There are nine National Parks in California — more than any other state. With more than 270 state parks, recreation areas and landmarks, there’s a ton of places to visit in the Golden State.
But a new poll conducted by a luxury expedition company found that the most popular landmark in America isn’t in California.
The poll of more than 3,100 people was conducted by Aqua Expeditions. It found that America’s No. 1 landmark that people want to visit is in the south: Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.
The Great Smokys is the most-visited National Park in America, drawing in more than 14 million visitors last year.
While not leading the way, a handful of California’s natural wonders did make the list.
These are the most popular natural landmarks and parks in California.
Redwood National and State Parks
The home of California’s iconic redwoods was the most popular landmark in California. It came in at No. 5 on the list. The world’s tallest trees can be found along the Northern California coast.
According to the National Park Service, the California Redwood parks “protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild rivers, and 40 miles of rugged coastline.”
The National Park nestled in the Sierra Nevada is known for its waterfalls, large sequoias and the famous Tunnel View overlook.
Yosemite is the third-oldest National Park behind only Yellowstone and its California neighbor, Sequoia National Park.
Yosemite finished at No. 12 in the poll.
Not a National Park, but it is within a National Forest, and it has as many visitors as other landmarks on the list.
Lake Tahoe took the No. 43 spot on the list.
The freshwater lake was formed over 2 million years ago through “faulting of the Earth’s crust, volcanism and glaciation,” according to KeepTahoeBlue.org.
The stretch of California coastline follows along the path of one of the world’s most beautiful drives, Highway 1.
The region has numerous seaside cliffs, hiking trails for exploring, quiet spots for camping and plenty of places to dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean or the Big Sur River.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is on the western slope of the Santa Lucia Mountains and features waterfalls and some Redwood trees.
Big Sur was No. 65 on the list.
The final California landmark to make the list of top 250 landmarks in America is L.A. own Runyon Canyon.
It’s located within Los Angeles city limits and is nestled on the eastern side of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The 160-acre park features endless trails for hiking, the majority of which are dog-friendly, and unmatched views of downtown Los Angeles from the top of the Inspiration Point trail.
Runyon Canyon Park is managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. You can enter the park from Hollywood or from Mulholland Drive.
Runyon Canyon was No. 151 in the poll.
Overall, California had the most landmarks in the top 250, trailing only Hawaii and Tennessee.
The top 10 natural landmarks Americans say they would most like to visit are:
- Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- New York’s Niagara Falls
- Missouri’s Elephant Rocks
- Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park
- California’s Redwood National and State Parks
- Hawaii’s Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
- Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay
- Iowa’s Pikes Peak State Park
- Arizona’s The Grand Canyon
- Hawaii’s Waikīkī Beach
For more on the poll, as well as the international destinations that people said they wanted to visit, click here.