California Things to Do Tips by Basaic Top 5 Page for this destination
California Things to Do: 1,020 reviews and 1,908 photos
Rosie the Riveter NHP
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, located in the wartime boomtown of Richmond, California, preserves and interprets the stories and places of our nation's home front response to World War II. There is a nice monument to the women that took over jobs like building ships and planes while the men were off fighting World War II, some interesting displays and even a Victory Ship. This is an interesting piece of American History.
Address: PO Box 336 Station A, Richmond, CA 94804
Phone: (510) 232-5050
Golden Gate Bridge From NRA
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is compsed of several parts throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. I hope to visit more of them. So far I have been to Point Lobos/Lands End and Ocean Beach. Point Lobos has several points of interest and adjoins the Presidio. Ocean Beach is a nice beach near the zoo.
For more information see my Golden Gate National recreation Area Page.
Address: Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco, Californi
Phone: (415) 561-4700
John Muir House
John Muir was born in 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland, and emmigrated to Wisconsin with his family at the age of 11. Muir had a lifelong love of hiking and nature. This love bloomed when he came to california and saw the Yosemite area in 1868. John Muir was the first president of the Sierra Club and was involved in the establishment of the national park system. In 1880 he met and married Louisa Strentzel the daughter of a doctor. From 1882 to 1887, Muir concentrated on fruit ranching. His wife became concerned for his health and in 1890 convinced him to go back to his first love the conservation of nature. Also in 1890 Dr Strentzel died and Muir and family moved into this 14 room Italianate mansion until his death in 1914. The house has been restored and is now a National Historic Site. The furnishings also reflect this time period.
For more information see my Martinez Page.
Address: 4202 Alhambra Avenue, Martinez, CA 94553
Phone: (925) 228-8860
Yosemite National Park
Yellowstone was the nation's first national park; but Yosemite followed close behind it attaining national park status 18 years later in 1890. Yosemite is one of the best parks to visit with a variety of interesting things to see, lots of facilities and lots of special activities. Start at one of the visitor centers to get maps of the parks, informative brochures and to consult a ranger about recommendations on how to best enjoy the park. This is one park where you can spend a few weeks and not get bored.
There is ample evidence of human habitation in this area for at least 9000 years. One place I found very interesting is Ahwahnee a reconstructed Yosemite Indian Village from the 1870s.
There are a variety of beautiful landscapes to see in the park. One of the most famous is Yosemite Falls. There is also a wide variety of wildlife that live in the park. Be advised though that the tourist season here is limited due to the high altitude. Access to much of the park is limited by heavy snowfall November to May.
For more information see my Yosemite National Park Page.
Address: PO Box 577, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Directions: I came here on California Highway 140 from Merced, a nice drive.
Phone: (209) 372-0200
The northern border of Lava Beds National Monument is also the southern border of the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. You will pass two wildlife viewing points as you drive from the northern entrance to Lava Beds to the Petroglyph Section. I recommend the East Wildlife Overlook.
For more information see my Tule National Wildlife Refuge Page.
Smith River National Recreation Area
Tucked into the fairly remote Northwest corner of California is a beautiful section of land called the Smith River National Recreation Area. Smith River has a nice river and mountains offering a variety of recreational opportunuties in a beautiful setting.
Great Trees Museum
Sequoia National Park is intertwined with Kings Canyon National Park. This is home to the largest groves of these magnificent trees. The General Sherman Tree is 311 feet tall and is the largest (not the tallest) tree in the world. These trees live for about 3200 years and weigh about 2.7 million pounds. It is interesting to note that these huge tress grow only from seeds about the size of an oat flake.
Driving through the Tunnel Log is one of the most popular picture-taking opportunities in the park.
A variety of animals call the park home, too. This full grown Grizzly Bear walked right in front of my car, then slowly made his way up the rocks to the forest. He stopped once to stare at me.
For more information see my Sequoia National Park Page.
Address: 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271-970
Phone: (559) 565-3341
Ocean View From Santa Monica Mountains
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is just north of Los Angeles and inland from Malibu. There are lots of beautiful mountains with a variety of recreational opportunuties including some fine hiking trails.
Salton Sea From Bombay Beach
The Salton Sea is located in the southeastern corner of California, and is actually a lake which occupies a desert basin known as the Salton Sink or Salton Basin. This body of water covers a surface area of 376 square miles, making the largest lake in California. The Sea’s current elevation is about 227 feet below mean sea level; it has a maximum depth of 51 feet. The history of the lakes or seas in the area began over 10,000 years ago. The Salton Sea was named in 1905 due to the high level of salt in the water. The Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge was established for the protection of ducks, geese and shore birds in 1930. In 1955 Salton Sea State Park was dedicated. The main part of the refuge was renamed for entertainer and congressman Sonny Bono, who was a strong advocate for the Salton Sea. In addition to the main area of the refuge the Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge also includes Unit 1 to the south and a good portion of the waterway.
One of the attractions of the Sea is the abundance of life, manifested in the hundreds of species of birds that reside in, or visit, this important wetland habitat. The Sea teems with fish. The observation deck at the main area and the one at Unit 1 offer good views of the sea without disturbing the wildlife.
There are also trails in both areas that offer a closer view of the sea and its residents. This photo shows the view from the top of Rock Hill.
If you want another view of the Salton Sea you can stop at Bombay Beach and take a look. The view is very nice. However, there are better views along the road and the town of Bombay Beach is not worth spending any time in.
For more information see my Salton Sea Page.
Address: 906 W Sinclair Road, Calipatria, CA 92233
Directions: From Highway 111, turn right onto Sinclair Road. Head west until you see the refuge sign.
Phone: (760) 348-5278
The Coastal Redwood is the tallest living thing in the world growing up to 370 feet tall. They are also amongst the oldest living things living up to 2000 years. Redwood National Park includes a very wide variety of terrain ranging from mountains over 3000 feet tall; vast woodlands; rocky beaches backed by sea cliffs in the north and serene, sandy beaches backed by bluffs in the south; and even includes a little of the area offshore. This diverse area offers a wide variety of plant and animal life.
The trail through the Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a 1 mile (1.4 km) loop trail that is easy to moderate in difficulty. It loops through a range-top forest of redwood and Douglas firs. Because the windswept slopes and ridges provide a less desirable environment than the more protected valleys the redwood shares this area with a wider variety of plants.
Redwood National Park also includes several beaches ranging from serene sandy beaches in the south to beaches backed by rocky cliffs in the north.
For more information see my Redwood National Park Page.
Address: 1111 Second Street, Crescent City, California
Directions: Mostly along US Highway 101
Phone: (707) 464-6101
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