We’re bringing you the best places to visit in California to see everything the state has to offer. From beaches to deserts to mountains, and from northern California to southern California – this is the ultimate list of beautiful and unique places to visit in California.
We grew up in California and spent years traveling from north to south and east to west and even with our 30+ years of exploring the sunshine state, we still haven’t seen it all! There are limitless amazing places to visit and experience in California, these are just the top on the tip of the iceberg.
This list even brings you to three national parks! California has so much to see, it’s a big state! We take this list from north to south, but to visit all 10 in one trip would take you several weeks. Plan on epic road trip, or plan to visit multiple times so you can take your time to enjoy each.
What are the best places to visit in California?
- Lake Tahoe
- San Francisco
- Santa Cruz
- Big Sur
- Solvang and Santa Barbara
- Death Valley
- Palm Springs
- San Diego
p.s. download our free Coastal Day in San Diego itinerary before you visit #10
Beautiful Places to Visit in California – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re diving into our home state of sunny, California to bring you 10 amazing Places To Visit In California.
3 (1m 9s):
I mean, you hear me say this all the time on the podcast west coast, best coast, best state, California. Love it, love it, love it. Born and raised here my whole life. So we have to give a little bit of love to California every once in a while. And this episode is going to do that, but of these 10 amazing places that we’re going to visit and list not all of them are the typical California places that you’re going to think of. You’ll notice we left LA off intentionally and a little bummed out about this. We’re not going to give too much love to our not true hometown, but our hometown next door to her hometown Capitol of California Sacramento. I love it. We’ve had an episode on it, so we’re not mentioning it here, Sacramento, our Capitol and LA left off intentionally,
1 (1m 51s):
California is such a beautiful state and I’m so happy to call California home. And we were actually talking about this before we recorded the episode that, you know, we live in Southern California now, but we all came from Northern California and we feel like we really didn’t explore as much of Northern California as we really should have when we lived up there. And now we’re booking all of these trips to go north and do those trips. So, you know, it’s very interesting. I wish that when I was younger, I was more inclined to do small weekend trips to some of the places that we’ve visited in Northern California.
2 (2m 23s):
Well, I will say when we were younger blogs weren’t as big, there was no tick talk Instagram. Wasn’t like it is now. It was harder to discover these places and we also didn’t have as much money.
1 (2m 34s):
Of course, that’s true.
2 (2m 35s):
So we’re making up for it now.
1 (2m 37s):
Yes. So we have a list of 10 beautiful places to visit here in California. I’ve personally been eight out of 10 on the list and we are pretty much listing them from like north to south, almost so really excited to dive in and talk about these destination.
3 (2m 53s):
But before we give you the full 10, we got to give you the tips.
2 (2m 56s):
Tips always come first. Yes. First step California is a long state. It could take you over 12 hours to get from the north to the south end. So you could do all of these in one road trip, but you could also do them in multiple smaller trips.
3 (3m 11s):
And on top of that, unfortunately, public transportation in California really isn’t that great. You’re going to need a vehicle to do this. Maybe in some locations they have regional transit and things of that nature, but for the most part, you’re going to need a vehicle unless you’re going from one place to the next, taking the train, which we do have beautiful scenic routes via train along the coast, but they are not bullet trains is going to take you a very long time to do that. So if you’re willing to do that for the scenic view, but do keep in mind, not really good public transportation, don’t
2 (3m 43s):
Even get me started on the bullet train.
3 (3m 44s):
I’m ready for it. I’m upset that it’s not.
2 (3m 46s):
We voted for it in 2008 and it is nowhere near ready.
3 (3m 50s):
And by the time they build it with whatever technology they were going to do with outdated technology now. So they just need to scrap it and start again. But yeah, we’re getting a little frustrated here. You could see that there is no public transportation. That’s good in California. So keep that in mind as a tip
1 (4m 4s):
And believe it or not, California does have some remote places. So people don’t realize that. And so you may want to download offline maps because he may be driving through a remote place that doesn’t have really good self service. For example, on our list, we are going through some forested areas. And so I don’t want to give it away, but you may lose service there.
2 (4m 22s):
Our gas is also expensive, like many other things here. So use the gas buddy app to try to find good prices. If you are going to do this all in one trip
3 (4m 30s):
And last, but certainly not least California known for the weather we have all sorts of weather could be from scorching desert temps to really frigid snow in the mountains. But for the most part, if you’re along the coast, the weather is usually temperate and kind of the same all year round, not too dramatic, but there are different dramatic landscapes. So depending on where you’re going, and obviously the places that we list, just keep in mind, temperature can vary dramatically.
1 (4m 56s):
So the first place on our list, number one is the redwoods and they are located in Northern coastal California. And you know, a lot of people think forest mountains, but this isn’t the case. The red ones are actually pretty, pretty flat. And they’re all along the coast, which is very unique. And the, the tallest trees in the world, tallest trees in the world.
2 (5m 18s):
Wow. I’ve been up to Redding and up there, but I have never been to redwoods national park.
3 (5m 23s):
If you’re going to be driving the scenic California one, you’re going to be going through the redwoods. It’s the famous coastal route from north to south, south to north vice-versa and you will pass through here, but absolutely beautiful and breathtaking and amazing, pretty close to the border of Oregon. Quite honestly, not like right on it, but definitely close. So again, we’re giving you the north and working our way down south, but the redwoods is also a national park. So not only are you seeing something very, very unique, flat forested areas when we usually equate that at least here in the United States to the mountains, you’re along the coast, tallest trees in the world, very scenic, very beautiful.
3 (6m 3s):
One of the things California is most famous for.
1 (6m 6s):
And so, because it is off of a highway, there’s actually no entrance fee to get into the national park, which is also pretty unique for one in California. And there’s tons of small trails, long trails. You can do so much hiking. You can go down to the beach as well. Kim, do you happen to know how tall the tallest tree in the world is
2 (6m 24s):
1 (6m 25s):
Almost 380 feet? Ooh,
3 (6m 28s):
Almost. I mean, she’s almost off by a hundred feet. What do you mean almost? She’s in the three hundreds, but she’s low three hundreds and that’s Could have said a thousand.
1 (6m 36s):
Can you tell me the name of the tallest tree in the world
2 (6m 39s):
That I can’t do?
1 (6m 40s):
It’s Hyperion and its location in the forest is actually kept secret so that people don’t like come and cut it down or destroy it or anything like that.
2 (6m 50s):
Wow. That’s sad that people would do that and they have to keep it secret for that reason. Did you see it when you were there?
1 (6m 55s):
Well, they don’t have it named, like they don’t have,
2 (6m 57s):
Oh, there’s no signage.
1 (6m 59s):
I like that because they want to keep its location secret. So I don’t know if I came across it or not.
3 (7m 4s):
I don’t think we did. I can tell you that, but really unique national park and something very unique to California also
1 (7m 12s):
And right outside of the national park, you can go through one of those drive-thru trees.
2 (7m 16s):
1 (7m 17s):
Cool. You get some nice pictures, memories, and it’s just a really, really beautiful park. Like when you get out of the car, you can just smell like the Redwood trees in the forest and all of that. So I would like to go back. So I would recommend you guys go, if you haven’t already. One of the cool hikes that I want to do is actually into a Fern canyon. I know you love this forever.
2 (7m 37s):
I have done that hike. Oh, you have? Yes. I did a spring break trip up to Arcata, which is in Humboldt county and we hiked Fern canyon and it was amazing like ferns everywhere, epic hike. It’s very rainy drizzly up there. Yes.
1 (7m 53s):
I want to go back for exactly that
3 (7m 55s):
Moving south, moving on to number two, we’re still going to keep it kind of in a forested area and move to world famous. And yes, I say world famous, not just California, famous world, famous lake Tahoe.
2 (8m 6s):
I love lake Tahoe. I definitely explored this area a bit. When I lived up there spent many times at the casinos and the lake, but unfortunately I didn’t explore the nature.
3 (8m 19s):
Yeah. I mean, when you’re young, unless you’re really from a nature oriented family and it’s not like a hobby that develops later, you know, that is the thing you do in lake Tahoe. You go out and spend time on the lake, boating doing whatever. And you mentioned casinos. So yes, we’re talking California. Gambling is not legal in California unless it’s on native American reservations, but lake Tahoe also straddles the border with Nevada. And so as soon as you cross from California, literally right on the border, you have four casino resorts. So you have that gambling aspect of nightlife with a two up in the largest Alpine link in north America, which is like Tahoe. I think it’s like one of the five deepest lakes in the world.
3 (8m 59s):
Also up there really beautiful, famous for its scheme. But yes, we did not get to experience a lot of hiking. When we lived up there, we just kind of went for the Laken casinos, which is sad. In hindsight,
1 (9m 12s):
I’ve done like two hikes in the area with my dad. One of them, I lost my toenail
2 (9m 15s):
On the famous toenail.
1 (9m 17s):
So my dad lost his toenail too. So it wasn’t just me. I wish I spent more time in lake Tahoe. You know, there’s so much to do. Don’t know if we’ve already said it, but episode 66, go back and listen to it. I have so many places I want to go back and see it and lake Tahoe, because you can go around the entire lake and there’s different state beaches or harbors. And there’s one called sand Harbor and they have beautiful. The water’s beautiful anywhere in the lake, but the water is so clear there. And there’s these big boulders in the water that you can see. And then you can take a kayak out that is like glass bottom or clear bottom look down. It’s super scenic and
2 (9m 55s):
Beautiful. There’s also hot Springs by the lake.
3 (9m 58s):
Hotsprings Kim. You would be the one to bring up the hot Springs, wouldn’t you, but yeah, lots of stuff to do. Doesn’t matter when you go major winter activities. As a matter of fact, on the west side of the lake in Squaw valley, they had the Olympics there one time and lots of summer events and sports to do there also biking, hiking, et cetera. So anytime of year that you go, lake Tahoe is definitely not to be missed.
2 (10m 21s):
Number three on our list goes all the way to the west coast for San Francisco. This city is so unique. It’s so fun. Everything from the buildings in like the old 18 hundreds kind of vibe that they have, the nightlife the day life, there’s the pier you can go to with the sea lions,
1 (10m 40s):
Clam chowder, bulls and views of Alcatraz, which is an old prison out in the middle of the ocean. And people have actually escaped there in the past and their bodies were never found,
3 (10m 50s):
Technically it’s in the bay, not the ocean Brittany, but you’re on the right track point being, it’s a prison in the middle of a body of water, but San Francisco is such a quintessential California city has a lot of amazing history that makes San Francisco what it is today. But what I really like about San Francisco is that it’s a city that gives me east coast vibes. Like it’s not a big city that I equate to the west coast, let alone California. You know, it just has that different feel to it. And it makes it really fun, really unique, but so many highlights and things to do there. Like you mentioned, Alcatraz, the pier, the golden gate bridge golden gate park, Lombard street. I mean, I could just name places to go in San Francisco.
3 (11m 33s):
And I mean, the opportunities and things to do are endless out there.
1 (11m 37s):
Yeah. It makes for an easy, we can trip or even longer. We’ve been several times and we feel like we haven’t even hit most of the city. You can do something different every single time you go. Really?
2 (11m 47s):
Yes. I spent so much time in my, like from 18 to 25, exploring San Francisco and getting into all kinds of trouble out there. We have Good kinds of trouble, not the serious kind of trouble, but yeah. I mean, San Francisco is really fun. There’s so much to do there. We have a whole episode on it. Number 48, if you want to go back and listen to that one.
1 (12m 8s):
And you know, we wouldn’t be the Travel Squad Podcast, unless we talk about bathrooms and in San Francisco, they actually have a self cleaning bathroom at the top of twin peaks.
3 (12m 18s):
Well, they have multiple locations also, but one of the more touristy spots where you’ll for sure find it yes as the top at twin peaks. So it almost, I don’t want to say it looks like a port-a-potty cause it’s not a port-a-potty, but it is a toilet that when you go in the doors close automatically and when somebody exits it’s closes and sanitizes itself back down and you’re supposed to go in and I was really hyped up to use it the first time. And then, you know, I go in and yeah, they sanitize it down, but it’s sprayed with water. And then so you’re in there. And even though it’s clean, it feels dirty because it’s so wet. So it kind of creates this weird little experience
2 (12m 53s):
3 (12m 53s):
Do. They do, but better than going into a torn up bathroom, I could tell you that.
1 (12m 59s):
And there’s so many places to take day trips from San Francisco. We will actually be having an upcoming episode on that. So subscribe and stay tuned to hear about that episode.
3 (13m 9s):
So moving on to number four, I know we said, we’re going to give you these places listed from north to south. As we’re getting here to number four, which is Napa California’s wine country, world famous United States, famous California famous. I realized that this is actually north of San Francisco. So maybe San Francisco should have been for Napa three, but we’re going to do it in reverse order a little bit right here. So come in at number four, Napa, California.
2 (13m 35s):
I have been to Napa when I used to live in Sacramento, but I was under 21. So I never got to experience the wineries and the wine tasting, which is what Napa is. So well-known for, and as I am older now, and I’m doing my research and planning a trip to Napa, there is one attraction that blows my mind and I really want to go for, and this is the Napa valley wine train.
3 (13m 60s):
When I was doing some research on Napa ourselves to be like, all right, we’re going to go, how did we not go? When we lived in Northern California? Again, this is one of those places, at least for me, I know you said you’ve been, but again, not 21. I had no clue the wine train existed. This looks like you’re in a beautiful, almost turn of the century, like late 18 hundreds, like train, like classic style, traveling in opulence and luxury. And it’s really designed going through the Napa valley and Napa area. And you have amazing food served to you on the train wine tasting while you’re doing it. Also experiencing that trip. So I’m blown away and I can’t wait to go and do that.
2 (14m 38s):
I love train experiences in Europe. That was one of the coolest things. So it’s very European vibe here in Napa
1 (14m 44s):
And Napa is a really nice place to just relax. Also, there’s a lot of fine dining. You can take cooking classes, spa treatments, Kim and I are going to do that. Girls trails
2 (14m 54s):
Trip, Jamal doesn’t want to go.
3 (14m 56s):
I don’t exclude me. It don’t say I don’t want to go. The only reason why you’re saying that as, as much as I want to go to Napa, I said, ah, it’s hard because here in San Diego, we’re close to via Guadalupe, which is like, Mexico’s Napa. And I know what I could get for literally a third of the cost. But again, it is quintessential California. We have to go, they don’t have the train experience, but don’t throw me under the bus like that. Ladies, I want to go to Napa. Don’t
2 (15m 18s):
Do spot treatments.
3 (15m 20s):
Hell yeah. Do
1 (15m 21s):
Treatment naked massage
3 (15m 22s):
And not naked massage, a spot treatment.
1 (15m 24s):
And they also have hot air balloon rides. And I know you don’t want to do that, Jamal.
2 (15m 28s):
I want to do
1 (15m 28s):
That. So it sounds like it’s going to be a girl.
3 (15m 31s):
Okay. So you’re excluding me now. I see what it is. But another thing that Napa is really famous for other than the wine, if you want to do something nature oriented, they’re actually building right now, the bike, the vine trail. So this is supposed to be a really large bike trail. That’s supposed to go through the entire valley itself and like a big circle. And so part of it is built. Now you can still do it stroll through the vineyards stroll through parts of the town, but I’m excited to go when that’s open. And I would love to just like rent a bike and ride that whole thing. I think that would be a unique thing to do. Just kind of outside of Napa. Also,
2 (16m 4s):
It’d be fun. I love bike riding and wine only here for it. All right. Number five on our list, going a little more south into Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is amazing. When you think about on the east coast, Maryland ocean city, Maryland, I kind of see it as California, Santa Cruz. We have roller coasters. We have beach, we have the mystery spot. What is mystery spot?
3 (16m 29s):
I mean, you kind of hit a lot of the main stuff on Santa Cruz right here. So yes we do have the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, which is, I think the only coastal amusement park that’s still really left in the United States on the west coast, actually. So really cool about that, but getting into the mystery spot, what is the mystery spot? I’ve been an, I don’t even know what the mystery spot is. And I say that honestly in a good way. So Santa Cruz is along the coast of California along the ocean, south of San Francisco. So it’s in a mountainous region also. So it gives you that nice contrast of location on the coast, but still kind of in the mountains and forest and area. So here you are in the forested area, along the coast, and here is the mystery spot and it is supposedly at gravitational anomaly.
3 (17m 16s):
That’s located in the redwoods that they have. They’re not the famous tall, tall redwoods, but still redwoods nonetheless here along the coast. And basically when you go there, you stand in a certain location and then your body tilts to another side. If you have a ball in your hand, they’ll tell you to just set it on this piece of wood. And literally the wood is rolling up and the ball will roll up. So it’s like this whole gravitational anomaly location out in the woods. And I don’t know what the science is, if it’s a trick or if it’s a real thing, but it’s crazy out there. And I highly recommend you go to the mystery
1 (17m 48s):
Spot. Jamal. I went to Santa Cruz quite a long time ago. We actually went camping out there in the forest and the redwoods. And then we had to cross over some sand dunes to get to the beach. And it was really, really cool. But growing up, I had family that lived really close to Santa Cruz. So we went to the boardwalk all the time. Like we would go multiple times a year and write all of the roller coasters and just lounge out on the beach. So I grew up going to Santa Cruz quite a bit and had a really good time. So it has a special place in my heart.
3 (18m 17s):
I mean, this is a place that really has it all. Coastal seaside amusement along the ocean, redwoods and forest. It’s also a university town. There’s the university of California Santa Cruz. So it has that kind of vibe going on with it too. And so it just makes for really unique California experience in city. Definitely not to be missed, especially if you are doing the one and 1 0 1 drive, you’re going to pass there, Santa Cruz, you’re going to enjoy it.
1 (18m 42s):
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1 (19m 56s):
So working our way south from Santa Cruz, we’re headed to big Sur big Sur is so beautiful. It is the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States, not just California, but there’s so much beauty because it’s just so rugged and so beautiful. There is a waterfall that dumps into the ocean and those are actually called tide falls. And this waterfall is called McQuay falls, beautiful iconic waterfall. And then because it’s on the coast, there is hiking and Redwood trails as well. So definitely a great place to visit can not be missed. So we were actually going to visit big Sur as a squad, once it was going to be our big Sur road trip, but then there was a huge landslide in the area.
1 (20m 44s):
So we couldn’t make it on that trip. But since we’ve been back,
2 (20m 48s):
It actually is pretty common with this highway. One that they’re heavy rains, the land kind of gives out and there’s landslides or mudslides, and it closes down that road. And that’s one of the only roads you can take to get up that route. So it really diverts your whole road trip, if you are planning to drive up it. And it happens like I want to say once every couple of years,
1 (21m 8s):
And I love it because Kim was like, you know, we were going to drive up and I was like, oh Kim, there’s a landslide. She goes, well, you know what? They should just, you know, keep the road open if whoever wants to risk it just no. And risk of
2 (21m 20s):
This was a landslide that took over eight months to rebuild the freeway.
3 (21m 24s):
Should we have just written a four wheel drive and driven over the mud can. Yeah.
2 (21m 27s):
But yeah, we were already road tripping on the worst rainstorm in years that California had seen after a drought. Why not add on the four wheel driving?
3 (21m 38s):
I mean, it could have been an all-inclusive experience in that we did that, but no big Sur I mean it’s world famous, let alone California famous as not even a specific city. I mean, it literally is a stretch of almost 200 plus miles of really undeveloped coastline other than the road and a few small towns in between. It gives you amazing dramatic views of the California coast from beautiful beaches to rugged jagged cliffs and sea cliff. So definitely not to be missed and you’ll enjoy your time traveling through there.
1 (22m 7s):
And another iconic spot in big Sur, which we were able to get to. Cause we went around the mudslide is a big speed bridge. It’s iconic photo spot. Definitely. When you go park your car and then walk, once you get the views of it, everyone starts to take pictures of it there and they’re doing it facing like the land and the mountains. No, you want to walk farther and you want to get your shots of Bixby bridge, looking out into the beautiful ocean and seeing the seaside cliffs. That’s the photo that you want
3 (22m 36s):
Moving further south here through California, again, all along the one and 1 0 1, we’re getting ourselves into Santa Barbara and solving. We’re giving you a twofer here for lucky. Number seven.
2 (22m 48s):
First part of this twofer is solving, which is a Danish town. They have Danish windmills, they have Danish pastries. They have Danish people.
3 (22m 57s):
If you didn’t know, and we’re walking through here and just didn’t hear people speaking really good English without an accent, you would think that you’re in Europe, this area here and solving it’s about what is it? 45 minutes east into the mountains from Santa Barbara. Yeah, distance wise. It’s not very far, but you got to go through the mountains. So that’s why it creates a little bit more time to get there, but it was settled by Danish people. And so it’s really kept its Danish history and heritage. And so you’re almost in Europe when you’re here and a great town to stroll. It’s famous in the wine region right there. So you could do some wine tasting. They have some amazing vineyards also, and it gives you a foreign experience while you’re here in California.
1 (23m 39s):
And you know, Kim didn’t mention the Danish pastries and I just want to stress the pastries because we to a pastry shop and we got some of the best pastries that we’ve ever eaten. They were so good that at the end of the day, we went back to pick some up to go home.
3 (23m 55s):
That’s one of the things to do there, stroll the town and eat food, lots of good stuff, let alone the desserts you have to
2 (24m 1s):
Do you think that solving we’ll have a Christmas market?
3 (24m 4s):
You know, that’s something to look into. If they did, I would go up and spend the night out there, do some wine tasting, have the Christmas market, you know, we should petition and write to the city of solving and tell them they need a European Christmas market during that time. I think they would do it. I think that would be a hit Kim. I think you’re onto something like
2 (24m 21s):
3 (24m 22s):
My mind is fricking blown right now with that suggestion. We should write them and tell them.
2 (24m 27s):
But if you’re in solving, you’re definitely going to want to visit Santa Barbara as well. It’s very close by it’s well-known for its wineries. It’s on the beach. So you can spend time there on the beach if you’re there in the warmer weather, but there’s a lot of nightlife there. Good restaurants, tons of wine. Did I say wine?
3 (24m 44s):
Oh yeah. You know what I really like about Santa Barbara is when you’re there, you can tell it’s a Southern California town, but at the same time, you also know it’s a different Southern California talent. It doesn’t have that hustle and bustle or, and it’s not too big and spread out and crazy. It’s a really laid back atmosphere out there, but you know, you’re in California and Southern California. So it gives it that cool little awesome contrast that I really, really like about it. And it’s a great place for people who live in Southern California to really escape the big suburban and metropolis areas in which they live and get somewhere nice and quaint.
2 (25m 18s):
I think my favorite experience in Santa Barbara was wine tasting at the wine tasting room that was at the end of the pier over the ocean water. Yes. And it was like loungey we were on a couch. It was so nice.
1 (25m 31s):
That peer is so big. You can either walk down it or you can drive down it. And there’s actually a few parking spots there as well. But yes, that winery had an outdoor deck with ocean views. It was called the deep sea tasting room.
3 (25m 45s):
Another highlight in Santa Barbara is state street. Now state street is pretty much their version of main street and it’s really, really popular for restaurants. Not too sure how it is right now, or if they’re going to keep this, I know a lot of towns and places in California, probably even across the U S also are keeping some of their COVID protocols were places that had famous stretches of dining would make it Alfresco where they didn’t have to have the permits to put out outside dining and ambiance like that strewn up lights. And so they did that during COVID. It was closed off to street traffic. And by that, I mean cars and it was only for walking and pedestrians. And that was a really, really fun experience. But even if they’ve changed that now on cars could still drive.
3 (26m 27s):
That is an awesome stretch to just stroll and find a good place and bite to eat on state street.
1 (26m 32s):
I definitely want to go back to Santa Barbara. I feel like we didn’t spend much time at the beaches, so that’s something we definitely need to check out. Cause we haven’t had an episode on Santa Barbara or solving. It’ll probably be twofer like we’re doing here.
3 (26m 46s):
I think we need to go back, get some more content. Not that we don’t have enough good ones, but just to kind of really hammer it home.
1 (26m 51s):
Yeah, I definitely agree. There’s also some good hiking in the area as well. And we did do a hike while we were in Santa Barbara. So there’s a lot to do in Santa Barbara, you know, with the wineries, the great food, the pier, the beaches, the hiking, and then the day trip to solving
2 (27m 7s):
Eight on our list is death valley. It is one of the hottest places on earth. One
3 (27m 13s):
Of the, or the, is
2 (27m 15s):
It the hottest?
3 (27m 16s):
2 (27m 17s):
Yeah, in the summer it can get upwards of 120 plus degrees. So don’t visit in the summer
3 (27m 22s):
As of late, even in the one thirties. So real, real hot out there. But death valley is a national park. One of California’s nine national parks, really awesome place to go to kind of give you that different view of California that we really haven’t touched upon yet. We’re talking coastal mountains, things of that nature here we are taking you inland south to the desert region. And we have a full episode on this episode, 23, but really, really so unique desert environment. They have the Mesquite flat sand dunes. So I mean, you could see sand dunes out there, then all of a sudden you move a little bit away from those. And then you were like, I thought I was in a desert with sadden in the Sahara. And then all of a sudden it’s complete like scorched earth, desert, you know, just a really crazy different environment view of the desert and you get it all when you’re out there.
2 (28m 10s):
Sabrina skis point is also really beautiful. It’s one of the most famous viewpoints in the park and it overlooks these golden colored Badlands and the area is actually called furnace Creek formation. So when you go, you definitely want to visit because this is one of the outlooks that you’ll see in tons of pictures and it is worth seeing
1 (28m 30s):
Yeah. And nearby his artist drives. It’s a very, very scenic nine mile drive that passes through eroded, but very colorful desert Hills. And so you can stop your car, get out and explore a little bit. Or you could just do the scenic drive itself,
3 (28m 45s):
Colorful bad lands, colorful desert Hills, sand dunes. And we didn’t mention this yet also bad water basin, which is the lowest point in north America. It’s actually 282 feet below sea level. In this area. You could see the polygon salt formations that death valley is known and famous for. So that goes back to what I was saying earlier. I mean really in death valley, you get so many different variations of desert landscape all in one. And it’s just so crazy to see. And again, don’t go during summer, unless you want to experience that heat. When we went, we went in January and it was still warm, but definitely tolerable. I don’t know if I would want to go on it’s 130 degrees out there.
3 (29m 25s):
2 (29m 26s):
1 (29m 26s):
No, I would not.
2 (29m 28s):
My eyeballs will burn.
1 (29m 29s):
Yes, you do have that problem.
3 (29m 31s):
Like I’ve mentioned this on an episode before where, you know, I heard on the radio, they were actually talking to a park ranger out there and it happened to be like a day or two after like world record of temperature was set in death valley up in the one thirties. And she said, believe it or not, a lot of people come during this time of year because they want to experience the heat because there’s no place else in the world where you’ll feel that type of heat. She said mostly European tourists are the ones that do that. I guess it kind of makes sense because they don’t have any deserts in Europe. So they really were like, where am I going to go to feel that? And that’s the place
2 (30m 2s):
I could see that, I guess.
1 (30m 4s):
Yeah. And if we go back to death valley, there are some other places I want to see. Like there is a place called the devil’s golf course, which are the salt formations that look so rugged that it looks well. I don’t know what it really looks
3 (30m 16s):
Like shards of glass on the ground.
1 (30m 19s):
Exactly. But we were actually going to go there on our trip. I don’t know if you remember this Kim, but we would have to go off the road. I
2 (30m 24s):
1 (30m 25s):
Yeah. And it was going to take us like an extra hour or two to get out there. So we opted not,
2 (30m 30s):
We were also in a car and it was like a bumpy road. And we were just like bumping along for a while.
3 (30m 35s):
Yeah. And I guess it would be a good squad tip to throw in. If you go to death valley, rent a car and buy that, not an actual car, but a Jeep, a truck or some sort of high rise vehicle because certain roads are off-road, especially that one. And you don’t want a low line vehicle or one that tires aren’t really meant to do that type of terrain traversing. So you could get more out of your experience in death valley. If you rent yourself a Jeep SUV or truck,
2 (31m 5s):
Number nine on our list is keeping it in the desert with Palm Springs, California. I absolutely love Palm Springs. I love the vibe there. It’s very retro. Even though it’s like a desert town, it’s very hip from all of the LA people that go there. And there’s so many cool hotels that have been modernized and they’re so unique. What do you guys think of Palm Springs?
1 (31m 25s):
We really haven’t been except for the one-time Kim. We were on the girl’s trip and we had dinner in Palm Springs, but that was it. Like that’s my Palm spring experience.
2 (31m 34s):
These are missing out. It’s really fun. It’s like, if you want to go to a hotel, I recommend the Cigarro hotel. It’s beautiful. It’s colorful. The ACE hotel is also really nice, but there are a ton. There there’s even a ton of really good creative, cool Airbnbs. So go there. Just plan to relax, sit in the pool because it’s very hot. Have meals are so many good restaurants there. There’s a lot of good shopping.
3 (31m 59s):
I was going to say lots of spa treatments out there to do also. And if you’re big into golfing, it’s a really big golf resort area also, which is odd, like out in the desert to have really all that stuff. But it’s one of those things. It’s almost like that a Oasis in the desert and it has its history from people from LA just needing an escape. And by people from LA I’m talking like rich Hollywood people. And from there, the town has really been built and made what it is today.
2 (32m 24s):
Yeah, it’s really nice. And I highly recommend it. If you are interested in hiking and it’s not in the summer months, I would recommend the Indian canyons hike. There’s tons of Palm trees. It’s a really cool place.
1 (32m 35s):
And Palm Springs, isn’t so far away from Joshua tree. So you can there and see the famous Joshua trees. But again, it’s in the desert. So summer probably wouldn’t be the best time to visit
2 (32m 45s):
If you’re going in the summer, just plan to be in the pool the whole time and maybe even come for splash house, an annual summer music festival
1 (32m 52s):
3 (32m 53s):
Kim knows all about flash house.
2 (32m 56s):
It’s fun. It’s a very unique festival. That’s at hotel. So it’s a pool party. Music festival spread across three hotels. It’s a good time.
3 (33m 3s):
And he basically hotel and pool hop from festival the festival amongst them,
2 (33m 7s):
Right? Find love, who knows they may find them up.
1 (33m 11s):
So number 10 on our list is our hometown of San Diego, Wu
3 (33m 16s):
1 (33m 17s):
Couldn’t leave it off the list cause we love it so much.
3 (33m 20s):
And how could we leave it off the list? It’s the furthest Southern city in all of California. So if we’re working north, the south makes sense to end with San Diego.
1 (33m 27s):
There’s so much to do in San Diego. Obviously everyone knows the beaches, OB PB, Cora natto, even like Solana beach. Those are great beaches to go to. San Diego is a great spot for brunch as well. People love to come on a weekend, get their brunch on San Diego has just so many foodie options to choose from. Go downtown to the Gaslamp for nightlife. I don’t know much about that, but Kim could tell you all about
2 (33m 52s):
That. If you need any nightlife tips, let me know.
1 (33m 55s):
And there’s so much hiking to do around San Diego. We’ve had so many episodes on San Diego, you know, like the 13 best things to do in San Diego, best hiking and San Diego day trips from San Diego,
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Brunch and San Diego,
1 (34m 8s):
San Diego tacos in San Diego. We’ve have a lot of San Diego content cause we live here.
3 (34m 13s):
And one of the things I just want to throw out about San Diego, if you haven’t been here as a lot of people, when they think of San Diego rightfully so they think of the coast, the ocean, et cetera, but people don’t realize you go a few miles inland. And all of a sudden San Diego becomes a desert like Southern California itself has pretty much all the desert unless you’re up in the mountains for that matter. And so you have just a wide range of things to do from the coast to go in inland a little bit desert and you go a little bit further and not too far, still from city center of San Diego. And yeah, you’re up in the mountains. We have a mountain town that’s close to here that people go to all the time like Julian. So there’s lots of stuff to do regionally that people don’t really think about when they think of San Diego and makes for a unique experience all around and the food.
3 (34m 56s):
I’m just going to say it, the Mexican food down here as primetime.
2 (34m 60s):
Yes. And top of all of the good food we have here, Mexican food tacos. El Gordo.
3 (35m 5s):
Yeah. I don’t want to sell a short and make everyone think that’s all that we have. That’s good that the food and cuisine scene here in San Diego is actually really good. I think we’ve had like three new restaurants that have just gotten Michelin stars down here in San Diego, like our first three. So super excited about that, but I’d say Mexican food and generalities super good down here. Not to be missed. If you’re coming down world famous,
2 (35m 27s):
Squaddies there. You have it. A complete road trip to California. You can hit up all the spots. You can make it multiple trips. There’s so much to do in California. So thank you for tuning into this week’s episode and hearing all about it. Keep your adventures willing with us. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in your adventures and DMS your questions of the week.
3 (35m 47s):
If you found the information, this episode would be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,
1 (36m 0s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.
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