I am so excited to be promoting California’s 8 rural regions for VisitCalifornia‘s #CaliforniaWild campaign with my fellow bloggers Ottsworld, Stuffed Suitcase and Border Free Travels. The ATTA is coordinating this effort and has given me freedom in how I share my experiences with you so that even though this is a paid project, I can assure you all opinions and words are my own.
I was a typical tourist to California before September. I’d experienced greater Los Angeles at length, driven Highway 1 from San Francisco down to LA and back again. I’d been to San Francisco even more times than LA and I’d even gone so far as to call San Francisco home for a stint many years ago. I thought I knew California.
I have a good laugh about that now.
Are you like I was? Have you been to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Highway 1?
Congratulations! But I have to tell you, you’re missing out on so much!! Just like I was.
California is a huge state!! It is so big that some of the 8 rural regions I will be talking about, are bigger than entire other states in the USA! Myself and my colleagues mentioned above just spent 19 days driving around these 8 rural regions accumulating 3,600 plus miles of adventures and stories that I can’t wait to share with you. Before I publish posts digging into the “meat” of the 8 rural regions that make up the rest of California’s extensive land mass, here are…
8 Reasons You Should Visit California’s 8 Rural Regions
(with 1 for each region!)
8. You should visit SHASTA CASCADE if you want to find out what Bumpass Hell is. Hint: it’s not, actually, hell. But don’t you want to know why a place has a name like Bumpass Hell?! I know I did and it was so fun to find out the back story there!
7. You should visit the NORTH COAST if you have always wanted to stare up into the Redwoods. While they are found in other parts of California, the North Coast has the tallest, the oldest and the largest Redwood trees in California. It is THE place to indulge your tree hugger tendencies. Just take note that you can’t actually hug any of them on your own, you will have to bring some friends. Redwood trees are just. that. big!
6. You should visit the CENTRAL VALLEY if you want to kayak through the largest estuary in the Western Hemisphere. And trust me, you do. It’s the most serene and relaxing kayak experience I have ever had. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back right this minute.
5. You should visit GOLD COUNTRY if you want to discover an emerging culinary destination that’s not yet made it on to any Top 10 lists, Instagram channels or Buzz Feed articles. The food here is hella delicious and the stories behind the food, are even better. Just stop by Volcano Union Inn in the town of Volcano and talk to Tracey Berkner to find out what I mean.
4. You should visit the HIGH SIERRAS if you want to see what California looks like from the highest summit elevation in the state at 11,053 ft. That’s Mammoth Mountain, which receives more than 300 days of sunshine a year and is known in the winter for being the highest ski resort in California. In summer, the mountain is used for mountain bikers from all over the world and is the home of the Kamikaze Bike Games.
3. You should visit the DESERTS region of California if you want to see what the surface of Mars looks like without actually, well traveling to Mars! I kid. I don’t know what Mars looks like first hand. But in my imagination it looks a lot like the Trona Pinnacles where I took this photo!
2. You should visit the CENTRAL COAST if you have driven Highway 1 but you stayed on Highway 1 the whole time. Get off that paved road and get into a dune buggy on Pismo Beach instead!!!
1. You should visit the INLAND EMPIRE if you want to ride in a hot air balloon over vineyards growing grapes for more than 50 different varietals of wine; from Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot to Mourvedre, Viognier to Chardonnay. Napa and Sonoma aren’t the only places that make wine in California!!!
Don’t these places sound fun? They were!! And they were so much more than I ever expected. Stay tuned for my series of 8 blog posts where I will really dig in to California’s 8 rural regions with practical information and lots of photos so you can get inspiration for your own future adventures as you visit California.
Now, what questions can I answer for you in the comments?
I can also work answers into my future blog posts! Send me your thoughts!