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California Bucket List: Strange vibrations near Joshua Tree, monarch butterflies, startling urban archaeology and a new adventure each day
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(Al Seib, Brian van der Brug, Rick Loomis, Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Here's our growing guide to essential California adventures, easy to edgy. We'll be adding to it daily all year. And we won't suggest an adventure unless one of the Travel section's staffers and contributors have tried it.

Tell us what's on your California bucket list. Email travel@latimes.com and put California Bucket List in the subject line.

Central California

Gnaw beef (or charge your Tesla) at Harris Ranch in Coalinga

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: The road is long. This grill is hot. These restrooms are clean.

What: The now-sprawling Harris Ranch operation dates to the 1930s, but it didn't become relevant to us travelers until the 1970s. That when the management hit on the idea of opening a burger stand to capitalize on all the drivers passing by on the just-completed Interstate 5.

Then the burger stand became a steakhouse. And store. And hotel.

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Now the Harris people have a cattle-based citadel on the roadside. The dining operations -- three restaurants, basically -- together seat up to 455 people at a time. The hotel has more than 150 rooms and an Olympic-style pool. The AC works. And they've added Tesla battery-charging stations to the parking lot.

Even if you're a vegetarian climate-change warrior, it may be tempting to stop.

Where: 24505 W. Dorris Ave., Coalinga, 205 miles northwest of downtown L.A.

How much: Ranch hand breakfast, $14.50 (in the Ranch Kitchen); 30-ounce bone-in, oak-smoked prime rib, $40 (in the Steakhouse). Also, there's no hotel tax in Fresno County, so if you book a $169 room at Harris Ranch, it will actually cost $169.

Info: Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant

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