Catalina Island is a short boat ride from Los Angeles or Orange counties, but very far off in ambiance and charm. You can very easily forget you are in California and let your imagination take you to a Mediterranean Island.
Muir Woods is the last remaining grove of Giant Red Wood trees in the bay area and it is located right outside of the city of San Francisco. In 1908 it was declared a national monument and named after the naturist John Muir in recognition of his conservation efforts.
Most people spend the whole time at Yosemite Valley and surrounding area - missing out on wonderful nature and amazing adventures. If you have the adventurous spirit, leave the crowds behind and go on a whitewater rafting trip on the Tuolumne River.
One of the most pleasant ways to experience Yosemite Valley is to hop on your bike and follow one of the winding bike trails. If you did not bring your own bike you can rent one from the many rental places at Yosemite or outside of Yosemite.