60 Best Things to Do in California: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Best Things to Do in California: The Ultimate Travel Guide

If someone asks what the most diverse location in the USA is, the answer should be California because it has unique landscapes, spectacular mountains, stunning beaches, forests, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and unique desserts. These extremely diverse geographical features offer you numerous things to do in California. Therefore it considers as one of the best travel destinations in the USA.

Although it is difficult to list down all the things to do in California, I have tried to cover all the special things for sure. You may have visited California several times. But just check whether you have experienced the following enjoyable things or not. If not, just add them to your bucket list.

Best Time to Visit California

You can experience 4 seasons in California. They are summer, spring, fall, and winter. So, different seasons offer you different unique seasons. For example, enjoying the snow in the mountains in winter, swimming in the stunning ocean in the summer, sightseeing the floral blooms in the spring, and viewing colorful surroundings in the fall.

Just like California’s diverse landscapes, it has diverse climate conditions as well. So, here’s the best time to visit different destinations in California. (things to do in California)

  • May to October is the best time for a beach vacation in California. Especially, August and September are ideal for Southern California beach vacations.
  • September and October months are ideal for visiting San Diego in California. And May, June, late August, September, and October are ideal months for Los Angeles tours.
  • It is better to visit Santa Barbara in May, June, August, September, and October. And San Fransico is awesome in September and October.
  • The best months to visit Palm Springs are February, March, April, September, October, and November.
  • And if you are willing to visit Disneyland, try to select a weekday in January, February, November, and early December.
  • September, October, November, March, April, and May are ideal months to visit Napa and Sonoma Wine Country.
  • If you are looking for a budget tour and avoid the California crowd, it is better to visit in late November to early December. (following Thanksgiving). 

Things to do in California

Since there are numerous things to do in California, I have categorized them into several topics. Just add them to your bucket list.

Here are the most popular and highlighted 60 things to do in California by locals and foreigners.

1. Visit Big Sur

Big Sur is one of the most stunning coastlines in the world. And it stretches between Carmel and San Simeon in Central California. As the Pacific Ocean is backgrounded with the stunning Santa Lucia Mountain Range, Big Sur is a breathtaking destination.

You can take a road trip or drive 90 miles long stunning coastline. You can then get those scenic views of dramatic waves, lush hills, crags, bridges, canyons, and lighthouses. And most importantly, waterfalls are falling from the lush mountains to the Big Sur beach. Isn’t it awesome? Yes, it is the wonder of Mother Nature.

I suggest you plan camping in these spectacular surroundings. You can easily find campgrounds as Big Sur has many national parks. Since this area is a combination of beaches and forests, you can get various fun and relaxing experiences.

If I mention, the most highlighted places you will meet on your road trip are:

Pfeiffer Beach, Point Sur State Historic National Park, Limekiln State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, McWay Falls, Pine Ridge Trail, and Jade Cove.

So, do not hesitate to plan this low-cost surprising road trip to Big Sur.

2. Things to do in California: Visit Hollywood Sign

Visiting Hollywood is one of the top things to do in California. Taking selfies with Hollywood Sign over the Hollywood Hills is one of the most popular activities because it is one of the most iconic places in world cinema.

Visit Hollywood Sign Things to do in California

After taking selfies, you can hike to the Woods or take an air-conditioned elevator to the cliffs. (that doesn’t mean you can get too close to the sign. There are very strict rules when you reach near the sign)

Or you can visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. It is a sidewalk with the names of great stars (more than 2500 stars) worldwide.

3. Cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge

Getting an unforgettable bike ride on the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge should be on anyone’s bucket list. If you want to rent a bike, then try Golden Gate Bike Rentals. (take a bike ride or walk on the bridge).

Cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge

Also, you can climb to the top of the South Tower. Then, you will feel like you are on top of the world.

4. Visit Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is famous for its unique desert landscapes in the USA. The term Death represents how it is dangerous. On the other hand, it is hot and dry. So, visiting this NP is a kind of adventure tour. Yes, this is the best adventure tour in California.

Visit Death Valley National Park Things to do in California

I know this fast, too horrible. But, I have to it. Most pioneers have lost their lives when traveling over snake-infested dunes and Death Valley’s rocky canyons in history.

Under all of these dangerous features, you can find a secluded or hidden beauty of this valley’s landscapes. Especially, there are recorded landscapes. For example, when you walk through the Badwater Basin (the lowest North American level from sea level).

And also, you will see the place where the highest air temperature on the planet exists. It is Furnace Creek. On the other hand, there are some adventurous off-beaten paths as well. But, there are snakes and other harmful reptiles. So, be careful.

You can plan camping for stargazing, hiking trails, bike riding in this adventurous desert. Although this destination is more underrated, I love the views of colorful desert flowers and their dangerous nature. (adventurous things to do in California)

Suggested Reading: Best Things to do in Denver, Colorado

5. Visit Disneyland and California Adventure

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are the most attractive places in California. If you are traveling with kids, then Disneyland is the ideal place. If not, California Adventure is ideal for you. But, try to visit both of these enjoyable places.

Visit Disneyland and California Adventure

Disneyland has all the childhood dreams and fairyland,s while California Adventure offers you slightly more geared and thrilling rides for adults. Also, you can find alcohol in Adventure Park.

You cannot avoid visiting Disneyland if you are with your kids because it offers you games, rides, events, activities, luxury accommodation, and tasty cuisines. For example, there are haunted houses to visit, entertaining events, jungle cruises, shops for shopping, and many more.

Catch the train inside the park that takes you to all the places in the park.


6. Visit for Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

Napa Valley is one of the most famous and beautiful wine regions in the world. And also, it is one of the most famous weekend destinations among people in California. Yes, it offers you a relaxing environment with plenty of outdoor activities.

On the other hand, there are restaurants with tasty food, shopping chances, and most importantly, different wine flavors. People are mostly attracted to Napa Valley for the last reason.

Since Napa have more than 450 vineyards with various wine flavors. So, you can have a wide range of choices.

And as I said to you earlier, the best time to visit Napa Valley is from September to November and from Match to Ma because you can observe harvesting in the vineyards and taste great wine flavors. 

Visit for Wine Tasting in Napa Valley, California

Another important thing to do in Napa is to get a ride on Napa Valley Wine Train. It runs from Napa to St. Helena in California. Just imagine traveling on a train through plenty of vineyards while having the best wine in the world. Isn’t it sound crazy?. So, do not hesitate to book your seat through the Napa Valley Wine Train website. (unique things to do in California)

Planning to visit Yarra Valley, Australia? Just click here to know more: Yarra Valley in Australia Travel Guide

7. Things to do in California: Visit Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is the most popular National Park in the state. Not only in California, but it is also famous all over the world for its unique natural wonders. Like, old and big Sequoia trees, tunnel tours, stunning waterfalls, granite cliffs, glaciers.

Visit Yosemite National Park Things to do in California

Therefore, Yosemite National Park offers you plenty of things to do. Out of all, hiking and camping are the most highlighted things. Yosemite Valley, Southern Yosemite, Glacier Point Road, Tioga Road, Hetch Hetchy & Big Oat Flat are the NP’s major sections. Each section offers you plenty of hiking trails. Some are so difficult and adventurous, while others are easy.

I highly recommend the Half Dome hiking trail. Because it is scenic, although this trial is a difficult one, it is worth trying when you are in California. You can get all the details about Yosemite Hikes from this link. (things to do in California)

8. Sightseeing on OUE Skyspace

One of the coolest things to places to visit in Los Angeles, California, is OUE Skyspace. It is an open-air observation deck that provides you a 360º view of the whole area (aerial view of Los Angeles). As one of the tallest observation decks in California, OUE Skyspace is a very safe, thrilling place.

Photographers attract here to catch the sunset.

While experiencing amazing views of the city, you can have fun. Because this place offers you enjoyable chances like tasting food and wine, participating in musical events, taking photos from the selfie machine, sky slide, and many more.

So, do not miss things when you are in California.

Sightseeing and Enjoy on OUE Skyspace, California

9. Surf on Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu is another scenic place to visit in Los Angeles. It is famous for its scenic beaches and rich residents in the country. Due to the city’s natural beauty, celebrities, rich business people have been attracted to build their houses.

Surf on Malibu Surfrider Beach, California

One of the best things to do in Malibu is surfing. And the ideal beach for surfing is Surfrider Beach. Because it has all the facilities and suitable for any level of surfer. If you are a completely new bee, then you can get learn how to surf as well. (The trainers and surfing equipment are available in the beach shops)

The water is crystal clear, while the climate is so mild and supports outdoor activities. So, do not hesitate to plan your surfing tour in California. (things to do in California)

10. Take a Beer Tour in San Diego Breweries

Visiting San Diego is a must to do in California. Especially, taking the beer tour in San Diego breweries should be a definite thing to do by any beer lover.

San Diego has had its own microbrewery culture for many years. So, there are plenty of breweries along the San Diego streets that offer you various craft beers. For example, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Mission, and Stone are more highlighted breweries in San Diego.

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11. Things to do in California: Ferry to Alcatraz Island

Locating 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, California, Alcatraz Island is a small stunning island. It contains a lighthouse, military fortification, a federal prison, and a military prison. Now, you may wonder how to visit that kind of fortress. 

Ferry to Alcatraz Island, Things to do in California

You can visit this island. So, just take a ferry from San Francisco and reach the island. Once you reach this attractive island, you can visit its lights house, the abandoned military fortress, and some displaying cell blocks of a prison.

On the other hand, the island has a lot of natural resources to see. For example, it has natural rock pools, plenty of migratory birds, and some other rare faunas.

12. Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park

Here’s the chance to experience the natural wonder in California. The Unique Lessen Volcanic National Park is located on volcanic land in Northern California. So, you get a different experience compared with other national parks in California.

Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park California

The activities like visiting steaming geysers, bubbling mud pits, and black lava rocks prove that this NP is one of the unique things to do in California. On the other hand, the other half of the park is like a wildflower garden. (especially in the spring)

Not only that, but it is also a good skiing destination. I think now you have an idea about the uniqueness of Lassen Volcanic NP in California.

13. Things to do in California: Get a European Tour in Solvang

Just imagine getting a European experience in the USA. It sounds crazy, right?. Of course, we are so busy and have no time to travel long distances. So, here’s an opportunity for you to feel the exact European surroundings in California.

Get a European Tour in Solvang

For that, you have to visit Solvang in Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California. It offers you the similar features of a small, traditional, 18th-century village in Denmark. So, it contains Danish features like an old windmill, wineries, unique architecture style, the streets filled with chocolates, bakeries, and sweets. (things to do in California)

The villagers of Solvang host some events like “Danish Days” to celebrate the simple and enjoyable Danish lifestyle. (With music, foods, art, fashion)

14. Visit Sea Glass Beach California

Sea Glass beaches are an amazing combination of human works and Mother Nature. Yes, it was created as a result of dumping garbage on the coastline in history. Then, the erosion and chemical reactions with saltwater had created these shiny sea glasses.

It is almost like a natural stone. But it shines in different colors.

Read more about Sea Glass Beach in California.

Visit Sea Glass Beach California

15. Things to do in California: Visit Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a stunning lake in California surrounded by mountains. It offers you spectacular views with so many activities. Like, camping, hiking, sightseeing, biking, swimming, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, and fishing.

Visit Lake Tahoe in California

On the other hand, Lake Tahoe offers you wonderful winter activities as well. Like: skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Therefore families with kids, couples, friend groups, hikers, skiers are attracted to Lake Tahoe. So, this is a wonderful weekend tour in California.

And Emerald Bay is the most popular place in Lake Tahoe. (scenic things to do in California)

16. Visit Unique Sequoia National Park

If you add a unique Sequoia National Park to your California bucket list, you will get many Instagramable photos because it is such a beautiful destination in the state. 

The major attraction of this NP is very old Sequoia trees. They are giant, around 275 feet tall, and old more than 2500 years. Those tree trunks are red. When you reach the bottom of those trees, you will realize how big our mother nature is. And how small human beings are.

Visit Unique Sequoia National Park, Things to do in California

Keep in mind, California is the only place you can see these trees. So, do not miss the chance.

On the other hand, Sequoia NP has glittering underground caves. They are crystal glowing and offer you breathtaking views.

Apart from the giant trees and glittering caves, there are canyons, rivers, and granite domes to see in this NP. Again, I’m telling you to add this to your “Things to in California” bucket list. (unique things to do in California)

17. Things to do in California: Visit Burney Falls

Burney Falls is a powerful and spectacular waterfall in California. This falls’ power factor is that water drops from plenty of points and finally creates a year-round flowing waterfall.

Visit Burney Falls, California

Even in the dry season, you can find water in this waterfall. It is the real power of it. The area that Burney Falls is located in is called McArthur Burney Falls State Park. There you get the chance for camping, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and horseback riding like outdoor activities.

You can hike up to the waterfall and observe the peak point. (scenic things to do in California)

18. Soak in Desert Hot Springs

California is a land with natural hot springs. You can find them throughout any valley or cliff in California. But, there are some special and highlighted ones that heat and steam come out.

Desert Hot Springs is one of the best examples. It is a resort city located in Riverside City in California. So, people who come to this destination are looking forward to relaxing, having a nutritional hot water bath, and getting a spa treatment. Of course, you can fulfill all your requirements here.

Keep in mind; this is the place where you can find the largest number of mineral springs in the USA. (unique things to do in California) 

19. Taste Authentic Seafood in Fisherman’s Wharf

Are you a seafood lover? Wait, California got you. There’s an authentic seafood place in California called Fisherman’s Wharf. It has fresh and tasty seafood items with any flavor.

Taste Authentic Seafood in Fisherman's Wharf

And most importantly, this place is located in front of the ocean. So, the restaurants offer you nice views as well. While having fresh crabs, tuna, prawns, catfish, or any other, you can experience the scenic views as well.

Since this is enjoyable, thousands of tourists attract annually.

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20. Things to do in California: Visit San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo is the largest zoo in the state of California. Having thousands of animal species,s including common and uncommon, this zoo offers you and your kids a great wildlife experience. There are some rare species that you can only see at San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California

There’s a train inside the zoo to reach wherever you want. And there are some special events at the weekend. Like: “Wild Night Outs” and “Sun Rise Tour.”. (things to do in California with kids)

Things to do in San Francisco, California

Visiting San Francisco should be on the top of your list, “Things to do in California.” I will tell you why. San Francisco is the most popular city in California and the second-most densely populated city in the country. It is also the heart of entertainment, cultural, commercial, and financial fields in Northern California.

The top reason to travel to San Francisco is it is a food paradise. It has the best restaurants owned by the best chefs in the country. So, foodies cannot miss this delicious destination at all. On the other hand, the Golden Gate Bridge, like landmarks, made this city more popular and attracted millions of tourists annually. (things to do in California)

Here are the best 10 things to do in California’s San Francisco. (Apart from the things mentioned on the above list)

21. Enjoy time at Union Square

Union Square is the most visited place in the city. Because it offers a good chance for any traveler to discover the city. There are shops, restaurants, hotels, art galleries, retail outlets, and cafes. (things to do in California)

Spend Some Time at Union Square

They are not selling the normal items. All of them are world-famous brands. And the restaurants are the best ones in the city. So, just take a Union Square tour with a filled wallet if you have any idea to buy something.

Another fact about Union Square is, it offers you the great nightlife. Because it is full of entertainment, joy, fun, and life. Joining a night party in Union Square is a good chance to get friendly with locals. So, add it to the top of your list.

22. Take a Tour in Chinatown San Francisco

Normally, there’s a Chinatown in any major city in the world. So, you may think about the big deal with this one. Trust me. There’s a big difference. I will tell you about it.

San Francisco has four Chinatowns, and the one located on Grand Avenue is the biggest. It is the biggest one outside of Asia. Therefore, it contains two hospitals, many Chinese shops, restaurants, and many more.

Visit China Town in San Fransisco, California

On the other hand, San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the oldest ones in the country. So, you can experience an authentic feeling for sure. Their foods, architecture, shops, selling items, culture, and people are so authentic. You may feel like you are in China for a moment. Therefore, it attracts more tourists than the Golden Gate Bridge. (things to do in California)

So, isn’t it should be on your California bucket list?

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23. Visit the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, California

We all know, San Francisco offers you scenic ocean views as the Pacific Ocean surrounds the city. So, it is rich in marine resources as well. The Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco offers you the chance to observe the live marine life face to face.

Visit the Aquarium of the Bay in San Fransisco, California

Through the 300 feet, clear tunnels offer you the chance to see jellyfish and leopard sharks like creatures that live in the Bay. This aquarium aims to conserve the marine lives in and near the Bay of San Francisco. (things to do in California with kids)

24. Take a Food Tour in San Francisco, California

As I mentioned earlier, San Francisco is a food paradise. So, foodies cannot miss taking a food tour in San Francisco. I suggest you visit The Ferry Building Marketplace, where you can find the best food made by the best chefs in the country. Actually, most of them live in The Ferry Building.

Take a Food Tour in San Francisco, California

This marketplace has everything starting from fresh fish to cheese. After having delicious food, you can buy some cheese as well. (fun things to do in California)

If you need to know more about California, just click this ultimate California travel guide

25. Get Spectacular Views of the Twin Peaks

The world-famous Twin Peaks in San Francisco is the best place to view the Bay Area. Locating 922 feet above the city, it offers you spectacular views. Due to that, it attracts thousands of tourists annually. And also you can find various fauna and flora as well.

Get Spectacular Views of the Twin Peaks

Additionally, there’s a natural park with 64 acres near the peaks. It is lush and awesome. I think this is the best chance for anyone to imagine how San Francisco was before the super development and compare it with the city just below the Twin Peaks.

I highly recommend you view the sunrise or the sunset for the Twin Peaks.

26. Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts

San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts is the first and only museum to display modern artworks in California. It contains such nice and creative content with paintings, sculptures, photographs, and architecture. You can see around 29,000 artworks. So, add this to your “Things to do in California” bucket list.

San Fransisco Museum of Modern Arts, California

27. Visit Muir Woods National Monument

Mui Woods National Monument is a natural area filled with redwood trees. Having around 240 acres, this park is ideal for a day trip and escapes from the busy city life. On the other hand, you will get a chance to intake quality oxygen. This park is preserved under Golden Gate National Recreation Center.

Visit Muir Woods National Monument things to do in California

In ancient times, this area was containing 2 million acres of redwood trees. Sadly, with the huge development of the logging industry, all have vanished and remained a few. (things to do in California)

Planning to visit New Mexic? Do not miss White Sands National Park.

28. Visit the Palace of Fine Arts

You will fall in love with this palace at first sight because it has such stunning architecture. This historic landmark in San Francisco displays very creative fine artworks. Before establishing an art gallery, this place was used as tennis courts and military storage.

Visit the Palace of Fine Arts in San Fransisco, California

After visiting the palace, you can tour its stunning garden as well. There are ducks, raccoons, swans like creatures on the ponds. (best things to do in California for art lovers)

29. Ferry to Angel Island in San Francisco, California

Angel Island is one of the beautiful islands in San Francisco, California. As the second-largest island, it has around 60 permanent residents. Just take a ferry to reach the island and enjoy the party climate.

Ferry to Angel Island in San Fransisco, California

It has an ideal climate to enjoy special events like parties, musical events, and cultural events. So, just for those special events before you plan the ferry. Click here to check it. Since there is delicious food from the best restaurants, it won’t be boring at all. (scenic things to do in California)

To tour around the island, just hire a Segway or take an open-air tram.

30. Visit the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco

Just imagine visiting an authentic Japanese garden in San Francisco. Yes, you have that chance in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco in California. With 5 acres of land area, it displays authentic pagodas, Zen gardens, Japanese-style bridges with arches, and authentic Japanese plants.

Visit Japanese Tea Garden in San Fransisco California

As a bonus, you are getting authentic Japanese refreshments as well.

This garden is a result of an exhibition held in 1894. Since it looked so authentic and real, it was preserved well for the future.

So, it is worth visiting this place on your California tour. (unique things to do in California)

Things to do in Southern California

Southern California attracts so many tourists to its Disneyland. But, it is not all about Disneyland. There are so many things to do in Southern California, as it is the most popular part of the state. I will show you the 30 best things to do in Southern California. And I have sectioned it into 3 categories. They are the 10 best things, 10 best things in San Diego, and 10 best things in Los Angeles (Apart from the things mentioned on the above list)

Let’s discover them. (things to do in California)

31. Visit Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve: Things to Do in California

California Poppy (Eschscholzia California) was considered as California’s state flower in 1902. Antelope Alpine Valley Poppy Reserve offers you the chance to see thousands of California poppies. Starting from mid-February to May, this valley starts to bloom. If you visit this valley in this period, you can be surrounded by California poppy flowers’ stunning orange color.

Visit Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, California

32. Visit Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is a theme park with a 57-acres in Buena Park in Southern California. And it is maintained by Cedar Fair. This park is located close to Disneyland (20 minutes away). So, if you visit Disneyland, do not miss visiting this place.

The theme park’s special factors are the first theme park in the USA, existing a crowd-free environment, containing adventurous thriller rides, containing an Old West Ghost Town, and offering tasty food.

Earlier, this park was a small berry farm, and then it converted into a family theme park in 1920. (things to do in California with family)

Here’s the best St. Lucia travel guide for you: Things to do in St. Lucia Travel Guide

33. Visit Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is a completely different experience. Once you visit there, it will become your favorite place because it is not similar to other national parks.

Visit Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California

Joshua Tree is completely away from urban life and contains unique rock formations with start desert landscapes. The unique cactus dotted here and there offers you great photography locations.

On the other hand, since there’s no lush forest coverage, light pollution, and other urban activities, you can spend a great star gazing at night with clear skies. (adventurous things to do in California)

34. Tour in Beverly Hills Mansions

Beverly Hills, the richest place in the world, belongs to Southern California. Most of the rich celebrities and business people in the country live in this area. That means there’s no doubt to have insanely beautiful houses in this area. So, it is worth touring Beverly Hills mansions to impress your eyes.

Tour in Beverly Hills Mansions, California

But not all of them. Some of the owners have allowed visitors to tour their houses. One of the most highlighted mansions is Greystone Mansion. It was built in 1928 and contained 55 rooms with an elegant garden. You can freely observe the ground area.  But, observing the interior is allowed only at special events. (things to do in California)

Planning to visit Monaco? Just read this travel guide: Monaco France: Everything You Need to Know.

35. Sail around Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island is one of the channel islands in the southwest of Los Angeles. This is the ideal chance for you to run away from busy city life. Just hire a boat and reach this island to experience the wild beauty of it.

Catalina Island adventure offers you experience sightseeing with clear water, unique wildlife, boat tours, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Try to hire a glass-bottom boat to observe the reefs, colorful fish, and, most importantly, some shipwrecks in the island’s ocean.

So, I think Catalina is the best place to spend a day so close to Mother Nature. (fun things to do in California)

36. Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a unique desert oasis in the Coachella Valley, California. This was an enjoyable playground for many Hollywood celebrities in earlier days. Then, it was developed with hotels, restaurants, pools, and many facilities. That means this desert climate has converted totally into a party climate.

Visit Palm Springs in California

On the other hand, Palm Springs is home to the largest collection of Mid-century modern architecture in the whole world. So, it is awe-inspiring to see them.

And also its sunny and hot weather (visit between January to May) allows you to do plenty of outdoor activities. For example, join pool parties in cacti and crystal Palm Springs pools. It is all about fun and entertainment. I suggest you join with Saguaro Pool parties.  (fun things to do in California)

37. Visit Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain is a religious place that attracts thousands of people annually. It has unique features made with candy bright colors and Biblical murals with a hillside visionary in the California Desert.

Visit Salvation Mountain

Locating several miles away from Salton City, the Salvation Mountain has great creativity. I don’t think that there should be religious importance to visiting this creative place. Just visit there to experience creativity.

38. Eat the best Apple Pie in California

Julian is the place where you can find the best apple pie in California because the history of making apple pies in Julian runs to the Gold Rush history in California. Since then, Julian makes the best apple pies in the state. If you visit Julian in California, do not miss having a tasty apple pie in Julian Pie Company.

Eat the best Apple Pie in California

39. Visit Carlsbad Flower Fields

The Flower Fields is a stunning flower garden located in Carlsbad Ranch in Carlsbad, California. So, this is one of the best places to visit in Southern California. Filled with stunning flowers through fifty acres, this place is ideal for visiting in the springtime (March to May).

Visit Carlsbad Flower Fields in California

Your Instagram will be filled with colorful photos after visiting The Flower Fields in Carlsbad for sure. (fun things to do in California)

40. Visit Anza Borrego State Park in Southern California

Anza Borrego State Park is a desert park in Southern California. Actually, this is the largest desert park in California. Locating in the Colorado Desert, San Diego offers travelers an exact desert experience in a glorious way because it contains unique and colorful badlands, native bighorn sheep, and a silent dry climate.

Things to do in San Diego California

San Diego, the birthplace of California, offers you plenty of attractive things to do. But, I have shortlisted it into the best 10 things to do in California’s San Diego. Just add these to your bucket list and spend one of the finest vacations in the United States. (things to do in California)

Historical value, nice beaches, comfortable climate, delicious cuisines, and so many special things are waiting for you in San Diego.

41. Visit La Jolla/ Surf in San Diego

La Jolla is the most famous place in San Diego. The most photographed place in San Diego is La Jolla Cove. So, this place is iconic. And the meaning of this unique name is fine dining. Of course, it contains fine dines, little coves, sea caves, seals, sea lions, starfish, and many more.

Visit La Jolla, Things to do in California

The beauty of the beach and the pleasant climate of La Jolla attracts many tourists annually. Therefore, it has developed with cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and funny events in the summer. (open-air concerts, fireworks)

When it comes to La Jolla Cove, it is one of the best snorkeling places in San Diego because it contains so many colorful fish underwater. Just like a marine paradise. And this is almost a tropical beach with the bright sun as well.

The other cool things like kayaking, swimming, hiking, biking, picnicking, and scuba diving highlight outdoor activities in La Jolla. But, keep in mind, motorboats are not allowed as this is a marine refuge area. So, follow the rules. (things to do in California)

42. Take a Food Tour in San Diego

San Diego is a food paradise. So, taking a food tour in San Diego is one of the best things to do in California.

Take a Food Tour in San Diego

This city has a historical influence on Spanish cuisines and Mexican cuisines. As a result, you can experience unique and tasty flavors with both influences. For example, San Diego is the birthplace of the tasty California Burrito. Usually, the foods contain seafood, avocado, tomato, fruits, and eggplants. (things to do in California)

On the other hand, San Diego is famous for its breweries as well.

Click here to know about the Best Mexican Fast Food.

43. Visit San Diego Old Town, California

San Diego Old Town is the first place where Europeans settled in California. So, this small Old Town contains adorable historic buildings with wonderfully preserved State Historical Park. After sightseeing, you can have tasty Mexican and Spanish food in Old Town. And also, there are some annual festivals in this Old Town. Like: Cinco de Mayo (on May 5th, Mexican army victory celebrations over French Empire), Fiesta Navidad on Christmas day, Día de Muerto on  2nd November).

44. Visit Balboa Park in San Diego, California

Balboa is an urban park with 1200 acres. It has a zoo, cultivation area, live shows, and museums in Spanish architecture buildings. As one of the largest lath buildings in the world, this park has stunning botanical gardens. It contains around 2100 individual plants. Most of them were planted by the famous American botanist Kate Sessions. She is also called “Mother of Balboa Park.”

Visit Balboa Park in San Diego Things to do in California

Balboa Park contains a nice pond in front of the buildings. And it always displays fresh lotuses and lilies at the entrance.

On the other hand, this recreational place has historical important things as well. Like museums, memorials, science centers, art houses, and cultural institutes. Also, you can always watch a cultural live show hosted in an open-air theater.

Other enjoyable things to do are play games at ballparks, remote-controlled race tracks, archery ranges, and bowling alleys. 

Yes, this park is just awesome, as it offers numerous experiences. (things to do in California)

Visit Museums in San Diego

Several museums display precious things in San Diego, California. Here are some of the highlighted ones.

45. Visit USS Midway Museum

At USS Midway Museum, you can see the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the world. More than 30 restored aircraft, 8 propeller planes, 8 helicopters, 14 jet aircraft, and many other things. Therefore, the USS Midway Museum considers the largest museum dedicated to aircraft carriers and naval aviation in the world.

46. Visit the San Diego Museum of Art

As I mentioned to you earlier, the San Diego Art Museum is located in Balboa Park. First, you will attract to its Baroque paintings and Spanish Renaissance. You will then attract to the impressive artworks of ancient world-famous artists from Dutch, Spanish, and Italian. 

Like: El Greco, Murillo, Zurbaran, Goya, Veronese, Canaletto, Rubens, van Dyck, and Frans Hals.

And also, modern artists’ paintings like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Otto Dix.

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47. Visit the San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum is also located in Balboa Park. And it is the oldest scientific institution in Southern California. Established in 1874, it contains many natural wonders. Like:

Fossils, explore Baja California’s prehistory and study different ecosystems in California.

48. Visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum

Another great museum in Balboa Park. San Diego Air and Space Museum displays the evolution of human flight models and genuine artifacts. Golden Age Flights, faithful reproductions of Wright Brothers’ gliders, and Jet Age, like special landmarks, represent very creatively.

49. Visit the San Diego Museum of Man

“Museum of Man” is an anthropology museum located in Balboa Park. So, you can study pre-Colombian history, Native American culture, Mayan culture-like civilizations from here. 

50. Visit Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego, California

Torre Pines State Natural Reserve is located just north of La Jolla. It conserves around 2000 acres of Pacific coastline with stunning coastal views and high cliffs. To reach this secluded coastline area, you have to take an 8 miles long trail called Beach Trail. It is a unique journey as not much popular among tourists. (scenic things to do in California)

Visit Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego, California

And also, the reserve contains the endangered pine species, Torre Pines. On the other hand, if you visit during the migrations period of whales, you can see them even from the coast’s cliffs. Take more info from the link.

36 holes containing a golf court is also there in Torrey Pines. And that golf center was established in 1957. And it is paragliding and hang gliding port as well.

51. Harbor Cruise and Whale Watching in San Diego

Southern California’s San Diego is one of the best places in the USA for whale watching. Especially from December to April, the grey whales and humpback whales migrate from Northern Alaska to find a warm location for their breeding. So, they migrate while passing San Diego.

You can easily find whale-watching boats or cruise from Embarcadero for around 4 hours of amazing tours. As a bonus, you will see dolphins, sea lions, and harbor seals as well. Book your tour now.

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52. Things to do in California: Visit Little Italy

Locating in downtown San Diego, Little Italy is a nice neighborhood famous for its tuna industry. But, now you cannot see them as the last canneries were closed in the 1980s. At that time, everything was handled by Italian immigrants.

After that, they have settled near Embarcadero. So, there you can see pizza shops, Italian restaurants, cafes, and breweries. So, just visit this Little Italy and enjoy Italian food and joy in San Diego. It will surely be one of the best things to do in California for sure.

53. Visit Point Loma

The stunning long rocky peninsula on the west side of San Diego Bay is Point Loma. It is filled with history and spectacular views. This was a military important place in the 19th century. And its old lighthouse is one of the most elevated ones in the USA.

There’s a museum to display its historical importance as well. (things to do in California)

Visit Point Loma

54. Things to do in Los Angeles California

Apart from Hollywood, Malibu, and Beverly Hills, there are so many things to do in Los Angeles, California. As the second most populated city in California, it is famous for the entertainment industry, enjoyable nightlife, expansive beaches, and great culinary flavors like things.

On the other hand, it offers you adventurous hiking trails and swimming opportunities on beaches like nature-friendly outdoor activities. (things to do in California)  

55. Things to do in California: Visit the Getty Center

The Getty Center is one of the top attractions in Los Angeles, and you can find the Getty Museum with a lot of programs under Getty Trust. The founder of this museum is Paul Getty, a petro industrialist.

Visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles California

The center architecture is lovable. Because it was done by the world-famous architect Richard Meier. Also, the Central Garden, outdoor sculptures, and Cactus Garden are highlighted as well. Next, the eye-catching artworks from medieval times to the present will impress you. (best things to do in California for photographers)

56. Visit Huntington in Los Angeles California

Huntington Library is located in San Marino, Los Angeles Country. It is one of the world’s greatest research libraries with more than 9 million items if you visit there and get any document like medieval manuscripts or documents about Abraham Lincon’s lifestyle.

Visit Huntington in Los Angeles California

On the other hand, this library has a stunning garden (120 acres) filled with lush trees, bonsai trees, camellias, orchids, and cycads. That means this place offers the ideal climate for real readers.

Also, do not forget to visit the Huntington Art Gallery. It offers you impressive sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts done by world-famous artists like Rogier van der Weyden, Mary Cassat, and Andy Warhol.

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57. Things to do in California: Visit the Griffith Park

Griffith Park and the Griffith Observatory Point is a very famous place to visit in Los Angeles in California. It is a huge municipal park located at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. So, obviously, it is located in a stunning location. Having 4310 acres, this park offers you different trails like trails for horseback riding and a trail to reach the Hollywood sign.

Visit the Griffith Park, best things to do in California

Reaching to Hollywood sign from Griffith Park is tough. But, it is so adventurous and will take around 2 hours. So, it is worth trying.

On the other hand, this park has the Greek Theater and the Griffith Observatory Point. Especially, you can get a great view of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory. (Ex: Mount Hollywood, a stunning sunset, Los Angeles city)

58. Visit Museums in Los Angeles, California

There are several valuable museums in Los Angeles, California. For example:

Los Angeles Country Museum of Arts: This is the largest art museum in the western US. It contains a variety of art cultures. Like Greek, Latin American, Roman, and Etruscan Arts, modern and contemporary arts, Asian arts, Islamic arts, decorative arts, photographs, and many more.

California Science Center: It displays many world-changing inventions regarding air and space, ecosystems, and many more.

Visit Museums in Los Angeles, California

Petersen Automotive Museum: Having an impressive exterior, this museum offers you to see inspiring automobiles, machines, vehicles that represent the history and the future.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Country: Founded in 1913, this museum offers you different sections to enjoy. And it includes things like Dinosaur Hall with fossil displays. (things to do in California)

59. Explore Venice in Los Angeles

Venice in Los Angeles? Yes, you heard correctly. It is a residential neighborhood that is famous for its bohemian spirit. This area is filled with street performers, tattoo parlors, cafes, beach restaurants, street vendors, international cuisines, and many more.

The Venice Beach Boardwalk extends for around 2.5 miles. It is stunning and ideal for a free evening walk. Or you can rent a cycle to tour around. Due to this area’s freedom, style, and natural beauty, Venice Beach Boardwalk is the second most visited place in southern California.

Explore Venice in Los Angeles

Just a stone through Venice Beach, you can see Venice’s canals. Abbot Kinney developed it to give an exact look at Venice of America.

So, definitely, this is one of the best things to do in California.

60. Take a Tour in Warner Bros. Studio

Everybody in the world knows what Warner Bros. Studio is. So, just take a tour to know how those world-famous TV shows and films are made. Normally, a tour will take around 2-3 hours. And it offers you to experience the Sound Stage (where Big Bang Theory was shot), Archive and Pop House, costumes of the Harry Potter movie, and stuff of countless other famous movies.

Take a Tour in Warner Bros. Studio

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61. Things to do in California: Visit Runyon Canyon Park

Do you like to take a walk in a park that Hollywood stars take their walks? Here’s the chance for you. Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles, California, offers you to see at least one or two celebrities in this 160 acred park for sure. Because most of them usually use the trails of this park for their outdoor workouts.

Visit Runyon Canyon Park things to do in California

Here, the trails are categorized as follows. The Star Trail (medium level), the paved Runyon Canyon road, and The Hero Trail (Difficult level). Whatever the trail, it will take you to stunning lookout points at the end.

62. Visit Santa Monica State Beach in California

Another stunning beach in Los Angeles. Santa Monica State Beach is 3.5 miles long sandy beach that is most commonly used for TV shows and films. North of the pier is tracked by the famous Pacific Coast Highway and Sandstone cliffs.

Visit Santa Monica State Beach

There you can see the lush Ocean Park and Palisades Park. The beach is stunning, and the water is so cool. Therefore, it is ideal for sightseeing. If I talk about food, Santa Monica offers you delicious food. So, this place is an ideal evening beach vacation for sure. (best things to do in California)

63. Visit Pacific Park, Santa Monica

After visiting the beach, you can try this park. Locating on the west coast of the USA, Pacific Park is free to enter. And contains 12 adventure rides with a unique feature. The unique feature of this amusement park is, it is located on a pier. On the other hand, you can see the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel in this Pacific Park.

64. Visit Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California

On the Walk of Fame of Hollywood, you will find this amazing theater called “Grauman’s Chinese Theater.” Its interior and exterior take you exactly to China. It offers you different plays and contains around 1000 seats. (things to do in California)

Visit Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California

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