See stars up close! The 200-inch telescope at Caltech's Palomar Observatory is open for public guided tours during spring, summer and fall weekends. Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles has a stunning planetarium and a wide array of events to bring astronomical wonder to the public.
Southern California's increasing supply of homes will lower prices!In the past few years, there was a frenzied chase in the Southern California for a small supply of homes. Now that bidding wars are finally cooling off and more homes are being built, buyers have a better chance at a reasonably priced house. This just might be the time to look for a rent-to-own home.
Check out 300 California rent to own homes for sale, which may include auction properties, for sale by owner, and more.
A night at the opera! Founded in 1923, the San Francisco Opera is the nation's second-largest opera company. Its opening-night gala is one of San Francisco's most important social events of the year. Follow that up with dinner at the Top of the Mark, a famous rooftop restaurant and bar on San Francisco's Nob Hill.
Los Angeles and Orange County rents are steadily falling! Because these areas are popular with investors who buy many foreclosed houses, the supply of rental houses has increased. This increase in supply has lowered the average rent.
Drive through a tree! In Humboldt State Park, you can drive your car right through a hole in the trunk of a giant redwood tree. Coast redwood trees are the tallest living things on earth, and they live for thousands of years. Visiting the Avenue of the Giants will make you feel tiny.
The San Francisco Bay Area community is super-popular! A mild climate and access to a booming job market have affected the availability of homes. House prices in that area have gone up by 28 percent in the past year. If you can't afford to buy outright, perhaps you can rent to own.
Catch a wave! Orange County and parts of the San Diego coast offer world-class surfing beaches. Pull on your wetsuit, rent a surfboard at Huntington Beach's Surf City, and then head out for a lesson on the beach.
Cash is king in California right now! If you are an investor who can pay cash for an investment property, you'll fit right in with the current wave of California's homebuyers. Many of these cash buyers are winning bidding wars in parts of the state where the housing supply is low.
Step into history! California has 21 missions, dating from as early as 1769. Most of them still operate as Catholic parishes today. Self-guided tours are available for these historic moments of a time when the Spanish settled this land.
Rising house prices means easier refinancing! Homeowners who have been underwater in their mortgages are having an easier time qualifying for a refinanced loan because home values are rising.
Taste world famous wines! Winery tours are available in the Napa and Sonoma wine regions, as well as throughout the central California coast. If you're feeling really adventurous, try Domaine Chandon's hot-air balloon tour over the Napa Valley, accompanied by a sparkling wine brunch.
California protects its homeowners! In January 2013, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights became law. This document guarantees basic fairness in home lending and transparency in foreclosure. It provides every household with the ability to prosecute mortgage fraud, and it protects tenants from sudden eviction.
Cool summer fog! Even though California is known for its sunshine, much of the coastal region experiences morning fog in the summertime, which helps to moderate the afternoon heat. Cool, rainy winters are easy to get through, and you don't have to deal with winter snow unless you live in the mountains - or want to go skiing.
Affordable and beautiful cities! San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Eureka, and Palm Springs are the four areas named by Marketwatch as having the lowest-priced homes for sale in California.
Beaches! Need we say more? From the trendy expanses of sand in Malibu and Venice Beach to the rocky coastlines of Monterey and the wilderness of Point Reyes, California's beaches are iconic.
The greatest ecological diversity in the world! From high alpine environments to lake, river, and coastal regions, California has some of every imaginable ecosystem. In one day, you can travel from Humboldt County's lush forests to the Mojave Desert.
Stroll among the stars! In Beverly Hills, you can drive down palm-lined streets to shop at the same high-end boutiques that your favorite stars enjoy, or visit Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and pretend you're a superstar.
Ride a wild river! Or, if you prefer, choose a lazy, relaxed spot and just float along on an inner tube. The American River, site of the gold discovery that launched the Gold Rush of the 1840s, has places to experience every level of river rafting. If you prefer dry land, the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail is a 32-mile-long paved pathway that goes along the side of the river.
Let a castle take your breath away! The Hearst Castle, built over the course of 28 years for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, has 165 rooms. Take a tour, and end with a sunset view from the terrace by the Neptune Pool.