30 Of The Most Exciting California Vacation Ideas

If you have the dream of spending the holidays or weekend getaway somewhere in California, this “Most Exciting California Vacation Ideas” article will fit just like a glove.

Besides being the most populous and the third largest state in the country, California always surprises us with its magnificent landscapes and entertainment for all tastes and pockets.

We all know that California is one of the most charming and exciting places to go on vacation in the entire country. You may be planning to visit this great place in the future, right? We won’t leave you in the lurch!

Take a look at these 30 exciting vacation spots in California

Keep in mind that the list below is not respectively in order. Enjoy! 🙂

30 – Glass Beach (Fort Bragg, California)

California Vacation Ideas - Glass Beach

In this exotic beach, the sand is filled with colored stones, the “sea glass”. The sea glass appears due to years of garbage dumping on the coast near the northern area of the town.

Remember – if you are visiting glass beach – to not take any of it with you, souvenirs hunters are diminishing these fabulous colored little pebbles.

29 – Yosemite Valley (Yosemite National Park)

California Vacation Ideas - Yosemite Valley

Just as Ansel Adams said, Yosemite Valley is a glitter of golden and green wonder in a vast edifice of stone.

Yosemite Valley is a unique place in California, famous for its numerous cliffs and waterfalls, and rated as one of the world’s greatest spots for climbing.

28 – Alcatraz (San Francisco)

California Vacation Ideas - Alcatraz

The island’s park rangers conduct some guided tours by recounting the prison’s thrilling history as well as intriguing stories related to Al Capone and many other famous figures that made it to a “home.”

Surely you’ve heard thousands of stories and movies about this place. However, more than one million visitors pay close to $40, on a yearly basis, for a quick boat trip to the little, 22-acre island and an opportunity to confirm what they’ve already heard and seen. And it’s worth every single dollar.

27 – Point Lobos State Reserve (Carmel, Monterey)

China Cove, Point Lobos State National Reserve, Carmel, CA

Point Lobos is described by many people as “the greatest connection of sea and land in the world” and also “the crown jewel of the state park system.”

It’s a unique area on the California coastline, perfect for hiking, excellent for a picnic, and with stunning views and wildlife ideal for photography and painting.

In the wintertime, migrating gray whales can be visible right from the shoreline, not mentioning the sea lions all year long.

26 – USS Midway Museum (San Diego)

San Diego’s USS Midway Museum may be the most recent tourist attraction in the area; this authentic naval aircraft carrier gives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everybody.

Visitors of every age can appreciate a self-guided audio tour presenting sixty exhibits highlighting this kind of “city at sea” as well as twenty-five restored air crafts. Take a look at galleys, officer’s country and sleeping sectors of a 69,000-ton ship, located in Navy Town USA, a trip to the Midway is exclusively San Diego!

25 – Giant Forest (Sequoia National Park)

California Vacation Ideas - Giant Forest

This magnificent place will take your breath away not only due to the fact of the altitude. It’s a fantastic place!

Always be sure to bring your smartphone or digital camera as you don’t want to miss the perfect picture opportunity. If you are bringing your smartphone to take the photos, use the panoramic feature vertically to get the whole tree. 😛

24 – Dante’s View (Death Valley National Park)

California Vacation Ideas - Dante's View

It’s a surreal place, and the view of the Death Valley blooms from the higher level, there is just about a 360 degrees view of the National Park.

Typically the best moment to go up there is early in the morning as well as at the setting sun when the shades of the Valley turn into a color palette of natural perfection. Always be very careful and slow when going up and down.

23 – Santa Cruz

Image credits: Chris Burkard

Santa Cruz is a city in the US state of California, County of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is certainly one of the surfing meccas of the Country. The little town – with a population of approximately 50,000 inhabitants – give us the feeling of freedom. But the fantastic beaches and bohemian vibe attract lots of tourists from all over the globe. This place brings us the sensation of an endless paradise that you will always remember.

22 – Pfeiffer Beach (Big Sur)

California Vacation Ideas - Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach is named by many locals as their favorite beach mainly because of its vast sandy beaches as well as the arch rock which is situated just off-shore. Pfeiffer Beach is quite hard to find by visitors who don’t know exactly its address.

21 – Lava Beds National Monument (Tulelake)

Fern Cave, Lava Beds National Monument, CA

You will find about twenty-five lava tube caves which you can see while you’re in Tulelake. Once you climb down straight into the caves, it is going to be like nothing you’ve experienced before. The caves have tubes created away from lava and a tourist information center which explain exactly how the lava tubes emerge.

20 – Emerald Bay State Park (Lake Tahoe)

California Vacation Ideas - Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay is an isle located in Lake Tahoe. The Bay recently was chosen as a National Natural Landmark because of its natural beauty. You can find a couple of great camping grounds as well as a beautiful foot trail which runs all over the exterior of the small island.

19 – Muir Woods National Monument (Mill Valley)

California Vacation Ideas - Muir Woods National Monument

The Muir Woods has a varied and rich background, from its use by the indigenous Coast Miwok people to its recent days of Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway and tourism, from a period of conservation, to present days preservation.

Every single year, the woodland has been impacted by the activities of humankind, for good or bad.

The coastal redwood preserve has lots of fascinating redwoods as well as beautiful hiking trails which attract over 1.5 million tourists year after year.

The woodland – frequently covered in a fog which originates from the coastline – has plenty of redwood trees that makes use of the fog that seeps inside to help it keep humid throughout the dry summer months.

18 – Napa Valley

California Vacation Ideas - Napa Valley

Napa Valley – located in the north of California – is well-known because of its stunning panoramas and legendary wineries. It’s fantastic for all those looking to break free from all the daily problems and relax just for a couple of days in the excellent spas and restaurants.

17 – Cathedral Peak

California Vacation Ideas - Cathedral Peak

Cathedral Peak is one member of the mountain range acknowledged as the Cathedral Range. The peak received this name as it seems like a cathedral.

Climate glacial actions shaped the mountain, so it kept in its latest form for several decades.

16 – Palm Springs

California Vacation Ideas - Palm Springs

Located in Riverside County, Palm Spring is called a desert resort city. Hiking, golf, horseback riding, biking, swimming, and tennis close by mountain and desert regions tend to be the main types of entertainment in Palm Springs. The area is also popular due to its mid-century modern design and architecture aspects.

15 – Trinidad

California Vacation Ideas - Trinidad

Trinidad is known as a beach town destination in Humboldt County, located at an elevation height of 174 feet on top of its own North Coast Harbor. It’s one among California’s tiniest incorporated cities by inhabitants – 367 occupants according to 2010 Census data.

Known because of its breathtaking shoreline having ten open public beaches and off-shore rocks, Trinidad belongs to the California Coastal National Monument, which it’s known as a gateway locale.

14 – Lassen Volcanic National Park

California Vacation Ideas - Lassen Volcanic National Park

Steaming sulfur holes, and hot springs demonstrate the vibrant signs of how the earth isn’t so quiet in this impressive park in California. It’s famous volcano, the Lassen Peak, last blew in May of 1914, and its volcanic outbursts prolonged for a couple of years.

Nowadays, things calmed down. And hiking trails, most of the times, allow you to observe securely and discover about volcanic activity. Furthermore, you can find miles after miles of exuberant woodlands and sparkle lakes to take a look at as well.

13 – Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park gives you a vast selection of vacation opportunities and an enjoyable escape from the traffic jam and uproar of urban life. On the other hand, the park has five islands, all their surrounding one mile of the ocean.

The choice of where to visit, what to do, as well as how to get it done could be quite a job.

12 – Shasta-Trinity National Forest

California Vacation Ideas - Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Shasta-Trinity National Forest is a big forest located in northern California. It’s the largest National Forest in the state of California, and the US Forest Service maintains it. It also encompasses a few wilderness locations, a vast amount of mountain lakes as well as a long way of streams and rivers.

The Forest provides a wide variety of recreational activities. Many of these include things like camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, fishing, boating, sightseeing, snowboarding and snowmobiling and downhill skiing and riding.

11 – Pinnacles National Park

California Vacation Ideas - Pinnacles National Park

People come to visit Pinnacles National Park to rock climb, watch and study wildlife, hike, see wildflowers and experience nature in general. It offers seclusion, challenge, and getaway from the city layout of both the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas.

As opposed to many national parks, Pinnacles is most visited in the colder months. Through the springtime, when anyone can observe a variety of wildflowers and green grasses around every trail, hiking reaches its best. Winter and fall can also be great seasons to visit.

10 – Marin Headlands (Marin County)

California Vacation Ideas - Marin Headlands

The Marin Headlands is a hilly peninsula in Marin County. The whole region is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s widely known for their sights of Bay Area, specifically the Golden Gate Bridge.

Situated at the Point Bonita Lighthouse, all these headlands present a hiking trail and suspension bridge.

9 – Mojave area

California Vacation Ideas - Mojave

The Mojave desert is a splendid place to go and check out. But, apart from the Air and Space Port and plans to visit Mojave Transportation Museum, tourists searching for more fun may have to take a trip outside of the area. You can check out the blend of wildlife and zoo in the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, also known as Cat House.

Observe more than nineteen varieties of exotic felines like snow leopards, cougars, and tigers. The compound is open daily except for major holidays and Wednesdays.

For such activities like horseback riding, hiking, and camping, you can go twenty-five miles north to Red Rock Canyon, in Cantil. People visiting this State Park, that has areas of both the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range And El Paso Range, will see desert cliffs, buttes and also petroglyphs made by the Kawaiisu Indians. The Red Rock Canyon State Park is open all year long.

8 – Half Moon Bay State Beach

California Vacation Ideas - Half Moon Bay State Beach

The wide sandy beaches are utilized for fishing, sunbathing and picnicking. The campground offers accommodations for anyone who want to stay for a longer time. This Pacific Ocean beach, found right to the south of Princeton-by-the-sea and pillar point harbor, is frequently utilized by surfers, who likes its different waves which are affected by reflective action coming from the harbor jetty.

Around the northern part of the bay, you can find a park in the leeward of Pillar Point Harbor with a very well-preserved trail allowing bikers and hikers to access the sea down below the place.

7 – Big Sur

McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park on the California Coast on a brilliant spring day

Carved rocks knocked by waves breaking line on the Pacific Coast Highway across Big Sur, making some of California’s most remarkable sea views in between the northern end of San Luis Obispo County and Carmel.

Henry Miller And Jack Kerouac found inspiration within the fog-banked meadows and canyons. Elephant seals rest on the coastline, and gray whales migrate two times per year. High-end restaurants, hotels and also art galleries grouped in a six-mile area, giving space to state parks filled with redwoods on both edges.

6 – Death Valley National Park

California Vacation Ideas - Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is very famous due to extreme conditions: It’s North America’s hottest and driest location and holds the lowest elevation over the continent (282 feet below sea level). Even though, the National Park receives almost one million visitors every year.

When the night comes, Death Valley’s hard-to-find fauna of kit foxes, bobcats, and rodents step out. A long way above on high mountain slopes, desert bighorn sheep forage among Joshua trees and pines, as long as hawks soar into cloudless skies.

5 – La Jolla

California Vacation Ideas - La Jolla

Art galleries, finest golf courses together with seals, share the stunning seaside panorama of La Jolla, an affluent town a quarter-hour out of downtown San Diego.

Kayakers, snorkelers, and swimmers dip straight into La Jolla Cove, in which the preserved sea protect a variety of vibrant orange colored Garibaldi fish, and marine caverns indent the cliffs. San Diego’s Museum Of Contemporary Art, Birch Aquarium, and the infamous La Jolla Playhouse provide pauses from the sun rays.

4 – Humboldt Redwoods State Park

California Vacation Ideas - Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Throughout Humboldt Redwoods State Park visitors can see the Rockefeller Forest that is the largest adjacent woodland of coast redwoods worldwide.

Some these woods grow above one-hundred yards in height and, one of them, the ‘Stratosphere Giant Tree’ is known as the tallest redwood recognized by humankind.

3 – Pacific Coast Highway – Route 1

California Vacation Ideas - Pacific Coast Highway - Route 1

Go along with one of the America’s most acclaimed highways. You can begin the journey at both ends. You can start the trip in San Diego, at the California’s southern end, and then moves to the north towards the beach towns, the excitement and enthusiasm of Los Angeles, with classy Santa Barbara as well as surrounding wine country. After that, to the north to, even more, attractions and beaches in Carmel, Monterey, along with Santa Cruz. Ending in the greatest “City by the Bay,” San Francisco.

The route runs as an All-American Road, offering a spectacular way to several sights alongside the coastline, the course also helps to make a major roadway in the vast Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and a plenty of coastal urban locations.

2 – Oxnard Dunes

California Vacation Ideas - Oxnard Dunes

Oxnard is a modest town in the state of California which offers lots of stunning dunes and beaches to check out. You can have fun with peaceful beaches, enjoy amazing sunsets or even walk down the dunes for a unique experience.

1 – Bishop, California

California Vacation Ideas - Bishop, California

Bishop, California, is a little town which provides a whole lot to visitors who enjoys great outdoors. Tourists can trek towards the White Mountain Peak that has more than 14,200 feet height and offers breathtaking sights of the landscape below.

Do you think we’ve missed anything? Tell us in the comments below!

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