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Top 7 State Parks In California In 2023

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California is a state that is probably best known for its gorgeous beaches and fun in the sun in iconic cities such as Los Angeles.

It’s also home to synapse simply gorgeous stretches of nature. If you’re looking to plan a trip to explore the outdoors in this West Coast state, here are the seven state parks that won’t disappoint.

Point Lobos State Park

1. Anza Borrego State Park

Anza Borrego State Park is located north of San Diego. This desert park is notable for its gorgeous palm tree oasis, which you can see for yourself yet a mile hike.

Those visiting in the spring also look forward to taking in some gorgeous views of wildflowers in bloom, and visitors won’t want to miss checking out the nearby town of Borrego Springs either for a variety of charming local shops that are perfect for finding a souvenir to commemorate the trip.

Palm tree oasis at Anza Borrego State Park.

2. Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Redwoods National Park is probably the first place to come to mind when it comes to seeing these giants, ancient trees in California, but it’s not the only option!

Humboldt Redwoods State Park spans over 50,000 acres and is home to some gorgeous old-growth redwood trees.

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Redwood trees at Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

3. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Are you more of an ocean person than a forest person? No worries – head over to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve to see some of the gorgeous Californian coast up close.

For those who enjoy scuba diving, the offshore region of the park is also absolutely beautiful and home to countless kinds of marine life. Back on shore, the park is home to a number of nature trails.

For those heading out in the spring, make sure to check for any relevant weather conditions or trail closures, as the area’s coastal location means portions of the park can experience flooding.

Coastline at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

4. Emerald Bay State Park

This sparkling, turquoise, and sapphire bay certainly lives up to its name. A visit to the state park it's a part of is a great way to take in some of the most stunning scenery in California.

Located in the Lake Tahoe area, Emerald Bay State Park is home to a number of hiking trails, as well as opportunities for camping and water sports in the summer months.

Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe

5. Crystal Cove State Park

Here’s another oceanside park that’s worth a visit! Located in Orange County, Crystal Cove state parks offers plenty of fresh ocean area, gorgeous bluffs, and a variety of things to do, from exploring tidepools to checking out the area’s hiking trails.

The park also features campsites for those wanting to extend their adventure past a single day.

Walk way at Crystal Cove State Park

6. Van Damme State Park

Located 3 miles south of Mendocino, Van Damme State Park offers a great mixture of oceanfront beauty and lush forest.

For those looking to explore the ocean, especially in the summer months, there’s plenty to do. One popular activity is kayaking, and sea caves in the area make for a spectacular background.

The land also isn’t lacking in activities, from hiking through a picnic forest to exchanging stories around a campfire with friends at one of the park's campsites.

Young couple standing together in forest.

7. Bodie State Historic Park

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure in California, here’s a fun option! Bodie State Historic Park is home to a Gold Rush-era ghost town, complete with still-standing buildings from the era.

The park is open year-round. However, it’s only accessible by over-snow travel (snowshoeing, skiing, and so on) in the winter months.

In the summer, you can look forward to guided daily tours of the park as well as exploring on your own.

Ghost town at Bodie State Historic Park

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.