The Golden State is full of wonders and it could take years to truly see them all. Many of us are in love with SoCal's warm, sandy shores and bright turquoise ocean water, but it's easy to miss out on some seriously underrated places worth exploring. We've gathered a list of the most unique places in California that will blow your mind. You have to see it to believe it. 

Did you know that you can find 75 million-year-old rock formations near San Diego and take a drive through nine miles of rainbow-colored mountains in the middle of the desert? 

From out of this world rock formations and scenic stargazing spots to salt flats and lush forest trails, this list covers so many epic places you would never expect to find in this state.

Devil's Postpile National Monument

Price: $10 per vehicle 

Location: Devils Postpile Access Road, Mammoth Lakes, 

Why You Need To Go: No, this isn't photoshopped. This geological wonder was carved out 100,000 years ago by receding glaciers meeting hot molten lava. The result?-Crazy- high rock walls that look like they're from outer space. 


Badwater Basin

Price: $20 per car entrance fee

Location: Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California

Why You Should Go: Don't have enough money to visit the Bolivian Salt Flats? We've found the next best thing. This crazy natural wonder spans as far as the eyes can see.


McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial Park

Price: $8 entrance fee

Location:24898 CA-89 Scenic, Burney, California 

Why You Should Go: These 129-foot falls are often called the eighth wonder of the world


Artist's Palette

Price: $20 per car entrance fee

Location: Artist's Palette, Death Valley National Park

Why You Should Go: You can drive through nine mesmerizing miles of colorful mountains. It looks like a real-life Candyland!


Lake Berryessa

Price: Free to visit

Location: Lake Berryessa, California 

Why You Should Go: During the right conditions, this creepy lake turns into a 200-foot drop down a pitch-black vortex.


Muir Woods National Monument

Price: $15 entrance fee and $8 per vehicle parking reservation

Location: 1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, California 

Why You Should Go: You can walk among towering 800-year-old trees in one of California's oldest redwood forests.



We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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