California has long drawn the dreamers, the artists, those with stars in their eyes – and those with dreams of gold, from dust in the hills to stars on Hollywood Boulevard. Funnily enough, I never imagined I would be one of them! When I started visiting California, I didn’t think I would ever live here – and then in 2017, Mr. V and I relocated here from Seattle! (We ended up living there for four years!)
Since then I’ve been hard at work creating some of the best California travel guides I can, because I love discovering and sharing all the amazing places in this surprisingly huge and diverse state. Whether you’re dreaming of a Pacific Coast Highway road trip or visiting one of the booming urban areas or pristine national parks… I’ve got you covered!
General Travel Advice & Road Trip Tips
There is perhaps no better way to explore California than by hitting the open road; below you’ll find my most general advice for visiting as well as lots of resources for planning the ultimate road trip.
The Pacific Coast Highway
Arguably the best road trip route in America, the Pacific Coast Highway runs the entire length of the California coast. Below you’ll find a comprehensive set of guides to help you plan a PCH road trip in California – as well as Oregon and Washington, if you want to do the whole thing!
California National Parks
Home to 9 national parks, California boasts the biggest number in the country; these areas represent the incredible natural diversity of the Golden State and are top destinations – as well as ones I love visiting, too!
- The Complete (Bucket) List of National Parks in the West
- A 10-Day California Road Trip & National Park Itinerary
- How to Make the Most of One Day in Death Valley National Park
- A Perfect Death Valley National Park Itinerary: 2 or 3 Days Below Sea Level
- How to Make the Most of One Day in Joshua Tree National Park
- The Perfect Joshua Tree Itinerary: 2 or 3 Days in California’s High Desert
- How to Spend One Day in Lava Beds National Monument
- The Best Things to Do at Pinnacles National Park for 1-2 Days
- How to Make the Most of One Day in Sequoia National Park
- How to Make the Most of One Day in Yosemite National Park
- Two Days in Yosemite: Itinerary for a Short Weekend
- 3 Days in Yosemite: The 12 Best Things to Do for a Weekend
San Francisco Guides
As I called the San Francisco Bay Area home for four years, I’ve got some resources dedicated specifically to the “City by the Bay.”
Northern California Destination Guides
I prefer Northern California among the parts of the state to explore, and have lots of travel resources from the various trips I’ve made throughout the region.
- The 11 Best Things to Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea for a Weekend
- 3 Days in Crescent City: 15 Best Things to Do for a Weekend
- The 11 Best Things to Do in Fort Bragg, CA for a Weekend
- The 12 Best Things to Do for a Mendocino Weekend Getaway
- The 11 Best Things to Do in Monterey for a Weekend Trip
- The 11 Best Things to Do in Mount Shasta for a Weekend Trip
- 3 Days in Downtown Napa: What to Eat & Drink (Beyond Wine)
- 3 Days in San Jose, CA: Itinerary of the Best Things to Do in the South Bay
- The 6 Best Things to Do on a Santa Rosa Weekend Trip
Southern California Guides
Southern California’s pretty nice too, so I have a few travel resources if that’s the part of the state you want to visit.
Want to Keep Exploring?
Here are my recent posts from across the globe!
- 5 Reasons to Visit Alaska in the Spring
- 15 Fascinating National Park Visitation Facts (from 2023 Data)
- The 10 Least Visited National Parks This Year (2023 Data)
- The 10 Most Visited National Parks This Year (2023 Data)
- How to Attend the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in 2024
- Where to Stay in Haines: 6 Great Hotels & Other Alaskan Accommodations