California Bucket List ~ North Coast Region

Today we’ve reached the final segment in the California Bucket List series! We head back to the coast today before jetting off to the Hawaiian islands for our next bucket list series; (that one has been a blast to research and I can’t wait until someday I get to travel there for real!) But for now we hit up the final sites to be had in California!

Crescent City

  • Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum: Fun light tower to visit.
  • Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park: Hike 8 miles of coastline.
  • Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park: Home to Fern Falls and giant redwoods.
  • Redwood National and State Parks: Explore the redwood ecosystem.

Fort Bragg

  • Jug Handle State Natural Reserve: Explore blufftop trails and maybe spot a whale off shore.


  • Solar Living Institue: Tour the solar living center.


  • Point Cabrillo Light Station: Visit this fully restored lighthouse.


  • Navarro River Redwoods State Park: Drive an 11 mile redwood tunnel to the sea.


  • Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park: Explore another redwood forest.


  • Hendy Woods State Park: Visit two virgin redwood groves.

Point Arena

  • Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum: Take in panoramic views at this lighthouse.


  • Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum: Come learn the history of ships.


  • Humboldt Lagoons State Park: Explore lagoons and marshes and find lots of wildlife.

All attractions found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.



California Bucket List ~ Shasta Cascade Region

Headed back into the mountains today! Time to hit up the northern mountainous region in the state.


  • McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park: Enjoy Burney Falls, the centerpiece of this park.


  • Castle Crags State Park: Enjoy rock pinnacles along these trails.


  • National Yo-yo Museum: Largest display of yo-yos in the nation.


  • McCutcheon Pearl Harbor Battle Monument: World War II Memorial.


  • Lake Shasta Caverns: Tour includes a boat ride along Shasta Lake and an hour tour of the caverns.


  • Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park: Cruise a freshwater spring.


  • McCloud River Falls: Pass three waterfalls as you hike along the river.


  • Lassen Volcanic National Park: Enjoy hiking along steam vents, boiling pots, and volcanic peaks.


  • Herd Peak Lookout: Enjoy a hike to this mountain overlook.

Old Station

  • Subway Cave Lava Tube: Enjoy a ranger led tour of this underground wonder.


  • Feather Falls: The 6th highest waterfall in the United States.


  • McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens: Beautiful gardens to explore.
  • Sundial Bridge: Enjoy this unique piece of architecture spanning the Sacramento River.
  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park: Features a museum and forestry and wildlife center.


  • Lava Beds National Monument: Includes more than 700 caves and historic battlefields.

All attractions found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.


California Bucket List ~Gold Country Region

Another short and sweet list in the California Bucket list series.


  • Underground Gold Miners Museum: Learn more about the history of the area.


  • Marshall Gold Discovery State Park: Try panning for gold in the river and learn what life was like in an 1850’s tent town.


  • Lake Natoma: Created by a dam across the American River, this lake is popular with all water lovers.

Grass Valley

  • Empire Mine State Historic Park: One of the oldest, deepest, and richest gold mines of California.

Nevada City

  • Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park: Sits of California’s largest “hydraulic” mine.


  • California State Railroad Museum: Offers weekend excursion train rides.
  • Old Sacramento State Historic Park: View early Gold Rush structures.

All attractions found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.

California Bucket List ~High Sierra Region

Today we head to the mountains of California and to one of the most visited National Parks in the nation: Yosemite.


  • Calaveras Big Trees State Park: Visit a grove of giant sequoias.

Big Pine

  • Palisade Glacier: Largest glacier in the Sierra Nevada.


  • Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest: Visit these iconic trees with twisted trunks and contorted limbs.
  • Keough’s Hot Springs: Relax in a natural hot spring.


  • Eastern California Museum: Find information on the area.
  • Manzanar National Historic Site: Site of a WWII Japanese Internment Camp.

Lee Vining

  • Mono Lake: Visit an ancient saline lake.

Mammoth Lakes

  • Devil’s Postpile National Monument: Heap of hexagonal columns formed from old lava flow.
  • Hot Creek Geologic Site: Boiling water and steam come up from this creek.


  • California State Mining and Mineral Museum: Experience the mining history of the state and view gems from all over the world.


  • Grover Hot Springs State Park: Hike through forests and meadows and then relax in the swimming pool hot springs.


  • Lewis Creek National Recreation Trail: Lots of waterfalls along this trail.


  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Hike among the famous Sierra Nevada Mountains in these sister parks.


  • D.L. Bliss State Park: Enjoy swimming and scuba diving.
  • Emerald Bay State Park: Enjoy hiking, swimming and other water activities.


  • Yosemite National Park: Hike in one of America’s most visited National Parks.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.

California Bucket List ~ Central Valley Regions

After a large list yesterday centered around San Francisco, today we move to the Central Valley with a much smaller list.


  • California Living Museum: This contains a butterfly and hummingbird garden.


  • Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park: This town was founded in 1908 by a group of African Americans.


  • Forestiere Underground Gardens: Explore 10 acres of underground tunnels where fruit trees still grow.
  • Woodward Park: Lots of great walking trails and the Shinzen Japanese Garden to explore.


  • National Chavez Center: Learn about Cesar Chavez’s legacy.


  • Fort Tejon State Historic Park: Explore restored adobes from the original fort.


  • Carrizo Plain National Monument: Explore diverse wildlife and plants.


  • Honda Food Culture Museum: Learn about world food culture.


  • Giant Sequoia National Monument: View the world’s largest tree.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.

California Bucket List ~ San Francisco Bay Area

I’m so excited to write this post today, because aside from one day visiting Yosemite National Park, this is probably the area I’m most excited to visit someday in California! We’ve often talked about just taking a giant road trip to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean and then turning back around again!


  • USS Hornet Sea, Air, and Space Museum: This naval ship has become a state-of-the-art museum.


  • Benicia Capitol State Historic Park: Take a guided tour to learn about an important time in California’s history.

Bodega Bay

  • Sonoma Coast State Park: Filled with long sandy beaches and secluded coves.

Boulder Creek

  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park: This is the state’s oldest park and is filled with a redwood forest.


  • Petrified Forest: Take a tour through petrified redwoods.


  • Mt. Diablo State Park: Learn about the history of the mountain and the area.


  • Jelly Belly Candy Company: Learn how jelly beans are made on this fun interactive tour.


  • Salt Point State Park: Over 20 miles of hiking trails provide panoramic views.


  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Explore a self-guided nature trail along Sonoma Creek.


  • John Muir National Historic Site: Explore the life and legacy of John Muir.

Mill Valley

  • Mt. Tamalpais State Park: Hike among the redwood groves.
  • Muir Woods National Monument: Surround yourself in a redwood forest.


  • Montara State Beach: Explore tide pools and stay overnight in a lighthouse!

Mountain View

  • Computer History Museum: Learn about Silicon Valley icons and the history of computers.


  • Oakland Zoo: Their gondola ride to the California Trail sounds particularly interesting!


  • Ano Nuevo State Park: Take a hike to see the elephant seals!
  • Butano State Park: Explore a quiet canyon and bubbling creeks among the redwoods.

San Francisco

  • Alcatraz: Take a tour of the famous prison.
  • Andy Goldsworthy Sculptures at the Presidio: Works of art made from fallen trees.
  • Aquarium of the Bay: Explore local marine life along San Francisco’s walk-able waterfront.
  • Cable Car Museum: Of course no visit to San Francisco is complete without learning about the cable car.
  • Coit Tower: The staple of San Francisco’s skyline, you can take an elevator to the top.
  • Fort Point National Historical Site: Learn more about the history of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Filled with numerous walking trails.
  • Pier 39: Filled with dining and entertainment options, as well as the world famous sea lions.
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park: Explore the maritime history of the Pacific Coast, located in Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • San Francisco Zoo: This zoo is nestled up against the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Clara

  • Intel Museum: Discover the technology that changed our world.

Santa Cruz

  • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum: Explore over 100 years of surfing history housed in a lighthouse!

Santa Rosa

  • Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center: Learn about this entire Peanuts gang!


  • Bay Area Discovery Museum: Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, this museum offers winding tunnels and tide pools to explore.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.


California Bucket List ~ Central Coast Region

Today we head further up California’s coast and begin to explore more of the central area of the state.

Big Sur

  • Andrew Molera State Park: Take in majestic views of the Pacific coast.
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: This park is located above the Big Sur River Gorge.


  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve: Take in the views of clear blue coves below the hiking trails.


  • Carpinteria State Beach: Great place to explore the tide pools.


  • Gaviota State Park: Hike to Gaviota Peak for a great view of the Channel Islands.


  • Montery Bay Aquarium: Amazing aquarium with hundreds of exhibits.

Morgan Hill

  • Henry W. Coe State Park: Filled with steep ridges and canyons, this park is filled with rugged hiking trails.

Morro Bay

  • Morro Rock: This is fondly known at the “Gibraltar of the Pacific.”

Pacific Grove

  • Monarch Grove Sanctuary: Explore the monarch butterfly’s winter home.
  • Point Pinos Lighthouse: The oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the west coast.


  • National Steinbeck Center: Celebrate the creativity of this famed author.

San Juan Bautista

  • Mission San Juan Bautista: Largest of California’s missions.

San Simeon

  • Aramark Hearst Castle: Offers a variety of guided tours.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.

California Bucket List ~ Los Angeles County

Today we head to the hustle and bustle of California’s largest city: Los Angeles and it’s surrounding area.


  • Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden: I love exploring the natural plants of the area.


  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood: Tour sets of some of your favorite shows.

Long Beach

  • Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach: Find and explore tons on the animals that live in the Pacific.

Los Angeles

  • Griffith Observatory: Look through telescopes and explore exhibits at this famous observatory.
  • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum: Explore the Ice Age at this excavation site.
  • Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens: Lots of fun animals to explore here!
  • Museum of Tolerance: Takes you through many events of the 20th century.


  • Leo Carrillo State Park: Explore tide pools, coastal caves, and reefs.
  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach: Great for birdwatching and exploring the wetlands.


  • Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area: Includes a giant canyon.

San Pedro

  • Cabrillo Marine Aquarium: Explore tide pools and take a whale watching tour.
  • Los Angeles Maritime Museum: Explore the history of the L.A. Harbor.

Universal City

  • Universal Studios Hollywood: Explore this famous amusement park!

All attractions found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.


California Bucket List ~ Orange County

Today we are back to the hustle and bustle of amusement park central! Come explore Orange County with me!


  • Disney’s California Adventure Park: One of the newer parks Disney has created, this is sure to be filled with fun times.
  • Disneyland Park: The one that started it all!
  • Downtown Disney District: All the Disney shopping you never knew¬† you needed.

Huntington Beach

  • Huntington Beach Central Park and Shipley Nature Center: Walk through wetlands, meadows, and pine forests.
  • International Surfing Museum: Again….when in California….check out the surfboards.


  • San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary: Explore coastal freshwater wetlands.

Laguna Beach

  • Crystal Cove State Park: Get away from it all by exploring the beach, tide pools and wooded canyons.

Newport Beach

  • Upper Newport Beach Ecological Preserve: Hike, bike or kayak.

Santa Ana

  • Discovery Cube Orange County: Interactive science exhibits.
  • Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park: This zoo focuses on the plants and animals of Central and South America.

Yorba Linda

  • Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum: Offers an in depth look at the life and times of a former president.
  • Box Canyon Park: Come explore this canyon area.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.

California Bucket List ~Inland Empire Region

Nestled between the desert area of California and the major southern counties along the coast, you can find a slower pace among the Inland Empire Regions. Today we will explore what the area has to offer.


  • Glen Ivy Hot Springs: This sounds like the most amazing spa to just escape and relax away from it all!


  • Coyote Run: See many waterfalls along this biking trail.
  • Mt. San Jacinto State Park: A chance to hike through mountains, meadows, and forests.

Lake Elsinore

  • Ortega Falls: Just a 5 minute hike from the highway!


  • Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve: Explore woodlands, wetlands, and prairies.

Oak Glen

  • Oak Glen Preserve: Contains 5 miles of family friendly trails.


  • Graber Olive House: Take a guided tour of the cannery.


  • Orange Street Alley: See the colorful umbrellas hanging above the alley.


  • California Citrus State Historic Park: Take a ranger tour and taste fruits grown on site.
  • Mission Inn Hotel and Spa: Tour this work of architecture that has hosted several presidents and celebrities over the years.


  • Wilson Creek Winery: Serves wine slushies and a guided tour includes 5 tastings!


  • California Route 66 Museum: Three rooms of displays and plenty of photo ops.
  • Mojave Narrows Regional Park: Fun natural landscape to explore.

All attractions found in the 2019 California Travel Guide.