A Trip to California: I’m in a Golden State of Mind. 


A. Berrios

The Hollywood Sign catches your eye from the Griffith Observatory.

Anthony Berrios, Staff Writer

“The Golden State,” is a go-to vacation spot, and a place people dream about living and experiencing once in their life. The amount of things to do in California is endless, with so many places in California to see and admire. In January, I set out to California for five days to see everything I could and simply enjoy the experience. Though the snow is still melting in some places, spring break is quickly approaching. It is time to book your flights and find that hotel room, because California may just be the destination for you. Here are the ups and downs of the attractions available. 

I have ranked the places from worst to best, so you know where to go and what it will be like. 

  1. Worst: Venice Beach

Venice Beach in Los Angeles is definitely not a go-to place if you are visiting. The beach is very dirty and is definitely not a place for kids. Because of the 2017 legalization within the state, the smell of marijuana is prevalent and will make tourists looking for a family-friendly destination run the other direction. The overall experience was lackluster, since there isn’t much to see, and the uncleanliness forced me to rank this the worst place of those I visited.

  1. In-N-Out Burger

The famous In-N-Out Burger is definitely some visitors’ first stop in California. Overall, the taste of the burger and fries is good, but definitely not something to go over the moon for. With many other places like The Habit Burger on the rise, there are other burger options locally that would end up tasting equally as good or better than In-N-Out, and save you the hassle of long lines for a very simple menu. 

A. Berrios
The Santa Monica pier is relaxing but does not quite meet expectations.
  1. Walk of Fame

The Walk of Fame is a very long and interesting place in Los Angeles that consists of some of the best actors, authors, filmmakers, musicians and animated characters. The Walk of Fame almost resembles a street from New York, with plenty of stores and attractions on the sides to take pictures of, even with those people you always see in costumes that you never want to take a picture with. If you’re going to the Walk of Fame simply to look at the stars and not the stores, like Funko Pop or souvenir shops, you might come to find that you won’t be staying there for long since the stars are quick and easy to look at. While you might see familiar names such as Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and even Shrek, unless you are a film, music, or book master, you’re probably not going to know half the people on the Walk of Fame, as there are simply so many names and people to remember. While it is a nice attraction to see and admire, I’d recommend you add something else to your list for that day to do, too.

      1. San Diego Zoo

The widely known San Diego Zoo is one of the largest zoos around and will meet your expectations. The amount of animals and attractions in the zoo is great and full of variety. Every place is put into categories from the Outback (Australia) to South America, so it is easy to navigate on a hot day. With a range of animals like elephants, kangaroos, and koalas, this is definitely a place to visit, but depending on where you stay in California, it could be a far drive. 

  1. Santa Monica Pier

Remember how I said you should add something else in your day when you go to the Walk of Fame? Well, Santa Monica Pier would fit right in. The drive from each location is only thirty minutes which might seem long, but everything in California is a drive since it is so large. While it doesn’t have a huge amount of things to offer, the beach is very nice and clean. It also has a great pier with food places, like Bubba Gump Shrimp. Keep in mind, there tends to be some shady characters hanging out around the pier. As long as you are smart and safe, the pier is a nice and cool area to visit.

A. Berrios
The Jurassic World rides at Universal Studios provide a big thrill.
  1. Warner Brothers Tour

From the Ellen show to the set of Friends, the Warner Brothers Tour is fun and history-filled with interesting attractions to look at. At one stop, you even go into an archives area where all the Batmobiles that have been used in the movies are on display. If you’re a Batman fan, this is the place for you. They also have a nice store at the end of the tour with their very own Central Perk cafe, which serves all kinds of coffees and pastries. Just don’t drop and smash a mug like I did in the store. I will save you from that embarrassment.

  1. Best: Universal Studios

Universal is an enjoyable place to go that won’t let you down. While they don’t have as many attractions as the Universal Studios in Florida, they have attractions you wouldn’t see in Florida. The Walking Dead attraction is only available in Cali and like the Brighton Asylum, but zombified! They also have their own Universal tour that takes you through some of their hit movies like Jurassic Park and King Kong. It’s definitely a must to visit on your trip to California, but keep in mind the timing. I went in the winter, but in the summertime, the lines can be long and the wait times extravagant.