5 California Destinations Worth Seeing

As the nation’s third largest state (after Alaska and Texas), California covers more than 150,000 square miles. California offers a big variety of activities, landscapes, cultures, and wild habitats. The state is home to large deserts, magnificent mountain tops, Redwood trees, and even canyons. Exploring the entire state of California might not be possible, or practical for that matter. However there are definitely some California destinations worth seeing. Taking a road trip that explores a handful of specific regions allows you to get to know the state intimately, while most importantly, traveling at your own pace.

California Destinations Worth Seeing
California. Flickr: Jasperdo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Generally speaking, to the rest of the country, California is nothing more than a large body of land with vegetarians and people who do yoga on the beach. The truth is, everyone has some sort of dietary restrictions, and we all want to believe in the daily exercise. Aside from those stereotypes, there’s more to California than animal rights movements and global warming issues. Like In-N-Out, Roscoe’s Chicken N’ Waffles, and of course, the beaches located throughout the entire state.

If you’re still skeptical after reading some of these California destinations worth seeing, check out this list of delicious and useful items to bring back for your loved ones. I dare you to try and stay away.

California Destinations Worth Seeing


Disneyland. California Destinations Worth Seeing
Disneyland California. Flickr: Kevin Nguyen-Tu / CC BY-NC 2.0

Do you really need a reason to visit Disneyland? Going to Disneyland feels like a can’t-miss obligation for parents outside of California. If you don’t take your children to the “Happiest Place on Earth” it will just be another decade of therapy they’ll have to go through. Although you can’t take everyone with you to Disneyland, you can, however, bring a piece of it back with you. One of the most common gifts to get for loved ones are the classic Mickey Mouse ears. As a matter of fact, since the beginning of Disneyland, the black ears have been labeled as the perfect souvenir for people of all ages.

Other Gifts to Consider While Visiting Disneyland:

  • Star Wars Merchandise
  • Christmas Ornaments
  • Pins
  • Build a Bear with a Disney stamp
  • Vinylmations


In-N-Out burger. California Destinations Worth Seeing
In-N-Out burger. Flickr: punctuated / CC BY 2.0

How do animal style fries sound to you? Or does the term “animal style” mean anything at all to you? If not, chances are you’re probably not from California. From the biblical references located on the paper to the Secret Menu, almost every California native has grown to love this fast food joint as a late night drive-thru stop snack or a post-beach food option. Don’t forget that while this food chain has made it into other states across the U.S. Its roots are in California. So, taking a burger with freshly cut fries back to someone at home (depending on how far you’re traveling) just might make their day.

The Famous Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge. California Destinations Worth Seeing
Golden Gate Bridge. Flickr: Davide D’Amico / CC BY 2.0

The Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to California’s northern counties. With its tremendous 746-foot towers, sweeping main cables, and signature International Orange color, it’s a sensory experience that features colors, sound, and light.  

Visiting this bridge is a unique experience for everyone involved. Whether you’re hiking, walking, biking, shopping, or just going on a tour, there’s something for everyone. With more than 100 million visiting this bridge annually, make sure you’re ready for the traffic and crowd (especially during the summer) and constantly changing weather conditions.

The Beach

Long Beach, California Sunset. California Destinations Worth Seeing
Long Beach, California Sunset. Flickr: Ronnie Pitman Follow / CC BY-NC 2.0

The beaches here (especially southern California) are California destinations worth seeing. Although the beaches in northern California are beautiful, they’re typically colder due to the constant weather change.

Sunset Cliffs, for instance, located in San Diego, California, is great for getting away and going for a swim. What makes some of the beaches in southern California even better is they’re great places to test your skills as a surfer since the wave breaks offer a nice, rolling swell that hardly ever gets heavy. Sunset Cliffs, in particular, also provides an introduction to reef like conditions, something visitors will want to know how to handle as swimmers. Ready for your adventure? Don’t be afraid to grab your GoPro and make a video of your pleasurable experience with the king of the small go-anywhere camera. Afterward, make sure you sit back, relax, and enjoy the sunset.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park. California Destinations Worth Seeing
Redwood National Park. Flickr: Gilad Rom / CC BY-NC 2.0

Soaring more than 350 feet in the air, the coastal redwoods that give this park its name are miracles of nature. The park includes three major features: the ocean setting, the old growth forests, and the prairies. Not many people (Californians included) discover the bald hills (called “prairies”) that offer an amazing view over the tops of the redwood trees and the ocean. This region of the park also offers opportunities to explore the park by hiking to historic locations and visit the Schoolhouse Peak Fire lookout to check out the view.


Before you leave to visit this park, call ahead or go online to see the current weather conditions in the park to help make your experience that much smoother. Inquire about trail conditions and closures. Maps and guidebooks are also useful when traveling through this park. You won’t regret taking them. In fact, you should get them before you go to the park.

The only question you should be asking at this point is what car can get you to these destinations fastest: the Camaro, or the Ford Mustang?

As a final point to remember while driving: the state of California has strict laws when it comes to operating cellular phones behind the wheel. So if you find yourself lost while visiting California destinations worth seeing, which is possible in a big state like this one, pull over before digging in your pocket to GPS your way back to civilization. Make being a safe and considerate driver a priority, and enjoy yourself down there. After all, the weather is almost always in your favor in the state of California.


Thanks for the read! I would like to know, what are some other places visitors can visit while exploring the state of California? Feel free to leave comments below.   

About Cody Hill

Cody Hill enjoys being outdoors, and loves watching baseball. Can’t find him online? Chances are he’s probably exploring the wilderness or cheering on his favorite team (Go Cubs)! Thank you.

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6 Responses

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  5. Avatar for Cody Hill

    Agness of eTramping

    These are some breath-taking destinations in California, Cody. I would love to visit Disneyland!

    • Avatar for Cody Hill


      Thanks for the comment. I would definitely recommend visiting Disneyland. It’s an expensive visit, but a fun one.



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