California is a state with so much to see and do that it can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time visiting.
To help you narrow down your options and create an unforgettable itinerary, here are just a few of the most unique and intriguing destinations in Southern California that you should definitely consider visiting.
La Brea Tar Pits, LA
There are lots of things to do in LA, and if you have taken in the Hollywood Sign and strolled down Sunset strip, you might be interested in seeing what else the city has to offer.
The tar pits at La Brea are perhaps the most impressive sight to see if you want to get a look at what Los Angeles was like in the distant past. Formed tens of thousands of years ago, the pits are packed with ancient fossils that give us a glimpse into what this part of the world was like in the mists of time.
You can stroll around the pits, see the tar still oozing there, and read up on the history of the place; it is a far cry from Beverly Hills, that’s for sure!
Griffith Observatory, LA
While you are in LA, it is also definitely worth your while to ascend to the heights of the Griffith Observatory, which not only puts you in a perfect position to enjoy scenic views of the city itself, but also plays host to a planetarium that is set up for entertaining visitors.
Discover more about the solar system we call home, while also encountering lots of other scientific exhibits. Alternatively, just take advantage of the parking lot to experience the stunning sights of Los Angeles sprawling in front of you.
Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco
San Francisco is a buzzing metropolis; a melting pot by the bay with many different neighborhoods and districts to explore. Haight-Ashbury is definitely worth visiting today, even if its heyday as a cultural hub in the 1960s has long since subsided.
It retains an independent spirit and is packed with brilliant eateries and watering holes, as well as playing home to a whole host of inventively decorated properties and an ample amount of neighborhood characters who help to bring it to life.
Alcatraz, San Francisco
Once you’ve had your fill of Haight-Ashbury, hop on a tour boat and cross the perilous waters of the San Francisco bay to reach Alcatraz, the island that is home to a notorious former prison.
Once playing host to crooks like Al Capone, Alcatraz is today a haunt for groups of tourists trying to get a taste of what life behind bars was like during the first half of the 20th century.
Even if penal history is not your strong point, Alcatraz is still a uniquely appealing place to visit because of the views it affords you of the rest of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding area.
Dublin Gulch Caves, Shoshone
One of the reasons that California became so populous in the first place was the gold rush that brought tens of thousands of people to it in search of their fortunes.
Most gold miners did not manage to strike it lucky, but at Dublin Gulch Caves, found close to the border with Nevada and Las Vegas, you can see what life was like for those people who were willing to take a chance on finding precious metals beneath the harsh deserts of this part of the state.
As well as discovering the mines themselves, visitors can see the homes that the miners and their families inhabited at the time.