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This Is The Ultimate California Travel Bucket List You Have To Try Before You Die

By Alana Laverty

July 24, 2017 at 10:28am


California holds a really special place in my heart. 

It reminds me of my J1 days -salty air, never-ending sunshine and some of the best food and drink I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. 

It's one-of-a-kind. It's my soulplace. 

Here are X beautiful and magical places in California that you need to visit before you die:

1. Visit Sausalito 

The most perfect seaside town/city to ever exist - I'll be dreaming about this place for the rest of my life. 

Incredible seafood, vibes and some of the coolest houseboats you'll ever lay your eyes on. 

2. Alcatraz 

Pop a ferry from San Fran to Alcatraz Island to tour the abandoned prison, which once held some of America’s most notorious criminals. 

In addition, see the West Coast’s oldest functioning lighthouse, explore the rock pools, and see the island’s seabird colony.

3. Catch a movie at Grauman's/ TCL Chinese Theatre 

This historic Hollywood theatre opened its doors in 1926 and remains as intriguing today as it was back then. 

4. Monterey Bay Aquarium

An unlikely one, but a worthy one for this list nonetheless. 

Over 35,000 sea creatures live and thrive at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which showcases one of the world’s richest aquatic regions.

5. Visit Salvation Mountain 

Artist Leonard Knight spent 25 years of his life transforming an ordinary hill into a sculptural masterpiece.

It’s hard not to be impressed by Salvation Mountain’s inspiring messages and bright murals - plus it makes for a great Instagram. 

6. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in L.A. 

No Muggles allowed. 

Shop at Diagon Alley, sip pints of Butterbeer or hit up Hogwarts for a few lessons - this place is literally magical. 

7. Visit Pismo Beach 

Golden sands for days in this beautiful city. 

Great for a day trip or even an overight stay. 

Make sure you check out the ATV/quad bikes across the Pismo sand dunes - insane. 

8. Watch the sunset at Laguna Beach

Doesn't get prettier or more romantic than this. 

The perfect coastal Californian town, make sure you treat yourself to a drink at Deck on Laguna Beach in the Pacific Edge Hotel. 

9. Visit a Spanish Mission 

A total of 21 Spanish missions scatter California’s coast. 

If you want to catch a glimpse into what life in California was like hundreds of years ago, visit a Spanish mission. 

10. Stroll through the University of California, Berkeley

You'll pay one visit to Berkeley and want to stay forever and ever and ever. 

Based on the east shore of San Francisco Bay, the city is steeped in history based on the students who spent the best years of their lives there. 

Here you'll find endless entertainment, stellar food and drinks, and a fantastic view of the entire Bay Area from the Lawrence Observatory. 

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11. Visit the Santa Monica Pier 

It's just like you see in the movies, but with more tourists, and seagulls, and less space. 

100% worth a visit regardless. Stroll up towards Third Street Promenade after for a bitta shopping. 

12. Twirl under the Urban Lights at LACMA


13. Visit San Francisco's Ferry Buildings and Fisherman's Wharf

Hop on a ferry at the push of a button or enjoy some authentic Mexican food, Blue Bottle coffee or fresh pastries and deserts. 

14. Visit the flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch, San Diego

It doesn't get much dreamier than being surrounded by fields and fields of fully bloomed flowers as far as the eye can see. 

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15. Wander the Venice Canals 

As seen in movies, these are super cool and will make you wanna pack up your life and move here. 

Cool houses, cooler people and plenty of pups. 

16. Inhale a double cheeseburger and animal fries at In-N-Out

You have not lived until you've devoured an In-N-Out - heaven is a place on earth. 

17. Pop a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe 

The trip of a lifetime - you'll remember it forever. 

Find a super cheap Airbnb, rent a boat, hike, explore and take adventures. Carpe diem. 

18. Go surfing in Huntington Beach

The surfing capital of the West Coast awaits... 

19. Do a food truck tour in Los Angeles 

Food just tastes better out of a truck - find some inspo here... 

20. Go snorkelling at Catalina Island 

Just a quick ferry ride away from Los Angeles mainland lies Catalina Island. 

If you want to snorkel or scuba dive with bright-colored fish and coral reefs, Catalina Island is the place to do it!

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21. Hike up to the Hollywood sign

Can you really leave Cali without hiking to the Hollywood Sign? Well, yeah, you could. But why would you want to?

Has to be done. 

Go forth and book some flights...

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