Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, the 'Crown Jewel of the California State Park System', preserves a stunning rocky coastline with hidden coves, pocket beaches and the Monterey Cypress, one of only two places naturally grown. The adjacent Point Lobos State Marine Reserve protects the waters which include vast kelp forests. Spend the day hiking, snorkeling and swimming among this gorgeous coast.
Tioga Road is a scenic drive through Yosemite's High Country which offers several vista points, waterfalls, lakes, hiking opportunities as well as the unforgettable Tuolumne Meadows. It is a great escape from the crowds of the valley and is usually open from June through September. The drive also takes you to some of the last great undeveloped land of the west.
Located on the edge of the city, Mount Rubidoux (1,331 feet) is one of Riverside's iconic landmarks. The oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States started here in 1909 and would draw 30,000 people at its peak in the 20's. The mountain features a famous cross dedicated to Mission founder Father Junípero Serra as well as a World Peace Bridge. It is now a city park with more than 3 miles of hiking trails providing stunning views of Riverside and the Inland Empire.
Highway 1 through Big Sur is known as the 'Most Beautiful Drive in the World'. This 90 mile stretch from San Simeon to Carmel is 'The Greatest Meeting of Land and Sea' on Earth. The Santa Lucia Mountains drop majestically to the ocean creating a dramatic rocky coast. Vista points at each bend provide stunning overlooks to get out and enjoy the view. Drive slow and spend the day admiring one of California's great wild places.
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.
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).
Tuolumne Meadows is the serene and stunningly beautiful alpine meadow of Yosemite's High Country. At 8,600 feet, it can be reached by the scenic Tioga Road in the summertime where the Tuolumne River flows among draping peaks. The meadows mark the northern border of the largest stretch of road-less wilderness in the continental United States allowing you to escape in solitude.
Chimes Tower is one of Avalon's iconic landmarks on Santa Catalina Island. Built in 1925 by Ada Elizabeth Wrigley, wife of William Wrigley Jr., using chimes created by the J. C. Deagan Company of Chicago, the chimes continue to ring today and add an enchanting touch. A walk to the the tower provides a stunning panorama of Avalon and its picturesque bay.
Sunrise Scenic Byway is San Diego's most scenic drive. At 24 miles, this drive winds 6,000 feet high through Cleveland National Forest and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area with green meadows, forested peaks and stunning desert vistas that overlook Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Enjoy Fall colors, Winter snow and Spring wildflowers making it a four season destination.
Bishop Peak is the highest of the 'Nine Sisters' volcanic plugs at 1,559 feet. The rocky peak resembling a Bishop's miter was named during the Mission days. Run as a natural reserve, ecosystems include chaparral, grassland and oak woodland making it important for conservation. A moderate 4.4 mile out and back hike will bring you to the top with sweeping views of San Luis Obispo and its valleys.