Are you one of the many Americans not using all of your vacation days? According to a study by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off, Americans stockpiled 662 million unused vacation days in 2016. Don’t be another statistic—celebrate Plan For Vacation Day on January 30 by booking your next California dream vacation. If planning isn’t your forte, don't worry—we can help. Start by perusing the list below, then order a free California Visitor’s Guide. After that, it’s on you to get off your butt and book a trip.
1. Check out our diverse and awe-inspiring National Parks—including Joshua Tree, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Death Valley, and Channel Islands.
2. Go camping—on the beach.
3. Ski, snowboard, and skate where 2018 Olympians train.
4. Drink incredible Napa Valley wine on a train or even in a castle.
5. Try the new Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster—the world’s first dueling looping coaster—at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom this spring. If you want to see some other options, check out our roundup of new theme park happenings for 2018.
6. Cruise the Golden State by car. Here are some of our favorite road trips: Wine and redwoods on State Highway 128; a culinary road trip from San Francisco through Wine Country; a classic Highway 1 drive featuring an alternative route through Paso Robles; a look into Gold Rush history on Highway 49.
7. Sip mimosas in a tropical treehouse at the San Diego Zoo or try these other only-in-California dining experiences.
8. Treat your dog (it is Year of the Dog, after all). Check out these pet-friendly beaches and dog-welcoming hotels.
9. Explore the San Andreas Fault from the back of a jeep
10. Chill in a classic beach town. Here are a few suggestions: Pismo Beach, Santa Monica, Encinitas, and Oceanside.
11. Visit the only limestone caverns in a California State Park—recently reopened after seven years.
12. See why our beaches are the best. These are a few of our favorites in San Diego, Orange County, North Coast.
13. Surf and ski in the same day, just because you can.
14. Sleep in the middle of a vineyard. Here are nine California wineries where you can spend the night.
15. Go celebrity-spotting. We recommend these 12 places to spot famous people and offer great tips for attending a live TV show taping.
16. Learn something new, like how to blend your own wine, drive a fast car, or craft your own surfboard. We love these Edutourism Vacations for Kids and 8 Great Learning Vacations.
17. Visit locations featured in classic movies.
18. Discover eight of California’s best-kept secrets, from an active volcano in Shasta Cascade to some crazy-looking trees in Gilroy.
19. Relax at an one of our awesome luxury resorts. Start with one of these amazing options in San Diego, Palm Springs, Orange County, or Wine Country.
20. Follow celebrity travel advice. Stars such as Kristen Bell, Margaret Cho, and Mario Lopez recommend their favorite places to eat, splurge, and take a road trip in California.
21. Tackle an extreme sport. Are you brave enough to try whitewater kayaking, slacklining, or flyboarding? Olympian Jonny Moseley is, and we have the proof.
22. Make a stop at one of these 14 must-see California museums.
23. Spot a whale. Now is the perfect time to see orcas, humpbacks, gray whales, blue whales, and more—just off the coast. Here are 9 top places for whale-watching.
24. Detox at one of these wellness retreats or California Spa Resorts.
25. Soak up some sun in the desert, perhaps at one of these six unforgettable desert parks?