Sequoia National Park, California

Sequoia National Park, California is possibly the most beautiful and underrated National Park in the country. It’s best known for giant Sequoia trees, hence its name. However, there are many other impressive features that make Sequoia National Park a must visit for anyone traveling to the Sierra Mountains of California.

Perhaps the most popular site in the park is the Tunnel Log. In 1937, a large Sequoia tree fell on one of the roads in the park. Instead of removing the tree, park officials opted to cut out a hole and make it a tunnel. The most amazing part about this fact is that they did it the day after the tree fell.
General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park, California
While the Tunnel Log is the most popular tree in the park, it’s not the largest. Actually, the largest tree in the park is also the largest tree in the world. It’s called General Sherman Tree. You can access the tree by parking in a nearby lot and walking only .4 miles. The trail is a loop, which makes this a very easy hike. The official name of the trail is Sherman Tree Trail.

If you enjoy marveling at majestic waterfalls, then you absolutely must visit Tokopah Falls. Usually, when you visit a waterfall in a National Park, it requires a strenuous hike. In this case, the trail is relatively long at 1.7 miles each way, but it’s an extremely easy trail, making it walkable for most people. The trail runs parallel to the Kaweah River, which makes the trek both scenic and soothing. Once you reach the falls, you will see that it stands at 1,200 feet tall. The best time to see Tokopah Falls is in May and June.

Crescent Meadow is a simple location that is nothing more than a meadow to the average viewer. To those who appreciate complete serenity, it’s paradise.

Another great spot in the park is Moro Rock, which is a granite dome that stands at 6,725 feet. Getting to the top requires ascending 400 steps. Once at the peak, you can see the Great Western Divide. It’s also possible that you will be looking down on white puffy clouds and white-capped mountains.

Yet another neat attraction at Sequoia National Park is Crystal Cave. While there are 240 caves in the park, this is the only one open to the public. It’s 3.4 miles long, and it’s always 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Lilburn Cave isn’t open to the public, but it is the longest cave in the world at 20 miles.

Other interesting features at Sequoia National Park include Mt. Whitney and the Giant Forest Museum. The former is the highest peak in the continental United States at 14,505 feet.


Yosemite National Park, California

One of America's most beloved national treasures is Yosemite National Park, California. Located in western High Sierra of California near the state's border with Nevada, Yosemite National park covers 1,200 square miles of area and includes everything from deep, gorgeous valleys to tall, majestic peaks. There is plenty to see and do at Yosemite National Park, regardless of whether you are traveling alone, with a special someone or with your entire family.

This California national park is visited by nearly 4 million people every year who come to see its giant sequoia groves, granite cliffs, waterfalls, deep streams and the abundant wildlife that still call the area home. There are many things to do at Yosemite National Park, and what you choose depends a lot on when you visit. The summer months are the busiest at the park since all areas of Yosemite are reachable by vehicle. Wildflowers also bloom in abundance during the summer months, and are a huge attraction. Much of the park is inaccessible due to snow until May, but there is still plenty do do throughout the fall and winter.Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

The rivers and waterfalls that helped make Yosemite famous may be seen all year long, and hiking, biking and horseback riding trails are always open, weather permitting. You may also partake in fishing, bird watching, backpacking, rock climbing, camping and more. Winter activities and sports are also popular once the weather turns cold, and include downhill skiing and snowboarding. Lessons are usually available from qualified instructors.

If more hands-on activities are your style, visit the park on a guided tour alongside a park ranger. There are also numerous educational opportunities for classes, so teachers should feel free to set up visits for their students at any time during the year.

Yosemite is located south of Lake Tahoe and just northwest of Fresno. Highway 120 from Nevada runs straight into the park, as does Highway 41 out of Fresno. The use of GPS units to reach the park is not recommended as there is no specific address, and therefore units do not work well for directions.

Call ahead for the latest information on weather concerns, especially during the fall and winter months. An entry fee of $20 per vehicle is payable in advance of park entry, and allows you to enter and exit the park at will for one week. Separate fees are charged for those on foot, bicycle or horseback, as well as for commercial tours.


Death Valley, California


The heat is on when Death Valley, California enters discussions about travel. Be advised that a trip to Death Valley will likely feature the hottest weather you've ever experienced, especially if you go in the summer. On July 10th, 1913, people at Furnace Creek recorded an air temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit. This is still the hottest temperature ever recorded in California as well as on earth. Average temperatures in July regularly approach and exceed 120 degrees. Heat is the name of the game at Death Valley, but there are several places to keep cool during your visit.
Death Valley, California
Death Valley National Park is the main attraction to see when you are in the area. There's actually a place there where you can look up and see a sign that marks where sea level begins. There's no other place on earth like Death Valley National Park. You get to see unusual and fascinating rock formations, sand dunes, salt water ponds, The Devil's Golf Course, and more. Cooler months such as October and April provide a great opportunity for you to make long-lasting memories there with your family. You'll tell your friends all about your trip there, and you'll feel like there's not enough time to tell all the details about what you saw.

Dante's View is one of the areas that deserve special attention at the park. The outline of Death Valley comes alive in stunning detail at the top of Dante's View. The wind can sometimes be intense, but some of the greatest photograph opportunities in the world are found there. Philosophers, artists, painters, musicians, poets, and other creative types of people often travel to Dante's View for inspiration. You may have encountered a postcard with a view from there on it, but you probably wouldn't have known it. The outline of Death Valley invigorates all who choose to look upon it from atop Dante's View.

Titus Canyon appeals to adventurous people from all over the world as well. Marathon runners, hikers, and outdoor lovers gather there throughout the year to enjoy the amazing beauty found at Titus Canyon. Some people describe it as an experience that takes you out of this world and into another one. Others say that the quiet and calming mystique around the canyon makes it eerie, yet relaxing at the same time. Titus Canyon is a great place to visit after you've visited the Death Valley National Park. A great end to any trip helps to preserve its memories.



Borrego Springs, California

Borrego Springs, California is part of San Diego County. With the year round pleasant climate that all of California has to offer, it’s a mostly seasonal residence with heavy tourism. Among its many activities, there are four public golf courses, horseback riding and a tennis center. Surrounded completely by the Anza-Borrego State Park, it’s a relaxed, quiet community that still has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment, culture and dining.

Homesteading in the Borrego Valley started around 1875. They dug their first successful well in 1926, which was fairly important since they were surrounded by desert. With a steady water supply, irrigation was possible. As the farming community grew, the town built a small general store, a gas station and a post office. World War II brought the presence of the armed forces to the town. That came with paved roads and the introduction of electricity to the still relatively untouched Borrego Springs. The state park was already a tourist attraction. After the war, developers subdivided the village to capitalize on the tourism. Even today, the town could still be considered a budding community. Borrego Springs was never incorporated. That means they have no municipal governing body, such as mayors, etc.The desert landscape near Borrego Springs, California

Borrego Springs is an ideal vacation. They officially open the tourism season with the Borrego Springs Days Desert Festival every October. It’s a three day event that features arts and crafts, carnivals, live music, dances, a parade and the Miss Borrego Pageant. Every March, they host the Borrego Springs Circle of Art. It’s held at the Christmas Circle Park, which is in the heart of the village. It’s a free event and exhibits the work of artists that ranges from photography, oil and watercolors, weaving and more. In April, there’s the Borrego Springs Circle of Art. This is a great night with a spectacular show in the Anza-Borrego Desert of wildflowers. The highlight of the night though is the competition of tall tales and possibly earning the title of "Greatest Prevaricator of All," in honor of ‘Pegleg’ Smith. In mid-November, everyone watches for the Leonid meteor showers.

With its rich culture and quiet atmosphere, Borrego Springs is a quaint village with no stops signs. Yet it has high class accommodations like the Palms at Indian Head and the Borrego Rental Management Group. The French Corner offers gourmet dining. And it’s all comes with a courtesy and service not found anywhere else. Borrego Springs is a great place to visit!


Big Bear, California

Big Bear, California is a wonderful four-season outdoor tourism and vacation destination. With a location less than a hundred miles from Los Angeles, Big Bear provides a welcome respite from the big city.

The Big Bear Lake area was originally inhabited by the Serrano Indian tribe. The Serrano Indians viewed the local grizzly bears as ancestors and did not hunt bears. The first non-natives to view the beautiful Big Bear region were a party of explorers headed by Benjamin Wilson. Wilson gave the lake the name Big Bear because of the many bears in the area surrounding the lake. Big Bear became a premier vacation destination with the advent of the car and paved roads.Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake is the largest recreational lake in Southern California. The lake provides wonderful fishing opportunities. Bass, trout and catfish are plentiful in Big Bear Lake. Boating opportunities also abound in Big Bear. Numerous concessions offer rentals of all types of boats. Jet skiing, water skiing and parasailing are also available for the adventurous vacationer.

Located in the San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear also offers beautiful hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Hiking trails range from easy half-mile jaunts to challenging day hikes. Another fun outdoor activity for the thrill-seeking traveler is a zip-lining tour. Whizzing through picturesque scenery, zip lines provide an exciting way to view the natural beauty of the Big Bear region.

In the winter, the Big Bear region provides superb skiing and snowboarding at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. These resorts offer 75 trails, 20 ski lifts, and seven snowboard parks. Big Bear provides fun winter activities for everyone, from novices to experienced skiers.

Active adults will find a plethora of activities in Big Bear. Additionally, children of all ages will enjoy a Big Bear vacation. The youngest children will appreciate the animal park and petting zoo. Older children will enjoy the many sporting opportunities provided in Big Bear.

A Big Bear vacation is not limited to the outdoors. The restaurants, hotels and resorts in Big Bear cater to couples, singles and families looking for a relaxing vacation. From a youth hostel to luxurious inns, everyone can find suitable accommodations in Big Bear. Restaurant choices are plentiful in Big Bear, and range from fancy Italian bistros to casual delis.

The Big Bear region is a wonderful destination for everyone seeking an exciting outdoor vacation in Southern California.


Stockton, California

Stockton, California is located in California Central Valley, north of Modesto and east of San Jose and was incorporated in July 1850 by the County Court and received its charter later that same year. The first election was held on 31 July 1850. The early settlers included gold miners from Canada and Mexico, the Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.

The population of Stockton is about 291,700 people and made up of 78,500 households and 56,100 families. The city is contained within 64.8 square miles with 61.7 square miles being land and 3.1 square miles is water. The city lies within the boundaries of San Joaquin Valley.
Weber Point, Stockton, California
Stockton is easily accessible and accessed by the Stockton Metropolitan Airport, Amtrak, Altamont Commuter Express, BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific railroad. The city can be accessed by auto along Interstate Route 5 and State Route 99 and 4. The Port of Stockton is a fully operational seaport located 75 nautical miles east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The port operates a 2,000 acre transportation center with berthing spots for vessels, dockside transit sheds and shipside tracks.

Stockton is rich in culture with many exciting attractions and events including waterfront activities, arts and entertainment, farms and wineries, shopping, dining and low cost and no cost activities. There is something for everyone, no matter what age group is visiting. Baseball fans do not want to miss Big League Dreams Sports Park with its 6 scaled down versions of professional ball parks, or the Ripon Mistlin Sports park, home to soccer, baseball, softball and a public park for all to enjoy.

There are a variety of museums and include the Great Valley Museum, the Gallo Center for the Arts and the Haggin Museum. Great Things Serpentarium is a must visit for fans of snakes and reptiles as they exist in their natural habitat.

Foodies will find just about anything the palette will crave from Thai, to Greek to Mexican to Chinese and back to good old American barbeque. After a fabulous meal at any one of the most exciting restaurants in the state, walk it off with a foot jaunt along the Marina Promenade or launch a kayak at the Morelli Boat Launch.

There are name and chain hotels and motels, bed and breakfast and vacation rental homes in Stockton that will fit anyone’s vacation budget at any level of comfort desired. Most have accommodations for children along with restaurants with children friendly menus.


Bakersfiled, California


Situated near the southern terminus of the fertile San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfiled, California is the ninth largest metropolitan area in California. The resplendent city is bordered by the Sequoia National Forest, the Temblor Range and the Tehachapi Mountains, which includes the beautiful Tejon Ranch. Archaeological evidence reveals that Native Americans inhabited the area thousands of years before the arrival of the first European explorer, Francisco Garces, in 1776.

Mexican settlers began to arrive in the 1820s. The California Gold Rush of 1848 and the discovery of oil in 1865 triggered another influx of migrants. The area was originally known as Kern Island because it occupied a tract of land near a channel of the Kern River. Over time, the settlement became a transportation hub due to its location on the trail between Los Angeles and Stockton. It was also situated near passes through the nearby mountains. During this era, the location was commonly known as Baker’s Field in recognition of the home and farm of Colonel Thomas Baker, which served as a way station for travelers. When the city was formally established, the founders named their community Bakersfield to commemorate the Colonel.
Lone Tree Bakersfield, California
Located approximately midway between Los Angeles and Fresno, Bakersfield has a highly diverse economy. It is the epicenter of one of the United States’ most productive agricultural and oil-producing regions. Named an All American City in 1990, Bakersfield experienced remarkable growth between 1970 and 2010. The downtown area is an eclectic mix of antique shops and historic buildings. Foodies can sample authentic Basque cuisine in century-old restaurants. The First Baptist Church, the Bakersfield Californian Building and several other structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bakersfield is home to the Kern County Museum and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. The county museum has several interactive displays on the oil industry and the region’s influential musical heritage. The natural history museum has exhibits dedicated to marine fossils from the Miocene era. The historic Fox Theater and the Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace are venues for concerts, movies and a variety of live performances.

Residents and guests enjoy a desert climate of long dry summers, moderate autumns, early springs and brief mild winters. The remarkable weather is perfect for enjoying the area’s extensive number of outdoor recreational opportunities, such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting and mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter.



Fresno, California

Often Fresno, California is used as a stop-off city for exploring natural areas like Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Additionally, the main attraction in town that draws visitors is the venue where prominent events take place, the Save Mart Center. Now, the city flag features a leaf from the ash tree since "Fresno" is the Spanish word for the once locally grown ash trees. The city in the San Joaquin Valley offers its beautiful public parks, a rich culture and history as well as numerous other things to see and do.

Gateway to Fresno CaliforniaThe San Joaquin Valley or Central Valley is located in the heart of the state of California in the United States. The urban center is also just about half way between Sacramento to the north and Los Angeles to the southwest. Fresno is about 170 miles from Sacramento and about 200 miles from LA. In this situation, the city enjoys a semi-arid weather climate much like what is found along the Mediterranean. Summers can be rather hot and dry with average temperatures climbing to about 97 degrees Fahrenheit, but winters are mild with more rain and average temperatures never dipping much below 37 degrees.

When it comes to the history of Fresno and the valley, the story begins with the Yokut people who lived in the region for centuries and traded with other nearby tribes of native peoples. Afterwards, the valley was not settled as an official county of California until the mid-1800s after the famous California Gold Rush had run its course. The city of Fresno was incorporated in 1885, and the town was made the county seat within two years. Interestingly, BankAmericard started in the city in the late 1950s, and it went on to be the world's first successful credit card.

Now as far as the economy goes, medical facilities as well as the city and insurance companies are the largest employers in Fresno. Agriculture also holds a significant percentage of the jobs.

Since the valley region around the city is rural with many farms and scenic natural places, outdoor recreation is popular in the public parks as well as the national parks and the not too distant Sierra Mountains. Meanwhile, the city offers theatres for the performance arts, museums on a variety of themes and sports facilities. Then, Fresno Chaffee Zoo and the Forestiere Underground Gardens that combine caverns and gardens are must see sites within the city.


Placerville, California

The city of Placerville, California grew out of the iconic days of the California 1840s goldrush when people came to make their fortunes in the “placer” mines that existed in the area. These shallow, surface mines were near water sources where the running current eroded away other materials, exposing the gold flecks and nuggets. The discovery of gold in nearby Coloma brought thousands of hopeful miners to the California's Gold Country, and the town became an important supply center for them. Early in its history, the town was known by a number of names, including “Dry Diggins” and “Hangtown” because it was frequently the site of frontier justice. The town got its current name in 1854 when it was incorporated. The city features a number of historic buildings from its early days, including the belltower, a monument to the city’s early volunteer firefighters.
Placerville, Eldorado County, California
Placerville is the birthplace of a food dish associated with the goldrush days called “Hangtown Fry.” This dish is a combination of eggs, bacon and oysters that provided a hearty meal in town for miners that often lived for weeks on canned beans. A number of variations on this dish are found, such as with green peppers, mushrooms, onions and other ingredients. Placerville and nearby cities still serve Hangtown Fry to the current day.

Placerville is the county seat of El Dorado County in California, 45 miles northeast of Sacramento. The city has a population of 10,389 as of 2010. The population is made up of 80% whites, 18% Hispanic or Latino, 1.6% African-American and a small number of other groups. Its current economy includes gold mining, lumber, lime, slate, agricultural products, ranching, wines and Christmas trees.

The climate of Placerville reflects its location in the center of the state. Winters are mild, with temperatures that range between 33 and 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers range between the mid-50s to the mid-90s. Rain falls on an average of 66 days per year. Generally, Placerville usually only gets a dusting of snow, but some years, as much as 6 inches of snow can accumulate. An unusual year can bring as much as 30 inches of snow, as in 2009.


Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California is a city rich in history. It began in 1839 when the Mexican government ceded 48,000 acres of land to Johann Augustus Sutter. Little did they know that the land they gave away was so valuable. In 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill and the infamous California Gold Rush began. In 1854, the city, now named Sacramento City, was selected to be the state capital.

During the Gold Rush, Sacramento saw a boom in population and activity. It was the westernmost destination for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad. Stagecoaches, wagon trains and riverboats all stopped in Sacramento. The city became a major center for both business and agriculture in California's Gold Country.Sacramento California

A city with such historical importance offers much of interest to visitors. There are dozens of museums in Sacramento with many that highlight the history of the area. Visit the California State Military Museum or the California State Indian Museum. The Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, home to 13 of the past state governors, offers tours year round. The State Capitol Building is open and free to visitors, as well.

Along with all the museums for history buffs, there are plenty of activities to appeal to those with different interests. The Sacramento Zoo is home to more than 140 species of animals, including rare and endangered ones. There are many science museums and theaters that offer a wide variety of programs and exhibits.

Sacramento is an easy city to explore. The downtown area has a grid configuration that makes navigating city streets simple. Both Segway Tours and walking tours beckon travelers to explore the area at a leisurely pace. The historic Old Sacramento district is filled with interesting shops and restaurants, all set against a backdrop reminiscent of the Gold Rush era.

Located at the intersection of the Sacramento and American Rivers, Sacramento boasts plenty of sporting opportunities for river enthusiasts. Kayaking, rafting and boating are all available here. Don't miss the chance to ride the Delta King, a paddlewheel steamboat, for a real taste of boating history.

Sacramento, located in northern California, has more a more varied climate than its sister cities to the south. The coldest month is December, when the average temperature can fall into the 40s. Summers are warm, and July's highs can reach into the low 90s. The rainiest months are November through March, but from April through October the weather is warm, sunny and perfect for sightseeing. A delta breeze comes from the San Francisco Bay in the summer and often cools even the hottest summer days.