I was born in the south (okay, lots of people wouldn't call Missouri the south, but I was born in the bootheel, just over the Arkansas border, and to me, it's the south), I've lived most of my life in the Midwest, and I've been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit, at least in the continental United States and Canada. There are so many places I love that it's difficult to single any one of them out, but California ranks near the top as a great place to visit. I think it's because there's something for everyone there.
If you like mountains, (even snow capped mountains), California has mountains. If you love the ocean, California has an ocean. There are redwood trees, desert areas, lakes, many national parks and monuments, a wine region, big cities and a temperate climate. Of course, there are also extremes, too (earthquakes, mudslides), but those are not the norm.
Here's a great "A Day in California" video by Ryan Killackey that tells a part of the story:
A Day in California from Ryan Killackey on Vimeo.
Anyone for a trip to San Diego? I love that city!