12 California Places (to Please Everyone)
We all have different interests. Some of us are outdoorsy, while others are more into technology. There are the history buffs and the adventure seekers. If you’re planning a trip to California, you can count on something that will please each family member. In fact, we found 12 California Places to Please Everyone! This list includes something for the kids and the adults. It also takes you all over California for the fullest experience.
1. Calico Ghost Town – Yermo
Ghost towns are found all over the west, and California is no exception. One fascinating ghost town is Calico Ghost Town Regional Park. This authentic ghost town includes some special amenities you won’t find in other ghost towns. For example, it includes cabins, bunkhouses, and camping spaces for rent, an operating outdoor theatre, cafe, and saloon. That’s because, in the 1950s, theme park entrepreneur Walter Knott (yes, of Knott’s Berry Farm fame) purchased the property with the intent of turning it into a destination location. Located near another ghost town in Yermo, the old silver mining town still features five original buildings, too.
2. Yosemite – East Central
Established in 1890, Yosemite National Park contains some of the most majestic natural wonders in North America. It inspired some of Ansel Adams’ most beloved photographs. Grand waterfalls cascade down granite cliffs. It’s surrounded by two protected forests – Sierra National Forest and Stanislas National Forest. Additionally, Yosemite offers history, hiking, camping, and a little shopping, too.
3. Joshua Tree National Monument – Southern
Dotting the desert landscape in Joshua Tree National Monument is the relative of the Agave family called Yucca brevifolia. These spindly, spikey, twisty trees are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s illustrations. This rustic landscape is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast.
4. Inglenook Estate – Rutherford
Established in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, the Inglenook Estate vineyard has a long and interesting history. The vineyard survived the 1906 earthquake and Prohibition and remained a family-run establishment until in 1964, when Inglenook was broken up and sold for the first time. Then in 1975, film director Francis Ford Coppola purchased the mansion and some of the acreage and began producing a vintage called Rubicon. Finally, in 1995, the Coppolas purchased the remaining original Inglenook properties and reunited them.
5. World’s Tallest Thermometer – Baker
Monitoring the weather extremes in the Mojave Desert, the World’s Tallest Thermometer stands 134 feet tall, and it represents the hottest air temperature ever recorded on Earth at the Greenland Ranch on July 10, 1913. The thermometer is a beacon overlooking the desert, well-lit for visitors to see from far and wide. This landmark ticks several categories, including adventure, quirky, and history.
6. Silicon Valley – San Francisco Bay area
Every techie’s dream vacation, Silicon Valley is filled with STEAM/STEM adventures! Since 1939, innovators and inventors have been developing technology in Silicon Valley. It began with William Hewlett and David Packard and has never stopped since. The area is home to global tech companies, NASA’s Ames Research Center, and several tech museums such as The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Techies of every age will find something to explore in Silicon Valley.
7. Redwood Forest – Northern
First established as Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in 1923, the Redwood National Park represents an ongoing partnership between California and the US government. The park consists of more than 131,000 acres and is home to the world’s tallest tree species. The region receives large amounts of rain, contributing to the redwoods’ enormous height.
8. Lake Tahoe – Central
On the California/Nevada border nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is one of the world’s oldest freshwater lakes. The lake is home to year-round activities both on and off the water. Whether you’re seeking the peaceful outdoors or entertaining nightlife, Tahoe offers it all.
9. Santa Monica Pier
Established in 1909, the Santa Monica Pier is a California attraction full of whimsy, thrills, and excitement. It also comes with a rich history including the origins of the comic strip character Popeye, activism, and hidden gems. Everyone will find something to love while visiting the pier.
10. Lava Beds National Monument – Northern
The result of volcanic eruptions from the Medicine Lake Shield Volcano, Lava Beds National Monument on California’s northern border is a vast geological area full of caves, history, and wildlife. Discover Native American traditions, art, and heritage. Explore the 24 caves. Visit the barren landscape of Devil’s Homestead or take in the view from Schonchin Butte.
11. Griffith Park- Los Angeles
Set atop Mt. Hollywood, Griffith Park is home to the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles Zoo, museums, Greek Theatre, trails, gardens, and of course, the Hollywood sign. The Griffith Observatory features a domed theatre, a public telescope, and a fantastic view of Los Angeles. Explore trains, the American West, and wildlife. Go golfing, hiking, or play tennis. Griffith Park offers something for everyone.
12. Glass Beach – Northwest
Number 12 of California Places is located in MacKerricher State Park at Fort Bragg. Glass Beach is 38 acres of sea glass that tells the story of the past. The beach was once a dumping ground, full of debris and trash that included broken bottles. While the dumping stopped in the late 1960s, the garbage remained. However, in the 1990s, the beach was cleaned up except for bits of glass, ground smooth by the sea. The beach glistens with whites, greens, yellows, blues, and reds as the sea slowly churns the glass back into sand. This location is a treasure trove for sea glass collectors.