Central California

The hard part, when thinking about California’s High Sierra, is deciding what to do during your visit. The options include Yosemite, King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Farther north on the Nevada border is Lake Tahoe, surrounded by ski resorts and snow in the winter, and arts, music, and festivals in summer. The options for outdoor activity are endless.

Drive through the Central Valley, and you’ll see how life revolves around agriculture. You’ll find incredible farmer’s markets, roadside produce stands, and festivals that celebrate local specialties. The region’s major cities, including Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton, offer many attractions including museums, concerts, racing, country music and unique gardens. Let’s not forget about the wineries of the Madera Wine Trail.

Find the perfect balance between urban and rural on California’s Central Coast. Artist enclaves in Carmel and Big Sur, celebrity residents, world-class resorts, an emerging wine region and a castle are part of the attraction, yet the atmosphere is relaxed and casual as you make your way along scenic Highway One from Monterey to Santa Barbara.

The scenic Highway One runs along the Central Coast, dividing the region’s options for outdoor activities roughly in two: ocean on one side, mountains on the other. Game refuges, land reserves, state parks and beaches provide lots of great opportunities for hiking, from the redwood forests near Monterey to the sand dunes of Pismo Beach.

The heavy visitor traffic that arrives along the Central Coast each year helps support thriving retail districts. There’s always something you can’t live without in Carmel-by-the-Sea’s more than 100 galleries and the beachside shops of Capitola.

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