Are you thinking about traveling in California? Great decision! The Golden State has many things to offer. It can be difficult for you to get bored here or run out of objects to visit. Of course, it is essential to prepare for your trip well to have as good an experience as possible. Read on to learn the most important things to consider when you plan a trip to California.
What is the best way to explore California?
By road trips! They are a good way to explore any state (check out road trips in Texas and Missouri), but California is almost perfect for them. One of the main reasons why is because the state is super big. It is the third-largest state. That is why if you are coming to California without a vehicle, you should rent a car.
If you are planning to travel on highways, an SUV or a family car is good. However, if you plan to explore state parks, it is best to choose a 4×4 vehicle. Having a GPS will be very useful because some objects could be hard to find.
There are many cool road trips you can take. Some of the most popular roads include Highway 1, Highway 101, and Route 66, the last of which ends in Los Angeles. The coastal road trip is also great.
Of course, there are other ways to travel in California than cars. You can go from city to city by plane. You can also use buses. In cities, it is often not even worth having cars, as they are too crowded. Consider using electric scooters in the cities. Learn about their laws in California.
When should you plan to visit California?
Most people go to California in summer – the high season is from June to August – but you can visit it all year round. The low seasons are also great if you want to save a bit and avoid the crowds. Some places, of course, are best visited at certain times. For example, if you plan to hike in the mountains, it is best to do it in the summer. However, in winter, you can ski in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Some say that spring is the most beautiful season in California. Why? Because the wildflowers bloom. The fields, hills, and even deserts color in hundreds of colors: the super blooms transform even the barren Death Valley! The fall is another season with smaller crowds and milder weather. It is also when San Fransisco, usually covered in fog, has some of the sunniest days. The fall is also a great season to visit California’s wine regions as this is grape harvest time. However, although September and October have pleasant weather, it is also when most wildfires happen.
Finally, consider the time when you plan your trip. The more adventurous it is, such as if you plan to camp in the Death Valley, the more flexible your plans should be. When camping in nature, unexpected things can happen, which might prevent you from leaving on time. Also, remember that traffic in big cities might make you very slow. For this reason, you should plan for at least an extra day or two.
Prepare for California: some things you should take
Every state and country has some peculiarities for which you should prepare. California is no exception. It is not that exotic, though. It also depends greatly on which part you are traveling at which time of the year: north or south, inland or coastland. The main things you need in California are:
Sunscreen. California is one of the sunniest states, and the sun can be harsh here. Protect yourself from it. Take sunglasses too: you won’t regret it.
Water bottles and reusable bags. California cares a lot about ecology. Water and recycling are really important here. There is a 5¢ deposit every time you buy a plastic bottle. You can’t buy plastic bags, and the paper bags cost. Better to bring your own bottle and bags.
Raincoat and jacket. While California is warm, it can also be rainy, especially in the north. The nights in the desert can get very cold too. Prepare for that.
Camera. The Golden State has many picturesque places, so do not forget your camera! You will probably take hundreds of photos, if not thousands.
What to visit
Ah, the seemingly obvious but such a difficult question. California is the most visited state for a reason. We could be listing objects to visit all day. But we will try to sum it up to help you plan what to visit during your trip to California.
The most popular cities are Los Angeles and San Fransisco. You should spend at least 2-3 days there to explore them. But you could stay a week and not run out of things to do! They are also great for yachting and boating. However, it is not worth renting a car in those cities: an average person spends 85 hours looking for parking there, according to Inrix. Of course, you could rent a parking space. But bikes and scooters might be better to get around.
If you love nature, there is a lot of beautiful national parks to visit. Yosemite national park is known for its waterfalls and valleys. Joshua Tree National Park has a desert landscape with unique Joshua trees. Redwood National and State Parks are home to the tallest trees on this planet. The Sequoia & Kings Canyon also has those spectacular trees, as well as many other things to see. Don’t forget the Death Valley National Park, with the lowest point in North America, and its climate extremes. California also has Pinnacles National Park, Bodie State Historic Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Emerald Bay, Big Sur, and more. There are also many beautiful lakes: check out the best lakes in California.
Also, don’t forget Disneyland, Legoland, and other theme parks! They are full of entertainment for all members of the family. There is also Hollywood, of course, where you can tour studio sets. The most popular experiences are Jurassic Park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and The Walking Dead attraction.
Final tips for planning a perfect trip to California
California is large so don’t plan to see all the things during your trip, unless you are traveling for a month or so. Also, it’s better to plan less rather than more to have some flexibility. Don’t miss a great experience just because it wasn’t on your list, and you are rushing to experience the others.
Do not bring too much stuff. It can be troublesome to carry. You will also have to worry less when you have fewer items.
Make reservations for popular hotels and campsites. California is the most visited state, and the number of tourists is immense. So don’t spoil your trip because you could not book the hotel where you wanted to stay so much. You should book in advance.
Did you enjoy these tips? Hopefully, you can now better plan your trip to California! Perhaps you need a car? Check out the cars for rent on XRental!