The best places for outdoor R&R in California

Best California parks

California has a little something for everyone: beaches, deserts, mountains, and everything in between. The hard thing is deciding where to go! Here are our top three picks for the best parks in California.

Death Valley

Maybe not your first pick for a summertime trip, but Death Valley in winter or spring is quite mild, by comparison. See the park at its best, and visit Zabriskie Point at either sunrise or sunset. Sublime!

Point Reyes National Seashore

One of the few wild beaches left in California, Point Reyes has stunning sea cliffs, and is a huge sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds, including elk, sea birds, and whales. Bring your hiking boots and see it in person, with hikes of varying lengths and skill levels.

Sequoia National Park

There is no silence like the living silence of a giant sequoia forest. This national treasure features the General Sherman, as well as four other of the top ten largest trees in the world. Visit these 3,500 year old living relics, and get some hiking in while you’re at it.

Image courtesy Flickr/Pedro Szekely