Visiting California? Here are 5 Cities You Must Explore


California is filled with popular West Coast tourist destinations. Discover the hidden gems of some of America’s most exciting cities that are a must if you’re heading to California for business or for pleasure.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is known for its shopping district on Rodeo Drive. Sure, you can take in some retail therapy while in town, but Beverly Hills has so much else to offer. 

The Spadena House, for example, is a must see while touring Beverly Hills. This private residence is a real-life fairytale home. Its unique look has earned it the moniker “The Witch’s House” and appears as if it is straight from the pages of the Hansel and Gretel fairytale. Built in the 1920s, the home was once the office for Willat Studios. The Spadena family bought the house in 1932, after the studio closed its doors.

San Francisco

Urban art around town is a must see while in San Francisco. Visit the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, where mosaic tiles cover the 163 steps. The neighborhood beautification project was originally inspired by a Brazilian artist, EscadAria Selaron; however, the project was organized by artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher, and completed with support from neighborhood residents. Visitors should walk up and down the steps, taking in their incredible detail.

Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island, Catalina Island for short, transports you back in time, far away from the hustle and bustle of modern Los Angeles. The island has a rich Spanish colonial history, which is reflected in the architecture of buildings like the Catalina Island Museum. There are only two ways to get to the island, by ferry or a small aircraft.

The island is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. There are very few cars on the island, so walking and biking are the main forms of transportation. Hiking, boating, or relaxing on the beach are a few of the activities tourists and residents enjoy. You can join a tour to learn about the rich history of the island or take a Channel Island Wildlife Cruise to catch a glimpse the Island’s varied wildlife.

San Diego

If you want to do something different from the tourists who only spend time at San Diego’s beaches and the San Diego Zoo, then head to Whaley House. Built in 1857, the museum, in San Diego’s Old Town, is a Greek Revival-style house that is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country. Some believe that the house’s paranormal activity is due to it having been built on an Indian burial ground.

Big Sur

Big Sur, which runs along the U.S. Route 1 coastline of California, is prime real estate for whale watching. In June through August, you can catch glimpses of the blue whales offshore. Humpback whales can often be spotted and heard in the waters from September through November. Humpback whales are known for their jumping and “singing.”

If you want to check out California landmarks that are off the beaten path, then check out some of these elusive hidden gems.

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