California has long been hailed as one of the greatest states, and that’s why you can experience a little bit of each country within its borders.
California has to be one of the most spectacular American states. It’s so diverse and so much to see and do. California seems to have a piece of so many countries all rolled into one. California stretches from the sunny deserts of Death Valley to the rainforest and coastal redwoods.
California is a very ethnically diverse state, with only about a third of the population being non-Hispanic Caucasian. It is the most populous state in America and has a larger population than Canada as a whole.
Advice: Prepare for higher gasoline prices in California
In the main cities you can find all kinds of communities from all over the world. Los Angles, for example, has one of the largest Armenian expat communities, and here you can easily enjoy authentic Caucasian cuisine (and it’s delicious). Up the coast in the Bay Area around San Francisco, you’ll find one of Vietnam’s largest communities – along with the Southeast Asian cuisine that goes with it. Go to Calexico and you will feel as Mexican as any part of Mexico.
About a quarter of the Californian population identifies as being of Mexican descent. The Mexican cuisine you will find here is therefore some of the best in the country.
The central valley and the hills around the Bay Area are very similar to South Australia. You can feel like you are in Australia’s Barossa wine valley or in the hills surrounding Alediade. The central valley was once an inland sea.
Things To Do In The Central Valley
Vineyards: Enjoy wine tasting at the many wineries
Orchids: Buy lots of fresh fruit from the Central Valley
Fun fact: The central valley was once home to an extinct species of walrus – La Pliopedia Pacifica
Northern California feels uniquely North American and here you can climb Mount Shasta. Or you can camp under its imposing auspices. If you are in this region, be sure to check out the many lava tube caves that stretch for miles underground.
Advice: Don’t forget to bring a flashlight to the lava caves (the headlamp is even better)
For a truly unique and trippy experience, visit “Slab City” in Southern California. Slab City is located just off the endangered Salton Sea and 190 miles from Los Angles in the wilderness. Here is another side of America. Slab City is made up of a unique breed of people who really want an alternative lifestyle and really get away from it all. This settlement is mostly made up of RVs and various other kinds of very artistic constructions with distinctive rock art.
You could say that Slab City is more of a gateway to another world (a world closer to Max Max Fury Road) than another country!
California is home to some of America’s most famous national parks and they too capture the geographic and climatic diversity of this western state. National parks in California include; Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Channel Islands National Park.
If you are going to California you should definitely take a look at some of these national parks and it will become very clear why they are national parks. In addition to national parks, California has many breathtaking state parks to see and explore. These are the best places to camp during your summer vacation.
Bodie State Park
Located in the high desert on the border with Nevada, Bodie is one of America’s best-preserved ghost towns and a must-see for anyone crossing the region. Located where it is bare of trees, one wonders how they managed to source wood to build the houses. And being at a high altitude, it’s known to hail in the height of summer. It’s a strange experience, because when the mine closed people left and often left things inside their homes. You can still see houses with abandoned items. Palm Springs is a gateway to another time.
- Elevation: 8,379 feet
- Peak population: About 10,000
- Status: State park and ghost town
- Summer hours: 9.00-6.00
- Admission fee: $ 8 per adult
One of the unique places in California is Palm Springs. It is a very unusual resort town just outside of Los Angles in the desert. It is a winter snowbird destination for Americans looking to escape the cold northern climates. Today, although it has a population of less than 50,000, it receives around 1.6 million visitors each year. From Palm Springs, it’s easy to visit Slab City by car. The contrast between these two places couldn’t be greater.
Fun fact # 1: More than 10% of Palm Springs households are owned by same-sex couples
Fun fact # 2: The Palm Springs area has over 100 golf courses
In short, it’s hard to overstate California as a beautiful destination. Both culturally and geographically.
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