When we think of California we think of blonde hair, surf boards and beaches! – But the truth is there is actually much more in The Golden State than just the beach babes and beaches – California is a beautiful scenic adventure that is awaiting your visit!
1. Eat The most Insane Burger of your Life at Crazee Burger
Do you like burgers? YES! Have you ever wanted to try an alligator, kangaroo or antelope burger? Our guess is you probably never pondered this question before! Located in San Diego, Crazee Burger is the restaurant to test your taste buds with such interesting food combinations! Sounds like a delicious adventure to us! Yum!
2. Hike Mt. Woodson to the top & see Potato Chip Rock
A rock that looks like a potato chip you ask? Yes, a potato chip! This incredible rock, deemed “potato chip rock” looks like it could snap at any moment and possibly will one day (Maybe?). It’s a little bit of a thrill seeker and definitely a tourist attraction for any newcomer to “The Golden State.” The hike up through Mt. Woodson is an adventure all in itself and has been a California favorite for many years.
Lovers Tip – Beginner hikers beware! This is an 8 mile hike, round trip and this is no walk in the park.
(haha my jokes).
Also, bring plenty of water and wear appropriate shoes! We suggest you go early enough to snag a picture while your up there, your going to want one for the books 🙂
3. See Salvation Mountain & East Jesus
Located 15 miles South of Los Angelos, Salvation Mountain is the perfect oddity roadside attraction for a quick stop picture taking! Salvation Mountain is Leonard Knight’s tribute to God and his gift to the world with a simple powerful message that “God Is Love!” This beautiful piece of artwork is made completely of California adobe clay. Leonard created this colorful masterpiece himself and his design includes flowers, trees, waterfalls, suns, bluebirds, and many other fascinating objects. East Jesus, also known as “Slab City” is just down the street so don’t leave before seeing another unique piece of independent art. East Jesus is an experimental, habitable, extensible, outdoor artwork project that has been in progress since 2006. Check out the eclectic style of the artwork right in the middle of what seems to be the Desert. It is all very quite unique and a great place for photography.
4. View the Ruins at Bombay Beach
So, this might be THE creepiest town abandonment story in America. Located on the Salton Sea, Bombay Beach was a beautiful disaster that happened in the late 60’s. In 1950 however, Bombay painted a very beautiful picture appropriately dressed with guests enjoying water skiing and swimming, as well as golfers by day and parties at the yacht club by night. Developers seized the area calling it “A miracle in the Desert.”
The creation of Bombay Beach begins a lot like Frankenstein – it was created by complete accident and it turned on its creators. A ticking time bomb if you will. By the late 1970s, the ecosystem was rapidly deteriorating. The lake had no drainage outlet, almost zero yearly rainfall, and runoff was flowing in from nearby farms, polluting the sea with pesticides and it was now saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Only remnants of the Salton Sea’s glory days still litter the shores.
Boarded-up motels, rusting boat frames, and cracked concrete swimming pools covered in graffiti are a few of the sights that remain. Now we wouldn’t normally suggest this as a “lovers getaway” but if your in the area it is a great eery place to check out – also great for grunge photography. Its a real ghost town.
5. Stand next to the California Redwoods
The Redwood Trees are the tallest living trees on Earth, reaching up to 379 ft and can easily tower over a 30 story building (WOW!). Redwoods are also among the oldest trees on planet Earth, arriving way before humans and even before the Swiss Alps (impressive). These massive trees only grow on the Pacific Coast so it is definitely worth the viewing experience, pictures hardly do them justice!
There are many parks located in California to see these beautiful trees but some say that Redwood National is the nicest with a variety of activities! Get lost in this huge forest on a hiking trip (over 11 miles round trip) then set up camp and spend the night under the stars. This park currently has over 200 exotic species and at least 400 bird species have been documented in the forest. The park has front country campsites that can be driven to, but the federal sections of the park do not, and you must get to these sections by foot (it’s a well worth scenic adventure!). In other words, pack lots of water, get on the hiking boots and bust out that camera and get to snapping.
Horse back riding and mountain biking are also a very popular way to get around but are only permitted on specific trails. If water is more your thing then we have something aquatically adventurous for you here too! Kayaking is popular along the seacoast and in the various beautiful rivers and streams. Find the Smith River and kayak along California’s biggest undammed river!! Picture crystal blue waters, rocks pouring water from the sides of cliffs and you and your loved one soaking up the sun and the beauty that is all around you. Now you throw in a line and catch the biggest fish of your life! You can’t have more of a picture perfect day – go ahead Google the pictures for yourself if you don’t believe us.
6. See The Vasquez Rocks
See the Vasquez Rocks on a 932-acre Natural Area Park, located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, in Northern Los Angelos. The park features these incredible rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites, and a beautiful seasonal stream. The rocks’ history began in prehistoric times when the sandstone rocks were uplifted at a picturesque angle, showing their jagged red features. In 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, a notorious bandit in California, used these rocks to elude capture by law enforcement. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature.
Lovers tip – they have free parking! The park also provides a little center with historic information. Easy hiking, but the main attraction are the huge rocks that people climb over. It’s a bit popular so it can get crowded during certain times of the day and year. Just a tid bit of information, there is no shade here at all so we recommend going during cooler times of the year. The park closes at 5pm So if your trying to hike and see all that there is to see, get there early!
7. See Sea Lions in Port San Luis
Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with some lions of the sea? Well we know just the place – a hidden gem if you will! On the end of the Port of San Luis Pier there is a small set of stairs where you can get up close and personal with a lot of sea lions.
Lovers tip – Its free, theres parking at the end of the pier AND please heed the warning and do not touch the sea lions as they will chomp at your fingers!
After parking, loo for a small staircase on the right hand side with a white gate telling you the rules for dealing with the sea lions. Go ahead – open the gate to sea lion paradise!
8. Drive Through The Chandelier Drive Through Tree
Remember when we told you about the Redwoods a little earlier along with their massive size and history? Meet the Giant Sequoia – a close relative to the redwood in size and age! This is an interesting attraction that is exactly how it sounds! How many people can they they drove through a Giant Sequoia? This unique attraction was constructed for the park in 1922 and has been attracting people ever since! About a two and a half hour drive North of the San Fransisco area, the Drive Thru Tree Park is a nice day trip filled with trails, hiking and picnicking! They even have a little gift shop where unique gifts can be purchased. Get there early as this giant tree attracts many photographers and tourists who also want a snap of their car under this magnificent tree.
9. Admire Glass Beach
The sea glass lovers perfect destination. Glass beach had a bad rep for being a dump site in the late 50’s and the California Waste Management Board intervened and mother nature has since then cleansed and reclaimed its beach. All the glass that was dumped here has been crushed and rounded by the waves and washed up on shore covering the beach. This smooth glass shines in the sunlight and Glass Beach has become a huge hit with the locals and the tourists. In addition to marveling at the ocean glass, Glass Beach has an array of tidal pools just waiting to be explored. Lovers tip – Park Rangers do frown upon taking the glass from the beach as it is their duty to preserve the State Park. Explore the South part of the beach if your intentions are to collect just a few pieces of glass as a token from your visit.
10. Visit The Winchester Mansion
An eery mystery that is The Winchester Mansion! located in San Jose, the mansion was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Winchester. The mansion is admired for its size, architectural curiosities, and its complete and eery lack of a master building plan.The property and mansion is claimed to be haunted by ghosts killed by the Winchester rifles. This deranged Sarah Winchester herself is also said to be haunting the property as she was the one who constructed most of the house. Sarah hired carpenters who worked on the house day and night until it became a seven story mansion. She did not hire a licensed architect and she added onto the building in a haphazard fashion. This resulted in the home having numerous oddities like doors or stairs that go nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms, and stairs with odd-sized risers. After her death, the house was vacant until purchased by a private buyer who turned it into a museum.
Lets go on a tour shall we?