Why is California called the Golden Coast

America's west coast state is rightly considered a dream destination

California's major cities
California's big cities are culturally diverse, extremely lively and well worth seeing. This is where culture, nature and the pioneering spirit of the 21st century meet and open up unforgettable worlds of experience to the visitor.

This applies to many visitors los Angeles as the Californian metropolis par excellence: Hollywood, Beverly Hills, beautiful people, sunny weather, full highways and miles of beaches. The city lives up to expectations in every way. In addition, there is a lot more to discover: the Latin American culture, lively bars, fantastic restaurants, fascinating contemporary architecture and one of the hippest art scenes in the country.

San Diego spoils residents and visitors with a pleasant climate. The miles of coastline with beautiful beaches make it easy to fall in love with this place. In the city itself, Mexican influence is omnipresent and has a pleasant impact on culture and life. The historic "Gaslamp Quarter" is the center of nightlife and one of the most important attractions along with Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Sea World.

The Golden Gate Bridge, thick fog, pretty old wooden houses, steep hills and extensive parks leave no doubt that San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. San Francisco is a pedestrian city that's easy to explore, with highlights like the cable car, Alcatraz Prison Island, and Pier 39. And beyond the city limits there is a lot to discover with the Marin Headlands and the vineyards of the beautiful Napa Valley.

California's national parks and lakes

Lassen Volcanic National Park and Mount Shasta
In northeastern California, you can still explore active volcanoes in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The last eruption occurred in 1917, but boiling mud pools, steaming chimneys, and hot springs at Bumpass Hell and elsewhere in the park indicate volcanic activity. In winter, up to 12 m of snow often falls here. By mid-June, however, the roads are mostly passable and open to visitors more than 240 km of hiking trails. Further north is the 4,317 m high Mount Shasta, an extinct volcano that is often snow-capped. This area attracts nature lovers, because here, in addition to numerous hiking and mountain bike trails, there are also refreshing and inviting, blue lakes such as Lake Shasta. www.nps.gov/lavo

Redwood National and State Park
With heights of up to 100 m, the California coastal redwoods are among the largest trees in the world. To protect this remarkable species and its habitat, several grassland zones from the Oregon border to the central coast near Big Sur have been designated as national and state parks. In the border area between California and Oregon you will find untouched and impressive sanctuaries for these sequoias. The starting point is the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, where you can admire the gigantic trees and then maybe even come across Roosevelt's elk on a trip to Gold Bluffs Beach in the dunes. To the south, the Avenue of the Giants runs 50 km through redwood forests. www.nps.gov/redw

Lake Tahoe
With the clear blue lake and mountain peaks in the background, Lake Tahoe is undoubtedly one of the most evocative areas of California. With a depth of 500 m, the lake is one of the deepest mountain lakes in the world. Even if the water temperature is rather cool in summer, the beautiful landscape makes this area a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. VUSA tip: Treat yourself to a ride on the stern paddle steamer Tahoe Queen or join a guided kayak tour. On land, visit historic buildings near Camp Richardson. If you're looking for souvenirs, check out Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe. The 241 km long Tahoe Rim Trail is a dream trail for hikers, mountain bikers or horse riders. Of course, you can also just relax on one of the many sunny, sandy beaches (keep an eye out for cars parked by the roadside and trails that lead directly to the lake shore).