California has been a tourist heavy destination for many years, mainly because its obviously seen as a Mecca for fans of entertainment. With superstars from film, art and music living, performing and displaying their work here its no wonder that those with a taste for the lifestyle flock here, as do many admiring fans. And although California is equally as infamous for its crime, dense urban areas and as the old timers would put it ‘loose morality’, there are still many pleasant and breathtaking sights to see along this giant strip along America’s west coast.
The Hollywood Sign
Created in 1923 to simply advertise a new housing area which was whites only, the sign has since dropped the racist connotations and the ‘land’ that once finished off the sign. Now an iconic representation of the thriving film industry that still remains centered in Los Angeles the sign has been featured in countless films and TV series as well as being parodied or made tribute to all across the world. Although visitors can not walk up and take a photo next to the sign (as several films may lead you to believe), the closest you can get to the giant letters is actually from behind them on the Santa Monica hills. However because of their placement you will be able to snap a decent photo from most places in the city with a little help from your camera zoom.
The Golden Gate Bridge
Across route 1 in San Francisco is one of the most famous bridges in the world. In 1937 when it was first erected this enormous structure was the tallest and longest bridge on the planet but since has been bested. Its well known for its art deco style and its striking red-orange colour (called international orange), most people will have heard the tale that it gets entirely repainted every year – which is actually false. It also holds a darker allure as it is one of the most frequent suicide bridges on the planet.
How can you go to the home of film and not get engaged with some of its most famous proponents. Universal is responsible for hundreds of iconic film characters including the classic monsters that spooked audiences worldwide. Here in California you can enjoy the magic and excitement of the theme park as well as visiting several film sets too. Visitors can take tours around the soundstages and see the sets that go into making their beloved movies, which as a fan of films is a bucket list item you cannot miss.
Yosemite National Park
Not all the sights in California are man made; the state offers an incredibly diverse selection of natural wonders from icy mountains to bleak sandy deserts and everything in between. Yosemite falls in the middle and is a wonderful bliss filled outing for walkers, hikers or climbers. Here you can trek up mountains or watch several astounding waterfalls all while taking respite from being away from the city hustle and bustle. Once you discover the wonder of tranquility here you may never want to go back to civilisation, as you knew it.