California is one of the largest of the United States and one of the richest in natural resources and tourist attractions. It has the benefit of ocean frontage along the Pacific Ocean, tall mountains courtesy of the Sierra Nevadas and the Coastal Range, and deserts. All of these areas are rife with natural beauty, and many have been extensively developed especially for tourism. The variety of sights appears almost endless.
Where to begin is always an issue when there are so many possibilities, so I will just proceed in any order. Disneyland comes to mind when the state of California is mentioned, especially if kids are in the equation. The park in Anaheim is much smaller than its Orlando cousin, but still manages to pack in the attractions and the visitors.
Anaheim is a suburb of Los Angeles, a huge urban area which has its own share of attractions. Perhaps the most popular area of LA is Hollywood, home of many mass media stars.
Further south is the wonderful city of San Diego, with its fantastic city park, Balboa Park,
which contains the world famous San Diego Zoo
North of LA, along the Pacific Coast Highway, is the beautiful city of Santa Barbara whose red roofs contract nicely with the nearby sea coast.
The Pacific Coast Highway is one of California’s treasures, but I won’t include too many photos from the drive since I have done previous posts on this topic. I will, however, insert a Big Sur picture
and a photo from one of the premier attractions along the route, the Hearst Castle at San Simeon.
One of my favorite spots in California is McWay Falls, in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
The Monterey Peninsula features 17-mile drive where we looked fondly at the Lone Cypress.
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and inviting cities in the world. Its entrance is punctuated by the travel icon, the Golden Gate Bridge
Just north of San Francisco is wine country. The quaint town of Sonoma is one of the gateways.
In the interior of California are several notable national parks. In the north is Lassen Volcanic National Park
Toward the middle of the state is one of the gems of the national park system, Yosemite National Park.
In the eastern part of the state is Death Valley National Park, one of the most other-worldly places on Earth. It contains the lowest point on land in the Western Hemisphere.
Toward the southeast are the twin parks of Sequoia/Kings Canyon, which feature the largest living creatures on the planet, the Giant Sequoias. The General Sherman tree is in Sequoia NP
while the General Grant is in Kings Canyon.