By Renee Riker-

Look around the Redwood state and you'll find some of the most amazing parks in the country.

California is the 3rd largest state in nation; home to surf and sun, mountains and valleys, cities and wilderness. From pure fun to educational stops there are a variety of options available for hungry explorers. We've talked to the experts and found some of the best travel destinations in the state. Here are the 8 California parks and destinations you need to visit...

3. San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary

Irvine has several claims to fame but one of its best is that it boasts the most open space in all of Orange County. Within its 16,000 acres, the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary makes up close to 300 acres of restored coastal freshwater wetlands.

There are a total of twelve miles of trails that allow visitors to explore and immerse themselves in nature as they walk, jog, hike, bike, and explore the park. The area also is home to a living laboratory for students, teachers, and the public to learn more about the plants and animals of the area, the balance of the ecosystem, and best conservation practices.

San Joaquin Sanctuary features hundreds of different species of plants and animals.

Wendy Haase of Destination Irvine says, "The area, deemed by scientists as one of the world's biodiversity ‘hot spots,' features hundreds of different species of plants and animals." Visitors can see eagles, badgers, and even mountain lions, and see some of the majestic Tecate cypress trees, as well as many rare and endangered species of birds, reptiles, and amphibians."