20 photos that will make you wish you lived in California

Chris Carlson, ApImagesSurfers line up in California’s Huntington Beach.
  • California is home to a variety of views from big cities to forests to shorelines.
  • California’s coastline is incredibly photogenic.
  • Photos of San Francisco‘s Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars will have you wanting to move there.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

From the winery-dotted Napa Valley and winding roads of the Pacific Coast Highway to the natural beauty of Yosemite and star-studded streets of Los Angeles, the options for experiencing the magic of the Golden State are endless.

No matter what part of the state you choose to visit, your eyes are in for a treat.

Don’t believe us? Take a quick photo road trip with us to see why California is the place to be.


There’s a little bit of something for everyone in California.

Carl Larson PhotographyDowntown Los Angeles, California.

The Los Angeles skyline comes complete with great city and mountain views.


Surfers can find some great waves at beaches in Big Sur.

Chase Dekker Wild-Life ImagesJulia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, California.

McWay Cove is a hidden paradise located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur.


Hikers can get lost amongst the giant trees of the Redwood Forest.

Noppawat Tom CharoensinphonHumboldt Redwoods State Park in Humboldt, California.

Redwoods are often more than 200 feet tall.


City dwellers can explore the streets of big cities like Los Angeles.

Ilja Mask / EyeEmLos Angeles, California.

Los Angeles is known for its abundance of palm trees, excellent shopping, and celebrity sightings.


Dreamers can stroll through a real-life fairytale in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

jejim/ShutterstockCarmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Carmel-by-the-Sea was once voted one of the most romantic getaways on earth.


And nature enthusiasts can spot some incredible views at Yosemite.

Photograph by Tony Van LeYosemite National Park, California.

Yosemite is the third-oldest national park in the United States.


Even better — Yosemite looks just as stunning in winter as it does during the summer.

Don Smith/GettyImagesYosemite National Park, California, in winter.

Other than a few roads, most of the park remains accessible year-round.


In fact, California has some of the country’s best national parks. Take Joshua Tree for example:

Carlo Van Stek / EyeEmRock formations at Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Joshua Tree National Park covers over 1,200 square miles.


As intimidating as Death Valley National Park sounds, the desert views are incredible.

Robert Alexander / ContributorZabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, California.

Death Valley holds the record for the hottest recorded temperature on Earth.


Even when it seems busy everywhere, there’s always peace and quiet to find.

Gary WeathersSanta Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California.

The Santa Monica Pier and beach is picturesque and calming but has something for the whole family to enjoy.


The beaches around the Golden Gate Bridge make a great escape from the bustling city nearby.

Can Balcioglu/GettyImagesGolden Gate Bridge from Marshall Beach, San Francisco, California.

Despite being called golden, the bridge’s colour is technically “international orange.”


But don’t miss out on San Francisco’s famous hills and streetcars.

RICOWde/GettyImagesRussian Hill in San Francisco, California.

It is also famously one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.


You can get some amazing views while coasting along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Cavan Images/GettyImagesPacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles, California.

Winding along California’s coast, it is often considered a bucket-list road trip.


Imagine taking a calming stroll through one of Napa Valley’s vineyards.

LockieCurrie/GettyImagesVineyard in Napa Valley, California.

With 400 wineries in the valley, we recommend picking a destination before you go.


Sonoma Valley also has great vineyard views, if you’re nearby.

Akira Yuan / EyeEmVineyard in Sonoma County, California.

It was once named the best small town to visit in America.


Places like Lake Tahoe are so relaxing they seem unreal.

stevedunleavy.com/GettyImagesSecret Harbour Cove Lake in Tahoe, California.

The luxury estates for sale in the area are impressive, as well.


Sailboats cruising around Morro Bay will put you at ease.

Jauder Ho / jauderho.com/GettyImagesMorro Rock in Morro Bay, California.

Morro Rock itself is an underrated natural landmark you shouldn’t miss.


And don’t forget to visit some of California’s hidden gems like Catalina Island.

David Marano Photography/GettyImagesCatalina Island, California.

Just off the coast of long beach, you can reach the island by ferry.


They certainly don’t call it the Golden State for nothing.

Westend61/GettyImagesPacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California.

It was named for the 19th-century gold rush, but the sunshine is golden, too.


California is definitely worth the trip.

Art Wager/GettyImagesHighway 1 in Big Sur, California.

No matter where you go in California, you’re in for a beautiful ride.

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