9 of the Best Things to Do Outdoors in California

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California is all about the outdoors, with plenty of spectacular scenery from the wild waves of the Pacific to soaring mountain peaks, roaring rivers and glistening lakes. All of that adds up to a place that is full of recreational opportunities, and these outdoor adventures are sure to inspire you to get out there and experience all that the Golden State has to offer.

1. Surfing in Santa Cruz

Whether you’re an experienced surfer or not, as long as you can swim, surfing in one of the sport’s top destinations in the world is a must. If you already surf, well, it’s a definite no-brainer. Not only is Santa Cruz a National Surfing Sanctuary, host of the annual O’Neill Cold Water Classic contest, and home to numerous pro and big-wave surfers, but the sport is ingrained in much of the everyday culture here. Cowell’s Beach near the Boardwalk or 36th and East Cliff at Pleasure Point are two of the best spots around, but if you’re a beginner, you’ll probably want to take surfing lessons before you head out on a board. Surf School Santa Cruz boasts some of the city’s top pros, both your board and wetsuit are provided, and lessons take place at legendary Pleasure Point.

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