Being the third largest state in the country, California offers up plenty of once-in-a-lifetime things to see and do. From surfing at Newport Beach to hiking up to the Hollywood sign, these adventures definitely deserve a place on your California bucket list.
Surfing at Newport Beach
Many would adamantly argue that Newport Beach is the most well-known surfing beach in the entire country, and it would be hard to disagree. While it is possible to take beginner’s lessons here, this spot attracts those who are seeking more of a thrill, with The Wedge, which can be found at the east end of the Balboa Peninsula, promising unforgettable waves with an unusually strong backwash.
Hiking Mt. Whitney
The highest peak in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney stands at 14,500 feet tall, and it is most definitely an impressive sight. The route to the summit is about 22 miles long, meaning that, while it can be done in a day, many choose to turn this into an overnight camping trip. With everything from dramatic cliff-side waterfalls to serene, sparkling lakes, this is a Californian bucket list adventure for all nature lovers out there.
Visit Glass Beach
While California may have so many golden sandy beaches to choose from, there is only one beach that boasts layers of multicolored sea glass, and this is Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. As beautiful as this colorful glass may be, it was actually created through pollution, and now, due to many contributing factors, the glass is starting to diminish, so make sure to put this up at the top of your bucket list.
From January to April, around 25,000 whales migrate from the cold waters of Alaska to the balmy temperatures of Mexico, passing by the Californian coastline on the way. This makes the winter months the perfect time for a whale sighting, and you are likely to also see a few orcas too. There are many different whale watching tours to choose from, but if you want to have the opportunity to enter a Plexiglas bow, beneath the surface of the water, for an incredible underwater view, then pick Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari.
Hiking to the Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood sign is a truly iconic part of California, and hiking up to these 45 foot tall letters is definitely an activity for your bucket list. The Hollyridge Trail begins near Sunset Ranch and is about three and a half miles long, taking you to the chain-link fence above the sign, while the Wonder View Trail has the same end point, but is a shorter and steeper route.
Biking Across the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is another legendary Californian landmark, and the best way to experience it is by biking across the 1.7 mile stretch. Fisherman’s Wharf or North Beach are the best areas to begin at, and if you want a different view for your return journey, you can easily catch a ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf to return your bike.
While California itself may be a destination that everybody should visit once in their lifetime, there are so many places within California that deserve a spot on your bucket list. From the glittering Glass Beach to the iconic Hollywood sign, these are a few activities that definitely should not be missed.