California – the land of promise for thousands of people.
To be honest California has never really interested me. I could care less about the Hollywood lifestyle. I’d much rather enjoy the outdoors smog and botox free. But, recently California has peaked my interest.
My youngest sister recently moved to Orange, California for pharmacy school and now that I have a place to stay I’m ready to explore the best of California.
There is more to California than just Los Angeles. You have wine country and the Redwoods in the north and beautiful sandy beaches and excellent Mexican food in the south. When I fly home from Australia in August I plan to explore a bit of California and see what all the fuss is about. And, who knows, maybe I’ll end up living there someday.
Huntington Beach – Surf City USA
Huntington Beach is located not far from my sister’s apartment so I know I will adventure over there to experience the Pacific Ocean again. I just saw the Pacific for the first time in El Salvador so I’m looking forward to splashing around in its warm waters again. And maybe brave a surf lesson! After all, Huntington Beach is known as Surf City USA! Although I think I’d rather stick to exploring the town and pier via beach cruiser.
Napa – The Heart of Wine Country
Have I ever mentioned how much I love wine? Probably too much. While most people quickly make a beeline to one of the many wineries in the valley, the city of Napa is quite charming with its late-1800s and early-1900s architecture. Napa has a budding art scene and is a foodie town. I’d love to hit up the famed Oxbow Public Market for artisan cheese and delicious treats ranging from sweets to tacos. Yum!
Concord – Jazzing in the Bay Area
While most people head straight to expensive San Francisco, the surrounding cities are a great place to stay and explore as well. Concord, just 29 miles outside of San Francisco is home to the annual Concord Jazz Festival every year that attracts over 17,000 people to see the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson. As much as I’d love to book a fancy hotel in the heart of San Fransico, my wallet would not be happy. Since Concord is on the BART line, I would book a night at the Crowe Plaza in Concord for a fraction of the price!
Escondido – Home to Nature and Animals
Just like San Fransico, San Diego has some great neighboring cities worth exploring. Just north of San Diego sits Escondido, a small city of just over 140,000 people. The city is a great base for anyone looking to enjoy nature as the city is surrounded by three lakes perfect for swimming and fishing. Escondido is also home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park that is home to exotic animals living in open habitats.
Glendale – Shopping and Shows
Glendale, California is located at the junction of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys just outside of Los Angeles. Glendale is a bit of a bedroom community, but is home to excellent shopping and numerous parks throughout the city. If the arts are more your thing than taking a jog through Forest Lawn Memorial Park, then hit up the Glendale Centre Theatre or Alex Theatre for a show.
California has a lot to offer. While it certainly isn’t the first place on my bucketlist to visit, the state is slowly creeping up my bucketlist of places to visit, especially since my sister now lives there. I can’t wait to splash in the Pacific at Huntington Beach and drink a fine glass of wine in Napa.
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