Worth the Trip: Go on the Road in the Golden State

Looking for an overnight, a festival, a slice of nature, or an attraction that's outside your neighborhood or town? We have ideas.

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images, File
Love a gorgeous balloon in wine country? The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is sailing high over the first three days of June 2018.
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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images, File
Love a gorgeous balloon in wine country? The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is sailing high over the first three days of June 2018.
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Visit California
Yosemite's spring-big waterfalls are understandably celebrated, but there are other ways to enjoy H2O around the valley. One popular outing? A kayak adventure.
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Getty Images
Hike through McArthur-Burney Falls State Memorial Park for a look at some spring sparklers. Ever seen a waterfall up close?
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Visit California
Enter an ocean, while staying totally dry, at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
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Visit California
Follow the barks to the bustling San Francisco attraction and discover the famous colony of sea lions that sit just off the pier at K-Dock. Have questions about these marvelous pinnipeds? Ask a naturalist. A knowledgeable person is on hand, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to talk all things sea lion.
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Visit California
Flutter by Pacific Grove, like those famous wintertime Monarch butterflies, and check out the peaceful ocean front. A great place to stroll? Asimolar State Beach, though sandy stretches of serenity are plentiful in the area.
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NBC 4 New York
Have a kid studying California's past? Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, "the site of California's largest 'hydraulic' mine, is a true window to another era. Hiking and camping opportunities abound, too.
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NBC 4 New York
Ventana Big Sur opened in the fall of 2017 following a major refurbishment. But refreshed rooms aren't the only updates to the spectacular property; Redwood Canyon Glampsites made their debut. Want to snooze in a plush tent with a well-appointed Bath House nearby? This is your tree-adjacent stay-over.
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Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
The not-far-from-Solvang property has guided trail rides, archery, crafts, and s'mores, too. It's a retro-theme'd, modern-in-nature dude ranch that keeps the cool stuff going, even in the wintertime.
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Visit California/Carol Highsmith
California's Coastal Redwoods topped the "Best of the U.S. 2018" list from Lonely Planet. Paid a national or state park a visit lately? Prepare to be wowed by the sky-reaching mega-plants.
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Alison Taggart-Barone
Eager to commune with the Milky Way, a velvety night sky, and the towering trees of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks? The dates for the 2018 Dark Sky Festival have been announced: Sept. 7 through 9.
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