If you could choose one place to be in California right now...

We posed the question to travel writers, "What's your favorite place to visit in California?" There were no two answers alike, amazingly. But the beaches seemed to win out as a favorite spot to visit. Some preferred mountains. Shown is Pacific Grove, a favorite vacation for many people.

"Malibu would have to be my number one choice," says Janice M., a travel writer from Texas. "I've gone on many press trips to California's wine country destinations such as Napa, Sonoma, Temecula and Santa Barbara, but every state has wineries they tout. And frankly, you can only drink so much wine in one day," she confides. Janice said she likes to stay at a hotel on the beach in Malibu. It's complete rejuvenation to hear the ocean waves crash on shore as you sleep. "I sleep like a baby!"

"Yosemite National Park is my favorite spot on the planet," says John P., an industry pro who has worked in the travel sector for over 30 years. He's an outdoorsman and expert on many topics but especially excels in a knowledge of fall foliage, fishing and outdoor sports. He is sought out for media sound-bites when the leaf peeping season starts each fall. He knows all about the changes of the leaf colors and speed at which the leaves turn as they descend in the various elevations of the mountains.

" San Diego is my favorite vacation," said Craig M. The Pulitzer Prize nominee worked as a reporter on the largest newspaper in San Diego. "I was lucky to be assigned a beat exploring the many things to see and do in and around San Diego County," he says. Though he moved away and has lived and worked in nearly every part of the state of California, Craig said he goes back to San Diego to rekindle happy memories. Places he likes to see include Hotel del Coronado, Point Loma, Mission Bay and SeaWorld, where he donned a costume for a day and became Googles the Elephant Seal (long before Google company ever existed!) It was for an news assignment.

"If I could snap my fingers and be in one place, I'd choose the Monterey Area — Carmel by the Sea & Pacific Grove," said Australian travel journalist Roger D., who's been around the globe exploring adventures for TV segments. "I really liked San Francisco-it was fantastic! But Carmel was unforgettable with its perfect pines and Gingerbread architecture. No street addresses, deer roaming free next to the beach, and artists painting on canvases at white, sand beaches in foggy mists-that's what Roger remembers and hopes to return to one day.

While California beaches rank as the top visitor experience (along with Disneyland,) the varied geographies and landscapes are all within reach during one vacation. In Palm Desert you can experience dry, 100 degree heat, then ascend on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of the San Jacinto mountains where you disembark into snow. Sports enthusiasts actually claim they surf in the Pacific Ocean in the early morning, then drive two hours to mountains where they snowboard for the rest of the day.

What's your favorite California vacation?


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