California is a beautiful state on the west coast of the United States. It spans from the north, to the south with the border with Mexico. There are many places to see and things to do in California. One
place to start is the national parks. Yosemite National Park is in the Northern part of the state, it is the place to see nature at its best. You can camp in the park, but make reservations at least 9 months or even a year in advance as camping sites go fast.

Visiting California: San Francisco

Then head over to San Francisco to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay. This bridge was built in 1937. The bridge is painted “International Orange” to enhance its visibility by ships. The name Golden Gate was given to the bay itself by Army Captain John C. Fremont, about 1846. He said that the bay reminded him of another bay in Istanbul.

Visiting California: San Joaquin Valley

This valley is just east of San Francisco, and is considered the breadbasket of California. The area produces much fruits and vegetables that are shipped to all parts of the United States.

Visiting California: Santa Barbara

As you drive further south, about 4 hours, you come to Santa Barbara, where another picturesque city on the coast of California. There you can visit the Santa Barbara Mission, a stately red roofed adobe building. The Mission was founded in 1786 and still functions as a church today.

Visiting California: Los Angeles

About another 2 and a half hour drive south brings you to Los Angeles, a sprawling metropolis surrounded by mountains. There are 10 million people who live in the Los Angeles Basin. For kids, head over to Anaheim, a city to the south east and visit Disneyland. Giant Mickey Mouse and Giant Goofy wander the park, be sure to greet them as they wave hello! The inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean is the slow boat ride through a drunken pirate’s fantasy.

Visiting California: Hollywood

The next stop for your family is Hollywood. Hollywood Blvd. is where you can see the famous Mann Theater where the sidewalks have movie star’s stars embedded. Try to remember what film each star was in as you walk down the road. Looking up, on a clear day you can see the Hollywood sign, it used to
read Hollywood Land, which was an advertisement for a real estate development in the area. The sign originally had light bulbs to light it up each word in turn. The word land was taken down, and the sign
is now a National landmark.

There are many other places to visit in California! It has a varied climate and something for everyone to enjoy. I would suggest that you plan to stay a month in order to see as much as possible!

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