For a great outdoor summer vacation and the best climate on the planet you can’t beat California. You have your pick of so many outdoor activities and with the economy being the way it is right now, you should be able to find many specials and deals even during the popular summer months. Here are my favorite places to visit in Northern and Central California:
Explore the coastline
California is well known for its miles of beautiful coastline, clean beaches, amazing sunsets and bountiful wildlife. One of my favorite parts of the coastline is in and around Monterey, which is about 2 hours drive south of San Francisco, in central California. There are so many outdoor activities to do along this stretch of coastline; hike across the often empty miles of beach, bird/wildlife watch at one of the protected nature reserves or if you are an avid golfer play a few rounds of golf.
Check out the animals
For animal lovers of all ages, San Francisco Zoo is a must see experience when in Northern California. It’s a huge place, so be prepared for a good day of walking. The zoo has earned a reputation for being very conservation minded and family friendly by being geared very much towards hands on learning for children, so it’s a great place to take the whole family! Monterey Aquarium with its Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, is another conservation minded attraction that’s a must see when in California. Be sure to check out the Sea Otters; they are an endangered species and one of the aquariums biggest projects is to see them thrive! Entrance fees to these attractions can get steep but be sure to check out what discounts you may be entitled to, such as military or a group discount.
Roam California State Parks
If you love to camp and hike, there is no better place to do it than in one of California’s gorgeous, protected State Parks. Yosemite is one of the best known and most visited, there’s a reason for that; its fabulous scenery is breathtaking and the hiking possibilities are endless, the park is huge. If you are not camping and want to stay in a lodge or Inn, you will find more budget friendly accommodation outside of the park boundaries; it pays to drive out a little ways out if you are planning an overnight stay. Sequoia National Park is home to those massive Giant Sequoia’s that you’ve always heard about that can grow up to about 300 feet! It’s another fantastic park for camping, renting a cabin and hiking, again, it gets very busy in the summer but it is another huge park so you have plenty of trails to choose from if you want to get away from the crowds. For accommodation at either of these locations, plan well ahead of your visit to avoid disappointment.
To find more information about California’s plentiful outdoor activities (lets face it, this state was made for outdoor activities!), check out these websites; Visit California and Ca.Gov