If there’s one state that offers the best and the worst the United States has to offer, it’s California. There’s the beaches and mountains and awesome cities. As a vacation destination California has more to offer than any other state. It’s a great place to visit but due to cost of living, I’m up in the air about whether I’d want to live there, and I might some day. I’ve been to California seven times and haven’t come close to seeing everything. I will tell you what I know.

San Diego is a great place to visit. If you like sunny days and warm temps then San Diego is for you. It’s only about a 2 1/2 drive from L.A. and about a 15 minute drive from Tijuana, Mexico.

It’s known for it’s beaches, parks and temperate climate. You don’t have to stay by the shore though. The city of San Diego has many walkable areas with a great nightlife and music community. I’d recommend getting a hotel in the Gaslight District where you can walk to dozens of shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the beach. The last time I was there I enjoyed the Hard Rock Hotel that has a great rock and roll vibe.

Then, there’s Los Angeles. I’ve never really been to Los Angeles. I’ve driven by it, I’ve sat in L.A. traffic on the expressway, I’ve been to the Hollywood Home Depot, and I’ve spent a ton of time in Burbank, which is about ten miles north of L.A. and is the home of Walt Disney productions, Warner Bros. Studios, Cartoon Network home office, a Universal Studios theme park, and is where a lot of show biz folks call home.

One thing about California and the L.A. area is that if you want a theme park, they’ve got them! There’s Disneyland, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disney California Adventure Park, Legoland California, and many more. I could go on, but I really didn’t want to do all that linking. Here’s a great article on The 15 Best Theme Parks and Amusement Parks in California.

If you’re not into theme parks and are more of a watersport/outdoorsy person California is for you. Hundreds of beaches all up the coast have enough room for everyone to go to the beach.

To the north of course is San Francisco and wine country as well as mountains for climbing in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Obviously, I’m a big fan of the state of California. One caveat/word of advice is don’t go in August-September which is wildfire season.Other than that, it’s well worth the trip regardless of where you go. I could probably schedule four or five vacations just to see all the different parts of the state.

Safe travels! ~Phil