There are so many things to do in California while you are here on your internship or graduate program. Here are a few suggestions to do and explore while being a intern on a J1-visa in the states.
Pacific Beach & Mission Beach
Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are areas in San Diego close to the beach. There are mostly young people, students and surfers in this area. PB and MB has a great nightlife, food and an amazing beach. Get good Mexican food at Baja Beach Cafe, it's located on the boardwalk. The sunsets here in San Diego are amazing. The easiest way to get around is by bike, and it's pretty cheap to buy one, otherwise you can rent. Hang by the beach with friends and watch the sunset.
La Jolla is a beautiful area with a lot of restaurants and shops. Go kayaking and see sea lions, dolphins, turtles and cool caves. At Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve you can hike, it´s such a beautiful hike and something that you must see and afterwards you can go and have drinks at George's At The Cove with a beautiful view.
Experience the city life of San Diego. A big city with great parks, zoo, harbor, boat tours, shops and more. If you want to go out clubbing in downtown, Omnia is a big club and it's highly recommended to visit. Have some good burgers at Shake Shack!!
In Old Town you can experience and learn about the history of San Diego. There are many restaurants, shops and unique goods. Go there on a Tuesday (Taco Tuesday) or the weekend and you will experience the feeling of Mexico. You can eat Mexican food, have good margaritas and feel the Mexican culture. Recommended restaurant in Old Town is Cafe Coyote and Casa De Reyes.
Coronado Island is a beautiful place you have to visit. Coronado has an amazing beach, and don't forget to visit the Hotel Del Coronado. The hotel has been there since 1888.
Visit Santa Monica Pier. On the pier there is an amusement park, shops and restaurants. A recommended cafe in L.A. is Urth Caffé. Really good food and yes, it can be really crowded here. I don't blame them, they have the best brunch and a really cozy atmosphere.
Along Venice Beach there is a lot of stores and restaurants. One recommendation is Hotel Erwin, the have really good food and drinks. The location is great, just around the corner of the Venice sign. It is a rooftop so you have the best view over the beautiful sunset!!
Hollywood / Walk of Fame
Hiking to the Hollywood sign is a perfect exercise. Not only will you get to see the sign but you will get a beautiful view over L.A. A perfect breakfast place in L.A. is Javista, they have a really good avocado toast and good coffee, perfect before going on a hike. You can find Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, L.A. It´s a really long street and usually really crowded.
Universal Studios is something I really recommend. Spend the whole day here to get the full experience. Be there before they open and don't go on the weekends if you don't want to spend most of your time in line. Universal studios have something for everybody and you will have a super fun day here.
Beverly Hills is a small area in L.A. and maybe you will spot some celebrities here. Rodeo Drive is where you can shop all the expensive brands. If you want to eat a really good burger in L.A. I recommend to eat at Burger Lounge. For Brunch you can eat pancakes and avokado toast at PCP.
Golden Gate Bridge
When you are in San Francisco you have to see the Golden Gate Bridge which is San Francisco’s landmark. This bridge is not only huge but also quite beautiful. The opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1939 was then the longest and tallest bridge in the world.
Fisherman's Wharf is a neighborhood in San Francisco and a popular tourist district. Most famous in the area is Pier 39 where you can often see a large number of sea lions that daily lie and enjoy the sun.
Well-known Painted Ladies, a number of Victorian houses painted in glorious colors. Sit down in the gras and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the Painted Ladies.
The Chinatown of San Francisco is in addition to Chinatown, Manhattan, the world's largest Chinatown outside of Asia. In Chinatown there are exotic shops, ethnic food markets and excellent restaurants.
Alcatraz was created in 1934 and closed in 1963. During the years when Alcatraz was open, 36 prisoners tried to escape from this prison. However, 15 of them died during their flight attempts.
Lombard Street is famous for its crooked road. There are also many movies that have been recorded here. Is famous for being the most crookedest street in the world.
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