With its 1290km, California stretch from north to south and is characterized by a very varied territory: traveling through the country you will visit many territories, different from each other, each with its own peculiarities, that will surprise and enchant you. Superlative landscapes, a carefree and cosmopolitan life, an enterprising population who loves outdoors activities: get ready for a magical journey through California!
Our journey starts from the northern part of the Country: fresh, green, full of natural wonders, a land of huge redwoods and paradise for those who love outdoor activities. Rich in natural parks, such as the forests of Mendocino, you will discover still wild and unspoiled places, where you can practice many sports, including mountain biking on trails or kayaking along rivers.
Along the eastern border, east of San Francisco, worth a visit is Sierra Nevada region, a mountain range of volcanic origin, paradise of forests, blue glacial lakes, valleys and snowy peaks, where giant sequoias and Jeffrey pines give shelter to deer, bears and other mammals. Definitely worth a visit is also the famous Yosemite National Park, a valley that will leave you speechless!
Travelling south, along the coast, north of San Francisco, stretches the Wine Country. The heart of this wine region is located between Napa and Calistoga, where fertile volcanic soil and favorable climate allow the cultivation of high-quality viticulture. Especially in autumn with its magnificent colors, this area attracts visitors from all over the world, captured by its beauty and its perfumes, as well as the unique taste of the excellent wines produced in the region.
Definitely worth a visit is the central area of California: between Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay there is the largest marine reserve in the region, where scuba divers can visit fascinating underwater canyons, while the Big Sur area is characterized by magnificent cliffs dotted with cypress trees, falling in the Pacific Ocean.
Going south, you will reach the beautiful beaches of Long Beach and Laguna Beach, south of Los Angeles, famous for the waves, ridden by surfers, where sand and palms create the perfect scenario for a holiday of relaxation and fun, but also the rocky coast north of San Diego in Carlsbad and La Jolla, dotted with picturesque towns overlooking the Ocean. You should also visit the fascinating desert hinterland areas, the Death Valley and the Mojave.
Definitely worth a visit is Los Angeles, located on a large expanse desert, surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush hills. It is the second largest city in North America, with 18 million people, coming from all over the world. Among the most famous districts are Beverly Hills, with its exclusive shops, Hollywood, Santa Monica, with its beaches and Broadway, with its colorful markets, the undisputed capital of the Latin community. Here you can also visit the many museums, such as the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA), with its beautiful concerts or the famous California Science Center.
I also suggest a stop in San Diego, the perfect place if you love outdoor activities, with its parks, the zoo, the facilities for water sports, and of course also in San Francisco, with its magnificent Victorian architecture, rich in museums, famous for modern buildings in the Financial district, the vibrant and evocative Chinatown, for its promenade stretching for 8km, between Market Street and the Golden Gate Bridge.
3. What to taste
The main theme of California cuisine is definitely the inclusion of tastes from different traditions. Different culinary styles are reworked, from simple and tasty raw materials, such as vegetables, cultivated directly in the gardens, very popular among the middle class in California, the fresh fish of coastal areas, together with the strong and spicy flavors from the Mexican tradition: you will taste rich and nutritious dishes! Not to be missed are also the wines, of great variety and quality, which have nothing to envy to French and Italian ones, produced in Napa and Sonoma Wine Country.
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Author: Anita Cason
Cover image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr
Las Vegas (Nevada)
Joshua Tree (CA)
Tahoe Vista (California)
Nevada City (California)
Santa Barbara (California)
Santa Monica (California)
San Francisco (California)
Menlo Park (California)
Big Sur (California)
Los Angeles (California)