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Top 5 Major Trips to Plan This Year in California

Top 5 Major Trips to Plan This Year in California

Make the new year a chance to embark on one, or all, of these remarkable trips and experiences in California. Team


2 min read

January 03, 2024

California is a treasure trove of unique experiences, far beyond the well-trodden paths of its famous cities and national parks. For those looking to uncover the less obvious but equally enchanting adventures, here are the top five unique trips to plan in California this year.

Star Gazing in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego, California's largest state park, offers an exceptional experience for stargazers and night sky enthusiasts. Recognized as a Dark Sky Park, this desert retreat provides a clear, unpolluted view of the Milky Way and celestial events. Time your visit with a meteor shower or new moon for a breathtaking nocturnal spectacle. By day, explore the park's unique desert landscapes, rich in native wildlife and blooming wildflowers in spring.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park delivers immaculate views of desert landscapes.

Kayaking Through the Sea Caves of Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands, often referred to as “The Galapagos of North America,” offers a remarkable kayaking experience. Paddle through the sea caves and kelp forests, encountering diverse marine life like dolphins, seals, and maybe even whales. Each island has its unique ecology and adventures, from hiking to snorkeling, making it a perfect destination for those who love a mix of marine adventure and isolation.

Exploring the Lost Coast by Foot

California’s Lost Coast is one of the state’s most remote and least accessible coastal regions, but it's a paradise for the intrepid. Hike the Lost Coast Trail, which spans 25 miles of rugged coastline. The trail offers an unmatched experience of solitude, pristine beaches, and raw nature. It’s a challenging trek, often requiring careful planning around the tides, but the reward is a journey through one of California's most untouched coastal environments.

Historic Gold Rush Towns of the Sierra Nevada

Immerse yourself in California's Gold Rush history by visiting the Sierra Nevada's historic towns like Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Columbia. These towns offer a nostalgic journey into the 19th century with their well-preserved buildings, museums, and old mines. Try your hand at gold panning, enjoy local theatre, and explore the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Historic Gold Rush towns are a great way to peer into history.

Hot Air Ballooning Over Temecula Valley’s Wine Country

While Napa may be the more famous wine producing region, Temecula Valley offers a unique perspective with a hot air balloon ride over its vineyards. Experience the beauty of rolling hills, vast vineyards, and, on clear days, views stretching to the Pacific Ocean. After your flight, spend the day checking out the exquisite restaurants and exploring Temecula’s charming Old Town, which blends a rich history with modern culinary experiences.

These destinations offer a glimpse into the diverse and less conventional experiences California has to offer. They promise not just sightseeing but immersive adventures that create lasting memories. As always, planning ahead is key, especially for remote locations and unique activities. California's hidden gems await to reveal their secrets and stories to those willing to venture off the beaten path.

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