California is the Golden State- and for good reason too! Read our official list of the top ten reasons to visit beautiful California!

10. The Accommodations - The Golden State is known for its fabulous hotels, B&B's, resorts, and incredible places to get away. One of the most exciting things about California is its notorious gay and gay-friendly presence when it comes to places to stay while on vacation. Each gayborhood and town around the state has a lot to offer the LBGT travel community. Some of our favorite Cali accommodations include Horse N Around, a small dude ranch near Sonoma, Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa, and Hyatt Regency Indian Wells just minutes outside of Palm Springs. No matter where in the state you visit, you are sure to find awesome places to stay!

9. The Art Scene – California has a unique and quirky arts scene that is notorious for setting this golden state apart from any other. Hollywood is the legendary center of the film industry, but Los Angeles as a whole has so much to offer arts enthusiasts. There are constant arts fairs, gallery openings, and underground concerts in this urban jungle. For a more alternative arts scene, San Francisco and Oakland have lots of progressive and off-the-beaten-path arts events. Performance art is especially big in these legendary cities, so open your mind to the all of the artistic possibilities this inspiring state has to offer.

8. LGBT Events – California is home to some of the most incredible cities in the country, which explains why it is also home to some of the most off the charts LGBT events! California hosts an incredible Pride season, with events in Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Oakland, and more. White Party Palm Springs and Dinah Shore Weekend are two of our Palm Springs favorites, with Rainbow Days at Six Flags and Gay Days Anaheim near Los Angeles not far behind. Up and down the coast there are endless events that draw in the LGBT community, so no matter what time of year you visit there will surely be something to do- big or small!

7. The Active Lifestyle – For sports enthusiasts and those with an active lifestyle, California offers a wide range of activities in a variety of climates and seasons. For skiiers, Big Bear and Mammoth have some of the best slopes of the state-not to mention incredible hiking and camping options for the warmer months. The Sierra Nevada mountains and various state parks include endless options for those craving a California nature fix. And let’s not forget about surfing; California has some of the best surf in the world! Beautiful beaches complete the vast variety of outdoor options available for travelers with an active lifestyle.

6. The Weather – California is probably most notorious for its gorgeous weather. Almost all year round, weather in Cali is enjoyable and pleasant, especially if you crave a more sunny and mild climate. There are many mountainous and desert regions in the state as well, so the air is dry and warm around a lot of the infamous tourist destinations. California beaches offer delightful breezes, and even in the winter months weather is mildly raining, a tad bit grey, but still totally doable for shorts and T’s!

5. The Theme Parks – Who doesn’t like theme parks?! The Golden state is home to some of the country’s most famous amusement parks, many of which host hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Disneyland and Six Flags are both close to Los Angeles with crazy and legendary rides that keep people coming back for more. San Diego is home to Legoland and SeaWorld, both of which are extremely educational and family friendly. No matter what the age, travelers from around the world flock to California to get a fix of its notorious theme parks. Cotton candy and pretzels, anyone?

4. The Beaches – It is hard to imagine a visit to California without picturing the beautiful beaches this state offers. Every coastal city has a gaggle of beaches big and small. Whether you like to see and be seen or have more of an intimate and local beach experience, the California coast is THE place for you toyou’re your Pacific Ocean fix. Beaches here are known for their excellent waves and delightful sand. Santa Monica, La Jolla, and Coronado are some of our favorites- not to mention Blacks Beach for some excellent nude tanning too!

3. The Cocktails - If its beer you fancy we have plenty of that, San DIego is home to local brewery Stone Brewing Company as well as the first LGBT owned, operated and out brewery, the Hillcrest Brewing Company. We suggest their Pearl Necklace pale ale, it's a neighborhood favorite. If a stiff one is more your style California is home to an extensive list of gay bar and clubs including the world famous Abbey in WEHO and Urban Mo's which just celebrated their 21st year in business! Let’s not forget the incredible LGBT wineries all throughout Napa Valley and Sonoma too! The best way to get your grape on is to attend an Out In The Vineyard event, they're first class and sure to impress. No matter what your drink, you are sure to find it in California- locally brewed, fermented, and mixed!

2. The Neighborhoods – Not only is all of California inviting and LGBT friendly, but the golden state is home to some of the most vibrant gay communities in the world. San Francisco’s Castro has gone down in history as an LGBT center of politics and culture- and with good reason too. West Hollywood in Los Angeles is SoCal’s response to the Northern Californian vibrancy found in S.F. And local San Diegan’s know that the gay place to be is Hillcrest, right next to the historic Gaslamp district and the San Diego Zoo. Whether your preference is big or small, you are sure to find gay and gay-friendly neighborhoods to party, dine, and shop no matter where you visit!

1. The Residents - Because of its size, the state of California has a huge range and wide variety of locals. From beach babes to urban cowboys, city dwellers and rugged sports enthusiasts, California residents are some of the best people around! Sunkissed, hot, ripped, and done up to the nines- the locals and residents here are absoutely sure to impress. More than anything else, the people who live in this gorgeous state are incredibly warm, welcoming, and proud of the place they live!

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