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Spanning more than one million acres from the Pacific Ocean to the rugged Coast Range, this slice of wine-country bliss defies typecasting. Welcome to Kidifornia, a place filled with some of the greatest family vacations in the Golden State. Golden State—filled with beaches, national parks, theme parks, find travel partners more. Golden State’s most inspiring settings.

Yes, it can be done! Begin your trip in the center of the state, home to the capital city of Sacramento. Like many cities, California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. With throwback charm and a treasure trove of historic artifacts, this park presents the Gold Rush in living, breathing color. Hipster cool in the desert. The lowest golf course in the world is Furnace Creek in Death Valley, at 214 feet below sea level.

This applies to the surrounding area as well. This lightly visited area, protecting offshore sea caves filled with honking, squawking, and even neon-colored life, is a terrific destination for kayakers. Pick a region form the map or the list below to explore. Scroll down to explore the twelve regions of California. This region, in California’s northeast corner, is known for mountains, forests, waterfalls, and amazing, safe-to-visit volcanoes.

4,322-meter Mount Shasta—yes, a volcano. With crashing waves along the coast and soaring redwood trees blanketing miles of uncrowded parkland, this is one of California’s most spectacular regions. The largest city, Eureka, is roughly a 5-hour drive north of San Francisco—but what a drive: see lush wine country, charming hamlets, spouting whales, and breathtaking sunsets. The western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range, defining California’s eastern border, are known as the Gold Country, named after the rich Mother Lode discovered here in the mid-1850s. While gold is still found in the region, new riches include top museums and art in Sacramento, the state capital, plus whitewater rafting, tucked-away towns, farm-fresh dining, and award-winning wines. On the western oceanfront of Northern California, at the state’s distinctive bend along the coast, lies this breathtaking region.

It’s framed by an unforgettable gateway—the iconic Golden Gate Bridge—spanning the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Kings Canyon National Parks—all within a day’s drive of either San Francisco or L. Running right down the middle of California, this broad region contains some of most productive farmland in the world. Wine country around Lodi features big, bold reds. Further south, Fresno has a lively arts scene. The region’s classic drive along Highway One, linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, visits Big Sur, Hearst Castle, wine country, and kick-back surf towns. This dramatic region takes up the southeastern half of the state.