Posted on 8 Mar
Feeling a little wanderlust but don't want to venture too far from home? Luckily, California is filled with some of the most amazing natural wonders in the world, and some of the best sights are just a short drive away. If you're itching for an adventure, here are The Agency's top picks for California's must-see treasures.
Glory Hole at Lake Berryessa
For the first time in over 10 years, Lake Berryessa's spillway, "Glory Hole," recently began overflowing with water. After experiencing an unusually long dry spell that's lasted since 2006, the Monticello Dam in Northern California has seen a resurgence in elevation at the Lake Berryessa reservoir thanks to an influx of rain in the region over the last couple of months. Since there's no telling how long the spillway will continue to flow, it's best to make plans to see it in all of its glory while you still can.
Black Sands Beach
While most Californians are used to digging their toes in the white and brown sands that line most of our coastal beaches, you won't find anything like the dark, pebbly shores of Black Sands Beach. Located along a 20-mile stretch between Shelter Cove and the Mattole River Campground, one of the best spots to catch a great view along the peaceful shores is right below the Marin Headlands. You'll be mesmerized by the juxtaposition of blue and white waters crashing against the black seashore. The beach is quiet and secluded, which makes for a perfect tranquil retreat.
If you're looking to get lost in your own imagination surrounded by the beauty of nature, then Shady Dell's Enchanted Forest is the place to go. The forest is situated along a trail off The Lost Coast in Northern California and surrounded by massive candelabra-shaped redwoods, some which have unique, U-shaped branches caused by the salty air and strong winds. During the summer months, you'll find colorful mycotrophic flowers, gnome plants, and spotted coral root along the trail, and if you watch closely, you may even spot a few Roosevelt elk
Antelope Valley is home to one of the largest collections of California poppy flowers encased within the California Poppy Reserve. In spring, this massive stretch of land erupts in an array of colorful blooms as far as the eye can see.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure, and Fort Bragg's Glass Beach certainly embodies that ethos. The sea glass is the product of decades of trash dumping, which started in the early 1900s and persisted until the area was closed and underwent massive cleanup projects and restorations. The remnants of glass bottles, metal and other pieces of trash eventually transformed into smooth, colored gem-like stones.