From Yosemite and Big Sur, to Joshua Tree and Santa Barbara, California is home to some of the most beautiful places on the West Coast, nay, the country, nay, THE WORLD… OK, reverse nay, still just the country. It’s beautiful enough that no matter how many Half Dome hikes you take, you’re still never even going to scratch the surface of all the Instagrammable wonder that the Golden State has to offer.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna help you try: Here are the 28 most beautiful places in California you didn’t even know existed.
Located in between the Pacific Ocean and Tomales Bay (and inside of the Point Reyes National Seashore) you’ll find this Monterey cypress “tree tunnel” that leads to an old Point Reyes wireless telegraphy receiving station built in the 1920s. Doesn’t matter if you catch it with a patch of early morning fog enveloping either end, or with the afternoon light breaking through its interlocked branches, either way, you’ll feel like you’ve won the damn day.
Oh this? It’s just a waterfall. THAT FLOWS DIRECTLY INTO THE OCEAN. A rare “tidefall,” it’s found by following the Coast Trail from the Palomarin Trailhead on a 8.5-mile round-trip hike. Pro tip: Stop at Bass Lake along the way if you’re into rope swings. [Editor’s Note: You’re into rope swings.]
Named after the spherical sandstone creations, which look like bowling balls (and also, just regular balls), Bowling Ball Beach is located way the hell up Hwy 1. If the tide level is just right, this is one of the most SWTF (Seriously What The F*ck) things in California.
The California drought has kinda ruined this one, but when the water levels are right and you’re near the east side of the Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa, this open bell-mouth spillway (basically what lets them release flows of dam water into Putah Creek) is one of the coolest things you’ll ever stare into (from a very, VERY safe distance) in your life. Creepy bonus: The lake was the site of one of the Zodiac murders!…