Whether you’re a long-time California native or simply someone that dreams of having a chance to travel to the Golden State on vacation one day, one thing’s for certain. California is incredibly easy to love. Beautiful beaches, perfect weather, fantastic wine, and cuisine that strikes the perfect balance between healthy and delicious. Definitely a winning combination if there ever was one!
Like many areas of the United States, California comes attached to a rich and fascinating history. The following are just a few historic California cities that ought to be on your to-see list. Read up on them in advance so you’re prepared to experience them to the fullest the next time you’re in the area.
1. San Francisco
No California experience should be considered complete without a trip to San Francisco. Set on the tip of Northern California’s lovely San Francisco Bay, this is a city characterized by its cultural diversity and eclectic nature.
Take in a tour of Alcatraz Island’s infamous prison. Take a stroll along historic Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy some of the city’s most delicious seafood, or visit the ever famous Haight-Ashbury district in person. Don’t overlook the possibilities offered by San Francisco’s amazing Chinatown, either.
2. Yosemite National Park
If you’re a nature enthusiast or a great lover of the national park experience, then you won’t want to miss the chance to see Yosemite. Located in central eastern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite is world famous for its breathtaking waterfalls, awe-inspiring granite cliffs, and diverse collection of flora and fauna.
Enhance your enjoyment of the Yosemite experience by reading up on the rich history of both Yosemite Park and the surrounding area before you go. Enjoy beautiful photographs, personal backstories, and little known tidbits about how the park came to be everything that it is today.
3. Napa Valley
Those that appreciate nothing more than a phenomenal glass of California wine enjoyed in good company should definitely add a pilgrimage to beautiful Napa Valley to their bucket list. Napa has been producing its trademark vintages since the 1850s, and it’s home to vineyards that have been in operation for over 100 years.
Before you arrive, make sure you reintroduce yourself to the area with some light reading on Napa Valley Wine Country. Definitely make a list of must-see wineries that you can’t live without visiting. Napa is also well-known for its farming and agricultural products. Consider supplementing your visit with a meal or two enjoyed at one of the area’s many farm-to-table venues.
4. Catalina Island
Although Catalina Island is a mere 76 square miles in size, it’s home to a rich and exciting historical heritage. Over the years, it’s been host to a diverse cast of characters – everyone from miners to otter hunters, smugglers to movie stars. It’s seen its share of entrepreneurs, including William Wrigley, Jr.
A visit to Catalina is a visit to a unique destination where you can enjoy fishing, scuba diving, glass-bottom boat tours, shopping, and fantastic eating. Get the most out of your visit by learning more about Catalina and its quirky, fascinating history.
Idyllic Monterey has a little something for everyone who loves and appreciates the spirit of California. Watch the world of your favorite John Steinbeck novel come to life before your very eyes when you visit Cannery Row. Observe and learn about the area’s diverse collection of ocean life at the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Explore Fisherman’s Wharf, the Presidio, or the Monterey Customs House. Jaunt on over to the nearby Carmel Mission and visit the final resting place of Saint Junipero Serra himself.
As is the case with any historic destination, you’ll get so much more out of your visit if you first study the background of the California area you have in mind. Let regional interest books on the city you want to visit educate you in regards to notable Japanese, Mexicans, and African Americans from the area. Get an intimate inside look at California’s eclectic food culture. Enjoy a look at beautiful vintage images of Monterey.
As you can see, the great state of California is so much more than just Los Angeles and Hollywood Boulevard. It’s filled with incredible places to explore and experience the very best things in life. Let our extensive catalog of regional interest books help you dig deeper when it comes to your favorite California cities, landmarks, and places. Learn more about the people who made those places great, and then start planning your next vacation. California’s waiting!