How Much Can You Get for a California Vacation?

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California Vacations

California is full of great places to visit and exciting things to do. If you find yourself based in Santa Clara, you’re exceptionally well-positioned to experience the full range of Northern California’s numerous attractions. There are a number of cities full of great things to do within driving distance of Santa Clara. A short road trip will drop you at such exciting places as:

  • San Jose
  • Santa Cruz
  • San Francisco

San Jose

The city of San Jose is only a short car ride from Santa Clara. It’s home to a number of different attractions:

  • Winchester Mystery House: The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion that was once the residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Winchester, treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Allegedly, she began constructing the house after a medium channeled the ghost of her husband, who told her she needed to continuously build a home for all the people killed by Winchester rifles. As such, the house has no architectural plan and its construction is random and nonsensical at times. The mansion has 160 rooms, 40 stairways, 47 fireplaces and 6 kitchens. Recently, they discovered a previously unknown room, hidden for 90 years. Tours run daily and last at least an hour. If you like ghosts, check out the Friday the 13th and Halloween candlelight tours.
  • Raging Waters: “Northern California’s largest waterpark.” Raging Waters is a 23-acre water park featuring a range of attractions for visitors of all ages. In addition to things like a lazy river and a wave pool, Raging Waters has some high-velocity waterslides, as well as a number of multi-person inner tube slides.
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum: Located in the Rose Garden neighborhood, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is devoted to Ancient Egypt. Not only is it the largest exhibition of Ancient Egyptian antiquities in the Western United States, but it’s also the only museum in the world with buildings constructed in the architectural style of Ancient Egypt. The museum contains a replica of a rock-cut tomb that was created using sketches made by a Rosicrucian expedition to the tombs of Beni Hasan.

Santa Cruz

If the coast is more your style, Santa Cruz is only 45 minutes from Santa Clara. Home of the University of California, Santa Cruz, this town is famous not only for its beaches, but a wide variety of activities.  Check out things like:

  • Live Oak Farmer’s Market – In operation since 2000, the farmer’s market has become a weekly, year-round market. This market offers far more than seasonable produce. In addition you can find things like seafood, pastries, organic meats, and other baked goods. You can be just like a local; stop by Sunday morning and do all your shopping for the week.
  • Surf School Santa Cruz – These guys have everything you need to catch some waves. In addition to providing boards and wetsuits, Surf School Santa Cruz employs some of Santa Cruz’s top professional surfers. They offer private lessons, group lesson, even corporate lessons. Whether looking for some weekend fun or embarking on a life-long activity, Bud Frietas and the staff at Surf School Santa Cruz are excited to get you started.
  • Chardonnay Sailing Charters – If you thought that charter boats were just for fishing, Chardonnay Sailing Charters will show you how much more they can be. They offer private charter for events ranging from weddings to team-building. Additionally, they offer a number of public charters. If you’re so inclined, you can sample local California wines and beers while enjoying a light snack and a beautiful sunset. If wildlife is more your thing, sign up for their Wildlife Ecology Charter and enjoy locally-made snacks while you cruise the Santa Cruz shore in search of whales and other marine life.

San Francisco

An hour’s drive north will take you to the famous San Francisco. Home of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Haight Ashbury, and the crooked Lombard Street, San Francisco packs quite a bit into 46 square miles. There’s something for everyone in the City by the Bay:

  • Pier 39 – Providing both amazing views of the bay and a host of over attractions, like a sea lion colony, Pier 39 is the most-visited destination in San Francisco. It’s home to shops and restaurants of all varieties. You can also find the entrance to the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39, as well as stunning views of a number of other famous San Francisco attractions, like Alcatraz.
  • Alcatraz Island – Home to the first lighthouse in the Western United States, Alcatraz is perhaps better-known as the site of a prison that held some of the United States’ most notorious criminals, like Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert “The Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud. The cells that held these men are just a short ferry-ride from San Francisco and tours run daily.
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – The SFMOMA was founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum of modern or contemporary art. It includes over 32,000 modern and contemporary works, like the Habitat-Horticulutre-designed living wall. Its 19,000 plants run up several stories. There are also a number of more-whimsical exhibits, like a fake security guard and wildly-lit bathrooms.

Whether you are a resident of or a visitor to Santa Clara, there is no reason to confine yourself to the activities available in the city. A short road trip can take you anywhere from the beaches of Santa Cruz to the Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. So rent a car, set your GPS, and get ready for an adventure.

One-day road trips to Fresno

You’re in your office, looking for the next quick trip that’ll bring you relaxation and freedom. Maybe one-day road trips are the highlights of your week! Then why not check out the lovely traveling and sights that Fresno, California has to offer.

What’s the big deal about Fresno? Well let’s get started. For one, Fresno is seeping with lots of Hispanic and American culture. The name Fresno comes from the Spanish word for ash tree. Not to mention it is the fifth largest city that makes it just another lovely piece of the whole golden state!

Before you pack your bags and hit the road, maybe think about the Fresno territory! Lucky for you, we will give you an idea of what exactly you need for your one-day road trips in Fresno.

Your one-day road trips to Fresno supplies

One-day road trips can already be a hassle as it is and making your way to the city of Fresno is no different. Be sure to pack some of these Fresno essentials so you are better prepared and can spend more time enjoying the wonders the city of Fresno has to offer.

  • Sunscreen: On the top of the list, sunscreen is always a one-day essential for road trips, especially in one of the warmest states in the country. The city of Fresno is not forgiving when it comes to the heat, so be sure to apply some when heading out on your adventures.
  • Hiking Boots: The Fresno county has all sorts of opportunities for rocky terrain. Unless you expect to stay in your car all day, one-day road trips would be painful without these keeping your arch support.
  • Shades: One-day road trips means hours with the sun on your face, and Fresno is no different! Keep your skin and eyes protected!
  • Canteen: Unless you plan on carrying plenty of water in your trunk, a canteen is handy for those long hikes along the Muir Trail Ranch or even the Fresno wilderness. Keep hydrated.
  • Travel bag: How else will you keep all your junk? A travel bag offers comfort and keeps you from worrying about where you may have put your wallet.

Now that you have the essentials, be sure to fill up on gas and get ready to head for the Fresno hills.

Oh, the places you’ll go in Fresno: The highlights for one-day road trips

As far as one-day road trips go, Fresno seems to have it all! Whether it’s outdoors or indoors, there’s a lot to explore, record, and enjoy. Here is just a small highlight of what one-day road trips to the city of Fresno has to offer!

Forestiere Underground Gardens

This is considered one of the strangest tourist attractions in the city of Fresno. Stemming from the life-long work of Baldassare Forestiere, this crafted maze of patios and grottos were created as if out of randomness, but today it is almost like a fantasy realm of creative design. As it is a garden, be sure to enjoy the sights and smells of the fruit trees growing in the garden, which includes grapefruits and oranges.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

This Fresno zoo originally served as a haven for unwanted pets. As time went on, it was eventually officially recognized as a zoo in 1929. Further expansion into the zoo would add an ‘African Adventure’ area that would double its size, while also adding animals like gorillas and cheetahs.

Yosemite National Park

About 3 million people come from all over the world to visit the Yosemite Valley, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covering 747,956 acres, this Fresno attraction stretched all the way towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Much of the park is also famous for its jaw-dropping granite cliffs and elegant waterfalls. With over 800 miles of trails, those hiking boots will come in handy!

River Park

This Fresno shopping-spree center features more than 75 shops. River Park is split up into three areas: The Shops at River Park, The Marketplace at River Park, and The River Park Plaza. If your one-day road trips are looking for some simple entertainment among the hiking and sight-seeing, you should also stop by the movie theater at River Park. It has about 21 screens, so expect to have a seat when you’re down there for the latest releases.

Woodward Park

The Woodward Park in the city of Fresno sits alongside the San Joaquin River. Donated to the city of Fresno by Ralph Woodward in 1968, park plays host to the CIF Cross Country State Championships every November. If you’re looking to catch the art scene in Fresno, then there’s no better place than checking out the Woodward Shakespeare Festival, which is also known as Shakespeare in the Park. The company has performed for many years at the park, so expect quality classics like Hamlet while you breathe in the fresh Fresno air.

The Shinzen Friendship Garden of Fresno

For a more relaxing route in the city of Fresno, there is a traditional American Japanese Garden within Woodward park. If you plan your one-day road trips to Fresno in the spring or summer, you can see the full bloom of the luscious cherry trees and the unique tranquil pond that is filled with Koi. You can also take a walk in the garden path through the seven authentic Japanese style bridges.

This is only just a handful of stops or attractions to check out in the city of Fresno. With so much to offer, one-day road trips to Fresno may be your new commute every week!

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