If you haven’t lived or traveled extensively in California, you might have the impression that California is all about beaches, surfers, and movie stars. But since California is the most populous state and the most diverse state in America, there’s more to this west coast destination than meets the eye.
California is one of the few places in the world where you can experience a little bit of everything: ocean drives, lush forests, elegant vineyards, towering mountains, expansive deserts, magical amusement parks, cosmopolitan cuisine, and agricultural heritage. So let’s start in the north and travel down to the southern tip of the state to explore what California is really all about, from underrated destinations to top-rated cities. Whether you’re taking a road trip, riding a train, or hopping on a couple of flights, these are some of the very best cities to visit in California.