Each year hundreds of people around the globe struggle to find the “perfect” place to travel to for a quick weekend getaway, summer break or even a place to permanently relocate to. Well guess what – problem solved; California, aka “The Golden State,” is that perfect place. Coming from a California native, I have a slight bias because I have a deep love for each and every aspect California has to offer, and believe there is no other place like it in the world. Need some more convincing? Below are my top 20 reasons everyone needs to book a trip to California…ASAP!
1. The Food
When someone talks about food in California, many people think of IN-N-OUT because its first restaurant was opened 67 years ago in Baldwin Park. Don’t get me wrong, their burgers are delicious, but the food in California is so much more than just animal style fries. Depending on the city you are in, you will be able to enjoy a multitude of different types of food; from street tacos to fine Japanese cuisine, there is sure to be a tasty treats for everyone.
2. The Culture
Many of the areas in California, such as The Bay Area and Los Angeles, have become a magnificent melting pot for many cultures from around the world. During your trip to California you will not only experience different foods, but be met with a wide variety of music, traditions and unique entertainment.
3. The Art
Art in California isn’t always found in a traditional gallery, as many people may think. Although there are plenty of museums and galleries to appreciate works of well-known artists, during your trip to California you will notice that art is pretty much all around you. For example, in Venice Beach there are multiple murals done by local artists all over town. Even better, you don’t need to follow a tour to visit many of these murals, you will just see them in passing, allowing you to go at your own pace and enjoy your surroundings.
4. The Sports
California is every sports lover’s dream. From hockey to good ole American baseball, sport history runs deep in CA. In total, there are four California NFL teams (The San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers), five MLB teams (The San Francisco Giants, Oakland As, the Los Angeles Angels, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres), three NHL teams (San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings), four NBA teams (the Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers) and finally, two MLS teams (Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes). Attending a game, even if you’re not a fan of the team is a great experience, so why not?
5. The Sightseeing
California possesses many historical landmarks, such as the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Hollywood in general. Regardless of where you go during your travel to California, there will be ample opportunity to see and tour many of these famous creations.
6. The Beaches
There is over 840 miles of coastline in California, and if you were to take a road trip down the notable Highway 1 freeway, you will be able to absorb all the natural beauty California has to offer to you. Some of my favorites are Newport Beach, Venice and Santa Monica, but let’s be honest – they are all great!
7. The People
Many come to California from all around the world and for many different reasons. This aspect makes California a great place to learn and meet many interesting new people. In addition to learning about them, there are a ton of different languages spoken depending on the area that you go to. This allows you to take advantage of those around and learn and enrich yourself globally.
8. The Celebrities
The moment that everyone’s been waiting for — the celebrities. Yes, there are many celebrities that live, work and travel to California and if you are one of the lucky ones, you may be able to see a few. This is especially true if you are to visit Hollywood or Beverly Hills where many celebrities hang out throughout the day.
9. The Weather
Within California, there are many distinct (and desirable) weather traits. In Northern California, the temperature stays at a comfortable 65-70 degrees throughout most days year round. Whereas if you book your trip to California’s southern region, be prepared for a bit higher temperature and more sunny skies. And P.S. they saying, “It never rains in Southern California,” is totally true.
10. The National Parks
In California there are 9 National Parks, all of which visitors are able to enjoy throughout the entire year. All of the parks offer great hiking trails and allow you to connect with many aspects of nature. Many people book a trip to California JUST to visit one of these parks – they’re that beautiful.
11. The Snow
Yes — there is snow in California. There are many ski areas that are open during the winter in California, which allow for many avid skiers and snowboarders to unwind. Some of the popular resorts include Big Bear, Northstar and Mammoth Mountain.
12. The Music
The California music scene entices many visitors from around the world. From classic groups such as the Beach Boys, N.W.A., Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and the Grateful Dead to current musical phenoms such as Kendrick Lamar and Maroon 5; California has always triggered the creative process and been a breeding ground for upcoming musical talents. Oh and Coachella – need I say more?
13. The Fashion
Many fashion trends have been created in California, and continue to be created by those who live here. Much of the style choices that are present here are reflected in the constantly, cool and laid back lifestyle. One popular brand that is used by many, especially in Southern California are Rainbow flip flops, which originated in a garage in Laguna Beach.
14. The Shopping
California has arguably some of the best shopping on the West Coast. Whether you are looking for cool vintage thrift store buys or for high-end couture clothes, or something in between, you WILL find it.
15. The Entertainment
California also has donned the label of the “Entertainment Capitol of the World,” thanks to the many movie sets and companies that are located in Southern California. In addition to the movie studios, Disneyland and Universal Studios are two key theme parks that are a must see during your trip to California.
16. Wine Country
If you travel to Northern California (and if you are 21) you HAVE TO visit Napa and Sonoma. These two cities offer gorgeous vineyards; the perfect spot to spend a weekend with friends tasting wine, relaxing and soaking up the sun.
17. The Outdoor Activities
Because California has many different climates, this makes it an ideal location for a multitude of outdoor activities. There are many wonderful camping sites in California for those who love nature, lookout spots to enjoy animals in their natural habit (like whales and dolphins in Dana Point), hiking and biking trails to explore, and so much more.
18. Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is the birthplace for many major tech companies, as well as many up and coming startups. Tech giants Facebook and Google are both headquartered in this area, which attracts many business savvy professionals. Since, these companies are not open to the public, you most likely won’t be able to get a tour, unless you know an awesome friend that already works there. But, in any case, you can snag a picture infront of their infamous logos.
19. The Lifestyle
Since Venice Beach basically initiated the fitness boom, it’s fitting that many people throughout California take working out so seriously. Whether it’s riding bikes along the pier, hiking the numerous trails to adapting spin classes as a way of life; you’ll definitely gain an appreciation for the active lifestyle during your trip to California.
20. The Sunsets
Finally and most importantly — our beautiful California sunsets. Regardless of where you are in California, you will definitely witness the captivating orange and yellow colors blending together to create the most picturesque view.
So, are you ready to book your trip to California yet?
Featured image source: favim.com
Malia is a student at the University of Redlands in Southern California, studying Visual Media Studies, Creative writing and Spanish. In her free time, she is an avid sports fan and hopes to become a sports journalist in the future.