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Tawala Sharp

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Fun Things To Do In California

Grand Park and the City Hall in Los Angeles City California

Photo: Getty Images

Big Sur

With the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, Big Sur is one of the most breathtaking destinations in California.

It’s a scenic drive that will ruin you for all other scenic drives.

The views will range from gentle hills to dramatic waves pounding against the cliffs.

You’ll see bridges, crags, canyons, lighthouses and waterfalls.

The route itself is 90 miles long, but if you want to extend your sightseeing, you can venture into a number of nearby parks, forests, beaches and campgrounds to keep the fun going.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy at these destinations, too.

Take a hike along the Pine Ridge Trail; splash around at Pfeiffer Beach; search for nephrite jade crystals at Jade Cove.

Climb a mountain in the Ventana Wilderness. Go hang-gliding at the Big Sur Village.

The sky is the limit when you visit Big Sur, so it’s definitely a must do in California.

You’ll be able to pack several different vacation experiences into a single trip!

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is home to some of the most extreme landscapes in the US.

It’s hot, dry and dangerous, which is exactly how it got its name; many pioneers lost their lives while toiling through its rocky canyons and snake-infested sand dunes in the 1800s.

There’s a kind of rugged beauty to the landscape, however, especially when you visit places like the cracked salt flats of Badwater Basin.

At 280 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest point on the entire continent, and it’s both desolate and dazzling.

You might also enjoy Furnace Creek: It’s recorded the highest air temperatures on the planet.

If you aren’t afraid of rattlesnakes, there are places to go off the beaten path, too.

You can enjoy all sorts of hiking, biking, climbing, camping and stargazing in Death Valley National Park.

In the middle of the desert, you’ll be miles from the lights and air pollution of nearby cities, so the stars will stretch as far as the eye can see.

Consider a trip to Death Valley National Park if you’re looking for cool things to do in California.

Even setting aside its one-of-a-kind views, how often do you get the chance to say that you survived a place called Death Valley?

OUE Skyspace

There are lots of cool things to see in Los Angeles, but few will get your heart racing like OUE Skyspace.

It’s one of the tallest observation decks in California, so you’ll already feel the thrill as you ascend to the top, and your nerves will absolutely crackle like pop rocks when you see the transparent glass slide that will take you back down.

It’s perfectly safe, of course; tourists take the slide every day.

You just need a certain amount of courage to send yourself hurdling into the open air with nothing but the blue sky to catch you.

When you’re done tempting fate, there are other things to enjoy at OUE Skyspace as well.

A bar is always stocked for happy hour, and there are frequent music performances and wine tasting events.

There’s even a selfie machine if your smartphone isn’t capturing your best angle at 70 stories high.

OUE Skyspace is a must do when you’re in Los Angeles.

In fact, it’s a must do even when you’re in other parts of California.

Take a side trip to come and marvel at the aerial views of one of the world’s most famous cities.

You won’t regret it!

Address: 633 W 5th St #840, Los Angeles, CA 90071, United States

Santa Cruz Vineyards

Many people think of Napa Valley when they think of wine, and while that can be a great place to sip a red, it isn’t the only destination in California that will get you buzzed.

Santa Cruz has gorgeous vineyards with lots of tours and tastings, and as a bonus, it’s often less crowded than other parts of “wine country.”

The best vineyard tour for you will depend on the type of experience that you want to have.

If you like casual, laid-back atmospheres, sit on the patio of MJA Vineyards and enjoy live music and conversation.

If you want something a little more rustic, hike into the mountains for a picnic on the grasses of Beauregard Vineyard.

If you’re interested in wine production and its history, Ridge Vineyards has been in operation since before Prohibition.

These are just a few of the best vineyards in Santa Cruz, but there’s a lot more where that came from.

Stomping on grapes is one of the most fun things to do in California, so don’t miss out on this opportunity when you’re traveling on the west coast!

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu is known for its rich and famous residents, but it’s also gaining popularity as a hot spot for surfers.

People come from all over the state to enjoy its crystal-clear waters and moderate climate, and surf shops are popping up like dandelions along the coast.

It’s okay if you’re a beginner.

Surfers of all ages and skill levels can find a place to practice their alley-oops, and local instructors are available to help you rent a board, master a stance or weather a wipeout.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to have a great time at Malibu Surfrider Beach.

Catching a wave is one of the best things to do in California, so grab your board and shimmy into your wetsuit.

The water is waiting!

Address: 23050 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States

Winchester Mystery House

Built by an eccentric woman for more than 30 years, the Winchester Mystery House is an architectural oddity that defies explanation.

It’s a gigantic, Victorian-style mansion with literally hundreds of rooms, windows, staircases, corridors and closets, but they don’t follow any kind of design.

The staircases lead nowhere. The doors are oddly shaped and spaced.

Many hallways are more like labyrinths than passageways in a home.

Some people say that its builder, a wealthy widow named Sarah Winchester, came unhinged after the death of her husband.

Others say that she was trying to confuse the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles; her husband was their inventor, and that’s how she inherited so much money.

Some people say that the house is still haunted to this day.

Regardless of the story that you believe, the Winchester Mystery House is a unique, must see destination in California.

If you’re looking for neat things to do in San Jose or the Silicon Valley area, grab your energy reader and go ghost-hunting in one of the most bizarre buildings in the world.

Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

Lassen Volcanic National Park

When are you traveling to California?

Are you looking for tourist attractions that are fun and accessible at any time of year?

While some beaches and parks are closed during the off-season, there’s one place where you can always enjoy nature: Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Like the name implies, Lassen Volcanic National Park is built on volcanic land.

It’s dormant, but you can still hike to places with steaming geysers, black lava rocks and bubbling mud pits.

Other sections of the park are covered in flowers in the spring and snow in the winter.

You can indulge in everything from backpacking to alpine skiing depending on the weather.

All things considered, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the biggest points of interest in California.

It provides some of the best sightseeing opportunities in the state, and it’ll keep you busy with its never-ending roster of events and activities.

It’s a top attraction for sure.


You don’t have to fly to Europe to experience a European vacation.

In Solvang, Europe will come to you in the form of a quaint, charming little village nestled in a small California valley.

Denmark is its country of origin.

The streets are crowded with bakeries, wineries, chocolate shops and shoe cobblers; the buildings are designed with the red bricks and sloped ceilings of real Danish architecture.

An old-fashioned windmill slowly turns on top of the main square.

If you’re a fan of Hans Christian Anderson, his museum is here.

If you’ve always wanted to try ableskiver pastries or medisterkorv sausage, there are designated “Danish Days” where residents come together to celebrate the music, art, food, fashion and dances of their homeland.

Solvang is one of the best California attractions for lovers of the quirky and unique.

You’ll be transported right back to an 18th-century European village without even having to leave the west coast!

RMS Queen Mary

The RMS Queen Mary is a gigantic ocean liner that used to sail the waters between America and Great Britain.

She was retired in the 1960s, but instead of scrapping her for parts, the California government decided to turn her into one of their most unique attractions.

Today, the RMS Queen Mary functions as a hotel, museum, restaurant and shopping plaza that bobs right in the harbor of Long Beach.

There are lots of things to see on the ship.

From ballrooms to workout rooms, there’s a little something for everyone.

You could eat, shop and tour this massive 1,000-foot vessel for an entire weekend without seeing everything that it has to offer.

To experience the best of California, you need to know how to plan a trip with the right accommodation.

Choose the RMS Queen Mary for fun and function under a single roof.

When you’re done fluffing the pillows under your porthole window, you can hit the deck for all kinds of seaside adventures.

Address: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802, United States

Glass Beach

Glass Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in California, so it might surprise you to learn that it was created by something very ugly: pollution.

Years ago, Glass Beach was a dumping ground for garbage.

It was taken into the ocean and eroded, smoothed and polished until it became something known as “sea glass.”

Sea glass is shaped like natural stone but comes in a dazzling, glittering rainbow of man-made colors.

You won’t believe your eyes when you step on Glass Beach.

With the tide bringing in wave after wave of multicolored sea glass, it’s one of those picturesque tourist attractions where you’ll have to pinch yourself to know that it’s real.

Even photos fail to do it justice; there’s something special about the way that sunlight glitters off the glass.

If you’re wondering what to do during a California vacation, Glass Beach should definitely be on your bucket list.

It’s a place where trash has turned into treasure. You won’t want to miss it.

Presidio of Santa Barbara

Presidio is a Spanish word meaning “prison” or “fortification,” and it’s used to describe a specific kind of military fortress that was built by Spanish forces during their expansion into the New World.

A well-known example of this architecture is the Presidio of Santa Barbara.

Originally built in the 1700s, the Presidio of Santa Barbara has seen everything from wars to earthquakes.

It’s one of the oldest surviving structures in the state of California, and it’s among the last of the military outposts that were built by Spain on U.S. soil.

Its white adobe bricks are topped with red-tiled roofs.

Its twisting hallways lead to gates, chapels, plazas, kitchens, bedrooms and training rooms.

When you see it, you can’t help but think that it’s a landmark that has been frozen in time; you’ll be able to walk along the same paths as Spanish, English and British soldiers from centuries past.

If you’re looking for things to do in Santa Barbara, consider this well-preserved presidio.

It’s a must see for history buffs, culture lovers and military enthusiasts alike.

Address: 123 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, United State

Sequoia National Park

California is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S., and when you visit Sequoia National Park, you’ll understand why.

From its larger-than-life redwood trees to its glittering underground crystal caves, it will leave you breathless from top to bottom.

The main attraction of the park is its giant sequoia trees.

They’re more than 2,500 years old and 275 feet tall, so humans are the size of ants compared to their trunks.

They’re also quite rare; California is the only place to find their particular species, so the park is a unique chance to see, touch, smell and photograph them.

You can also explore caves, canyons, rivers, granite domes and toppled tree groves in Sequoia National Park.

In the summer, there’s rock climbing and horseback riding. In the winter, there’s skiing and snowshoeing.

Consider a trip to Sequoia National Park if you’re looking for fun things to do in California.

Not only is it a beautiful place, but it’s open 365 days per year, so you’ll never have trouble fitting it into your schedule.

You can be packed up and ready to explore the redwoods as early as this weekend!

Desert Hot Springs

Natural hot springs can be found throughout the cliffs and valleys of California, but the best are tucked away in hot, humid landscapes where the heat and steam can really come together and make you woozy.

One place to enjoy this kind of decadence is Desert Hot Springs.

Located about a half-hour from the more famous Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs is a resort town that’s filled with spas, salons, hotels and mineral springs.

You’ll have your choice of where to get a good soak.

If you’re into luxury living, you can book a suite at a high-class resort with artificial waterfalls and steam rooms.

If you prefer a more rustic experience, you can find a local boarding house with big wooden tubs and heated mineral water drawn directly from the streams.

Consider Desert Hot Springs if you’re looking for fun things to do in Palm Springs and its surrounding areas.

There are more mineral springs here than anywhere else in the U.S., so revel in it!

Burney Falls

Once called “the eighth wonder of the world” by Theodore Roosevelt, the power of Burney Falls has to be seen to be believed.

The water rushes from a dozen drop-off points into the lake below, and it runs continuously throughout the year.

More than 375 liters move through the waterfall on any given day.

This is good news for anyone visiting California during the dry season: Burney Falls is never affected by a lack of rain!

Another nice thing about the waterfall is that it’s located within a larger area known as McArthur Burney Falls State Park, so when you’re done with sightseeing, you can go camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking or horseback riding on the nearby nature trails.

If you like climbing, you can also haul yourself to the top of several different observation points for panoramic views.

The beauty of Burney Falls will take a long time to fade from your memory.

It might even linger forever. For this reason and many others, we consider it one of the best things to do in California.

Address: Highway 89, Burney, CA 96013, USA

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

If you’re planning a trip to California and wondering what to do with your time, Turtle Bay Exploration Park will check off a lot of boxes.

It combines various elements of a museum, arboretum, botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary, so there’s always something new and exciting to check out.

The nature sections have everything from flower meadows to butterfly gardens.

The museum is home to photos, samples, artifacts, hands-on exhibits and viewing tanks for marine life.

The “forest camp” is outfitted with playgrounds and water features, and an amphitheater has live animal shows on the weekends.

When you can’t decide where to go on vacation, go to a place that has it all.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park can keep you entertained for days, so it’s definitely worth a spot on your list of California attractions.

Address: 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96003, United States

Bodie State Historic Park

Another relic of the Gold Rush, Bodie is a former boom town that grew quickly and noisily when people flooded it in an attempt to get rich.

The population dried up when the gold did, and the economy never recovered.

The good news is that Bodie now functions as an amazing ghost town.

Its homes, parlors, mills and saloons have been carefully preserved like flies in amber, and tourists can explore the empty buildings and see what life was really like at the turn of the century.

Tours are available by request.

An on-site museum is filled with photos and artifacts to flesh out the community and its former residents.

If you’re curious about the Gold Rush, Bodie State Historic Park is one of the best places to learn about it.

It’s also fun even if you aren’t a history buff!

Ghost towns are always fascinating, so get ready to shiver with a trip to Bodie.

Address: CA-270, Bridgeport, CA 93517, United States

For more check out Busy Tourist.

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