With so many different regions to explore, California State Parks have preserved some of the loveliest areas for public use and recreation. State Parks like Ahjumawi, with its basalt formations and lazuli bays and the protected underwater habitat at Point Lobos are some of the best places to visit during your California travel, and allow you to camp and hike in their lovely settings.
From the Ski Resorts of the Cascades to the California vacation rentals on the shores of alpine lakes, there are a lot of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy in the State Parks. In the mountains, ski trails turn into hiking trails, and the terrain becomes more hospitable to explore on foot.
Even if you're not roughing it, a California State Park can provide you with a place to rest if you need a break from the driving. There are dozens of state parks all along the coast to spend the night at, especially on the remote Northern Coast, where there are not a lot of major cities around to stay in.
On the Central Coast, a turn of the century lighthouse looks out over the beach at Point Sur State Historic Park. Just 19 miles south of Carmel, this is one of the places you can visit on Highway 1 once you've finished the 17 Mile Drive, which is one of the most scenic drives in the state and a part of most California travel plans.
While many of the major outdoor California Attractions in the desert are located in National Parks, such as Death Valley and Joshua Tree, there are great state parks like Heber Sand dunes, which are California's biggest.
In the High Sierra, Yosemite is a National park but the smaller interesting getaways are California state parks. Mono Lake Tufa has a primeval quality. In the summer the sky is clear and the sun shines down on this lake, which is over a million year old. Covering 65 square miles, Mono Lake is blissfully empty, but there again the rough spires and knobs that cover the shores of this extremely salty lake is filled with minerals and salts from evaporating saltwater to create the tufa flowers, which are calcium carbonate.
There are two different forests of Giant Sequoia in California. The Sequoia National Monument in just east of the central valley in Sequoia National Forest. These enormous trees are one of the two species of giant redwood you might encounter during your California travel. The larger, coastal sequoia is on the Northern Coast. A ride through the Avenue of the giants is the highlight of any visit to the Northern California Beach and Parks on a California vacation.
Although most of the Southern California beaches are developed or public recreational areas, there are a few state parks in the area. The Point Dume State Beach has a viewing area that gives you excellent views of Catalina Island are the surrounding beaches. There are steps down to the tide pools on the lovely beach.
If you like valleys of wildflowers, then you will love the visiting one of the loveliest California state parks in the central valley. Antelope Valley California Poppy State Reserve has 7 miles of hiking trails through field of wildflowers like goldfield, owls clover, poppy, and cream cups.
All over the state, some of the most interesting places to visit are protected in a California State Park. State Parks are some of the most enjoyable places to enjoy and stay at when you're on a California vacation.