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The Best Places in California To Inspire Your New Year's Resolutions

The Best Places in California To Inspire Your New Year's Resolutions

These are the best places in California to make your new year’s resolutions. Choose one of these inspiring places for your goals.


5 min read

December 30, 2021

It’s that time of year again. You’re ready to change your ways, turn over a new leaf, and actually conquer your resolutions. The best thing about New Year’s resolutions is that they give you an excuse to make. Yes, you can make little promises here and there to change certain things in your life, but the coming year is just too perfect of an opportunity not to follow up. And instead of making huge, grandiose plans for all the ways you’d like to revamp your personality or behaviors, try starting small—New Year’s goals can be (and should be) fun!

The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine was founded and dedicated by Paramahansa Yogananda, on August 20, 1950.

1. Lake Shrine, Pacific Palisades

Is it your New Year's goal to start meditating? The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is a breathtaking 10-acre space full of beauty all around just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Attempt your favorite yoga pose, tune out the outside world, and mark a great beginning for the coming year.

2. Marina Peninsula Beach, Marina Del Rey

Your intentions for the New Year should always have space for a little self-love. A visit to Marina Peninsula Beach will remind you of that. The calm waters will engulf your senses as you dip your toes in the sand and reflect on your past and future.

3. Vista Hermosa Natural Park, Los Angeles 

Located in Echo Park, Vista Hermosa boasts jaw-dropping vistas of Downtown Los Angeles. It's quite a humbling place to be, as it makes you realize the full extent of what you have just at your fingertips in the amazing La La Land. So if you're spending this new year in the bustling metropolis, your New Year's resolution could be appreciating what you have.

Yosemite is internationally recognized for its geological features; it was designated a World Heritage Site in 1984.

4. Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada Mountains 

An unaltered wilderness oasis full of waterfalls, geological wonders, and hiking trails, Yosemite National Park is your ticket to being one with nature. If your New Year's goal is to spend more time basking in nature's bounty, this iconic Golden State national park is where you'll draw mountains of inspiration.

5. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Want to bike more in the upcoming year? Head on to one of the world's most famous bridges with towers soaring 746 feet into the sky and spanning across the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Painted bright red-orange, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-ride bike route for many.

Balboa Park is one of North America's most iconic urban parks, encompassing more than 1,000 acres of space.

6. Balboa Park, San Diego

A common New Year's resolution for students is to visit as many museums and cultural institutions as humanly possible. If you belong to this group of brainy individuals, then no place in the Golden State is better suited for you than the incomparable Balboa Park. Comprising 1,200 acres of urban green space with 17 museums, 65 miles of trails, and one of the best zoos in the area, this public park is truly the gem to kick off the new year.

7. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur 

Located south of Big Sur Station on Highway 101, Pfeiffer Beach occupies a scenic, undeveloped, and unmatched type of landscape. It’s the top location for people whose New Year's resolution is to discover as many hidden beaches in California as possible.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has two stations, both of which were designed by notable mid-century modern architects.

8. The Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs 

The largest rotating tramway in the world that flies through an alpine forest at an elevation of over 8,5000 feet is not just a feast for the eyes. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is also a unique way to live out your New Year's resolutions if you wish to add a little (but not too much) adrenaline to your life.

9. Disneyland, Anaheim

Believe it or not, one of the top New Year's resolutions for adults is to reconnect with their inner kid. And there arguably is no other location that lets you live out your fantasy other than Happiest Place on Earth—the rides, the haunted houses, you're going to live it up to the fullest.

10. Death Valley National Park, Mojave Desert 

The largest national park outside of Alaska, Death Valley National Park is an almost unfathomable place, and this doesn’t just apply to the iconic sand dunes. Starry night skies here shine differently than almost anywhere in California, making for a creative New Year's resolution for the people who want to have an unforgettable stargazing experience.

Approximately two-thirds of Lake Tahoe is in California; it's the second deepest lake in the U.S., with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet.

11. Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada Mountains

If winter is your season and you want to visit as many alpine resorts as you can next year, then Lake Tahoe has got you covered. There are more than a dozen alpine resorts in the area; both heavy-hitters and small, more intimate ski hills.

12. Joshua Tree National Park

Okay, so you’ve promised yourself year in and year out that you’d perfect your rock climbing skills. But something came up again (and again), and you were never able to get around to it. So for this New Year, your goal should be a bit more specific—have Joshua Tree National Park’s rugged wilderness to match your wildest imaginations.

The mesmerizing Hearst Castle reached its social peak during the Roaring Twenties and well into the 1930s.

13. Hearst Castle, San Simeon

Admit it, indulging in a little opulence from time to time can be the best form of treating yourself; you’re reminded what you’re worth, and that motivates you to achieve more, whether it be financially or in terms of your career. And what better place to be surrounded by extravagance than the iconic Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

14. The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles 

Are you an aspiring actor? Is your intention for this New Year to make progress with your art? Then the Hollywood Sign—albeit a little on the nose—is the place you should go to manifest your dreams.

A beach is covered in small pieces of smoothed glass isn't something you come across every day.

15. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg

Choosing to be eco-friendly and tending to your environment is a noble transition to make, but you have to admit it has its fair share of obstacles. One of the main things, we believe, is not seeing a direct manifestation of your efforts. But the magical Glass Beach in Fort Bragg is a visual representation of how beautifully eco-friendliness can manifest and how creatively it can be used to the world’s benefit.

16. Burney Falls, Shasta County

The centerpiece of McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, the majestic Burney Falls is a go-to for those aspiring to see more natural wonders this coming year. It’s a great stream-fed cascading giant—one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the state, in fact—with multiple springs coming together to form a mist-filled basin that will stay imprinted in your brain for many years to come.

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