Getaways in California

Getaways in California
There is no wonder why California is the most-populous state in the nation and a favorite vacation destination. There is something for everyone in the Golden State, from the sunny beaches of Southern California to the snow-capped mountains of Northern California. If you are looking to get away for a little rest and relaxation or adventure, there are many available destinations.

Los Angeles

If you are looking for the quintessential California getaway, then Los Angeles is the place to be. There are countless hotels from which to choose that fit any price range. Take one of the many guided tours of celebrity homes via bus, then visit Grauman's Chinese Theater. Place your hands and feet in the prints of Hollywood stars from the 1920s to today. Then check out the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, where hundreds of golden stars honor famous actors and musicians. For lunch or dinner, head to Pink's hot dog stand, a local favorite since 1939. Get there early, though, as the lines can be up to two hours during prime time. In the evening, attend a Dodgers baseball game or head to nearby Anaheim if you want to see the Angels play.

No trip to the Los Angeles area would be complete without a visit to Disneyland. If time permits, consider also visiting nearby Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Legoland.

If you want a more natural experience, pack a picnic and head to one of the city's many beaches, including Redondo Beach, Paradise Cove and Manhattan Beach.

Los Angeles Visitors Bureau
685 Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Pacific Coast Highway

A highway normally may not seem like a premier getaway destination, but when it's the Pacific Coast Highway, it is a different story. The drive begins in Monterey, where the lauded Monterey Bay Aquarium is located. Visit the aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row before before heading to the highway. The 123-mile drive along the edge of jagged cliffs with the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean below is a getaway in itself. Stop at Carmel-by-the-Sea and spend a few days exploring the collection of art galleries, small cottages and quaint restaurants. Heading south on the highway, you will eventually reach the famed Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

Monterey Bay Visitors Center
401 Camino El Estero
Monterey, CA 93940

Carmel Visitors Center
San Carlos St. & 5th Ave.
Carmel, CA 93923

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley is California's premier spot for all thing outdoors. Camping, swimming, hiking and rock climbing are available at this wild wonderland. If you plan to stay overnight in a camping site or while hiking, obtain the necessary permits at the park ranger's office. Daytime visits do not require a permit or reservation, but you will need to pay an entrance fee when you enter the park. While there, keep your eyes open for wildlife and be sure to place all food items and scented toiletries in bear-proof containers, as bears and deer frequent the area. After exploring, take a tour of the nearby redwood forests in Humboldt County. Be sure to drive through the hollowed-out redwood tree.

Yosemite National Park
Valley Visitor Center
Yosemite Village Loop
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Article Written By Gail Logan

Gail Logan is a magazine editor and freelance writer based in Atlanta, AL. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Patrick Henry College. For the past four years, she has written home design, travel and food features for national magazines, including "Coastal Living," "Texas Home and Living," "Log Home Design," and "Country's Best Log Homes." When not writing, she mentors inner-city children.

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