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Top Ten California

Top Ten California

California is what dreams are made of. Palm trees and epic beaches, primeval forests and rolling fields of vegetation, silent desert horizons and that crackling energy that comes with life on the edge. Numerous songs have been written about the beauty of the Golden State just as countless people have traveled here to seize their dreams. 

What are your dreams? If you are traveling to California, these ten experiences should be on your list:
 

  1. Big Sur. This slice of heaven on the central California coastline is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, complete with condors flying overhead and whales flopping around offshore. Rock cliffs jut out of the ocean towards the sky, connecting the periwinkle sky to an aquamarine sea, and you will find yourself right in between, driving the swirling road of the Pacific Coast Highway 1.
  2. Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco’s iconic bridge is a testament to human engineering and you can best appreciate the scale by walking out onto the gigantic structure, at least for a little way. You can also crane your neck upward from a ferry in San Francisco Bay for a neat view of the amazing bridge.
  3. Redwood National Park. There is absolutely nothing in world like being in an ancient forest, feeling the power of the trees that shoot up over your head like pathways to the moon. In the Redwoods in northern California, elk join you in this endeavor as your jaw drops before the tallest trees on earth.
  4. Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Give in already; get your tourist on and gawk at the ridiculous mansions and shops of Beverly Hills as well as the ornate theatres that have brought Tinsel town to the world. Enjoy the junky souvenir shops, wax museums, star maps and most of all, the wild characters on the streets.
  5. Mammoth Ski Resort. Dominating the eastern Sierra, Mammoth Mountain clings to the sky just as brazen skiers and snowboarders cling to their equipment below. The lodging is plentiful, the views are supreme, and the powder is a monster to be ridden.
  6. San Diego Zoo. The premier zoo of the country, the San Diego Zoo boasts just about every animal you can name, including a new elephant odyssey feature and their world-famous panda breeding program. Prepare to spend the whole day and make plenty of silly faces.
  7. Yosemite National Park. Magnificent granite cliffs, clear streams, rushing waterfalls and Giant Sequoias await you in this well-loved national park championed by John Muir. Famous for its ecological diversity, almost the entire park is a designated wilderness and camper’s paradise.
  8. Wine Country. Just north of San Francisco are the Napa and Sonoma Valleys harboring a zillion vineyards at which you can stop, smell, swish, sip, and savor America’s finest wine offerings. Beyond the delicious libations you will find views of sweeping grape fields that swoon your heart.
  9. Lake Tahoe. Mark Twain gained fame as a travel writer in Europe, and every place he visited he would note, “It’s beautiful, but not as beautiful as Lake Tahoe.” Whether you enjoy the water from the gorgeous north side or the lively south, Lake Tahoe is not only where California meets Nevada, it’s where dreams meet reality.
  10. The Beach. Pick a beach, any beach; there are thousands. When you dream of California, you dream of the beach. Get there, and stay there, and do nothing but sun, sand, swim, surf, and sleep. Welcome to the West Coast, where the sunshine is fantastic and the living is even better.

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