California offers everything from sun-drenched beaches to stunning coastlines, with many beautiful locations to discover. For travellers eager to explore America’s Golden State, here are some views and landscapes that are worth planning to see on those California holidays.
1. The Hollywood Hills
The steep hills overlooking Tinseltown can be reached via narrow roads, winding up past opulent mansions and secluded beauty spots. In addition to the famous ‘Hollywood’ sign, you’ll be treated to the dramatic cityscape of LA – stretching as far and wide as the eye can see. Reaching the hills is really only possible by car, but there are plenty of bus tours that head up from Hollywood Boulevard – pointing out famous locations and the homes of movie stars along the way!
2. Death Valley
Death Valley often resembles a different planet: open and vast, views across the breath-taking environment stretch for hundreds of miles, covering terrain ranging from sun-baked plains to the peaks of snow-capped mountains. Nestled beneath Yosemite national park, it’s best to incorporate Death Valley into a wider tour of California. Be sure to bring weather protection as the sun shines constantly and temperatures can be scorching hot.
3. Hearst Castle
North of LA, San Simeon National Park’s most striking landmark is the opulent mansion of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was the inspiration for Citizen Kane, and his castle is an extravagant feat of architecture comprising over 200 separate rooms. Visitors can tour the cathedral-like castle or the well-maintained grounds, with dramatic views stretching out over San Simeon Bay, home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna.
4. San Francisco
The famous port city of San Francisco makes for an ideal week or weekend break. You’ll find plenty of urban attractions like Chinatown, Union Square or the famously-twisting Lombard Street, along with historic sites, like the island prison of Alcatraz and the Embarcadero. Most exciting of all is the Golden Gate bridge: whether shining in the sun or shrouded in mist, the structure is never less than awe-inspiring. Visitors can walk, drive or cycle across it and take pictures from hundreds of vantage points.
Yosemite National Park is one of the most diverse, dramatic and beautiful environments on the planet. Whether you’re camping, staying in a lodge or simply driving through, it’s hard not to be affected by the sheer scale of California’s most famous outdoor environment, which teems with wildlife and natural beauty. You’ll find valleys covered in lush pine forest, crystal lakes and towering mountains and you could spend weeks exploring the park’s trails. A memorable experience for any visitor to California – Yosemite harks back centuries to America’s legendary pioneer past.
More destinations in North America and Canada
Photo Credits: Hearst Castle by CAHairyBear, Little Yosemite Valley by Rennett Stowe, Death Valley by Bust It Away Photography, Golden Gate Bridge by Titan Travel, Bixby Bridge at Big Sur by Titan Travel
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