Giant Sequoia National Monument was created on April 15, 2000 to preserve the remaining Sequoia Groves and forest outside of the National Parks. Highway 190 provides a scenic drive high in the Sierra Nevada to the Sequoia's with stunning mountain vistas and recreational areas along the Tule River.
Huntington Beach Pier has been a California Icon since 1904 and is one of the largest along the West Coast at 1,850 feet. Huntington Beach or 'Surf City USA' has a consistent year-round surf. Hawaii's George Freeth surfed here in 1914 to help promote the sport along with Legendary Hawaiian Olympic gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku in the 1920's. Many famous surf shops followed in the 1950's to solidify the role of HB as the 'Surf Capital of the World' during the first United States surfing championship in 1959. Enjoy a sunset stroll along this historic pier and beautiful beach.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs, 'The World's Biggest Dinosaurs', are an iconic Roadside Attraction near Palm Springs. Mr. Rex, a 100-ton Tyrannosaurus rex and Dinny the Dinosaur, a 150-ton Brontosaurus were sculpted by Claude K. Bell. Both dinosaurs are so massive, several people can fit inside while Dinny serves as a building. They are forever famous from the film, Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles is the largest railroad terminal in the West serving more than 100,000 passengers each day. Opening in 1939, this was the last great railway station built during the Golden Age of train travel. Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne are its architectural styles making it timeless and iconic.
Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve are one of the largest (45 square miles) and tallest (700 feet) sand dunes in the North America. They are considered young created in the last 25,000 years by climate change and are often called the 'Singing Dunes' for the booming noise created by sliding sands. Run down a dune and listen for the rumble. A moderate 3 mile round-trip trail takes you to the top of the highest dune and is perfect for solitude seekers.
Hudson Ranch Road is a scenic drive through Los Padres National Forest from Highway 33 to Frazier Park. Sweeping views of the Central Valley, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Emigdio Mountains and the Chumash Wilderness are revealed at each bend. Visit in the Spring for dramatic green hills covered in wildflowers.
Mariposa Grove is the largest Sequoia grove in Yosemite National Park. Its most famous resident 'Grizzly Giant' is estimated to be 1900-2400 years old, and is the 25th largest in the world. Abraham Lincoln famously protected these trees on June 30, 1864 as an Act of Congress. Stunning trails wind through this enchanting forest of gentle giants.
The Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes are the largest coastal dune ecosystem in California at 18 miles long. Several opportunities are available from relaxing at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes County Park, off-roading at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and camping at Pismo State Beach. Native American Chumash used the site as a fishing village and hunted alongside wild grizzly bears.
Cecil B. DeMille filmed his famous epic 'The Ten Commandments' in 1923 and buried the gigantic sets after filming. Excavated pieces of 'Egypt' have been discovered in the shifting sands. This National Natural Landmark also preserves many endangered plants and animals. Enjoy exploring these wild, uncrowded dunes.
Dante's View is the best place to admire the expansive view of Death Valley. At 5,475 feet, the vista sits on the crest of the Black Mountains and looks to the Valley, Panamint Range and Badwater Basin with its white salt flats. On a clear day, the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney (14,494 feet) can be seen alongside the lowest point Badwater (-282 feet).
Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium has been a Palm Springs tradition since 1939. This one acre garden packs in 3,000 desert cacti from around the globe including North American Deserts: Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Great Basin & Colorado Plateau as well as Mexico, Africa and South America. Enjoy the wonderful mirage of cacti along its stunning trails.