If you've never been to California, then you're crazy. What have you been doing this whole time? There are places in California you have to go to when you travel to this Golden State. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. If you have vacation time, California is where you want to be to escape the normalcy of everyday life. Pack your bags and get ready for some sun, sand, water, and so much fun you'll never want to leave.
1. Yosemite National Park
Pick up your camera and walk the trails of this breathtaking national park. The mountains and waterfalls will make your jaw drop. It's a great place to go with friends and family. You can even get married amongst the nature that surrounds you. Yosemite has been naturally preserved before you even knew what a national park was, and it's a place where you want to preserve your own memories for years to come. Take lots of picture and fill up those photo albums.
Your hiking experience will never be the same. You'll be looking at so many beautiful parts of nature that you will become so overwhelmed and amazed at what surrounds you. You can travel with a guide on the day hikes for a few hours or a full day's trip to Half Dome to learn more about Yosemite. You can also camp on any of Yosemite's 13 campgrounds. Every view you will ever want to see exists on these campgrounds. You can set up a tent or bring your RV to rest amongst the nature.
2. The Golden Gate Bridge
You've seen this attraction in the 90's when you use to watch Full House, but nothing beats seeing this beautiful structure in person. Whether it's seeing the bridge from far away or while you're driving across it, the Golden Gate bridge is something you can't miss. It's red! Did you know it stretches from San Francisco to the Pacific Ocean? Wow, that's long! When this red bridge came to be, it was the longest bridge in the world.
Construction began in 1933 of the Golden Gate Bridge and ended in 1937. This date will always be significant in San Francisco history. 12 men lost their lives during the construction, but they made something that will stand the test of time. Tourists can visit the south San Francisco Vista Point where parking spots are available for people to rest, find a bathroom, go shopping, eat, and an exhibit. You can also stop by the North Vista Point on the Marin Side to rest and regroup. You can tour the Golden Gate Bridge from the sky in a helicopter, and it's views are something you won't be able to take your eyes off of
Take family pictures with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. It is a park that will entertain your children and bring out the child in you. This was Walt Disney's vision and before he even built the park, he went around the world looking at other parks to inspire his vision. How many people actually do this nowadays? Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontier Land, and Fantasyland are attractions within the park that you need to check out. Don't miss out on this experience because as they say it's fun for the whole family.
You know you've arrived when you see the Disney's signature castle standing tall and proud. When the park has worn you out, you and your family can stay at the Disneyland Hotel to rest and get ready for the next day of fun and adventure. Meals can be eaten inside the park at places like Aladdin's Oasis, Ariel's Grotto, and so many more delectable places to dine. The world of Alice and Wonderland can be explored, and your kids will be entertained. The Bakery Tour is available for families to see the bakery and how San Francisco's sourdough bread is made. At the end of the day you can stop by souvenir shops to purchase your child's favorite character.
4. Big Sur Coastline
The view is enough to make you want to stay and never ever leave California. Take pictures to remember the moment. See the cliffs, ridges, and the redwood trees that make up this amazing coastline. Their hiking trails will bring out the adventurer in you. As you drive down Highway 1, you will see all the attractions the Big Sur Coastline has to offer. Make sure you pull off to the side of the road to admire the big, blue ocean.
It's a romantic spot where you can watch the sunset. Offshore of the coastline is the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary that is protected from oil drilling. On land there is the Ventana Wilderness, which is a protected part of land you as a tourist can visit, but you have to respect the land. You can also hike the trails west of the highway in places like the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Ventana Wilderness. When you've had enough of the wild outdoors, you can visit Big Sur's galleries, studios, and shops. The Coast Gallery, the Big Sur Lodge Gift Shop, and The Local Color are just some places in Big Sur where you can buy souvenirs and view the art.
5. Universal Studios Hollywood
You've been to the Universal Studios in Orlando, but you've never been to the one in Hollywood. Well, what are you waiting for? Get packing and go! This theme park started as a tour through the lot of Universal Film Studios but turned into a place where rides and attractions bring in people from all over. The Simpsons, Shrek, and Despicable Me are just some of the attractions you have to checkout, or you can't really say you've been to Universal Studios in Hollywood. If you're more into thriller and action attractions, this theme park offers water and stunt shows that are sure to entertain that side of you and don't forget to look out for the characters wandering the park because you may get your chance to take a picture with Marilyn Monroe.
The wait times for their entertaining rides are not that long but if you're hungry, you can head on over to the dinning areas. Inside the Universal lot you have a variety of dinning options to choose from. The upper lot has the Krusty Burger, Moe's Tavern, Mel's Dinner, and more. The lower lot has a Jurassic Cafe, Panda Express, Starbucks, and Ben & Jerry's. The food is cooked fresh daily by professional chefs and free of Trans Fat with no peanut oil or MSG. They even accommodate to the needs of people who are require gluten free and vegetarians.
6. Death Valley
Don't let the name scare you away from this attraction. Be brave! It may be the hottest and most driest place in the US, but the view is simply amazing. Geologist will enjoy this part of California because of its valleys, canyons, and other structures to study up close and personal. You should NOT hike the Death Valley trails in the summer because they do not call it Death Valley for nothing. Don't let this discourage you as you look up at the stars in the night sky and see why this attraction is a can't miss place to be.
Its 3.4 million acres of sandy landscape is much more then a wasteland. A four wheel drive car is the best way to experience the historical sites. Start earlier in the day when it's still cool so you can cover all the spots in one day. Have a picnic during the hospitable months and enjoy the food as well as the sunshine. When you're done with the weather outside, the Visitor Center by Furnace Creek Ranch is a great place to visit and see the exhibits. Travel to Badwater from Furnace Creek to see great salt formations, the views, and the lowest place in the western hemisphere.
7. Sea World, San Diego
How do you not know about Shamu? If you haven't been to Sea World, you have to take this trip at least once in your life. Well you'll learn about this orca whale and other sea creatures when you enter the world of Sea World. Your kids will look wide eyed at the animals as you take them through the park. People have come from all over since 1964 to learn about the creatures of the sea. What you're really here to see is Shamu the whale perform amazing water tricks that will splash you if you're sitting up front to watch this astounding creature.
Know everything about your trip to Sea World before you go. Online you can find information about admission, attractions, food and beverages, the fun card, lockers, transit, park hours, and so much more. Their shows, rides, and exhibits will keep you as well as your children occupied and entertained throughout the day. Your family can dine with Shamu, the Shipwreck Reef Cafe, All Fried Up, Fusion Smoothies & Wraps, and so much more. There are so many places like the Dolphin Treaures, The Sea World, The Shamu Shop, and other stores to shop for souvenirs for kids and adults alike. You will enjoy your time at Sea World.
8. Lake Tahoe
It is certainly one of the most unique views you will ever see on your trip to California. It is a lake that rests between California and Nevada. Wow, that's huge! The trees and mountains bring together skiers, snow mobile riders, hikers, and many more people to experience what nature has to offer. These activities will no doubt keep you coming back to Lake Tahoe. You will remember your trip to Lake Tahoe when you capture every memory on film.
You can view the lake from the skies of a helicopter tour as you learn about the area. If a sky tour makes you uneasy, jet ski tours are available to spend some time on the water. If you want to relax on the water, Lake Tahoe offers a sightseeing cruise of the landscape. If you are curious about how beer is made, the North Lake Tahoe Brew Tour is perfect for you. Rent a paddleboard and sail on the lake with your partner until the sun goes down. When you feel hungry, you make your way to the Hard Rock Cafe where you will experience classic American food and rock music blasting from the speakers as you rock your head to the music.
9. Santa Catalina Island
The Bison walk among you at your stay at Catalina Island. It's something you will probably never see anywhere else in California. If the herd of Bison isn't enough of an attraction, a tour in a glass bottom boat will surly attract you to the sea life through the glass. You'll even get to see ship wrecks and the beautiful coral reef. Maybe you'll even see a surfer moving along the waves of the water. The sun setting below the water is a great way to end your day.
Avalon and the Two Harbors are two hotels you might consider when you're staying at Catalina Island. An ocean front setting is always welcome when you dine at the Avalon Grille or the Desscano Beach Club. If you're looking for somewhere more private to dine, you can enjoy your food in your very own Cabana. When you're finished tasting the food of this island, the Laugh Factory Comedy Club is the perfect place to relax and laugh your head off. Their tours of the island range from Zip Line to Skyline and Flying Fish Boat Tours. Relax on the vast green golf course, paddle board on the water, and at the end of the day enjoy a private massage by the sea.
10. Redwood National Park
The tall redwood trees will make you feel so small as you look up at their never ending height. it's almost intimidating. You can even drive your car through one of these trees as you make your way into the park. Highway 101 also exists through Redwood National Park. Attractions and motels within the park have been around for a long time. You can't see this kind of beauty in any theme park that's for sure.
You can camp beneath the tall trees that reach to the sky. You love the outdoors and among nature is where you want to be. It's for all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience to try and have an up close and personal relationship with nature. There are two options of camping you need to be aware of. Developed campgrounds are the well known campgrounds were amenities are easy to come by. Backcountry camping are for those who like to get away from the usual trails where there are more than 200 miles of backcountry to explore.
Trending on LifeStylePassion:
It's likely that the women in your day to day life are pretty "normal" in appearance. So when you see someone whose appearance differs from what you expect it to be, it can be kind of a shock. The ladies in the following slideshow are definitely far from average. Some of these women spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, tattoos, or body piercings. Others are born with strange birth defects such as excessive facial hair, a gigantic butt or even an 8 inch tongue. See for yourself!
Lauren Williams: 4 Foot Long Legs
Lauren Williams has the longest-known legs in the United States, with her eye-catching limbs measuring an incredible 49 inches from hip to heel. Lauren's height and long-legged genes can be attributed to her family as her father, mother and twin sisters are all 6ft or taller.
She has US size 11 feet (UK size 10), and revealed that she can find it tricky to buy clothes that fit. When modelling, single Lauren - who has worked on campaigns for global brands such as Nike - does everything from sports and fitness to high fashion and swimwear.
Having played volleyball in college, as well as being extremely active, Lauren also enjoys shooting sporty campaigns. As well as modelling, Lauren works as an educator at a children's museum in Houston and enjoys travelling. When out and about, her striking looks and long limbs mean she gets comments about her legs on a daily basis.
Pixee Fox: Dangerously Small Waist
Swedish born Pixee Fox had already spent more than $80,000 on plastic surgery attempting to sculpt the perfect hourglass figure. But now she has taken her obsession even further by having 6 of her lower ribs removed - so she can shrink her waist to a record-breaking 14 inches. Pixee, from Sweden, said: "People often come up to me and say, "don't take this the wrong way, but you look like a cartoon" - but for me that's a compliment, that's what I want to achieve.
With 6 of her lower ribs removed, Pixee's lower internal organs, including the liver, have lost some of their natural protection - but she isn't worried. She said: "Before if I was in a car crash I would normally break my ribs. If that happened now I'm probably going to break my spleen instead. In total she has had four rhinoplasties costing $14,000; four breast augmentations of 200cc, 525cc, 800cc and 1400cc costing $28,500; two rounds of liposuction at $5,000; two upper eyelid surgeries at $6,000; a labiaplasty costing $4,000; a Brazilian butt lift at $9,000 and cool-sculpting, cheek injections, and lip injections at about $12,000.
Bethany Hamilton: One Armed Pro Surfer
Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, but ultimately returned to-and was victorious in-professional surfing. On October 31, 2003 Hamilton, aged 13 at the time, went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai, with best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father, Holt, and brother Byron. Around 7:30 a.m., with numerous turtles in the area, she was lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm just below the shoulder.
Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Three weeks after the incident, she returned to her board. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards. The broken surfboard that Hamilton was riding during the attack is on display at the California Surf Museum
Mayra Hills: World's Largest Fake Breasts
Mayra Hills - also known as Beshine - measures at 59-28-36 and says she's the proud owner of the world's largest fake breasts. And it's not hard to believe her claim to fame, considering each of her breasts have 10,000 cc of saline implants and weigh 20 pounds a piece! As you can imagine, it's difficult for Beshine, who wears a size 32Z bra, to find clothes that fit, so the German-born woman has a lot of her items custom-made.
But bra shopping isn't her only woe. She can no longer tie her own shoes and has run into trouble when she's knocked things over with her chest - but it appears she's satisfied with her body, troubles and all. "Some people maybe think the sheer size of my t-ts bring too many handicaps in my everyday life, but hey, having big boob problems is amazing," she wrote on her blog.
Anastasiya Shpagina: Real Life Anime Girl
It's official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that we don't stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today's example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an Ukrainian girl who has even taken a Japanese name - Fukkacumi. 19-year-old Anastasiya (Nastya) Shpagina has been called "the new Barbie" by national news outlets, but she later revealed she's striving to become a real-life Japanese anime character, not a doll. She even posted "I am not like a doll, a doll is like me."
Apparently, Nastya has been passionate about makeup even as a young child, always experimenting with it in the mirror. Over time she also developed a thing for Japanese cartoons and it was only a matter of time before she started using her make-up artist skills to transform herself into a real-life anime girl. But just putting on makeup wasn't enough to attain that coveted look, so she decided to lose weight in order to seem more genuine. At 1.58-meters-tall, Anastasiya weighs just 39 kilos and is trying to lose one more in order to look just right.
Chanel Tapper: World's Longest Tongue
The longest female tongue measures 9.75 cm (3.8 in) from the tip to the middle of lip and was achieved by Chanel Tappe on 29 September 2010. Chanel, from Houston, US, shot to fame aged 13 when she was spotted sticking out her monster tongue in a YouTube video. In September Guinness invited Chanel to Los Angeles where they measured her tongue and she narrowly beat two other female contenders to the record.
She said: "I have always been silly and goofy. I love sticking my tongue out at people. I started doing that back in school. I've never had a problem with having a long tongue, it's just fun." Chanel now has set her sights set on Hollywood after finishing her studies. She said: "I'd love to be in a movie. I'm certainly pretty dramatic, so I think I could have the acting gift. "Really, I'd love to meet Adam Sandler, he's my favorite."
Sarah Massey: World's Largest Butt
Sarah Massey would be just another 33-year-old mother-of-two from Chicago - if it weren't for the fact that she also happens to have the world's biggest butt. Though not officially recognized by the prudes at Guinness, Massey's massive 7-foot wide keister requires a pair of 10XL trousers that would comfortably fit all of the Kardashian sisters combined.
Massey insists the condition that resulted in her museum-sized bubble butt is hereditary - "there's nothing I can do about it," she says - but that her love of ice cream certainly contributed to its maintenance. Massey would still like to lose some weight, but says she now has a new-found appreciation for her natural assets, and fervently defends them against anyone who calls them fake. "Some people can't believe one person can have this much butt," she told Barcroft. "Because I've got a relatively small frame on top they say, 'that can't be real.' I carry this weight with me all the time, everywhere I go, it's definitely not fake. Big booties are just in my blood."
Zlata: Extreme Flexibility
Russian-born former gymnast Zlata, 29, posed in leather and lingerie to adopt a series of poses that seem to defy every law of biology. Zlata, who now lives in Germany, is able to create astounding shapes with her body and is so flexible she can cram herself into a 50cm square box. One of her favorite acts is to bend backwards at a 90 degree angle, so the back half of her hands touch her feet and she can also peer through her own legs from behind.
Zlata's gift of flexibility was discovered when she was four years old and by six she was training as a contortionist at a circus school. She has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, which helps in her profession. The former gymnast now spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world. In 2011 she set the Guinness World Record for the most beer bottles opened in a minute using only your feet.
Kim Goodman: Eyeball Protrusion
Kim Goodman is a woman who is able to pop her eyes out of her eye sockets by 12 millimeters (0.47 inches). She holds the world record for the farthest eyeball protrusion. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. She discovered her eyeball popping talent one day when she was hit on the head with a hockey mask. Her eyeballs popped out much further than usual and ever since that day she could pop them out on cue, as well as when she yawns.
She has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004, Goodman was included by Guinness World Records in their 50th anniversary list of top ten "feats" of all time. Kim originally had the record for being able to extend her eye balls beyond her eye sockets by 10mm. This was matched a few years by a new contender, but when Kim was re-measured she found she could now reach 12mm - breaking her own record and keeping the title.
Natalia Partyka: One Armed Table Tennis Champ
Natalia Partyka (born 27 July 1989) is a Polish table tennis player. Born without a right hand and forearm, she participates in competitions for able-bodied athletes as well as in competitions for athletes with disabilities. Partyka reached the last 32 of the London 2012 Olympic women's table tennis. Partyka began playing table tennis at the age of seven. She won her first international table tennis medal in 1999 at the disabled World Championships. At the age of 11, she competed at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, becoming the world's youngest ever Paralympian. In 2004, she won a gold medal in the singles event and silver in the team event at the Athens Paralympics.
Partyka competed for Poland both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing - one of only two athletes to do so, the other being Natalie du Toit in swimming. They were her third Paralympic Games, and her first Olympics. Competing in class 10 at the Beijing Paralympics, she won gold by defeating China's Fan Lei by three sets to nil. In 2008, she won a gold medal in the singles event and a silver in the team event at the Beijing Paralympics, repeating her Athens Paralympics result.