Day Trips in California

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Taking a break from one's hectic life can be a much desired, but daunting task. Aside from the ever-relaxing 2-week vacation to Bora Bora, going on a single California Day Trip can be quite a wonderful refresher from the daily grind. With over 160,000 square miles, California doesn't fall short of varied activities and places to explore.

Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California

Slightly over 40 miles from San Luis Obispo, you can visit the 165-room Hearst Castle. In 1947, William Hearst and architect, Julia Morgan, had constructed "La Cuesta Encantada" (The Enchanted Hill). This palace has a multitude of breathtaking pools, gardens, terraces and walkways. The entire Mediterranean Revival and Spanish cathedral influenced structure is fine tuned and perfectly decorated. Five different guided tours are offered along with typical concessions. While in the area, you might as well stop and say hello to the playful elephant seals just 4 miles up the road. They can be seen basking in the sun year round and offer a few moments of entertainment.

Muir Woods in Mill Valley, California

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, and down some back roads through the mountains, you'll find the beautiful Muir Woods. The entire family can come to Muir Woods for some serenity and take in the refreshing mountain air while staying on a paved trail. For the more adventurous ones, there are several other trails that can take you high into the mountains and back down to the dark mountain floor. The longest of the trails should take no more than 3 hours to complete. Parking on a busy day can be a bit of a problem, but well worth it when you are standing next to a tree that's over 300 feet tall!

Jelly Belly Candy Factory in Fairfield, California

For some indoor excitement, take a drive and visit the Jelly Belly Candy Factory in Fairfield. Taking a tour of the factory will provide insight into the Jelly Belly manufacturing process, along with some tasty complimentary treats. The tours are free and last about 40 minutes.

Wine Country in Central California

It's a well known fact that California is home to many different wineries. Central Coast Wineries offer guided tours of the growing and processing procedures that are involved to produce wine. Hundreds of wineries occupy the land in the center of the state and just driving through is nearly a day trip in itself. Taste testing is typical and restaurants are often located at the larger of the wineries to provide a full day's experience. Planning your trip at certain times of the year might land you in one of the local festivals. Some visitors opt to stay longer than just a day, in which case, there are several bed and breakfast facilities spread around the vast wine country.

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March 11, 2010 new by guacadoggie

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