10 Unbelievable Hidden Gems To Visit In California
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17th Jul | 6 min read

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    California is one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States, attracting both domestic and international travelers. The Golden State is a fascinating land of possibilities, with vibrant towns, beaches, amusement parks, and natural beauty found nowhere else on the planet.

    Whether you're planning a road trip, a family vacation, a city escape, or simply sightseeing, start with our list of the 10 most scenic hidden gems in California.

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    Capitola is a picturesque city in California's Santa Cruz County, nestled on the Monterey Bay coast. This town is only a two-hour drive from San Francisco and has a population of around 10,000 people. In 1874, Camp Capitola, as it was known, welcomed its first tourists, making it California's first beach resort. During the year, a number of festivals are held in the town's close-knit community. Visitors arrive from all over the country to enjoy the city's sandy beaches and beautiful parks. However, Capitola has much more to offer than beaches; there are numerous restaurants, shops, museums, and entertainment options also available here.

    Lake Almanor

    Lake Almanor is one of Northern California's largest lakes. Boating, fishing, water skiing,  sailing, kayaking, are all popular activities on the lake throughout the summer. Miles of magnificent coastal paths, peaceful forested roads, and breathtaking mountain landscapes are abundant at Lake Almanor. The area is a biker's paradise. Many cyclers flock to Lake Almanor to enjoy the fresh alpine air while passing through sparkling lakes, dense forests, and breathtaking mountain ranges.

    Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Look no further than Lassen Volcanic National Park if you want to visit a National Park with plenty of options for outdoor adventure but few people. This off-the-beaten-path gem in the small town of Chester features crystalline lakes, breathtaking mountains, boiling fumaroles, flower-filled meadows, and the park's namesake volcanoes. It was discovered in 1916. Lassen Volcanic Park is one of the unique places in the country where you can see the night sky in pristine clarity. Lassen, unlike many other regions of the world, has not been affected by light pollution since it is located far from any significant hub of civilization. This makes it a fantastic spot for stargazers, astronomy enthusiasts, and anyone who simply enjoys admiring the night sky.

    Big Bear Lake

    Big Bear Lake, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is Southern California's best four-season leisure and adventure destination! Big Bear Lake, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, with hundreds of miles of trails, 22 miles of lakeshore, and over 1,000 acres of skiable terrain in the winter. Seasonal adventure to fuel your soul can be found at Big Bear all year. You'll find it all and more, whether you're looking for an inspiring trek in the woods, a thrilling weekend of skiing and snowboarding, or an amazing mountain bike trip with breathtaking sights. Big Bear Lake marinas open for the Spring through Fall seasons as the snow melts and the water warms up.On the lake, you can hire kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, as well as pontoons and fishing boats. Wakeboard training and jet-ski rentals are available for thrill seekers.

    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a world away from the city and seashore, yet being only two hours east of San Diego's beaches. California's largest state park protects 600,000 acres/242,811 hectares of desert terrain, including stunning badlands, cool palm oases, winding slot canyons, and cactus-studded slopes, on the eastern side of the Peninsular Ranges, which block most storms coming in off the Pacific. This desert preserve is named after Juan Bautista de Anza, a famous Spanish explorer who crossed the desert in 1774, and the Spanish term for sheep (“borrego”), which refers to the region's native bighorn sheep.


    Jenner is a place where you can set your own pace: take a rugged hillside hike with stunning coastal views, paddle a kayak on the river or ocean, stroll leisurely along a beautiful beach or high bluff, sit on the sand and watch a colony of sea lions, or snuggle into a comfy chair while sipping fine wine and nibbling on gentle bites. Whatever you choose to do and everywhere you go in this rural seaside region, you will find friendly people and breathtaking landscapes.


    Solvang is a town with a strong Danish heritage. Founded in 1911 by Danish immigrants, is known for its original architecture, thatched roofs, old-world craftsmanship, and windmills. Solvang Village is a fun place to visit. It's not very big, so it's ideal for strolling or biking around. For a fun way to get around the area, rent a Surrey bike. You can also take a ride on the historic Solvang Trolley, which is pulled by horses.


    The most realistic way to experience the real-life setting of the California gold rush is to go to Bodie. Bodie was a thriving town with over 10,000 residents from 1877 to 1882, producing more than $35 million in gold and silver. A perfect serene place if you want to get lost in history. Bodie, California is a hamlet trapped in time, preserved in a state of "arrested ruin" by California State Parks. It became a State Historic Park in 1962, and the state keeps the structures in the same condition as they were when the state took over the town - they don't restore them, preferring to leave them in their aged and weathered 1880s state.

    Avila Beach

    Avila Beach is well hidden by the mountains surrounding San Luis Obispo Bay, but if you're ready to venture off the typical route, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the ocean and a laid-back vibe in one of California's lesser-known beach communities. The sand at Avila Beach is very fine and it’s very pleasant to walk on. If you get a sunny day, just sit on the sand and enjoy the sun and the water and take in the natural beauty of San Luis Obispo Bay.

    Shasta County

    Shasta County is ready to welcome you if you're seeking a respite from the rush and bustle of big cities. Easily one of the most beautiful counties in the entire state, the brilliant blue waters of Shasta Lake, which has 370 miles of shoreline, are one of California’s best places to visit. There are plenty of smaller lakes, rivers, creeks, and streams, found in Shasta County. Hiking, sailing, water skiing, boating, camping, windsurfing, gold panning, horseback riding, and fishing are all popular activities to do here. This area is also well-known for its excellent fishing, which includes everything from salmon and sturgeon to trout and bass. Rock climbing, white water rafting, kayaking, and hang gliding are all options for the more adventurous. In the Shasta-Cascade region, there are seven national forests just waiting to be discovered!

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