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Top things to do while interning in California in 2021

A coastal road lined with palm trees.

California is one of the most desirable and competitive destinations for international internships. If you’re considering interning in California, get ready for the experience of a lifetime. The Golden State is perfect for those who want to enhance their professional profile and make connections in their field. It’s also perfect for adventurers and digital nomads, and those who just want to explore.


Check out a few of the top things to do while interning in California:


Explore Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is home to some of California’s most famous landmarks, including El Capitan and Half Dome. Located in the northern part of the state, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this park is absolutely breathtaking. If you’re you’re an avid hiker, rock climber, backpacker, or outdoor adventurer, there’s no better spot in California. That being said, even if casual walks or road trips are more your style, you shouldn’t skip the park. Yosemite can be seen by foot, by car, or by bike.

In addition to immense stone cliffs, the park is known for waterfalls, giant sequoias, and wildlife. Whether you have a single day or an entire week, visiting Yosemite is always worth it. If you’re living in San Francisco or the Californian capital of Sacramento, Yosemite is a doable weekend trip. If you’re driving up from Los Angeles or San Diego, you’ll likely need a bit more time when you factor in the drive.


Yosemite's famous stone cliffs at sunset.


Visit Santa Monica Pier

You’ve probably seen the Santa Monica Pier in movies. Its iconic Ferris Wheel and gorgeous coastal views make it a top destination for visitors (and film crews!) from all over the world. The pier is also home to a historic carousel, and a world-class aquarium. Spend some time in the arcade, grab some carnival-style food, or rent bikes and ride down the coast to Venice!


Cross the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is easily one of the most iconic images of California. The bridge attracts millions of visitors every year, and no trip to the Bay Area would be complete without a stop at one of the picturesque overlooks. Visitors can rent bikes and ride across the bridge, or walk across on their own two feet. Of course, if you’re headed up the coast, hop in the car and cruise across the bridge to the Marin Headlands or to Sausalito for a delicious meal and great views.


Taste wine in Napa

California is famous for its wine. The Napa Valley sits just north of San Francisco and is a must-see destination for anyone interning in California. Check out a wine tour, taste some Michelin star food, and take in the beautiful views. It’s the perfect weekend trip if you’re interning in the Bay Area, and is an awesome destination for a holiday weekend, or just a short summer getaway!


Roadtrip through Big Sur

Big Sur is a breathtaking stretch of the central California coastline. Whether you’re interning in Los Angeles or San Francisco, Big Sur should definitely be on your list. The region is best seen by car or bike, and is perfect for everything from a camping trip to a luxury getaway. Big Sur is famous for the incredible Pacific Ocean coastline, ancient redwood trees, iconic bridges, and above all, incredible views!


Camp out in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park in southern California is another one of California’s most visited parks. The park’s gorgeous desert views make it the perfect place to hike, rock climb, or camp out under the stars! Of course, Joshua Tree is most famous for the iconic trees that fill the park, unsurprisingly called “joshua trees.” If you want to get a clear view of the stars, there’s almost nowhere better in the world. Keep in mind though, Joshua Tree is in the desert, which means winters can be cold, and summers extremely hot. Plan carefully in advance for a safe visit!


Are you dreaming of interning in California! Check out our brand new Independent Traveler Program here.


1 Palm tree boulevard, by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash.

2 Untitled, by Charles Chu on Unsplash.

Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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