4 Lesser Known California Destinations You Don’t Want to Miss

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California stretches along the Pacific Ocean for almost 900 miles, so it’s not surprising that many people have trouble narrowing down their list of must-see destinations. Of course, you have some of the more obvious attractions — Disneyland, Lake Tahoe, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But what about less touristy sites? Check out these must-see detinations to help you plan your trip.

West Hollywood

West Hollywood is known for its vibrant nightlife and often rowdy party scene, but there’s more to do there than taking a walk down Sunset Strip.

  • - Have lunch at the restaurant inside Chateau Marmont. The 1920s castle-like luxury hotel has hardly changed over the years. Everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Led Zeppelin has stayed in this hotel. In fact, John Belushi OD’d in bungalow three.
  • - Take a stroll down Melrose Avenue. The street boasts some awesome graffiti art and funky boutiques.
  • - Listen to an author reading at Book Soup — a hip bookstore that’s been in Los Angeles since the 1960s.
  • - Grab a burger at the Rainbow Bar and Grill. The small restaurant was a haven for rock bands and their groupies throughout the 70s and 80s, and it’s been featured in numerous music videos from bands such as Guns-n-Roses, LA Guns, and Motorhead.

Coronado Beach

In San Diego, board the ferry to Coronado for a relaxing day at the beach. Rent a golf cart to get from the ferry dock to the Coronado Beach, which is located directly in front of the iconic Hotel del Coronado. Spend the day relaxing on the beach, playing in the sand, and boogie boarding in the Pacific Ocean. At low tide, walk about a quarter mile south of the hotel to see a real sunken ship. The SS Monte Carlo was a Prohibition-era gambling boat that anchored off the coast of Coronado Beach in international waters until a large storm caused it to break anchor. The ship floated to the shore, and because gambling was illegal no one came forward to claim it. Now, the remains of the sunken ship are visible during low tide.

Glass Beach

Glass Beach sits near Fort Bragg at MacKerricher State Park. The beach is filled with brightly colored sea glass. The beach was created from years of dumping garbage including cars and appliances over the cliffs onto the beach. Mother Nature wasn’t pleased, and eventually, she responded by producing an entire beach filled with smooth sea glass. Keep in mind, the beach is part of a state park, so you shouldn’t remove any of the glass. If you find cool pieces, snap a picture instead.

Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay is a quaint fishing village with miles with rugged beauty. It’s home to miles of sandy coves that are separated by rocky bluffs. Spend time swimming in the gentle waves at Doran Beach. Then, hike up Bodega Head with a pair of binoculars to see if you can spot migrating gray whales in the surf. Before heading out of town, visit the wharf to browse boutique shops, grab lunch, and grab some salt water taffy from Patrick’s of Bodega Bay.

California is an amazing state with a lot to offer, but to get a real feel for the area, you need to look beyond the more obvious tourist destinations. From forests and deserts to large cities, small towns, and beaches, there’s something for everyone to fall in love with in California.

 

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