6 Best Places to Visit in California

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California knows how to party! The Golden State is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing and beautiful ones in the entire USA. Once known as the whole area that contained the Baja California peninsula of Mexico, Utah, Nevada and parts of other states, California is nowadays one of the most awesome states you can visit without exiting United States Territory. The whole state, including northern, central and southern regions, simply oozes with that super cool west coast vibe, . California is famous for being a perfect destination during both summer and winter seasons, with dreamy beaches that bring you into the heart of nature, interesting historical sites that are fantastic for visiting and super fun theme parks that are known around the world.

The state houses top cities like LA (Los Angeles), San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco (and the San Francisco Bay Area) that are known for being some of the most popular cities in the US. If you have not visited California until now, you should think twice; the Golden State is an astonishing destination for adults and kids alike, no matter if you want to visit during the summer or the winter-spring seasons (like in November / December or February / March) California offers a great and unique experience that you will not live elsewhere. If you are looking for a cheap alternative to a Euro trip (don’t hit the SFO just yet), you want to take your family for a vacation filled with adventure or you want to spend a romantic weekend with your significant other, you must go to Cali at least once in a lifetime. Before you embark on your travels, check out the 6 best places to visit in California and make the experience worthwhile!

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1. San Diego Zoo

Located in the south part of California in the city that also names the institution, the San Diego Zoo is possibly one of the most famous zoos in the United States. While visiting, you can discover more than 3,500 animals in natural-like habitats, all thanks to their revolutionary open-air concept that does not involve keeping animals in cages. Visitors are welcomed with an amazing 100 acres of parkland to witness the beauty of wildlife in a very comfortable environment.

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2. Winchester Mystery House

It was impossible for us not to include a famous haunted mansion on our list. We are talking about the Winchester Mystery House, the result of an over 20 million dollar inheritance from a gun manufacturer. The story begins in 1881, when wife of William Wirt Winchester received an incredible fortune from her late husband and used it to build the gigantic house. Now a historical landmark and a tourist attraction, the Winchester Mystery House is a unique work of architecture and is said to be haunted by both Sarah Winchester and the people who died because of the rifles crafted by her husband.

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3. Golden Gate Bridge

Good Lord, you simply cannot visit San Francisco without taking a picture on or of the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge. Studies show that it truly is the most photographed bridge in the entire world and we can completely understand why. Describing the scenery as “nice” would be a total understatement; the view from the Golden Gate Bridge will leave you breathless all along its 3-mile length. The Bridge has become so renowned that the American Society of Civil Engineers has named it one of the Wonders of the Modern World. It is simply an interest point you cannot miss if you are in San Francisco.

If you love the location, take a look at our selection of best places to visit in The City by the Bay.

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4. Chinatown

Also located in San Francisco, the main Chinatown in the city is the greatest Chinese community off Asian territory and the oldest Chinatown in North America. This fascinating place is a lovely tribute to Chinese culture and reflects it authentically. The San Francisco Chinatown is so popular that more people visit it every year than the Golden Gate Bridge. Tourists and travelers alike are captivated by all of the quaint shops, parks and residents that make them feel as if they were no longer in the US. If you get to visit Chinatown in September, make sure you check out the lovely Autumn Moon Festival that is free for the general public. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Chinatown a clear ten on our list.

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5. Alcatraz Island

Near San Francisco in the Bay Area lies Alcatraz Island, home of former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Besides the world famous prison, Alcatraz Island also includes the oldest lighthouse on the United States West coast that still successfully operates. Tourists who have traveled to Alcatraz Island all claim that the visit is totally worth your time. Many recommend that you allow three or four hours for your stay on the island, so you can visit all of the points of interest and discover the cell block. People who visit the island also benefit from a unique audio tour and even night tours for an enhanced experience.

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6. Disneyland

Last, but certainly not least, Disneyland must be at the top of your list if you are planning to visit California. You don’t have to be a child to enjoy the fairytale theme park that people across the globe dream of visiting; we guarantee that adults will be just as impressed as their children while at the Disneyland resort. Disneyland was built in 1955 and remains the sole theme park that Walt Disney personally took care of and designed. It is the theme park with the most visitors ever recorded in history, with more than 650 million people visiting since its opening. The eight lands you can visit are Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Main Street, U.S.A., Mickey’s Toontown, New Orleans Square and Tomorrowland. Be prepared for costs, though, the prices of Disneyland admission tickets become higher and higher each year, with a one-day, one-park admission fee of $99 as of February 2015.

Photo credits: Allsciencemag.com, Visitcalifornia.com, Huffpost.com, Hdwallpapersos.com, Layoverguide.com, Wikipedia.org, Travelagentinchina.com.