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The United States has some amazing sights to offer. In fact, our country has some of the most beautiful things the world has ever seen. It really makes someone stop and wonder how everything was created. Naturally, our country also has plenty of other things someone can enjoy if they’re not into nature. From amusement parks to museums, there’s something for everyone in our country. Now, you could travel all over the world to explore something new, or you could pick a state and begin checking things off your bucket list.

We prefer the latter since it means less travel. In this list, we’re taking a look at one of our biggest states: California. It’s easily one of the best and has something for everyone.  California is known for attracting visitors from all over the world. Plus, the Golden State is home to some of the most sought-after destinations in the country! Can you think of a few off the top of your head?

Whether you want to take a stroll through a redwood forest or explore a big city, California has much to add to your vacation. We’ve come up with a few ideas that are a great start to the trip of your dreams.

10. El Capitan Theatre

the interior of the el capitan theatre

(image via Facebook)

Pretend you are Clark Gable or Katherine Hepburn as you attend a movie screening at one of the oldest operational theaters in the country. Opened in 1926 as part of Sid Grauman’s famous theaters, El Capitan has served as a hub for arts and culture as it has seen the premiere of countless movies such as ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Toy Story.’ It’s currently used by Disney for all of the company’s movie premieres.

9. Griffith Observatory

the griffith observatory on top of a hill with downtown LA in the background

(image via Facebook)

There are few places in Los Angeles that have as commanding a view as the Griffith Observatory. Not only is it a great place to view the heavens (via the free public telescopes or shows in the planetarium), but the observatory’s location on top of Mount Hollywood gives it 360-degree views of the LA skyline, including downtown. Tour one of the rotating exhibitions or trek around the grounds and explore Griffith Park.

8. Drive-Thru Tree Park

a large tree with a road that tunnels straight through the trunk

(image via Flickr)

The park is home to some of the largest trees in the world. One of which—Chandelier Tree—is a coast redwood so large you are able to drive your car through its trunk. Try to picture how people were able to carve through this massive tree over seventy years ago.

7. Hot Air Balloon Rides

a group of hot air balloons beginning to rise up in the air

(image via Flickr)

Soar over mountain landscapes and wine vineyards in a guided hot air balloon. Many ballooning companies offer early morning flights so visitors can watch the sunrise from the air. This is an ideal romantic getaway or a fun family adventure if you are traveling with kids.

6. Whale Watching

people in boats watching whales in california

(image via Facebook)

California’s central coastline is home to many wildlife preserves, but one of the most well-loved is Point Lobos. Travelers can view blue, humpback, and gray whales in their natural habitat. You do not want to miss these beautiful giants.

5. Hearst Castle

the exterior of hearst castle and its fountain

(image via Wikimedia)

Come and see the gorgeous estate of the late newspaper tycoon. While this collection of mansions is impressive by itself, many visitors love to see the zebras on the grounds who are descended from those in William Randolph Hearst’s private zoo.

4. Catch Some Waves

surfers heading down to the ocean to surf

(image via Flickr)

Said to be the best surfing spot in the state, Santa Cruz offers perfect weather and enormous waves for people at any level of the sport. Find out for yourself why the town is nicknamed “Surf City.” While you are in the city, be sure to check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, home to one of the nation’s oldest amusement parks.

3. Salvation Mountain

a view of colorful salvation mountain

(image via Flickr)

Named for its many biblical references, Salvation Mountain is covered with vivid colors depicting many religious phrases. Deep in the Colorado Desert, this artistic imagery was designed by Leonard Knight, who passed away in 2014 at age 83.

2. Bubblegum Alley

a view down bubblegum alley with its gum-covered walls

(image via Flickr)

As gross as it may sound, this wall of used chewing gum is a sight to see. Referenced in many areas of pop culture, this landmark has become a thing of legend to San Luis Obispo locals. The origins of the 15′ by 70′ alley, however, are widely debated.

1. Yosemite Falls

a view up at the cascading yosemite falls from its cliff height

(image via Flickr)

Nearly everything at this famous national park is breathtakingly scenic, but one of the main draws is Yosemite Falls. Visit the marvelous 2,425-foot drop, which is particularly grand just before summer starts and the spring rains have filled the river.

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