CIEE logo
  Explore All CIEE Programs

If you've ever wanted to try surfing, you came to the right place!

Winter

Visit Death Valley.
Summer temps are often over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in this desert region near the border of California and Utah. But in winter, day time temps stay in the 60s and 70s, making it an ideal time to visit the hottest, driest, and lowest place in North America. Don't miss Badwater Road, Zabriskie Point, and the sand dunes. Got extra time? Check out a ghost town like nearby Rhyolite.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year.
2017 will be the year of the Rooster! In San Francisco, California, Chinatown holds all sorts of celebrations, including an impressive parade with a 28-foot dragon, operated by 100 people. In Las Vegas, join the fun and sample tasty Asian food at Chinatown Plaza.
See the awesome Big Sur coast.
Don't miss one the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. Check out these tips before you enjoy remote beaches, waterfalls, restaurants perched on sea cliffs, rare blue waters, and hikes with great views. One incredible highway - California State Route 1 - takes you through it all.
Take a tour of the film capital of the world.
Ever wonder what it feels like to walk in the footsteps of Hollywood's biggest stars? Find out by taking a tour of the place where movie magic happens. Make sure to keep your eyes open. You never know who you'll run into.
Chill out at a hockey game.
This region has a number of professional National Hockey League teams to watch, from the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks in California. Not to be outdone, the American Hockey League has five teams in California. Find one near you and catch the action!
Have an outdoor adventure.
Near San Francisco, California, at Muir Woods you can hike among the redwoods, some of which are more than one thousand years old. Find a park near you.
Shop Fresh and Local.
If you’re looking to buy some fresh and local food in California, check to see if one of these top farmers’ markets is close to you. The farmers and vendors, work hard to make sure they are providing the best to their customers all year round.
Enjoy some snow.
Big Bear Mountain Lake Escape provides a California winter wonderland of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, zip lining and more, all located in Southern California.
Surfs up.
Ride, or watch with awe, the large northwest swells that come down from Alaska during winter that make December through February the ultimate surfing season in San Diego.
Visit a California State Park.
Whether you are in northern or southern California take the time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Check out a list of winter fun in a state park near you.

We’d love to see and hear about your adventures on Facebook.

Summer

Walk, bike, or ride across the Golden Gate Bridge
A San Francisco icon, the vaulting, orange arches of the Golden Gate Bridge are an awesome sight no matter how you decide to enjoy it.
Explore art in Oakland
Check out the vibrant art scene across the bay from San Francisco at two free street festivals on the first Friday of each month. Art Murmur covers downtown Oakland, while First Fridays include uptown along Telegraph Avenue – and both feature gallery and street art, music, food, and live performances.
Step back in time in Sacramento
In California’s capital, at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, visit Old Sacramento State Historic Park. The eight-block section of downtown bustles with shops, cafes, historic sites, and museums operating in beautifully restored Gold Rush-era buildings.
Geek out in Silicon Valley
Visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to learn about computers, starting with mysterious ancient devices and leading to technologies of the future. You’ll hear the backstories, development drama, and breakthroughs of the gadgets, gurus, and iconic companies.
Say hello to old General Sherman and his redwood friends
General Sherman, residing at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is the largest known tree in existence by volume, and is thought to be about 2,300 years old. Visit this giant and other famous sequoias on the park’s paved two-mile Congress Trail.
Travel the Pacific Coast Highway
Ask an American friend to take you on a drive down this 123-mile twisting, scenic highway along the stunning Pacific Coast. Fun stops along the way include Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and Morro Bay.
Go celebrity spotting and window shopping
The most famous and expensive shopping district in the country lies on a three-block stretch of stores and boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Keep a lookout for Hollywood stars shopping for the latest fashions by Armani, Gucci, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, and more.
Get into the L.A. art scene
Los Angeles is famous for its art, both inside galleries, outside in official spaces, and unofficial street art – painted on sidewalks and on the sides of used and unused buildings. Wander Gallery Row anytime or visit on the second Thursday of the month for Downtown Artwalk, a free self-guided art walk with music, food, and great people-watching.
Play volleyball at a San Diego beach
San Diego is known for its year-round sunshine and 70 miles of coastline, from rocky cliffs to sandy beaches. Enjoy a swim, walk, bicycle ride – or game of volleyball – at one of more than 30 beaches and end the day with a magnificent Pacific Coast sunset.
Volunteer in your local community
Whether you prefer to walk the dogs at an animal shelter, serve food at a soup kitchen, or plant a tree with a conservation group, there are many ways to volunteer in your local community. You’ll find plenty of other opportunities at networkforgood.org/volunteer/ or volunteermatch.org/. Be sure to tag #cieegivingback when you post your photos!

We’d love to see and hear about your adventures on Facebook.

Back to top of page