Unforgettable Summer Activities in California

Lake Mary, Mammoth Lakes | John Ko

Summer in the Golden State offers an abundance of delightful experiences. Let’s look at some unforgettable summer activities in California to make the most of the season.

Sample Wines of the Central Coast

California’s picturesque Central Coast has many appealing cities to visit, but it truly shines for its world-class wineries scattered throughout the region. Santa Barbara, in particular, stands out for its Pinot Noir and incredible diversity of growing conditions. Meanwhile, Paso Robles is an agricultural hub with over 200 wineries and 26,000 acres of vineyards. 

Many of the Central Coast’s tourist attractions are centered around the area’s wine industry, including tastings, vineyard tours, and the Santa Maria Wine Trolley, a fun and safe way for visitors to travel from one tasting room to the next.

Paso Robles | Venti Views

Visit Sierra Nevada Lakes

The Sierra Nevadas are among the most stunning mountains in the country, and several nearby lakes have blossomed into iconic tourist destinations. 

At the top of the list is Lake Tahoe, a massive lake on the California-Nevada border, celebrated as a summer home hotspot. It is a haven for boating, fishing, water sports, and relaxing on a beach surrounded by the gorgeous mountain landscape.

Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevadas, Mammoth Lakes is a charming alpine city with an array of trails that guide you to enchanting lakes, including Lake Mary, Lake George, and Horseshoe Lake. 

Lake Tahoe | Clara Marie

Unwind on a Beach

For many people, the first image that comes to mind when thinking of California is the beach, and the state has numerous excellent beaches to explore throughout the summer. The Central Coast offers some of the most underrated beaches in California, far from the crowds of Southern California. Below is a look at a few popular options: 

Pfeiffer Beach: Located in the Big Sur area, Pfeiffer Beach is an incredible sandy stretch with rugged coastal scenery.

Carmel Beach: This well-known destination has idyllic white sand and cool water to beat the California heat. 

Asilomar State Beach: Surfers can enjoy a challenging but rewarding experience on the choppy waves just off this beach near Monterey.

Pfeiffer Beach | Bradley Lembach

Take a Trip to Yosemite National Park

California’s natural beauty is hard to match, and Yosemite National Park is a prime example of the state’s unique scenery. This vast park in the Sierra Nevadas boasts massive sequoia trees, renowned waterfalls, and extraordinary geological formations throughout. 

Experience Yosemite with a hike along trails that wind through one-of-a-kind settings, take a scenic drive to cover a lot of sightseeing ground, or take an overnight trip at one of its many camping or lodging accommodations. To have the most pleasant experience, consider visiting Yosemite in the summer, as winters can be harsh in this region.

Yosemite National Park | Jeremy Broekman

Attend the California State Fair & Food Festival

The California State Fair & Food Festival stands as one of the biggest summer events in the state. Sacramento hosts the massive 17-day expo annually in July. 

Every day of its run, tens of thousands of people attend the family-friendly spectacle, which provides entertainment for people of all interests. Live concerts feature talented performers such as Boyz II Men, Ashanti, and LeAnn Rimes; the massive midway has classic rides and carnival games; and the food festival is a major component with a huge selection of delicious options. 

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