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7 things you didn't know you could see and do in California

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Many people, when they think of California, think of Hollywood, never-ending beaches, unremitting sunshine, surfers, rock stars, movie moguls, and living the good life.

And it's all true, to an extent.

But California is so much more than Hollywood red carpets and SoCal surfer beaches. Try any of these insider secrets next time you're wondering what there is to see and do in the Golden State.

Inside Shasta Caverns
Inside Shasta Caverns Photo by Mike Fox

Inside Shasta Caverns

Subterranean Secrets

Visit Lake Shasta and take a tour of Shasta Caverns, the only California adventure that requires a catamaran trip across a lake and a bus ride up a hill before you even reach the caverns.

Mission San Juan Bautista
Mission San Juan Bautista Photo by Anna Fox

Mission San Juan Bautista

Historical history

Follow the path of the padres, El Camino Real, and discover California's Spanish roots through the 21 California missions that played such an important role in the settlement of California.

A Central Valley Farmers Market
A Central Valley Farmers Market Photo by Suzi Rosenberg

A Central Valley Farmers Market

Ultimate Farmers Market

Take a road trip through America's real heartland, the Great Central Valley where one percent of U.S. farmland produces eight percent of the nation's agricultural product. Visit local farms and farmers markets to taste, shop, and participate in hands-on activities.

Approaching Avalon, Catalina Island
Approaching Avalon, Catalina Island Photo by Stop or I'll Shoot

Approaching Avalon, Catalina Island

Island paradise

Travel 26 miles across the sea to Catalina Island for a walking tour of Avalon, parasailing, ziplining, wild bison, playing in the water, and golf-carting around the island.

Horseback riding in Yosemite
Horseback riding in Yosemite Photo by Kenneth Hagemeyer

Horseback riding in Yosemite

Cowboy up

Saddle up in Yosemite National Park in the high Sierras at one of three stables inside the boundaries of the park for two-hour, four-hour, and all day rides to enjoy spine-tingling scenery and heavenly views.

 

Dunsmuir, California
Dunsmuir, California Photo by Joanne Steele

Dunsmuir, California

Downtown fishing

Spend some time in Dunsmuir, along the Upper Sacramento River, where there are several easily reached fishing access points that are within the city limits.

San Diego's Gaslamp District
San Diego's Gaslamp District Photo by Nathan Rupert

San Diego's Gaslamp District

Looking for a little nightlife?

Discover 16 square blocks of restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, and shops in San Diego's historic downtown Gaslamp Quarter, where the party's just getting started.

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