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California is one of the most popular states in the US for visitors. And why not? From cities to national parks and wineries to natural treasures, there’s something for everyone. Plus, of course, it never rains–or almost never–as the state averages 300 days of full sun every year!

Catalina Island in California

Catalina Island in California. Photo by David Mark.

Picking a destination can be hard with so much to choose from though, so here are five top recommendations to visit in California.

1. Soak In The Travertine Hot Springs

Getting soaked in the sun, watching the sunset, and recharging your phone to gamble sweet bonanza after a long day of hiking are some of the things that you need to take care of after a successful Eastern Sierra peak.

The Travertine Hot Springs is only a couple of miles away from Highway 395. Before heading out, grab some beer from the Bridgeport General Store. You can start your trip by driving to the first pool. You can then take in the views of the Sawtooth Ridge while relaxing in the hot springs.

The first pool is the hottest one in the area, and it’s located right in the parking lot. Before stepping into one of the pools, do a toe-dunk, which means you can cook in it. We used the spring as fuel for our camping pot, and the water heated up to a boil, which produced hot tea.

If all the first pools are occupied, don’t worry. There are plenty of “tubs” in each area. Go east through the maze of travertine rock to reach the four private pools in a meadow.

One of the most amazing features of the Travertine Hot Springs is that the floor of the pools is made of mud. This natural feature is believed to have healing properties like other hot springs in California.

2. Camp at Catalina’s Two Harbors

This is a great location for a family camping trip as it offers endless views. A short boat ride away from the coast of Southern California will get you to Catalina Island in 50 minutes. You can also book a helicopter ride to get you there.

The Two Harbors campground has plenty of features, such as ocean views, running water, and access to various trails and hikes. Getting to the facilities requires a short climb from the dock or harbor. The campsites are spacious, and they come with a variety of amenities such as water, trash, and a table.

There are only portable toilets located around the campground. If you’re planning on camping here, you can either bring all your camping gear with you or pay for the workers to take care of it. During the summer, it’s recommended to bring an ice pack and a cooler.

It is recommended to avoid camping in this area due to the presence of many yellow jackets as they used to harass visitors.

You’ll have plenty of activities to keep you entertained, such as parasailing, rock climbing, and water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, and SUP. If you’re not a fan of camping food, you can find great alternatives at local restaurants and stores.

3. Hike to Burney Falls

The Burney Falls is located in the McArthur-Burney state park, which is in Shasta County, California. According to Theodore Roosevelt, it’s the eighth wonder of the world.

Although Burney Falls can be spotted from the parking area, this scenic loop can be enjoyed by all levels of hikers. The base of this 129-foot waterfall is located on this trail.

The Burney Falls Loop is a 1.3-mile long walk that takes around 30 minutes. It starts from the parking area and goes through a river. Follow the trail northwest until you reach the Rainbow Footbridge. Follow this route until you reach a bridge that will take you back to the parking area.

One of the best ways to take photos at Burney Falls is with a smartphone or a film camera. If you’ll be shooting close to the falls, make sure that you have a towel handy to wipe off the lenses between your shots. , you should take photos at sunrise, sunset, or at night. To enhance the photos’ quality, you can add a polarized filter to the lens.

The map shows the camping areas and trails in the park.

4. Oceanview Camping at San Elijo

This area has ocean views and is great for taking photos of sunsets over the Pacific. It’s close to the San Elijo Lagoon and nearby stores for food and drinks.

The campground is situated next to the beach and close to the lagoon. During the day, it’s ideal for swimming and watching sunsets. If you’re looking for a more active way to spend your time, you can head over to the San Elijo Lagoon for a walk.

Bring all your equipment with you, as you can SUP in the lagoon and test your skills in the ocean if you’re ready. If you’re a surfer, you can walk to the beach to get some waves.

Before you head to the campground, make sure that you have all the necessary supplies for your camping trip. You can also check out the nearby stores for food and other items.

5. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood can be found in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County, and it’s a theme park and film studio. About 70% of the facility can be found in the unincorporated part of Universal City, while the rest can be found in the city limits of LA. It’s one of the oldest operating movie studios in the world.

The park’s official marketing slogan is “The Entertainment Capital Of LA.” It was first established to provide guests with tours of the entire studio set. It’s the first of its kind in the world to feature full-scale theme parks.

A new digital facility was recently built outside the theme park. It’s located on the former site of Technicolor SA. NBC News, KNBC, and KVEA currently use this new facility. It’s part of the company’s efforts to merge its West Coast operations.

The hotel brands that are part of Universal City include the Sheraton, the Universal Hilton, and the Universal CityWalk. The park also has a variety of restaurants and shops. It’s ranked 15th globally and 9th in North America among theme parks.

About the Author

Charles Kirk is a Canadian freelance writer who loves neon lights, tinkering with vintage timepieces, and reading steampunk.

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About the Cover

The photo in the cover is of Burney Falls, in California, USA. Photo by Paradigm.

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Burney Falls in California

Lighthouse at Catalina Island in the US

Catalina Island sunset

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