MARCH 16, 2022 /TRAVEL, NORTH AMERICA, USA, CALIFORNIA

ULTIMATE CALIFORNIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Finally sitting down to write my travel guide for California. Spending two months in California was a perfect idea. In the two months there we did quite a lot of roadtrips through California and Nevada and got to see some really exciting places. If you read my first post from California you might recall that I wrote down a list of all the places I wanted to visit, although I didn’t manage to go everywhere (gotta leave something for next time, right?) but I did manage to go through a handful. So in this blog post I will share the places I think that are worth visiting while in California.

California located on the west coast, surrounded by Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico is the 3rd largest state in the US. Home of the entertainment, music and technology world, Hollywood,  world famous national parks, beautiful beaches, the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and many more. Therefore, California is a place that has a lot to offer, there are so many places to visit and things to do. From natural parks, beaches, mountains to metropolitan cities, amusement parks, museums and much more.

Los Angeles- is definitely a must visit when in California. A huge city that has so much to offer from fabulous beaches and museums to trendy shops and restaurants. Home of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the walk of fame and so on. I have a whole blog post on all the must see’s and do’s in LA so make sure you check it out here.

Malibu- technically part of LA, famous for its beaches, beautiful houses and surfing. It’s definitely worth spending a day just walking around Malibu, tanning on the beach and visiting the Getty Villa.

Long Beach- right outside of LA is Long Bech, famous for its beaches the famous Aquarium of the Pacific and the docked RMS Queen Mary. Both of which are definitely a must visit.

Universal Studios Hollywood- an entertaining place no matter whether you are a kid or an adult, Universal Studios are worth the visit. You can have a behind the scenes of how movies are made, see actual movies sets from cult movies like Scream and Jaws, see the actual studios where films and tv shows are filmed, vehicles from Fast & Furious and Back to the Future, see how they create effects and so on. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is definitely a must if you are a Potterhead, don’t forget to try butter beer while there. Springfield from the Simpsons was also fun. There are some cool rides as well. I went during December so it was all decorated for Christmas and it was great.

Disneyland- another must visit place, and before you say but I am not a kid, you simply can never be too old for Disneyland and I do think that everyone at least once in their life should go to one of the Disneyland parks. Many Disney themed rides, Disney characters, watching the parade and the fireworks, you won’t have a bad time.

Six Flags Magic Mountain- If you are more into adrenalin seeking and proper rollercoasters ride that Six Flags Magic Mountain is the place. With few dozen thrilling and adrenalin seeking rollercoasters, I would suggest getting the fast pass hence queues tend to get long especially during weekends and peak season.

 

San Diego- has to be my favorite city in California, I was so in love with it. Smaller and much calmer than LA, with beautiful beaches, various museums and sights and amazing restaurants and bars. I posted a whole weekend itinerary of San Diego which you can read here.

Solvang- a small town located between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. This little town will transport you straight to Denmark. Known for its Danish style architecture, danish bakeries and restaurants and shops. They even have a Hans Christian Andersen statue. I loved it, it’s a perfect one day trip idea to take and see your not so usual California. I would suggest visiting during the week since there are less people than during the weekends.

Santa Barbara- another city in California I love. This beautiful coastal city is to die for. With a promenade filled with stores and shops, cafes and restaurants with outdoor sitting, beautiful beach and boardwalk. It has very Mediterranean vibes, much of it due to the Spanish influence, a lot of Spanish architecture is present in downtown Santa Barbara. Make sure to grab some fresh fish or seafood from the ocean, enjoy the sun and grab ice-cream from the boardwalk.

Hearst Castle- formally as La Cuesta Encantada, is a historic estate in San Simeon, nearby Santa Barbara. The castle belonged to William Randolph Hearst a publishing tycoon. The castle is magnificent, with beautiful gardens, indoor and outdoor pool, ancient artifacts brought from Europe, various rooms beautifully decorated, it even has it’s own theater. 

Pismo Beach- a beautiful coastal town of California, known for it’s beach, pier and clam-chowder (best clam-chowder is at Splash cafe). Perfect getaway and way to spend your day tanning, surfing or just walking around Pismo Beach.

Mojave Dessert- A National Preserve located by the Sierra Nevada mountains. Named after the the indigenous Mojave people. It is located primarily in southeastern California and southwestern Nevada, with small portions extending into Arizona and Utah. If you decide to go to Las Vegas from LA, I would highly recommend passing through Mojave Dessert, but even a trip just for Mojave Dessert is well worth it. Mojave Dessert is characteristic for it’s sand dunes (that you can hike), Joshua trees and rock formation. The famous Route 66 also passes through Mojave Dessert. We stayed until sunset and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets ever.

Death Valley- known as one of the hottest places in the world, and the hottest place in North America as well as the lowest elevation in America (86m bellow sea level). Death Valley is like being on a different planet, I was amazed by it’s beauty, the rock formations and landscape. Because there are many types of minerals in Death Valley, many of the rocks are colored in shades of green, white, red and yellow which looks unreal (the most famous one is called Artists Pallet). Badwater Basin is also a must visit, that’s the lowest elevation point. I would definitely recommend to go there as early as possible in the day, so you can cover the most and make sure to leave before sunset since it gets pitch black very fast. Also calculate your gas accordingly since there is only one gas station in the whole of Death Valley. There are also 2 hotels that you can stay at, but make sure to book in advance cause they didn’t have any rooms on the spot. Make sure to bring snacks and water (lots of water if you are there in summer, because there is no store that you can buy any of that, also cell reception is non-exhisting so download your map offline.