From southern to northern, and everything in between, California has plenty to offer tourists from all walks of life. And we're not just referring to the Golden Gate Bridge or Disneyland alone. What? You think we're lying? Then check these places out.
Kirt Edblom / FlickrIn Northern California, you can find unique things in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, like Fern Canyon. It has 50-foot-high walls, where several types of fern, native to California grow. Since the canyon has a primeval motif, it's often used to film movies that have dinosaurs in them.
But if you're the kind of tourist that loves rock-climbing, then this is where you should go next.
Seven Teacups, Sequoia National Forest
Geology Of The World And The EnvironmentAlong the Dry Meadow Creek, you'll find the Seven Teacups Canyon, which is popular with canyoners from all over because of its unique formation. Although the climb up can be challenging, the way down through the waterfall can be fun, especially if you use an inflatable raft.
You might have seen this town from an HBO series, but there's more here than people who are filthy rich.
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
Andrew / FlickrNear Big Sur's post office, you'll find Pfeiffer Beach, which is one of Northern California´s hidden gems. The beach offers challenging rock formations, including one with a keyhole that is so Instagram worthy. But you might enjoy the eroded crystals of garnet that have formed purple streaks on the sand.
Your next destination is not your typical California beach experience.
Pismo Beach Sand Dunes, Oceano
Anita Ritenour / FlickrThe Sahara Desert dunes pale in comparison to the sand dunes along Pismo Beach. They're created by the tides too. But the cool part of this spot is that the compact and solid sand allows you to drive on the beach almost till you reach the water.
If you're looking for the place with the most snow, then California has a lake for you.
Lake Helen, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Daniel Parks / FlickrLake Helen can be found south of Northern California's Lassen Peak. It's named after the first woman to reach the peak in 1884, Helen Tanner Brodt. But the lake is located at such a high altitude that you will only see it unfrozen every year in September and that's it.
If you believe the hardest places to get are also the most beautiful, then you'll definitely want to head here.
Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness
Sathish J / FlickrIn the Sierra Nevada, you'll find the Thousand Island Lake, one of the largest backcountry lakes, at the edge of Banner Peak. It got its name from the various rocky islands on its surface. This lake offers some amazing scenery, which includes glistening waterfalls and snow peaks too.
If you thought that it wasn't worth visiting one of the most grueling places in the country, then you're so mistaken.
Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park
Steve Corey / FlickrDon't let the name fool you, there's plenty of beauty in Death Valley, particularly in Zabriskie Point. The sunlight creates an amazing display of colors right at dawn, once the hill ridges become visible.
And you can thank the valley, which is rich in minerals for such a sight.
If you want to see a place that's a lot like Rivendell, then come here.
Mossbrae Falls, Dunsmuir
Chewei Chang / FlickrThe moss-covered canyon walls are fed by the springs that run through it. That's what gives this place an ethereal type effect. You can get to the falls using the trail by the Union Pacific Railroad tracks but it's narrow in some areas. In fact, the city of Dunsmire had to close the trail in 2011 because of safety issues.
You might have visited this next destination, but did you know it has a lot more to offer?
La Jolla, San Diego
Chad McDonald / FlickrTourists visiting San Diego love this popular hilly seaside community. It's got boutiques, and restaurants in a town with plenty of scenic views, secluded beaches, tide pools, ocean bluffs and a whole lot more. If you're a wildlife enthusiast, you'll also find plenty wildlife here like seals, a variety of seabirds and sea lions too.
If you go to this next spot, you'll swear that you transported into a fairy tale.
Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes
Ajay Goel / FlickrLocated 30 miles northwest of San Francisco in beautiful Marin County is a cape called Point Reyes. It's considered the most magical spot because of the cypress tree tunnels between the visitors' center and the lighthouse. This area is often covered in fog at dawn, and when the sunsets, the light creates a breathtaking view as it breaks through the branches.
Don't call the body of water at this next location typical.
Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra
Rennett Stowe / FlickrOver 760,000 years ago, a large, shallow saline soda lake was formed, which is now called Mono Lake. It has no outlet to the ocean, so it accumulated high amounts of salt, turning the water into alkaline. You'll find brine shrimp in the water and over two million migrant birds feeding this lake's rich ecosystem.
Prepare to experience an explosion of colors like no other.
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Lancaster
Anita Ritenour / FlickrThe official state flower of California is a poppy, but if you want to know why then go to Northern Los Angeles County and visit the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. This reserve contains the biggest concentration of poppies in California, along with other wildflowers like the coreopsis, cream cups, goldfields, and owl's clover.
It might not have been intentional, but the following beautiful spot is actually man-made.
Glass Beach, Fort Bragg
Images by John 'K' / FlickrEarly settlers of the region used Glass Beach at Fort Bragg as a dumping zone, and they discarded pottery and glass, which the waves slowly degraded over time. Now, you'll find a large collection of smooth ceramics and round glass in all sorts of amazing looking colors.
Don't assume that being legendary wine mixers is the only thing that makes this next destination interesting.
Avalon, Santa Catalina Island
David Wilson / FlickrLocated in the lovely Avalon Bay is the fantastic city of Santa Catalina Island. Here is where 90% of islanders call home. It's also a resort community with a Mediterranean atmosphere that has plenty of entertainment venues that attract tourists. If you love snorkeling than you'll definitely love the marine reserve park this place has to offer.
At this next location, you´ll always find something new to explore.
Valley View, Yosemite
Mr. Nixter / FlickrOne of the top destinations to visit in California is Yosemite National Park, and it's definitely worth exploring. It's got plenty of venues where you can take some amazing photos of, particularly Valley View. You'll have the El Capitan to the left, the Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Falls to the right, and the Merced River in the foreground. So, all of your photos will practically look like the best postcard ever.