Top 10 Things to See and Do in California

Top 10 Things to See and Do in California

The most visited state and one of the most exciting in the USA, California has so much to offer. From unspoiled glorious nature, parks and reserves, to lively cities with amazing cultural scene. Check out our ten pick of the week – the reasons to go to California at least once in a lifetime.

10. Have a Scenic Ride Via Tioga Pass

An impressive road in the Sierra Nevada mountains stretches in a 3 031 m (9 943 ft) elevation. Numerous trails into Yosemite National Park begins at the sections of Tioga Road, which can be called one of the most scenic drives in the state. Due to the very high altitude, the road provides many panoramic views, with an abyss opening below.

Why to go there?

This is in fact the highest pass in California and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Gorges, lakes, canyons, valleys, centuries old Giant Sequoias are just a few attractions among numerous others.


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

Tioga-Photo by David Vega

Photo by David Vega

Tioga-Photo by Harold Davis

Photo by Harold Davis


Photo by Unknown

9. Have a Trip with the California Zephyr

This is definitely one of the most exciting routes in whole North America. Encompassing seven states, the train takes off from Chicago and heads towards Emeryville in California, passing Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and Nevada on the way. It is the same way that once took pioneering settlers towards the West Coast.

Why to go there?

From the Colorado River and canyons, to the Rockies, Moffat Tunnel, Sierra Nevada Mountains, San Pablo Bay and other sites – the landscape is constantly changing. Moreover an educational program that takes place on board “Trails&Rails” introduces travelers to the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

Zephyr-Photo by James Belmont

Photo by James Belmont


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

Zephyr-Photo by James Stung

Photo by James Stung

8. Walk on the Glass Beach

The beach has been a viral sensation and always makes it into the lists as the most unique beach in the world. Found in MacKerricher State Park, near the military base of Fort Bragg, the unusual site is a result of the waste, shaped by water and sand. While the rest of the places get polluted, this is a rare and pleasant exception.

Why to go there?

Experience this coast covered in beautiful tiny glass rocks. It is like nothing else you have seen so far!

Glass-Photo by ArtInNaturePhotography

Photo by ArtInNaturePhotography


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

7. Explore Monterey Bay Aquarium

The aquarium was opened in 1984 and is one of the favorite museums in California. It attracts over 1.8 million visitors every year. Founded on the Pacific Ocean shoreline the aquarium pumps water right from the Ocean and houses over 600 marine species. The marine museum offers various activities: from guided tours to animal and fish feeding, from diving to a sleepover!

Why to go there?

The sleepover can be arranged after a personalized romantic tour, next to the favorite exhibition, so that the visitors fall asleep and wake up surrounded by the marine life. The Monterey Bay Aquarium also provides many fun activities for the kids, as well as grown ups.


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

Monterey-Photo by Tim Wolfe

Photo by Tim Wolfe

6. Hit the Waves in the Black Beach

Found in San Diego, the beach is suited for the professionals only, since the currents are strong and the waves are tall. Considered to be the best surfing spot on the mainland of the country, Black Beach is also surrounded by a picturesque ridge. Moreover, the waves do not get affected by the wind, thus allowing the surfers to completely enjoy them.

Why to go there?

Considered a dangerous beach, the site nevertheless attracts adrenaline addicts and spectators, especially on the weekends.


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

Black-Photo by Canavarro Photography

Photo by Canavarro Photography

5. Zabriskie Point

Found in the east of the infamous Death Valley, Zabriskie Point offers a glimpse of a landscape, exposed to the millions of years of ferocious erosion. Named after Christian B. Zabriskie, the site inspired Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, who shot an eponymous classic movie here. The site is often referred to as the most captivating in the whole Death Valley.

Why to go there?

The inquisitive visitors have to get to the hills, from where the spectacular view of this place opens. 360 other peaks can also be seen in a horizon. A hike from the Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point spoils with some of the most fascinating views in the terrain.

Zabriskie-Photo by Greg Nyquist

Photo by Greg Nyquist

Zabriskie-Photo by Greg Clure

Photo by Greg Clure


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

4. See McWay Falls at Big Sur

Found in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, it is also known as a „tidefalls“, because it cascades directly into the ocean when the tide is in. A couple of decades ago it used to plunge into the ocean, however, its direction slightly changed after a fire and landslides. The 26 m (84 ft) high waterfall is found in the scenic cove, which can be admired from above via the Waterfall Trail.

Why to go there?

The beach itself can be reached by boat – there is no direct and easy access by land. The site is often visited by the travelers, via the Highway 1, on their way from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa.

McWay-Photo by David Pasillas

Photo by David Pasillas

McWay-Photo by Helena W

Photo by Helena W

McWay-Photo by Rikka-chan

Photo by Rikka-chan


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

3. Go to Los Angeles

Of course you have to visit LA and experience its vibe, that so many songs have been written about. The city of angels offers an abundance of art, outdoor activities, endless summer and celebrations – the whole city is a vibrating alive entity. And of course the numerous beaches for any purpose: rocky El Matador to have a romantic walk on, boisterous Surfrider to surf, Santa Monica to entertain oneself… The list is endless – you’ll find whatever you want here.

Why to go there?

Have a stroll down the LA streets, that you have seen so many times in the movies. Visit film museums, Hollywood hill, beaches, art galleries and music venues. No time to sleep in LA!


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

LA-Photo by Bobby Gibbons

Photo by Bobby Gibbons

2. Visit Yosemite National Park

One of the most exciting parks in the USA, Yosemite boasts a variety of natural wonders, sacred sites and mythical views. Climbers, hikers and campers come to climb the Half Dome, see the fiery Horsetail Fall, admire panoramic views from Glacier Point or even base jump from various peaks.

Why to go there?

Explore amazing unspoiled nature in this vast magical park.

Yosemite-Photo by Giuseppe Milo

Photo by Giuseppe Milo


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

Yosemite-Photo by Muir Way

Photo by Muir Way


Photo by Unknown


Photo by Unknown

1. Go to San Francisco

The iconic city on the West Coast, known for its bohemian atmosphere, attracts visitors from all around the world. There are many amazing things to see, people are friendly and you will always recognize a local by the big smile on her or his face. Surrounded with spectacular nature – woods, mountains and the ocean – SF also has a vibrant urban life, which will please any traveler.

Why to go there?

Find at least these ten reasons to visit the lively city on the West Coast.


Photo by Unknown

SF-Photo by Rob Mortell

Photo by Rob Mortell

SF-Photo by Benjamin Brooks

Photo by Benjamin Brooks

SF-Photo by Marco Caciolli

Photo by Marco Caciolli

SF-Photo by David Yu

Photo by David Yu

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Baker.

Photo by Jim Coda