California Travel Guide
Featured Hotels in California
California offers plenty to see and do in California. Whether you love the outdoors, culture or amusement parks you'll find everything to keep you entertained.
California Top Cities
Visit our page about the California Cities
Selected Hotels in California
California Top Attractions
- Disneyland, Anaheim
- Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, Monterey Peninsula
- Napa Valley, Napa, Napa Valley
- San Diego Zoo, San Diego
- Alcatraz, San Francisco
- Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles
- SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego
- J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles
- San Diego Wild Animal Park, Escondido
- Balboa Park, San Diego
- Hearst San Simeon SHM (Hearst Castle)
- *** J. Paul Getty Museum The museum opened in 1954, in the sumptuous Malibu villa of the oil tycoon Paul Getty (1892-1976). Collections: Grecian and roman art, epoch furniture, 15th to 18th century art. Entrance is free. Reserve your parking in advance because of the limited space.
- *** Getty Center, an international cultural and philanthropic organization who's objective is education, the study and preservation of masterpieces. Sculptures, manuscripts, paintings, drawings, photographs. The new museum opened in 1997 on a 40 hectare piece of land, 10 of which are constructed. The project cost one billion dollars, making the Getty Center the most important cultural center in the world. Magnificent views downtown skyscrapers, the Pacific Ocean and the San Bernardino Mountains Collections: sculptures, manuscripts, paintings, drawings, furniture, photographs. Length of the visit: 1 day.
** Hearst San Simeon SHM
- Incredible castle of the press tycoon William Hearst (1863 -1951), built on the flanks of the Santa Lucia Mountains, it has become a national monument. It is one of the most visited places in California. Book the tours in advance.
Hearst Castle Page
* Alcatraz Island The Island of Alcatraz lies in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. From the mid 1930's until the mid 1960's, Alcatraz was America's premier maximum-security prison, the final stop for the nation's most famous inmates such as Al Capone. Alcatraz Island
California Top Amusement Parks
*** Universal Studios was founded by Carl Laemmle in 1915 on the grounds of a chicken breeding farm. To start, he built two movie stages where the first silent movies were made. He organized guided tours for 25 cents to promote his newborn industry.
- Universal Studios Orlando, attractions to the themes of Hollywood super-productions (Terminator, King Kong, Men in Black, etc.).
- ** Disneyland in Anaheim - Walt Disney's first park, with a theme
of a Magic Kingdom, the legendary city.
- ** Legoland in Carlsbad - Theme of the famous Lego.
- ** SeaWorld in San Diego - Adventure park with a marine life theme. Dolphin shows, aquariums, etc.
The King of Spain, Carlos III (1716 -1788) sent Franciscan monks to Mexico in
California with the order to create missions in the region and convert the Indians to Christianity. He also wanted to prevent the Russians and British (who had just annexed Canada) from invading this largely unexploited area.
Witnesses of this period are the 21 restored missions that were built along the pacific coast from San Diego right up to Sonoma Valley. Here is a list of the most interesting of them:
- * Santa Barbara Mission in Santa Barbara
- * Mission of the Purisma Concepcion in Lompoc
- * Mission of San Juan Capistrano 4 miles from Dana Point
*Lake Tahoe One of the most beautiful mountain lakes and in winter a favorite spot for skiers
Cannot be found on any map. It is a seventies invention by the press when they put the emphasis on the growing importance of the silicon chip in the high-tech industry of the Santa Clara Valley, south of San Francisco Bay.
Sonoma and Napa Valley
Regions of vineyards situated north of San Francisco.
California National Parks
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Island National Park is made up of 30000 acres of water with 5 emerging islands. The park is the habitat of a unique marine life, from microscopic plankton to the biggest creature of the world, the blue whale.
Death Valley National Park
You will find snowy peaks, sand dunes and abandoned mines. Over 900 species of plants grow in the hottest of the United States national park.
Joshua Tree National Park
The deserts of Colorado and the Mojav join at Joshua Tree National Park. It is an immense piece of land, constantly in motion, shaped by torrential rainfalls and extreme climatic conditions. It was designated Biospheric Reserve in 1984.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
In May of 1914, Lassen Peak erupted, starting a 7 year cycle of sporadic eruptions that considerably modified the surrounding landscape. The Lassen Volcanic Mountains were erected by rivers of lava. The peak of some craters spew forth sulfuric vapors. - Open All Year M-F 8:00am-4:30 pm,
Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park is a reserve of sequoias, the biggest trees on earth. Originating from the age of the dinosaurs, they reach a height of over 100 meters and take 400 years to reach maturity. Some of them are over 2000 years old.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
The park was established in 1890 to protect the sequoias, trees dating from prehistoric times. It is also the home to Mineral King Valley and Mount Whitney, the highest mountain of the United States, except for Alaska.
Yosemite National Park
Yosmite National Park was created in 1890 to preserve a part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The altitude varies between 600 and 4000 meters. You will find alpine landscapes, sequoia forests and valleys bordered by granite cliffs. Yosemite has some of the most impressive waterfalls of the country.
California Regional Parks