Places to Visit in California that it not San Francisco, San Diego or Los Angeles. California is a place I never thought I would live, but knew that I wanted to visit. There is so much to see and do in California that you’ll never be able to see it all. While San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles are amazing places and highly recommend visiting a few times. There are so many other places that I didn’t know existed that I would recommend just as much as the “big cities.”
“We will never see everything that California has to offer. People who have lived here their whole lives haven’t seen everything in California.” I said this so many times when we were traveling in California. Mostly to remind myself I can’t see it all in one visit.
I mean this is obvious because we lived here for 3 years, but there really is a lot of things to do in Modesto. If you are a huge car fan, you’ll want to come for American Graffiti. It’s usually the first weekend in June and all the old and new cars come out. If you like true crime, Modesto is the home of the Lacy Peterson trail. We didn’t go by the house, but I always wanted to. If you are into sports, it’s home of the Modesto Nuts – Single A for the Seattle Mariners. TIP: I would go either early or later in the season. There is not much shade at the ballpark. The Modesto Arch is located downtown that’s really pretty to see day or night. When I lived there, they were trying to build up the downtown area. There are a lot of great places for brunch like Commonwealth and Churchkey. While downtown, there are several murals through the town. I would check out this website for locations.
One of the places that I would go all the time and see something new each time. My favorite memory of Sac things was do a bar crawl with friends. We did a day of day-drinking followed by baseball game at night. We started early and hit my favorite place first for lunch and drinks, Urban Roots. You want to get there early for the ribs. They only make so many in a day, and the beer is amazing. Another good place to eat is at Drake’s Barn. Drake’s is for the whole family because it’s an open space for kids to run around. There are fire pits everywhere, playground, and a bunch of other games. It’s also right next to a trail to walk or ride your bike. If you don’t have a bike, there are plenty of places to rent one around town. Plus right down the street is the Sacramento Rivercats – Triple A for the San Francisco Giants.
Downtown Sacramento is a fun place. I would recommend getting there early because parking can be a hassle. Everything is pretty much within talking distance. I love architecture so this area has some of the best. Anytime I know someone is going to California, I ask where they are going and if Sacramento is close I tell the it’s definitely a place to visit in California.
I knew this was a place I wanted to This was on my list but we never got to visit before we left. We thought about it but didn’t make sense to spend more time in the car than seeing everything. Plus it was right before we making the move from California to Illinois. I thought it would be better to save our money before the move. I haven’t given up on going to back to see Big Sur. There is a marathon that I have debated on doing in the next few years. Big Sur is also where the show Big Little Lies took place.
Napa is so pretty and the wineries are gorgeous. I only drove through Napa when traveling. I wanted to stop and explore more but never had the time. If you go to Napa, you’ll need to follow Verbal Gold Blog’s Napa tour. There is also a place that rents golf carts to go from winery to winery.
Monterey is a must see if you are close. Old Fisherman’s Wharf is an experience. I got to witness fisherman bring what the caught and sell to the restaurants. I had never seen that happen before and thought the whole exchange was pretty cool. Monterey Aquarium is always highly recommended. I didn’t go because I was short on time, but a lot of my friends have gone and absolutely loved it. There is also amazing shopping downtown Monterey.
Also Pebble Beach is near Monterey. It’s probably a 10-15 minute drive from Fisherman’s Wharf and it’s so pretty. I’m not a huge golfer by any means, but the views and courses magical. There is an admission cost of $11.75 but it’s good for all day. When I went they gave me a map of all the must see things. I think I spend a few hours there, and stopped at every place even if it was for a few minutes.
I wanted to visit Palm Springs ever since we lived in Washington. When I was working at a gym in Seattle, and these ladies were talking about going to the Springs this weekend. I was intrigued because I was thinking hot springs, so I can asked where they were going. They literally all looked at me like I was an idiot and said Palm Springs. I had NEVER heard of anyone shorting Palm Springs to The Springs. Since then I was like I want to go and see what this city is all about.
I didn’t have much time to explore Palm Springs because I was on a short trip. The only things I did was Palm Springs Tram and drove around looking at the art installments. Ending with the pink dinosaur leaving Palm Springs. I was there maybe 4 hours, and I can’t wait to go back to Palm Springs sometime to just soak it all in. I have seen so many of my friends go and get the best pictures. It’s so colorful and sunny. what’s not to love about it, right?
There are so many places I could recommend, and there are so many places I didn’t get to. It’s always been my dream of mine to do the Pacific Coast Highway from start to finish. Northern California is a place I didn’t get to see anything, and I have heard the best things about it. Santa Cruz is a great town to spend the day on the beach with amazing views. Tahoe even though I think it’s more Nevada than California. Tahoe is a must. it’s one of my favorite places that I visited when I lived in California.
I honestly think the list could go on and on but California commercials are right. There is something for everyone no matter your interests. I feel like you can ask 10 people what are 10 cities to visit in California and you’ll get so many variations.