney!

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 5 years ago from Ireland

      Would love to visit California - and with a wine interest - especially the Napa Valley. Maybe one day!

    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      I sure miss the weather in CA. Hope to get back and see friends soon. Thank you for a little taste here.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i went to california to visit my brother. california republic is really beautiful.

    • IanMayfield profile image

      IanMayfield 5 years ago

      I live in San Diego and would like to give a quick shout out for the city, which isn't covered much in your lens (aside from the photo of the Zoo). Lots of great stuff to see and do here, whether it be the near-perfect climate, mile upon mile of beautiful beaches, the Navy connection (particularly the aircraft carrier USS Midway), Balboa Park with its dozens of museums and arts venues, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, breweries (lots of), shopping (even more of), hiking at Torrey Pines, surfing, hobnobbing with the filthy rich in La Jolla, taking the kids to Legoland or the San Diego Wild Animal Park... need I go on? :-)

    • videkpridek profile image

      videkpridek 5 years ago

      Really want to go back.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Would love to go there! It is a part of my wish-list!

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 5 years ago

      I lived in Southern Cal for 3.5 years and really enjoyed it. I miss a lot of things about the State. It is a great place to visit with so much to do.

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      golfspice 5 years ago

      Perhaps I'll get to sunny California one day - here's hoping!

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      Andy 5 years ago from London, England

      Great lens. I used to go to California every year for at least a fortnight: I worked for a Silicon valley consultancy/software company for 15 years. I always managed to explore a little in between business meeting s etc. and have also been back for vacations a few times too.

    • niceman91 lm profile image

      niceman91 lm 5 years ago

      I've never been to california yet, but I think it might be my next destination for summer holidays. I will travel to amsterdam and paris for this winter holiday :)

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 5 years ago

      Great work. I am going to visit California soon.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 5 years ago

      Love your lens. Born and live in California most of my life. A change in my husband health took us to be with family in Utah. My husband passed away last year and I am current in Utah. I miss CA.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 5 years ago

      I now live here but there's so much left to explore! I've looked at info about that Mystery Spot and it's on my list of things to do. Haven't yet been to Palm Springs, the Danish town of Solvang, or La Brea Tar Pits. That picture with the elephants with those long tusks threw me for a loop. Had to look them up & found them to be a representation made from ancient fossils found at the Tar Pits! LOL Those tusks found were 10 feet long! Beautiful lens! Thanks for making it.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      I live in CA now after living in Hawaii for 12 years.. I miss Hawaii but sure love the shopping and art in CA. Thumbs up lens and angel blessed.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Nice lens. This is a great state but my travelling days are over so I won't be visiting.

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      Sharyn Read 5 years ago from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop...

      What a great lens! I loved visiting LA and San Deigo, the shopping, the sights, but I couldn't live with the traffic, but everywhere is a compromise!

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      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      I have been to California several times, and loved both San Francisco and the Monterrey areas. Alcatraz was utterly fascinating, though eerie. Two things I didn't get to do, but would still like to are swim in the Pacific and visit Catalina Island.

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      garip1 5 years ago

      fantastic

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      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      I loved California both times I was there. Your lens makes me want to go back right NOW!!

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 5 years ago

      I miss Cali. I was born there and have been back to live there twice since.I look forwards to owning a home on the ocean there one day :)

    • sarahrk lm profile image

      sarahrk lm 5 years ago

      I would like to see everything in California. No matter how many times I go there, I want to go back.

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      Tamara14 6 years ago

      Would really love to go sometime soon:)