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10 Bucket-Lists Worthy California Experiences

Big Bear Lake, CA
Near General Shermann Tree, Giant Forest Sequoia National Park, California,USA
Near General Shermann Tree, Giant Forest, Sequoia Nattional Park, California, USA

California is well known for it’s abundance of activities and attractions, but did you know you can also encounter one-of-a-kind marvels, both natural and manmade. When you visit, be sure to bring your bucket list, because you’ll definitely have the opportunity to see and do things that exist only in California. Here are just a few of the unique “must-see” experiences you can enjoy when you visit the Golden State:

Marvel at the World’s Most Massive Trees

For tree lovers, there is no better travel destination than the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Here, visitors encounter the world’s most massive trees – the giant sequoia. With a height of 286 feet or more, a circumference of 113 feet or more, and an estimated age of 1,800 to 2,700 years, the giant sequoia is among the tallest, widest and longest-lived of all organisms in the world. Come explore the trails of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where you will find groves of giant sequoias and the largest tree in the world. www.majesticmountainloop.com/home

Visit the World’s Largest Sundial Bridge

Fresno Blossom Trail

Redding’s Sundial Bridge is not only one of two bridges in the United States designed by world-renowned Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, but also the world’s largest sundial. The 700-foot glass-decked pedestrian bridge spans the Sacramento River and the 217-foot pylon of the bridge points due north at the cantilevered angle, casting its shadow on a large dial on the bridge’s plaza. Come enjoy this unique bridge and its scenic surroundings, which draw people from all over the world. www.turtlebay.org/sundialbridge

Experience the Fresno’s Beautiful Forestiere Underground Gardens

Hidden belowground in Fresno, the Forestiere Underground Gardens are an architectural and agricultural marvel. From 1906 to 1946, Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere excavated a labyrinth of rooms, creating an incredible subterranean complex of patios, grottos and garden courts. Today, you can walk the passageways and enjoy the beauty of Forestiere’s vision. The gardens are a sight to behold, boasting multiple varieties of fruit-bearing plants throughout the three underground levels. www.undergroundgardens.com

Discover the World’s Most Bizarre Mansion

Eager for mystery? Come tour the beautiful but bizarre Winchester Mystery House, a 160-room, $5.5 million Victorian mansion that was owned, designed and built by Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune. Some say the building oddities were devised to confuse the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifle. It’s hard to explain the 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases, unused Grand Ballroom and endless spiritual symbols. Whatever the reason for its existence, the mansion is a mystery worth seeing for yourself. www.winchestermysteryhouse.com

Travel the California Missions Trail

Only in California can you drive the Historic Mission Trail and discover the 21 missions built by the Franciscans more than 200 years ago. The drive takes you from one historical and cultural landmark to another, roughly following El Camino Real (The Royal Road), which was named for the Spanish monarchy that financed the expedition to California. www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22722

Relax in the Santa Barbara Salt Caves

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from everyday life, visit Santa Barbara, home to the only Himalayan salt caves in the United States. Here, visitors can bask in serene and beautiful salt caves that are crafted from 45 tons of 250 million-year-old Himalayan crystal salt, the most pristine and unpolluted salt on Earth. Guests can relax and enjoy a variety of sessions and treatments, all in a unique venue. www.saltcavesb.com

Create Music on Lancaster’s Musical Road

If you’ve never heard the finale of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture, Lancaster’s Musical Road will play it for you. Initially installed in 2008 as part of a noteworthy Honda Motor Company marketing campaign, the musical road now exists solely as a tourist-attraction, offering visitors the chance to “play” music as they drive along Avenue G. www.destinationlancasterca.org

Discover Mount Diablo’s Amazing View

If you love breathtaking views but can’t make the trip to Africa, California’s Mount Diablo is the next best thing. Geographers claim that hikers can see more of the Earth’s surface from the top of Mount Diablo than from any other peak in the world, with the exception of Africa’s legendary 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. Come hike, bike or ride horseback through the mountain’s extensive trail system, while enjoying fascinating wildlife and distinctive rock formations. www.diablovalleyca.com

Tour Air Force One in Southern California

Only in California can you walk on board and tour an actual Air Force One Presidential airplane. Now housed in the Reagan Library’s Air Force One Pavilion, this Boeing 707 flew seven U.S. Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush. The Pavilion also includes an actual Marine One Helicopter, a presidential motorcade, and the authentic pub from Ballyporeen, Ireland, that President and Mrs. Reagan visited in 1984. www.reaganfoundation.org

Come Enjoy Big Bear’s Rare Wildflowers

In Big Bear, you have the opportunity to see more than 20 endemic wildflowers not found anywhere else in the world. In spring, visitors have the chance to see these rare flowers up close at the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve with guided wildflower

hikes led by a botanist and volunteers of the Southern California Mountains Foundation. www.mountainsfoundation.org

Link to access Images-  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxaO5fZJVXm5NUh5V0xCOXJSZDQ?usp=sharing

 About Visit California  

Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, spending by travelers totaled $126.3 billion in 2016 in California, generating 1,096,000 jobs in the state and $10.3 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California, go to www.visitcalifornia.com.

For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to www.media.visitcalifornia.com

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