The Golden State of California is known for its fascinating history, pleasant weather year-round, beautiful nature, spectacular beaches, adventurous hiking spots, and a thriving art scene. You wouldn’t be wrong to say there’s something for everyone in this particular West Coast State. It’s, however, important to note that California has so much more to offer than swimming in the gorgeous beaches and seeing celebrities and movie stars. It’s time you ventured into the wilderness areas and state parks in California for more. Here are some of the hidden gems in the Golden State beyond the popular resort towns.
San Miguel Island
San Miguel Island is primarily a plateau with lush native vegetation covering its landscape. Travelers come here for a ranger guided, sixteen-mile round trip hike across the 9,500-acre island as they see and explore one of the most spectacular wildlife displays in the world. Some of the marine animals visitors spot on the island include porpoises, gray whales, blue whales, killer whales, and dolphins. Wildlife includes little creatures such as the deer mouse and island fox. Visitors are greeted in the air by the California brown pelicans, western gulls, Cassin’s auklets, and cormorants as they enter Cuyler Harbor.
The Cypress “Tree Tunnel”
The Cypress “Tree Tunnel” is comprised of several cypress trees planted over eight decades ago. The trees form a tunnel that leads visitors to a telegraphy receiving station also built almost a century ago. The Cypress “Tree Tunnel” can be found inside the Point Reyes National Seashore and often makes visitors feel as though they’re experiencing a fairytale.
Rainbow falls is a majestic 101 ft. waterfall along the San Joaquin River known for its frequent rainbows that appear in the mist the falls put out. There’s just no better way to put it. Perhaps you should head to Madera County to see the beautiful sight for yourself. A three-mile round-trip is just fine. Consider coming at midday so you can get some good rainbow pics.
Bumpass Hell is one of the hot springs at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Don’t mind so much about the sulfur smell. Just focus on exploring the beautiful scene which features active steam vents, color-stained rocks, and boiling mud points. Kandall Bumpass is said to have been the first person to discover the landmark in the 1860s hence the name.
You can visit Burney Falls any time since the underground springs that feed into the falls never stop flowing. Visitors get to view the gorgeous waterfalls from the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, located near Bumpass Hell. The breathtaking spectacle flows about 100 million gallons of water into Lake Britton every day. Activities at the park include camping, fishing, and hiking. You better come and see why Theodore Roosevelt referred to the massive falls as “the 8th wonder of the world.”
Bowling Ball Beach
Located in Mendocino County, Bowling Ball Beach features a serene atmosphere and an incredible landscape. There’s no doubt this is one of the things you must see in California. The beach has large, circular boulders, referred to as concretions, hence its name.
Lake Berryessa’s “Glory Hole”
The Glory hole is an open bell-mouth spillway at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, east of the Monticello Dam. The breathtaking spectacle might just be one of the coolest sights you’ll ever see in your life. The glory hole serves as a spillway that allows for the release of dam water into Putah Creek. Plan to visit when the water levels are right at the reservoir.