photos: CA Tourism/NSP
California is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and not just for its family-friendly theme parks that can keep you entertained for days on end. Like other states along the West Coast, California has gorgeous coastlines, national parks, waterfronts, and even deserts. There are also iconic pieces of architecture worth a view and the chance to see a celebrity in Hollywood. Whether you are looking for nature, mainstream entertainment, or cultural and educational activities, California has something to offer everyone. So you don’t have to try to pick which of the hundreds of attractions to visit, here are the top ten. Also Read: 10 Best Things To Do In California
1: Yosemite National Park
This gorgeous wilderness rests along the Sierra Nevada mountains. Its granite cliffs and waterfalls are the kind of beauty that only exists along America’s West Coast: immense, majestic, and breathtaking. The land was so stunning that John Muir, the famous naturalist, worked tirelessly to preserve the Yosemite Valley and the surrounding land as a national park before national parks even existed. With one visit to any spot in the park, it’s easy to see what was so worth preserving. Now every generation can experience this pristine and magnificent land just as Muir did a century ago.
Perhaps among the most recognizable landmarks in the United States, the Golden Gate Bridge spans the water between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Opened in 1937, it replaced the ferry system that was originally used to get people between San Francisco and Marin County. When it opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, a record it held for nearly 30 years. Its engineering has led it to be considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World.
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Of all the Disney theme parks in the World, this is the only one to have been directly supervised by Walt Disney himself during its construction. He envisioned it after visiting various theme parks around the world with his daughters. Wanting to create something for parents and children alike, he designed this park, with such attractions as Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontier Land, and Fantasyland. Each area is meant to capture the imagination of all who visit it, by giving it that magical Disney touch.
The cliffs and ridges of Big Sur, draped with redwoods and rising right out of the ocean, are an unparalleled beauty to behold. The population here is sparse, but the hiking trails and vistas keep people moving through on a regular basis. The construction of Highway 1, which weaves along the edge of the mountains, opened up the previously inaccessible region to arts and tourism, attracting the likes of Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson to its rustic locale. The views from the highway are stunning, with many scenic viewpoints along the way for you to stop off and enjoy the twinkling blue ocean below.
This film studio and theme park is one of the oldest film studios still in operation. What started as a guided tour through the Universal film studios has become a theme park with a host of rides and attractions that have evolved over time. The Simpsons, Shrek, and Despicable Me are some of the most popular franchises on display here. There are also water shows and stunt shows that are performed live. Characters that wander the grounds greeting guests include Beetlejuice, the Blues Brothers, and Marilyn Monroe.
Also Read: Los Angeles, California Top 10 Attractions