California

Summary
Overall rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 adventure travel stars

For the purpose of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that I live in California, and one of the reasons I love it here is because it offers so much opportunity for adventure. I believe I’m being objective with this review, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Paragliding along the California coast

Paragliding along the California coast

From the oceans and beaches to the deserts and then up through wine country and onto the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains, California provides some of the very best adventure travel experiences in the world. And because there are so many good weather days, these superb experiences can be enjoyed all year round.

If you’re looking for cultural tours you can find a number of them to enlighten you about the indigenous peoples as well as the Anglos, Latinos, Asians, African-Americans and others who migrated to California over the years.

For those with a craving for an adrenaline rush there are an incredible variety of things to do including white water rafting, scuba diving, paragliding, sea kayaking, eco tours, trekking, wilderness trips and so much more.

You can start your day whale watching off the coast of Southern California and end it by taking a zipline tour on Catalina Island.

Or, how about taking a cultural tour in the beautiful city of San Francisco and then heading off to wine country for a hot-air balloon ride over the picturesque vineyards before going on a wine tasting tour. It’s all doable.

The bottom line: They call California “The Golden State” for good reasons, and not just for the Gold Rush that began in 1848. It provides golden opportunities for any, and all, adventure travel junkies looking for exciting things to do and thrilling stories to tell. California adventure travel offers some of the premier experiences in the world.

Exotic Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 adventure travel stars

Imagine spending an evening on the balcony of a fine restaurant overlooking the beach. The sunset is gorgeous as the fading orange orb falls behind Catalina Island in the distance, and the cool breeze off the ocean feels good against your skin as the waiter shows you a list of fine Californian wines.

As you plan your adventure tour of California, in your head you’re thinking of the eco tours, scuba diving and trekking when out of the corner of your eye you see someone who looks familiar. On closer inspection you recognize them as one of your favorite actors strolling by with another celebrity on their arm.

Welcome to California.

That might be a scenario that comes to your mind when you think of California, and it certainly happens, but there are far more exotic things waiting for you here.

The California landscapes are absolutely incredible from the beautiful coastline to the picturesque vineyards, the vast deserts and on to the majestic mountains.

If you want to experience one gorgeous scene after another take a drive up the California coastline on highway 101. Or take a flying tour of Yosemite and the California Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The diverse cultures found in California offer experiences you would have to travel around the world to find, so there is something exotic for anyone looking for one-of-a-kind adventure experiences when they come to California.

Cultural Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 adventure travel stars

California is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world. In fact, you can experience cultures from all over the world here. If you’re near the coast, chances are you’re only a short drive from numerous different cultural experiences, especially in Southern California.

When thinking about the Californian culture many conjure up images of the lay-back beach culture, the trend-setting fashions, Hollywood and the celebrities, luxury lifestyles and all of these descriptions are accurate. But they’re the more superficial parts promoted so heavily in the media.

The main influences you’ll notice in California, other than those from the Anglo-Americans, are from the Spanish, Asian and African-American cultures.

The Spanish influences permeate California as seen in the cuisine, the architecture, the language and pretty much everything else, culturally speaking. There are many Asian cultures well represented in the state, and the African-American culture has strong influences as well.

Throughout California you’ll find numerous indigenous peoples sure to be of interest to those looking for cultural tours. You’ll also find excellent cultural tours showing how all peoples that migrated to California became a part of this great state.

California defines melting pot. Suffice it to say that if you want to experience a truly unique culture with many rich flavors drawn from other cultures then you must come to California.

Adventure Factor
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 adventure travel stars

Where adventure travel is concerned, about the only thing missing in California is a lush, dense rain forest. Other than that, I would say that California has it all.

Whether you’re looking for adventures in the water, in the air or on dry land, you can find a long list of things to do here.

Go paragliding from the cliffs overlooking beautiful beaches in San Diego, experience the thrilling white water rafting trips down the rivers of Central California and go trekking along the coastal trail in Northern California where you’ll encounter seals, sea lions and tall ancient redwood trees in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.

There are also plenty of five-star luxury adventure travel experiences at the many spas and resorts throughout California.

California adventure travel has something for everyone. Just take a look at the list below for more ideas.

Hard

  • Bungee jumping
  • Canoeing
  • Dog sledding
  • Four wheel drive trips
  • Hang gliding
  • Hunting
  • Ice climbing
  • Motorcycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Orienteering
  • Overlanding
  • Paragliding
  • Rappelling
  • Rock climbing
  • Rogaining (navigation)
  • Scuba diving
  • Sea kayaking
  • Skydiving
  • Snorkeling
  • Snow shoeing
  • Snow skiing
  • Soaring (gliding)
  • Spelunking (caving)
  • Surfing
  • Survival training
  • White water rafting
  • Wilderness training
  • Windsurfing

Soft

  • Bird watching
  • Cultural tours
  • Eco tours
  • Nature trips
  • Walking tours
  • Whale watching

Could be either

  • Backpacking
  • Bicycling
  • Camping
  • Ziplines
  • Fishing
  • Flying
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hot-air ballooning
  • Quad-biking / ATVs
  • Safaris
  • Sailing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Trekking
  • Wildlife watching
atm123California