California is unquestionably one of the most exciting areas in the continental forty-eight states. It offers a wide variety of terrain, featuring both expansive natural beauty and impressive man-made feats of art, architecture, design, and development. If you’re planning on visiting a new part of your country (or are looking for a vacation destination in a foreign one), then California has everything you’ll need to achieve a comprehensive experience of American culture.

  1. Redwood Forests

Starting at the state’s northen section is a great way to take in as much of California’s natural beauty as you can before you make your way down south where you can enjoy the flavors of the people and the many cultures they bring together in one of the most vibrant parts of America’s Southwest. First, though, you can make your way through Central and Northern California’s beautiful and ancient redwood forests. If you’ve ever wanted to do something like drive an entire car (with a full family inside of it, no less) through a living tree, then Northern California’s redwood forests are a great place to do that.

  1. Morrow Bay

As you make your way down south, be sure you carve out some time to visit Morrow Bay. The leviathan rock that sits just a hundred yards or so off the coast is well worth the trip alone, and is only outdone by some of the most superb local seafood you’ve ever tasted. World-famous chefs have made their way to Morrow Bay that they might face off with some of the more famous local seafood dishes, and the experience is never a disappointing one.

  1. San Simeon

Continuing along California’s coast will bring you to San Simeon, where William Randolph Hearst built the legendary Hearst Castle as an entertainment spot of incredible opulence and beauty. The castle isn’t the only attraction, either; it was purposely built among one of Hearst’s most favorite personal escape. And if wild zebra aren’t enough to convince you that San Simeon is worth the trip, then perhaps the ability to pick your own beef cut from one of the estate’s most prized cattle will sell you on visiting this beautiful and historic landmark.

  1. Disneyland

While it may seem a little tried and true, Disneyland has its reputation as being the happiest place on earth for a reason. If you’ve never been, it’s certainly a trip worth making, especially if younger ones are going to join you. Even if not, Disneyland can be worth it simply for the nostalgia factor alone.

  1. Los Angeles

No trip to California is complete without a visit to Los Angeles. Think of something you like to do. You can do it in Los Angeles, no matter what it is. If you’re a food enthusiast, the restaurants in Los Angeles are among the best in the world. If you’re into movies, you’ll enjoy visiting the movie capital of the world. Whatever your flavor, Los Angeles has a great way to engage it, and is just one of the many reasons California is one of the best vacation destinations in all the world.