The third largest state in the country, California is a veritable treasure trove for tourists. Boasting beaches, cliffs, mountains, deserts, and redwood forests, there truly is something for everyone in the Golden State. If there’s an activity you’re interested in, chances are you can find a city to do it in in California. With so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start when visiting. Here are our top five things to do when you visit the state—we think they’re reason enough for you to visit at least once in your lifetime!
Take a Hike through Yosemite National Park
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most popular destinations for hiking. Some of this national park’s most famous vistas beyond its giant sequoia trees include famous landmarks such as Tunnel View, Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Fall. With such famous geologic beauties, it’s no wonder that the photographer Ansel Adams shot many of his black-and-white photographs at this location. If you’re interested in seeing more of Adams’ work, you can view his renowned prints in the Ansel Adams Gallery located at the park. Yosemite National Park also features Yosemite Village, complete with lodging, food, and other small shops.
Experience Disneyland’s Magic
Perhaps the most iconic theme park in the world, a trip to California would not be complete without a visit to Disneyland. The only amusement park created under Walt Disney’s own supervision, Disneyland features eight magical realms for you to tour and experience. See the stunning, 77-foot tall Sleeping Beauty Castle, or have a thrilling ride on the car-themed roller coaster, Autopia. Not all of Disneyland is made up of rides and cartoon characters, though. Fans of shopping and food will also find much to enjoy at the theme park, especially at the Downtown Disney District.
With so many opportunities for selfies, make sure your phone is ready to quickly nab high-quality pics of your new experiences. There are plenty of AT&T stores in California to visit in case you need a new phone, need help downloading an app or just forgot your charger and need a new one!
Visit the Iconic Golden Gate Bridge
This famous suspension bridge in San Francisco is a must-see if you’re visiting the city. While you likely have seen it in film or television, such as the opening credits of the sitcom, Full House, experiencing this art-deco wonder in person is a much different experience. Spanning 4,200 feet across the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge is accessible by bike, car, or on foot. Plenty of ways to grab that perfect selfie! After you’ve taken a walk on the bridge, make sure you check out the visitor center to learn more about the bridge’s history and construction.
Admire Nature at Sequoia National Park
Another park worth visiting in California is Sequoia National Park. Located in Tulare County near Kings Canyon National Park, this park’s sprawling grounds feature towering sequoia trees and serene hiking trails. Take a few photos of the General Sherman Tree in the Giant Forest, and make sure to check out Tunnel Tree, a downed tree with a tunnel cut so a road could travel through its massive trunk. Whether you’re looking to spend a day at the park or are camping overnight at its campgrounds, outdoor enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes will find much to appreciate at Sequoia National Park.
Tour the Notorious Alcatraz Island
Accessible by ferry, this infamous island in the San Francisco Bay is now a popular tourist attraction. Alcatraz’s military and federal prison became synonymous with criminal Al Capone after he was shipped there following his arrest. Now, you can tour the island and its museum in order to learn more about the prison’s history, escape attempts, and other high-profile felons who have served time there. For a really creepy experience, you can try the Alcatraz by Night tour!
Whether you’re planning a weeklong vacation or a quick weekend getaway, there’s plenty to do and see when you visit California! Make sure to see at least one of the locations from this list to make your trip truly memorable.