Collected by Lindsey Tramuta, AFAR Contributor
California isn't just about sunshine and low key attitudes, it's about a lifestyle unlike any other. This list features a few of the treasures the state offers.
800 Asilomar Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
The Monterey Bay area on California's central coast is possibly my favorite part of California--it is that beautiful. On a recent cold January morning, I took my dogs to Asilomar State Beach at one end of the town of Pacific Grove. As the clouds...
Vista Point, California 94965, USA
If you're like me (which by the way would probably make you super weird and could be a good thing or a bad thing...) you want to take a good few snaps when you travel. Well, if you're like me and are a "Travel Landscape Photographer" then it could...
610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
“If you go to our own local market in Napa called the Oxbow, there’s a spice company there, and you get to open up all the lids and smell the spices,” says Pam Starr. “I like to go and be inspired by different smells. They...
913 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
There’s nothing like a cold creamy treat on a warm day, and one ice cream shop in the cozy California beach town of Santa Cruz is doing it so, so right. Penny Ice Creamery isn’t your average ice cream joint; you won’t find Ben & Jerry’s-style...
5600 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA
Though this wholesale flower market is not for retail sales, you can still stroll through this early morning hotbed of gorgeous, colorful floral stock. Most flowers are grown locally in the floral capital of Southern California, some flown in from...
This beautiful place in Death Valley is on the way to the Mesquite Sand Dunes and it's called the Devil's corn field. Walking on it feels very strange as the sand is solidified at the surface. When you step on it makes in crack and it sounds and...
4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or...
Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA
Alamo Square is home of the "Painted Ladies," eclectic musicians, and some of the most incredible views of San Fransisco. The trolleys won't take you all the way there, but cabs are easy to catch. We couldn't have chosen a better way to burn the...
Black Sand Beach, California, USA
We began our walk up the Lost Coast Trail by enjoying Black Sands Beach, which doesn't really have very much sand, in the Kings Range National Conservation Area. For the next 24 miles from Black Sands Beach, the Lost Coast Trail is primarily on...
Mt. Whitney, California, USA
This was the view out of my tent opening as I went to bed early to prepare for my Summit bid on the Mountaineers Trail on Mount Whitney. Without another team in sight, and with Iceberg Lake all to ourselves, this was a great way to end the day.
52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, USA
In Los Angeles, the cliché is that people drive one block to get a soda. But there are lots of staircases hidden in the hills of L.A. In Silver Lake, I like a two-and-a-half mile loop of stairs known as the Music Box. Parts remind me of...
Los Angeles, CA, USA
In a city so long identified with the car, the notion of shutting down 10 miles of streets to automobiles is radical indeed. But that’s what will happen on April 15 with CicLAvia, as bicyclists, roller skaters, and walkers take over the pavement...
4726 Santa Monica Ave, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
Being a runner, it grounds me when I have the chance to run on a beach in a new city. Not only do you get a nice workout in, it's a great and efficient way to get the vibe of the locals. Try and write the word "Run" in as many languages and as...
Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
To me, an oasis is anywhere or anything that allows you to process your thoughts, ignore your thoughts, or toss them to the wind. As a college student in San Diego, the place I would most often retreat was Sunset Cliffs. Sitting along the coast...
2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, USA
The hike through Jack London State Historic Park to the top of Sonoma Mountain runs through redwood groves, meadows, and vineyards. Vigorous blackberry bushes provide some sustenance -- but bring water, because it gets hot up there in the summer....
3400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
just outside palm springs 45 mins is majestic Joshua tree.. I try get here at least once a year after a lot of traveling to recharge.. beautiful jumbo rocks and cacti with miles of pristine trails, where you can free camp where you wish, to feel...
Yerba Buena Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Some friends and I hiked to Sandstone Peak (in April), which is the highest point of the Santa Monica Mountains where we were rewarded with an amazing view of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. It had just rained, so the view was crystal clear....
525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
101 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Walking around downtown Palm Springs, we were stopped in our tracks by 26 feet and 17 tons of steel and aluminum: Forever Marilyn by artist Seward Johnson. Even if you haven't seen The Seven Year Itch, this cinematic moment has been an icon for...
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