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Trip List by huntress007

What you "must-do" in California

May 19, 2008  I wasn't in love with California when I moved here but that's changed. Here's a place with mountains, ocean, desert, ancient bristlecone forests, and all kinds of subtle variations.
2.0 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

Getting to Know California - For the Nature Lover

  • 1. Big Sur
    Big Sur, California

    Whether you prefer the exclusive accommodations of the Post Ranch Inn, a night spent in a yurt at Tree Bones or pitching a tent in the pines, you will love Big Sur's pristine beauty. Venture further north to the incomparable Monterey Aquarium or take a walk around Los Lobos National Preserve.

  • 2. Death Valley National Park
    Death Valley National Park, California

    There aren't lots of hotel choices in Death Valley. I recommend the Furnace Creek Inn for the well-heeled and Furnace Creek Ranch for the less so. The former is a lot nicer than the latter but very pricey. At very least stop at the Inn for a drink or dinner.

  • 3. Steep Ravine Cabins
    Steep Ravine Cabins, Mill Valley, Marin County

    The Steep Ravine cabins overlook gorgeous Marin coastlline just south of Stinson Beach. The price is right but be aware you must come equipped with bedding, cooking supplies and food -- just like camping. They provide a wood stove, a table and wooden platforms for beds. The wood we purchased was fire-proof so I strongly urge bringing some. Can hike easily up to Mt Tamalpais. You will love this view.

  • 4. Joshua Tree National Park
    Joshua Tree National Park, California

    There's room for everyone here, wide open expanses, intricate rock formations. Stay nearby at the Pioneertown Motel (cheap for a reason) or find yourself a camping spot or enjoy a night at the 29 Palms Inn on the very edge of the park. Turn off into Landers and get yourself a sound bath at the Integratron or go orchid shopping at Gubler's. It's another world.

  • 5. Santa Barbara Area
    Santa Barbara, California

    There's no lack of options in Santa Barbara with lovely high end accommodations at San Ysidro Ranch or luxury tent camping at El Capitan Canyon. Walk along the ocean, go wine tasting, eat at one of the many wonderful area restaurants or veer off the beaten path to Cold Spring Tavern. There's a reason Oprah bought here.