I’m always longing to get back to California. This gorgeous state has seemingly endless miles of epic coastline, a laid-back attitude, and hundreds of soft sandy beaches. Something I love about California is that the atmosphere varies wildly from city to city. These are seven cities in California that you’ll fall in love with when visiting.
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If you are looking to escape the San Diego sprawl, La Mesa is an excellent choice. It’s just ten miles outside San Diego and offers epic vistas, still lakes, and local shops. A few of the popular things to do in La Mesa are heading out to explore the unbelievable scenery, shopping at the antique mall, and enjoying delicious wine tastings.
Somehow, Santa Barbara has a small-town feel that makes you feel right at home. The chill atmosphere, beautiful neighborhoods, and pristine beaches make Santa Barbara one of my favorite cities in California. The town has an exceptional reputation for its food (especially the tacos), adventures, and spectacular drives.
Outdoor lovers will feel right at home when visiting Santa Cruz. The city has a stunning waterfront where hikers and bikers spend their mornings and afternoons. There are also a lot of sailing excursions, roadside attractions, street art, and beach concerts. This city has a nice buzz that is quite infectious.
The heart of Monterey is found on Cannery Row. This waterside street is a major tourist hub with odd bars, lavish hotels, stylish restaurants, and relaxed shopping. It’s a perfect spot for a vacation, and the city offers a lot more things to do like the state park, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Marine Sanctuary. I highly suggest checking out the nearby Big Sur coastline which is one of the most incredible parts of the country.
Montebello is just outside of L.A. which makes it an excellent location for people wanting to tour the city but then retreat from all the craziness to a more comfortable setting. Montebello has a lot of outdoor ventures like hiking, fishing, boating, and disc golf. There are a lot of reasonably priced hotel options as well.
San Jose is booming. The city is alive with events, restaurants, and nightlife. San Jose also has world-class hockey, fantastic wineries, a marvelous bay, and a buzzing food scene. All these reasons make San Jose one of the most popular places to visit in California. I love it.
Napa is famous for its wine country, so it’s a no-brainer that most people head to this beautiful part of Northern California to spend their vacations overindulging in vino tastings, touring wineries, or even taking wine classes. However, this area is also a lot of biking trails, state parks, trendy restaurants, and adventures. Napa is also close to Santa Rosa which another wine hotspot in Cali.
California is a fantastic state to travel through. The cities are diverse and offer a range of different adventures, atmosphere, and food. I spent over a year going around California, and I’ve still only touched the tips of what this state has to offer.