California is one of those destinations that everyone has dreamt about at some point. A magic land that evokes images of sunny beaches and palms, mountains and deserts, highways and roads to nowhere.
California is a place for anyone, but what if you are looking for ecotourism experiences?
Then you’ve come to the right place, because California is heaven for travelers like you.
Where to go: ecotourism destinations
Nature lovers can’t leave California without heading to Yosemite National Park, the jewel of the north and first spot in the list for those looking to experience ecotourism in California.
Any season is the perfect season to enjoy the park, and it’s a good idea to go back after a few months and see the colours changing and the nature evolving.
Here you can hike, bike, go on a rafting expedition or ski and ice skate if it’s winter time.
Of course the usual rules apply in order to be a good tourist: stay on the trails, don’t disturb the wildlife, and always be respectful of the environment.
Catalina Island might be Southern California’s best kept secret: just off the mainland, Catalina Island is reachable by the Catalina Express ferry in less than an hour.
You will spot just a few cars in the whole island but no worries, you can actually walk anywhere without issues.
Most of the island is covered by the Catalina’s Nature Preserve, which makes it a great place for hiking and nature lovers; other must-try activities in the island are zip lining and of, course, enjoying the beaches and the great seafood.
Photo – Courtesy of Hillpe, Photobucket
How to get around: transportation tips
Don’t believe what everyone will tell you, you don’t need a car to move around! California, unlike most other states, is relatively easy to travel by public transportation. Amtrak, America’s railway network, offers journeys through some breathtaking routes along the California coast. You can go all the way from San Francisco to San Diego, stopping in Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and other pretty coastal towns.
There’s nothing like sitting back, relax and spot incredible landscapes from your train window!
There’s another alternative if you want to use public transportation and be sustainable: you can take the iconic Greyhound, the bus network that will bring you almost anywhere in the country.
In San Francisco visitors will find it very easy to use the extensive public transportation network; in Los Angeles it might be a little more challenging, but it’s definitely doable.
Where to stay: sustainable hotels in California
It’s not difficult to find a green and sustainable hotel in California: the state in general is very environmentally conscious and it seems that many hotels and resorts are trying to implement some energy saving measures.
If you are looking for a special place, though, you should head to Napa Valley, in the heart of the wine country. This is where Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is located.
Bardessono Hotel screams luxury and splurge, but what really makes it stand out is the commitment to the environment preservation; Bardessono hotel is definitely the most sustainable hotel in the state and has been awarded the LEED Platinum certification by the United States Green Building Council.
This is the highest certification possible, and only three hotels in the whole world have received it.
Quite special, uh?
Photo – Courtesy of Bardessono Hotel & Spa
From Stefania Guglielmi @everysteph