California is home to over 200 state parks! This diverse state has everything from scenic deserts to dreamy coves, and a visit to one of its state parks is a great way to experience everything California has to offer. Here are 7 gorgeous state parks that are sure to make for a memorable trip.
1. Crystal Cove State Park
Head over to the Laguna Beach area to visit Crystal Cove State Park! This stunning park consists of approximately 3 miles of beach, home to numerous coves and tide pools. The surrounding area also has several trails popular with both mountain bikers and hikers. Finally, the area offshore is designated as an underwater park and is an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Unfortunately, the water is currently closed due to a recent oil spill. The campgrounds, as well as the backcountry trails, are still open, and the water will hopefully be open again soon.
2. Emerald Bay State Park
Situated on the shore of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay State Park is notable for several reasons. You can look forward to enjoying the gorgeous scenery and clear waters. Additionally, the park includes the sole island on Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island. It also features Vikingsholm, a huge mansion with memorable Scandinavian-inspired architecture. While the bay is beautiful to visit year-round, it can get quite cold in the winters – occasionally even cold enough for the water to freeze. If you’re planning a trip in the winter, then, make sure to dress warmly.
3. Anza Borrego State Park
Anza Borrego State Park is located in San Diego County. This memorable state park is home to several features that make it worth checking out. You can look forward to stopping by the visitor center to learn more about the history and ecosystem of the state park. Head over to Borrego Springs Road to view a whimsical collection of metal sculptures. Or, head out for a hike to experience the desert first hand! Anza Borrego is also home to a palm oasis. The trail to the oasis was recently closed due to fires, however, so those planning a trip in the near future may not be able to make the trek out to it.
4. Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park
Head over to Big Sur to see Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park. This oceanside park features stunning views of the coastline. While several areas of the park – including Waterfall Overlook Trail, Tan Bark Trail, and Partington Cove Trail – are currently open, several are also experiencing closures due to recent fires. Because of this, you may want to double-check the status of a trail before making any concrete plans if you do decide to visit!
5. Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park is located a mere 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles. This makes it a fantastic option for those that are in the city and looking for some nearby options for enjoying nature. This state park is home to several trails that feature scenic overlooks, lagoons, and even waterfalls. Additionally, dogs are allowed in this state park as long as they are on a leash and on an established trail!
6. Salt Point State Park
Salt Point State Park is a gorgeous and scenic state park in Sonoma County. This oceanfront park is a great spot for nearly every outdoor activity from hiking to scuba diving to fishing. If you’re interested in hiking, the park offers over 20 miles of trails including the popular Salt Point Trail to Stump Beach. If you’re looking to go fishing, head over to Gerstle Cove. The park also has a campsite for those looking to make a multi-day adventure out of their trip!
7. Humboldt Redwoods State Park
See some of California’s iconic redwood trees with a visit to this state park! The park is home to the largest remaining forest of old-growth redwoods. In addition to viewing these magnificent trees, you can also look forward to plenty of other things to do, including hiking trails, campsites, and horseback riding trails.
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