California Love: The Highly Instagrammable Must Do Things And Experiencesby | June 20, 2019
From Hollywood in Los Angeles to Golden Gate in San Francisco, California is a land of contrasts. The Golden State boasts of beautiful natural landscapes balanced with a heavy dose of glitz and glam. On the bucket list of every traveller, each one of us aspires to live the California dream even if it's for a short-spanned vacay.
Actress Huma Qureshi just lived her version of it, having travelled to California recently. From a chopper ride in San Francisco and wine tasting in Napa Valley to playing in the snow at Yosemite, Qureshi’s ’gram-perfect pictures left us craving a Californian adventure.
So, we tailed Qureshi on her escapade and put together a list of to-do things when in Cali that offer you ’grammable views, breathtaking sites, and unforgettable experiences. Perfect for nonchalant Instagram #humblebrag.
San Francisco is steeped in history, and the glorious Golden Gate with its head in the clouds defines it. Strewn with beautiful Victorian buildings, expansive parks, and Instagrammable trams, the city offers a great mix of culture and entertainment. Grab a sweater and head to the mammoth sun-kissed bridge for a leisure walk. You can also cycle your way across, zipping past tourists engaged in snapping memories. But Qureshi proves to us that the best view is aboard the Hornblower cruise with the wind in your hair. As it floats through the dense fog, catch a glimpse of the Alcatraz prison. And while this one is a splurge, you can also opt for a helicopter tour that will offer your panoramic views of the gorgeous city.
Museum of Ice-Cream
All of us have anecdotes and memories from our childhood that feature ice-cream in the main lead. A universal symbol of happiness, the museum by Maryellis Bunn is Instagram heaven. With ice-cream inspired installations and a pool made entirely out of sprinkles, this overwhelmingly millennial pink space was crafted specifically for Instagram. Every corner has potential to #breaktheinternet, and we love the idea of being surrounded by ice-cream and supersized candy installations. Might we suggest you Google it stat? Thank us later.
A series of seven Victorian and Edwardian homes, San Francisco's ‘Painted Ladies’ sit across Alamo Square Park. Painted in pretty pastel hues of buttercup yellow and powder blue, the houses have served as a backdrop to famed shows like Full House, as well as picture-perfect postcards. Indulge in a scenic picnic here under the Californian sun, against the candy-hued buildings.
Yosemite National Park
To catch a sight of snow-peaked mountains in the middle of sunny California reminds you of natures marvel. One of America’s most popular national parks, it is also a Unesco World Heritage site. With rainbow-striped waterfalls and looming sequoias, every inch of the park offers jaw-dropping views that are likely to cause serious vacation envy amongst all your buddies. Qureshi makes an appeal for it, fully bundled up and striking a pose in the snow. While visiting during summer can be a great experience, we also like the idea of winter wonderland à la Qureshi. Be sure to stay at the upscale Chateau du Sureau, a castle with white walls and a terracotta rooftop with stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
A few short hours away from California, Napa Valley is everything you’ve envisioned and seen in the movies. Wineries tucked away in quaint hillside châteaus, luxe boutique hotels, and numerous slopes flaunting grape vines; the beauty of it is magnified with a gratifying glass of red in hand. If you are driving down to Napa, visit Raymond Vineyard, one of Napa Valley’s pioneers and estates for a tour of the winery and to sample some of the best curation of wines. Castello Di Amorosa, a Tuscan castle and winery is another pitstop. Opt for a guided tour of the castle winery and taste the Italian-inspired wines. Take a cue from Qureshi who shows us how it's done. Live your #bestlife here.
With the clear azure waters merging with the spotless skies here, Lake Tahoe is the perfect scenic getaway. The second deepest lake in the country, shades of turquoise and emerald glisten under the sun, painting a pristine watercolour. Revered for its beaches and ski resorts, book a cabin here and visit Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe’s crown jewel. A short drive away from South Lake Tahoe, it offers incomparable views.
L.A, the home of Hollywood is one of the biggest attractions for tourists from all around the world. And while you may or may not run into a celeb, the city has a lot of experiences to offer that will help you retrace the steps of celebrities. Be a part of the Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre to see a real Oscar here. Sitting inside a frame, you can take selfies with it. If you are a true Hollywood buff, then walk the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, the Hollywood Boulevard and to Gruman’s Chinese Theatre that has the hand and foot imprints of some of the biggest silver screen stars. When here, dine at Musso and Grill, one of Hollywood’s oldest restaurants that offers the chance to eat in Frank Sinatra’s booth while sipping one of their famed Martinis. Lastly, a trip to Hollywood is not complete without going on a studio tour. Friends, Gilmore Girls, The Big Bang Theory, home to all of this and Harry Potter, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour will have your mind blown in ways you would never even have imagined.
Gigantic palm trees, farm to table goodness, and a general laid-back vibe, Venice Beach is a winner. Offering you a chance to unwind from the hectic bustle of Hollywood, there is a ton to do around the neighbourhood. Rent a bike and cycle through Venice Canals that offers ’grammable sites, or head towards Abbot Kinney for vintage shops and for souvenirs to bring back home. At dusk, bike through the boardwalk to Santa Monica Pier and back. Grab a bite at Gjelina, a popular eatery that lives up to its hype.
Offering panoramic views of Los Angeles, Griffith Observatory is perched atop Mount Hollywood in LA’s Griffith Park. You can peer through microscopes at the observatory for stellar views of downtown LA, Hollywood, the Pacific Ocean, and the iconic Hollywood signage. You can access it by road, but do like the locals and trek your way up for a great experience and to appreciate the flora and fauna in the park that is touted to be five times the size of Central Park in New York. While you are at it, don’t forget to take a picture of yourself against the Hollywood sign.
Bring to life your princess dream with a day trip to Disneyland. With the adventure park, Sleeping Beauty castle, and Star Wars galaxy edge, the entire space provides you with a ‘gram worthy backdrop, and for people across ages. Even the food here is highly ’grammable with Mickey cake pops and Mickey chocolate-covered pretzels.
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