Are you on the run, (love) driving in the sun, looking out for number one? Some people will remember the lyrics from "California" of the band Phantom Planet, even if you aren’t a big supporter of the series hit OC California. And if you're on the run from the bad weather or the daily grind of your homeland and long for relaxed car rides along the #sun-drenched beaches of the south of the #Golden State or want to hike through the enchanting redwood #forests of the north, you're in the right place in the most populous state of the United States. California, here you come!
San Francisco - You can't be much closer to the Pacific than San Francisco. The cosmopolitan city of around 900,000 inhabitants on a peninsula bears its name after St. Francis and is bursting with interesting culture, #architecture, art and a fascinating and incredibly delicious #food scene. Highlights like the Golden Gate Bridge (to be seen in the early morning fog) and the Golden Gate Park of the same name as well as the tourist harbour district Fisherman's Wharf are known worldwide and an absolute must-see. But also smaller destinations like the old park at Washington Square, the fine sandy Baker Beach or the most winding street of the world, the Lombard Street, are absolutely worth a visit.
Monterey - In the small coastal town of #Monterey, almost everything revolves around fishing and the sea. At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century one of the most important fishing and whaling ports, nowadays tourism has become the main source of income for the #port city, which accommodates almost 30,000 inhabitants. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest public aquariums worldwide with over 550 different #animal species such as starfishes, jellyfishes, sharks and penguins. Take a picture of the Lone Cypress, one of North America's most photographed trees, at Pebble Beach. Or just wait until shortly before #sunset and walk along the quay of Old Fisherman's Wharf to Del Monte Beach, where you can see a few seals and, with a bit of luck, even #whales, as well as numerous bird species with a beautiful #view of the sea.
Death Valley - As threatening, ghostly and lifeless as the name of the desert valley in eastern California may seem, Death Valley is home to much more fauna and flora than you might think at first glance, even it is one of the hottest places on Earth. Spring wildflowers, dunes as well as narrow gorges and #mountain landscapes make their way through the valley, while numerous #desert wildlife leave their hiding places, especially at night. 86 metres below sea level you will find the lowest elevation in North America, the Badwater Basin. Here, in 1913, the highest ambient air temperature ever measured worldwide was determined at 56.7° C (134° F). Contrary to this, #Dante's View, a viewing platform at 5,476 ft (1,669 m) above sea level, is also worth a climb, from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the entire Death Valley, Badwater Basin and America's highest mountain outside Alaska, Mt Whitney (4,421 m/14,505 ft), especially at sunrise and sunset.
Hollywood - On the trail of the stars: Those who are once on the road in California of course have to make a detour to the probably most #famous district of Los Angeles. Strolling along the Walk of Fame and shooting selfies in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre for friends and family is as much a must-do as a guided tour through the world-famous studios of #Warner Bros. and #Universal. The show must go on!