California has to be one of America's most spectacular states. It is so diverse and busting with different things to see and do. California seems to have a piece of so many countries all rolled into one. California stretches from the sun-baked deserts of Death Valley through to rainforest and the coastal Red Woods.
California is a very ethnically diverse state with only around a third of the population being non-Hispanic white. It is the most populated state in America and has a population greater than that of all of Canada.
Tip: Be Prepared For Higher Gasoline Prices In California
In the main cities, you can find all sorts of communities from all over the world. Los Angles, for example, has one of the largest expat Armenian communities, and here you can easily enjoy authentic Caucasian food (and it's delicious). While up the coast in the Bay Area around San Fransico you will find one of the largest Vietnamese communities - along with the accompanying Southeast Asian cuisine. Go to Calexico and it feels as Mexican as any part of Mexico.
Around a quarter of the population of California identifies as of Mexican origin, so the Mexican food you find here is some of the very best in the country.
The Central Valley and hills around the Bay Area feel a lot like South Australia. You can feel like you are in the wine-growing Barossa Valley of Australia or in the hills surrounding Alediade. The Central Valley used to be an inland sea in the past.
Things To Do In The Central Valley
Vineyards: Go Wine Tasting In The Many Wineries
Orchids: Buy Plenty Of The Fresh Central Valley Fruit
Fun Fact: The Central Valley Used To Be Home To An Extinct Species Of Walrus - The Pliopedia Pacifica
Northern California feels uniquely North American and here you can climb up Mt Shasta. Or you can camp under its imposing auspices. If you are in this region be sure to check out the many lava tube caves that run for miles underground.
Tip: Don't Forget To Bring A Flashlight To The Lava Caves (Head Lamp Is Even Better)
For a truly unique and trippy experience visit "Slab City" in Southern California. Slab City is located just off of the disappearing Salton Sea and 190 miles out of Los Angles into the desert. Here is a different side of America. Slab City is made up of a unique breed of folk who really do want an alternative way of life and to really get away from it all. This settlement is mostly RVs and various other very artistic sorts of constructions with distinctive rock art.
One could say that Slab City is more a gateway to another world (a world more akin to Max Max Fury Road) than another country!
California is home to some of America's most famous national parks and they too capture the sheer geographic and climatic diversity of this Western State. The national parks in California include; Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, And The Channel Islands National Park.
If you go to California you should certainly check out some of these national parks and it will become very apparent why they are national parks. In addition to the National Parks, California has many stunning state parks to see and explore. These are the best places to camp during your summer vacation.
Bodie State Park
Located in the high desert on the border with Nevada, Bodie is one of America's best-preserved ghost towns and a total must-see for anyone passing through the area. Situated where it is denuded of trees, one wonders how they managed to source the wood to build the houses. And being at a high elevation it has been known to hail in the height of summer. This is an eerie experience as when the mine closed people just left and often left stuff inside their homes. You can still see homes with abandoned belongings in them. Palm Springs is a gateway to another time.
- Elevation: 8,379 Feet
- Peak Population: Around 10,000
- Status: State Park And Ghost Town
- Summer Hours: 9.00-6.00
- Admission Fee: $8 Per Adult
One of the unique places in California is Palm Springs. This is a very unusual resort town just out of Los Angles in the desert. It is a winter snowbird destination for those Americans seeking to escape the cold of the northern climes. Today despite only having a population of less than 50,000, it receives around 1.6 million visitors every year. From Palm Springs it's an easy drive to check out the Slab City. The contrast between these two places could not be greater.
Fun Fact #1: Over 10% Of Households In Palm Springs Belong To Same-Sex Couples
Fun Fact #2: Palm Springs Area Boasts More Than 100 Golf Courses
In short, it's hard to overrate California as a stunning destination. Both culturally and geographically.