With so much to see in California, it’s no wonder people flock here from all over the world each year to explore our great state. Even those of us who have lived in California for many years probably haven’t seen everything it has to offer. When you’re ready to plan your next road trip around California, here are a few landmarks that you might want to add to your itinerary.
Along the California coast, there is a historic gem that many people don’t know about. Hearst Castle is the historic residence of the famous publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Hearst lived in this 165-room castle with his mistress, a famed actress by the name of Marion Davies. Some of Hollywood’s elite were known to frequent the castle in the 1920s. Hearst was known for throwing lavish parties for his famous friends. William Randolph Hearst passed away in 1951, but his famous residence lives on. Some years after his death, Hearst Castle was turned into a museum and made open to the public. Today, you can actually walk the grounds of this impressive home where you can spend hours admiring the grounds beautiful gardens and Hearst’s extensive art collection.
Even if you’re not a history buff, Alcatraz is a historic site that everyone should visit at least once. This federal penitentiary was active from 1943 through 1963. During that time, it was known as being an escape-proof prison. It’s location alone served as a major security feature. Alcatraz sits alone on an island in the San Francisco Bay. Even if a prisoner did manage to escape the building, they would still have a major swim through freezing, shark-infested waters in order to reach land and their freedom. When it was in commission, Alcatraz housed some of America’s most famous criminals including Al Capone. Today you can take a ferry to explore “The Rock” for yourself.
Is there anything more iconic in California than the Hollywood Sign? This massive, 45-foot tall sign sits atop the Hollywood Hills of Los Angles. The famed sign has been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and magazines. The sign was originally commissioned by Harry Chandler, publisher of the New York Times, back in 1923 as a way to promote his real estate development called Hollywoodland. While you can’t walk directly up to the sign itself, there are many spots in the area where you can get a great vantage point to take a picture in front of the famous landmark.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in California and throughout the world. Everyone knows the golden gate bridge as the bright red entrance welcoming guests to San Francisco. When it first opened back in 1037, the Golden Gate bridge was the longest in the world. Since then, tourists have flocked from all over the world to get a look at the impressive structure for themselves. There are several areas around San Francisco where you can get a great view of the bridge. However, why not see the bridge up close and personal for yourself? If you’re up for a walk or bike ride, you can actually travel across the bridge, which spans about 1.7 miles.