If your road trip plans include a tour of the best that California has to offer, here are a few suggestions that you really should consider.
While many states have ‘must sees’, California has an awesome variety to choose from, be it in the mountains, deserts, cities or beach coastlines.
Here are just a few suggestions…it would be nearly impossible to list them all!
Happy – and safe – travels.
2. Horsetail Falls, Yosemite National ParkThis 1,570-foot waterfall flows in the winter and spring, but for a couple days in February, you have the chance to see the setting sun catch the falls at just the right moment to make it appear to glow like fire.
3. Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes45 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge lies this stunning arch of Monterey cypress trees. Visit on a weekday if possible — it gets crowded around sunset and on weekends.
4. Mono LakeThis ancient saline lake covers 70 square miles and is home to super gorgeous spindly limestone columns called tufa. The lake itself is too salty to sustain fish life, but supports a population of brine shrimp and alkali flies. Sign up for a kayak or walking tour.
5. Wave Organ, San FranciscoIn this art installation on a jetty in the San Francisco bay, 25 organ pipes made of PVC and concrete located at various elevations produce subtle music when affected by the tides. (It’s best at high tide.)
6. Big SurThings to do in Big Sur: gawk at the scenery, camp, hike, drive over the Bixby Bridge (famous for being in every car commercial), gawk some more. Just go. (Note: some of the coastline is closed due to the effects of 2017’s winter storms, so check current closures before you hit the road.)
7. Joshua Tree National ParkConnecting the Mojave and the Colorado deserts, Joshua Tree boasts an incredible amount of wildlife, flora, and awesome views, with Joshua trees abounding everywhere. Book a campsite or a rock-climbing trip, but beware of visiting in the summer, when temperatures regularly reach over 100 degrees Farenheit. In the winter, nights are cold, and it occasionally snows at higher elevations.
8. Poppy Fields, Antelope ValleyPoppys… lots and lots of poppys along eight miles of trail in the Mojave desert. The wildflower season generally lasts from mid-February through May, and the preserve boasts several naturally-growing species, but none perhaps as gorgeous — and California — as the vivid orange state poppies.
9. Lava Beds National MonumentLava Beds National Monument is located way up in the northeast of the state and comprises over 700 beautiful caves, making it one of the best places in the continental U.S. to see lava-created landscapes. Crawl through the lava tubes, try to spot different kinds of bats and explore Mushpot Cave, the park’s only illuminated cave, at night.
10. Zabriskie Point, Death ValleyThis area of Death Valley provides a stunning scenic overview to other parts of the park. You can drive the loop and scope out the sediment-based colorful mountains and the salt lake. As you might assume, it will probably be VERY hot for your visit.