Under the Radar California Travel Spots
California is one of the most desired vacation destinations in the world. There you will find warm beaches, Hollywood and celebrity life, amazing food and entertainment, along with a wide range of outdoor sports from surfing to snow skiing. With so many possibilities it can be hard to decide where to go and what to do for your California trip. Sometimes the best things are even found in lesser known hot spots throughout the state.
San Luis Obispo translates to St. Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse and it is a smaller city located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. It was originally founded by the Spanish in 1772 and is one of California’s oldest communities. There are so many things to do here like taking a tour of William Hearst’s Castle complete with 127 acres of gardens and a 60,645 square foot home. You can enjoy wine tasting and ale sampling in Paso Robles, the lagoon at Pismo Beach and the tide pools at Moonstone, hike around Morro Bay State Park, or discover the bakeries and culture of the small Danish style area of Solvang.
Adjacent to Arcata Bay is the small college town of Arcata, California. Although this town has less than 20,000 residents on record, don’t count it out as a great place to visit on the West Coast. It’s known to have a laid back California ‘hippie’ vibe and it can be a great place to explore the outdoors with the Arcata Community Forest and the North Coast Adventures Center. Los Bagels is also known for yummy, ‘funky fusion food’ with warm and friendly hosts. You can also find some rare treats here like the Tranquilitea which is part tea house and part wellness center, and the Finnish Country Sauna and Tubs where you can come after a day out hiking and rent a private open-air redwood hot tub or sauna to relax in.
Sacramento is the capital of California but it can all too often be overlooked as a terrific place to visit. It is a unique city that really has a little something for everyone. If you like old fashion fun, hop the rails and ride along the river with RiverTrain’s 28 mile ride, or even enjoy their Mystery Dinner Train or Great Train Robberies adventures. You can take in a show at the Crest Theatre, visit the “old towns” of Folsom where you get to step back in time, or buy some Sacramento Kings tickets and head to Arco Arena for the night. If you come in the summer you can run in the “World’s Oldest Triathlon”, or enjoy the California State Fair.
California is probably best known for Hollywood and beaches, but its desert areas are a place of wonder as well. Death Valley Junction can be a fun trip if you like to see untouched areas of natural wonder. Not only do you have Death Valley State Park, but you can explore other natural areas like The Racetrack, which is known for a place where rocks actually move form spot to spot. There is also Ubehebe Crater, Titus and Golden Canyons, Twenty Mule Team Canyon which is a great place for kids to have fun, the Lippincott Mine Road, the Harmony Borax Works, Red Pass, and Funeral Mountains. And after a long day of exploration you can enjoy a great meal at any number of western style restaurants or saloons.
California is a real treasure trove of cities and towns. Take the time to visit some of lesser known spots and you will see what the real California is all about.