California Vacation Destinations

California Vacation Destinations #1:

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in the southeastern corner of California is a great location for wilderness camping and hiking. The terrain is such that you can choose to hike the desert landscape or the snowcapped mountains.

Of course, the temperature and the water supply will vary with the altitude so be well prepared. The park is 600,000 acres and has many miles of dirt roads with most of them accessible with high clearance vehicles.

Only a few if the roads are accessible using standard passenger cars. There nine selected primitive camp areas plus one horse camp however; this park is the only state park that allows open camping over the whole park.

California Vacation Destinations #2:

By Viva from CA - One of the best vacation trips I ever took was to San Diego a few years ago. I stayed at the Heritage Park Inn, just above Old Town, which gave me easy access to the trolley system as well as to cabs.

The Inn is a bed and breakfast whose concierge helps guests with restaurant and other reservations and information, so I utilized her skills.

I ended up having a great time mostly at the waterfront--not on the beach, but at the Maritime Museum, as well as taking a long tour of the USS Midway, which is a huge aircraft carrier that takes at least three hours to explore fully. I also had a wonderful lunch nearby at the Fish Market Restaurant.

In the evening, I was able to see the Star of India--an old tall ship from the 19th century--come back into the harbor, pulled by tugboats and manned by people wearing period costumes and singing sea chanteys. I love the water and boats and ships of all times, so this was the perfect vacation spot for me.

California Vacation Destinations #3:

By Channing, San Francisco - I recently took a wonderful vacation to Palm Springs, CA. Although it is very warm in September, I enjoy the desert and as long as you have a decent air conditioner in your car, you will be fine. Palm Springs is a city that came of age in the mid-1960s.

Much of the architecture there is referred to as Mid-Century Modern. This results in a place that is kind of lost in time - like a 1965 turquoise Ford Thunderbird convertible. We stayed at a 1960s style motel called the Caliente Tropics. It had a sort of Polynesian motif with tiki gods, torches, and a super large pool. Since it was summer and we were in the desert we did two things that were especially memorable. First, we visited the Moorten Botanical Garden - a private cactus garden right in the heart of Palm Springs.

For a small admission charge you can see an incredible variety of wild cacti and succulents. I wouldn't recommend this place for children as they could easily be hurt if they slipped or fell on the very tiny trail through the garden.

The cacti are right up against you. We also visited the 1000 Palms Oasis north of Interstate 10 (about a 20 minute drive north of Palm Springs).

We took a two-mile hike here through an actual oasis of palm trees and a natural spring that has arisen from the base of the San Andreas Earthquake fault. This was definitely a "desert" experience. When we got back to our car around noon the temperature was 127 degrees Fahrenheit!

California Vacation Destinations #4:

San Diego Harbor Excursion Boat
Photo Credit:

If you get anywhere near the harbor in San Diego, CA , just hop on board the "Spirit of San Diego", the “California Princess”, the “Point Loma” or any of the other tour ships for a "San Diego Harbor Excursion". There are several types of tours available, from dinner cruises to whale watching cruises.

During the tour you will get a good look at at the Naval Sub Base, the sprawling shipyards, the U.S. Navy surface fleet, North Island Naval Air Station, the Cabrillo National Monument and the impressive Coronado Bay Bridge. There are also some deluxe tours that cover a wider scope of the harbor.

California Vacation Destinations #5:

The HMS Queen Mary is moored at Long Beach CA and has joined the corps of tourist attractions. When she was launched in 1936 she had a length of 1,000 feet and in her prime she was the biggest and fastest ship afloat. During her first three years as passenger ship she hosted many of the world’s rich and famous.

When WWII broke out in 1939 she was retooled as troop carrier, in which calling she carried over 800,000 troops and played a significant part in the war effort. Today, she still has her royal beauty and is a wonderful ship to tour.

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