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If you haven’t had the chance to travel out west, California is a great place to start (as the giant state takes up a large part of the coastline.)  When you think of the wonderful “Golden State” it’s likely you think of hollywood, movie stars, or even Disneyland; however, a trip to Cali has more much to offer than what you see in the regular media.  From stunning scenery consisting of mountain-scapes or beautiful beaches to major cities and some of the best downtown areas, the great state of California offers visitors with an abundance of fun and exciting activities.  If you’re considering a trip, you might want to look into some of these fantastic destinations:

Napa Valley

A wine lovers paradise, Napa Valley is a popular destination for wine connoisseurs across the world!  Here you can find over 400 wineries that offer incredible food and wine pairing experiences. If you’re not so focused on the wine aspect of Napa and you’re more of a foodie, that’s okay!  Napa Valley has more than 125 restaurant destinations that can take you from casual, to fine dining. For beer lovers, Napa is also home to an up and coming beer scene; take a visit to one of its blossoming microbreweries!  Additionally, Napa provides visitors with stunning scenery, and tons of opportunities to experience history, arts, and culture in its bustling downtown area.

Santa Monica

Located just West of the popular downtown Los Angeles area, Santa Monica is known for having a perfect combination of stunning ocean views with a big city feel.  Take a walk on the Santa Monica Pier (where you’ll see it’s famous giant ferris wheel), and experience tons of delicious restaurants (perfect for any foodie), shops, and fun activities such as a full amusement park and arcade.  If you’re feeling more on the adventurous side, take a trip to the Trapeze School New York, where you can learn the art of flying and performing a few different aerial stunts (after you take the required two-hour class).

Palm Springs

Venturing away from the sandy beaches, Palm Springs is a popular area, located in the California desert.  For nature lovers, this is the perfect destination for the ultimate outdoor adventures. Take a hike in one of the many scenic desert locations, or experience the sights on wheels with a bike ride!  If you’re a thrill seeker, take your adventure off-road in a jeep or four-wheeler. When you’re ready to unwind, take a visit to one of the popular day spas, followed by a night out at one of the desert areas diverse bar-restaurant locations.

Sequoia National Park

Experience beautiful mountains, deep canyons and caves, and some of the most magnificent (and largest) trees in the world.  True to its name, a trip to the park will give you a view of tons of giant sequoia trees, tons of hiking trails (for hikers of all experience levels), and even an educational introduction at the Giant Forest Museum.

While California has tons to offer, these destinations are some of the most top rated places to visit, for both visitors and locals.