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7 Cool Outdoor Activities to Try as a New California Resident (+ Extra Tips on How to Deal with Hobby Gear)

California’s diverse geography, from the Pacific Coast to the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Mojave Desert, means that you’ll never run out of outdoor activities to help you maintain an active lifestyle. The Golden State is rich in scenic coastal views and mountain landscapes, which means there’s something to enjoy everywhere you look. But where to start? Here are some of the most popular outdoor activities you can partake in when you live in California — with a few self storage tips to help make your experience come full circle:

1. Surfing

You’ve probably moved for the sun and fun. What better way to start feeling like a local than taking on surfing? It certainly checks both the sun and fun boxes, adding a special feeling of liveliness when you’re riding the waves. Santa Cruz is one of the top places in California for this pastime, as it’s embedded in the local culture. Many pro surfers hail from here, and Santa Cruz is home to the annual O’Neill Cold Water Classic, as well as the National Surfing Sanctuary. The most popular local surfing spots in Santa Cruz are Cowell’s Beach, close to the Boardwalk, and 36th and East Cliff at Pleasure Point.

Surfer getting barreled in California Surfing in California

It’s hard to think about surfing in CA without conjuring up images of San Diego. Its perfect beaches and great weather make it ideal for putting your surfboard to good use. Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are some of the best surfing hotspots in San Diego.

When you’re done surfing for the day, it’s easier to put your surfboard in storage than have it cramp up your living space. A 5×5 storage unit will suffice, and it’ll leave you room for a couple of boxes you haven’t had time to unpack yet.

2. Boating, Kayaking and More

CA is home to over 3,000 lakes and reservoirs, which means there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some time on the water. Whether you’re boating, kayaking, parasailing or jet skiing, you can choose from plenty of lakes to do so in the Golden State.

Lake Tahoe is a prime destination for boating. People come here both from California and Nevada to get much-needed recreational time on and around the lake. During the month of August, Lake Tahoe plays host to the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance, the most famous wooden boat show in the country.

Besides boating, parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking and scuba diving are also some of the most popular sports that can be enjoyed at Lake Tahoe and other lakes. Head out to La Jolla if you’re a kayak enthusiast, as this destination is great for this sport. Lake Sonoma and Shasta Lake are two other famous destinations for anyone who loves water-related entertainment.

Once you take a longer break from boating, you can put it in storage to keep it safe from damage. A 10×30 storage unit will typically fit a boat. Depending on the size of your boat, you can probably fit your jet skis or kayak inside the same type of unit.

3. Fishing

With such a wealth of lakes available, it’s no wonder California is shaping up to be a fisherman’s paradise. You can fish in the oldest lake in North America if you head out to Clear Lake. Bass, bluegill, catfish and carp are some of the local fish you can find. If you bring a boat, make sure to have it inspected because it’s a legal requirement here.

Aerial view of Bass Lake with reflection of forest in the clear water Aerial view of Bass Lake, Calif.

Lake Oroville is another great fishing spot. It’s the second-largest reservoir in California and it’s one of the greatest bass fishing spots in the country.

If you’re looking to experience a unique fishing trip, the Golden Trout Wilderness is the place to be. This is where the California state fish can be found. You’ll have to climb 10,000 feet to get to lakes and streams where the golden trout resides. Even if you’re not into fishing, the scenery here is incredible.

When you’re taking a break from fishing, you can always keep your fishing gear in storage until your next outdoor adventure. A 5×5 storage unit would typically suffice to store these types of items.

4. Camping

You can practically go camping in every state, but what makes California special is the diversity of climates and geography you can encounter. If you’d like the mountain camping experience, Lake Tahoe is probably one of the first spots that come to mind, but there are many other places where you can camp. If you’d like to enjoy camping in a more secluded area, you can always go Angel’s Island. You still get the perks of the wild and the view of San Francisco. You can get there by boat and hike from there.

Instead of having your camping gear clutter your garage or the inside of your home, it’s more convenient to keep it in a storage unit. A 5×5 unit is the perfect size for this type of gear, but if you’re planning on storing more outdoors equipment a 5×10 or even a 10×10 unit might better accommodate all your items.

5. Hiking

Now, if you’re a hiker, there’s really no place like CA when it comes to the diversity of trails and hiking spots you can explore. You can backpack in Yosemite where you can take the John Muir Trail — one of the most quintessential hiking spots in the country. Take the Glen Aulin or Clouds Rest trails if you’re exploring the park for the first time and you wish to avoid the crowds.

The Joshua Tree National Park attracts hikers thanks to its unique geological formations. There over 400 climbing formations and 8,000 climbing routes for various degrees of climbing difficulty.

Joshua tree landscape Joshua Tree landscape

When you say “hiking”, you usually think of mountains or hills, but the Golden State has a lot more in store for you. Head over to Torrey Pines State Reserve, a great area for beach hiking in San Diego. The views are breathtaking, and the trails take you to the beach. Keep exploring the San Diego area for more amazing hikes, such as Cedar Creek Falls and the Mount Woodson trails.

6. Biking

Biking is another way to take in the beautiful Cali sights. Take your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and follow the 1.7-mile stretch from San Francisco to the Marine Headlands. You’ll be greeted by a magnificent city skyline and the breathtaking Pacific before arriving at Sausalito, which is about 3.8 miles away. There’s a ferry that can take you back to Fisherman’s Wharf.

If going on a long bike trail is more your speed, you can go on a 26-mile bike path by the ocean. The trail starts at Santa Monica pier and goes all the way to Venice. The Santa Monica portion comes with a separate sidewalk section where runners can get some fresh air while working out.

If your home can’t accommodate a bike, you’re better off keeping it in a self storage unit — a 5×5 unit is typically the perfect size for bikes.

7. Golfing

There’s more to California than beaches and surfing. The Golden State is also home to over 900 golf courses, including four of the 25 best courses in the US, according to Business Insider’s list of best golf courses in the country. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Cypress Point Club — both located in Pebble Beach — made the list and are often locations for golf tournaments such as The Masters.

Pebble Beach golf course, Monterey, California Pebble Beach golf course, Monterey, Calif.

With so many prime spots to go golfing in the Golden State, you can always find a course to your taste. When you’re not golfing, your gear can stay in storage — a 5×5 unit, for instance.

Once you get a taste of California, chances are you’ll want a bigger chunk of outdoor fun every day. The best part? There’s more diversity and fun potential in the Golden State to keep your weekends fully booked year-round.

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Mirela Mohan
Mirela is a creative writer for STORAGECafé. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

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