33 Best Things to do and Places to visit in California

California, the golden state, is the Mecca of celebrity culture in the US and is home to the two trending and money-making places, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Let’s have a look at the best places to visit in California.

Sturtevant Falls

If you’re wondering what to do in California, a visit to Sturtevant Falls is among your best options. The mesmerizing falls are situated in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest.

The beautiful falls bring you close to nature with its surrounding algae and moss-covered cliff. The colors of water look distinctive and gorgeous as it falls on the rock from its enormous 50 feet height. You can go camping and stay in the cabins around the fall and have a memorable time.

Sturtevant Falls

Address: Southern Chantry Flat Rd Arcadia, CA 91006 | Timings: Wednesday-Monday 6:00 am-8:00 pm, Tuesday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/iwGkTZLmKdyjCLo57 | Phone Number: (626) 574-1613


Yosemite, one of the nature’s most stupendous creations, is a favorite among the best California attractions. The park is in the western part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. You can visit Glacier Point, which gives an incredible view of the Yosemite Valley, the Yosemite Museum, the historic LeConte Memorial Lodge, and the Ahwahnee hotel.

The park offers fun activities like hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding along a beautiful trail. Yosemite Falls are the fifth highest waterfall in the world with a height of 2,425 feet (top to bottom). The falls are most beautiful in the warm weather, i.e. May and June.

Valley View Yosemite August 2013 002.jpg
By King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/eYWPRYydh4cKWWKD9 | Phone number: +1 209-372-0200

Santa Cruz

If you are on the lookout for the places to visit in California, the beautiful ‘Surf City’ of Santa Cruz can’t escape your eye. Santa Cruz is located in the south of San Francisco and San Jose.

The city of beaches and parks revolves around the beach boardwalk and counterculture scene. You can enjoy several watersports such as surfing, sailing, and paddle boarding and get carried away in the scenic beauty along the coast. Among the several things to see in California, the lovely nature trails in the Natural Bridges State Beach and Big Basin Redwood State Park hold a special place.

Sunset on Santa Cruz

Address: Central California Coast, United States | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/TbnqxukVdDjqKNqx8

Los Angeles

Among the best things to do in California, Los Angeles is a visitors’ favorite. It is the second-largest city in the USA and is located in Southern California. The beautiful city is surrounded by valleys, mountains, and the Pacific Coast.

The City of Angels has several attractions and beaches like Malibu and Venice Beach. Your hunt for fun things to do in California ends at Disneyland Park, the world-famous amusement park. Los Angeles is the best place to hunt for celebrities and Universal Studio Hollywood is a traveler’s favorite.

You can look for celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, shop at designer stores, and dine at famous restaurants where celebrities hang out.

Los Angeles

Address: Los Angeles, California, United States | Timings: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Uo2sZBypzR3qxtsZA

World’s Last Manual San Francisco Cable Car System

A must in your list of things to do in California is visiting the San Francisco street cable car. It is the last manually operated cable car system all over the world. Once, the pride of San Francisco, it now has only three of the original 23 lines running across the city.

San Francisco - San Francisco cable car system - 20160714142148.jpg
By Ramesh lalwani, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link | Phone Number: 415-701-2311

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a beautiful park, famous for its mountains, rock formations, canyons, and scenic trails. Camping, hiking, and rock climbing are the events at the park. Joshua Tree National Park is named after the odd-shaped Joshua trees that add to the beauty of the park. Visitors looking for interesting things to do in California can go to the park for camping, hiking, and climbing.

By Christopher Michel, CC BY 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uW6jTn2McL5cohWy9 | Phone: +1 760-367-5500

San Diego

San Diego is often called America’s finest city. Located on Southern California’s picturesque coast, the sun-kissed San Diego is home to miles of beautiful beaches, world-famous attractions, and relaxed surfer culture.

Famous for some beautiful beaches such as the Mission Beach and La Jolla Shores, San Diego is known for some of the best museums and historical places. Among the top places to visit in California, Balboa Park, which also has the world-famous San Diego Zoo is a hit.

Mission San Diego de Alcala brings to life, the city’s heartwarming Spanish culture. Swimming, surfing, and water sports are some popular activities on the San Diego beaches. Hiking and cycling along the beaches is also a favorite pastime here.

San Diego skyline 18.jpg
By Boatguy619, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/xf2i22g2koeDHXXJ6

Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach in the Big Sur is a beautiful, quiet, and unusual beach. It is home to the picturesque Keyhole Arch which is strikingly beautiful at sunset.

The yet not much-explored beach is a very popular hangout among locals but is not very popular among tourists. The beach has purple sand due to the manganese garnet particles which get washed here from the neighboring cliffs and waterfall.

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California, United States.jpg
By Robert Brett , CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Timing: 9:00 am -8:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/AKHgSPHsa7UznHr7A | Phone Number: +1 805-434-1996

Big Sur

Big Sur is a large stretch of rocks on the California coast, lying between San Simeon and Carmel Highlands. It expands for about 70 miles on the famous Highway One in California.

The area with its jagged rocks, huge redwoods, and attractive beaches, attracts travelers who love road trips. In California, things to do are unlimited. You can go camping and hiking in the mountains in the Big Sur and lose yourself in the beauty of the rock towers at Pfeiffer beach and the iconic Bixby Bridge.

Highway 1 Big Sur California.jpg
By Fred Moore, CC BY 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/7kcYcdRrM1neddeeA

Lava Beds National Monument

If you are in Tulelake, make sure you visit the 25 lava tube caves there. Climbing down the caves and camping is an incomparable experience. The caves also have a visitors center that explains the creation of the caves having tubes made of lava. A visit to the caves is going to be a guaranteed lifetime memory and will surely leave you mesmerized.

Lava Beds National Monument in summer 2012 (10).JPG
By Chmee2, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 1 Indian Well Hqts, Tulelake, CA, United States | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/iuKEnHdJpjrp5iS17 | Phone Number: +1 530-667-8100

San Francisco Bay Area

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Bay Area gives you a beautiful view of its skyscrapers. It is famous for its mesmerizing Golden Gate Bridge which is among the top California attractions, the cable cars, and colorful houses from the Victorian era.

San Francisco Bay Area lies off to the coast of Alcatraz Island which housed the famous prison. If you love beaches, visit the North Beach, shop, and dine in Chinatown and visit Fisherman’s Wharf. Another attraction is the beautiful Hayes Valley, which is well known for its restaurants and the best retail boutiques.

San Francisco Bay

Address: San Francisco, California, United States | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/v1ptif653SnyozUx6

McWay Falls

McWay Falls is situated in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Parkand is 80 feet high waterfall. McWay Falls is located close to the ocean and would flow directly into the ocean before a landslide in 1985. This altered the flow of water from the terrain and the Falls became inaccessible to the ocean.

McWay Falls Big Sur May 2011 001.jpg
By King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map location: https://goo.gl/maps/PYxJ1WYkFBiV37oHA


The Monterey peninsula is the most unique part of California. Tourists looking for fun things to do in California get attracted to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Fisherman’s Wharf.

Monterey is home to several beaches which range from tiny jewels to large coasts. Each unique beach provides recreation facilities like kayaking, surfing, and diving and several restaurants with mouthwatering seafood. Monterey offers you a jaw-dropping coast and a perfect synthesis of sophisticated North California and laid-back South California.

Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, CA

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/bdAfEUL6oxDsdfur7

Go On A Drive on Scenic California 1

If you want to rejuvenate yourself and are wondering what to do in California, you can always go for a world-class drive in scenic California. It is the best place to go for a road trip and you can see the waves crashing on the coast, pass through a valley, take pictures of the towering mountains and drive under the tallest trees in the world in the lap of nature.

California State Highway 1 Road

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JLhRMeCu4z2Ge6xp6

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Lying high in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is popular for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, water sports, and winter sports like skiing and sledding in the Squaw Valley and Heavenly resorts. You can go hiking in one of the wonderful hiking trails in the South Lake Tahoe area.

Lake Tahoe, a popular California attraction, is surrounded by majestic mountains and beautiful forests and brings you close to nature. Immersing yourself in the depth of nature, spending lazy hours on the beaches, hiking in the mountains, and gambling in the casinos here are among the best things to do in California.

Tahoe North Shore from the East Shore.jpg
By Lara Farhadi , CC BY 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Y7zf5TRcLMEC93N88

Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay is a relatively smaller island within Lake Tahoe. The natural beauty of the island has made it a National Natural Landmark and offers two camping grounds and a lovely foot trail that circles the peripheral of the island. When you look down at the Lake Tahoe from Emerald Bay, you can actually understand why Mark Twain called it “the fairest picture the whole earth affords”.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, California. 2015.jpg
By Eric Philbin, CC0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/pbkP4vxEEZuHCSx57

Visit The Coastal City Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a chic California beach city that is bordered by Los Angeles on three sides. The Santa Monica Pier houses an old-fashioned amusement park and a giant Ferris wheel.

Plan to go biking on the scenic Marvin Braude Beach Trail and enjoy the beautiful city parks. House to two major California attractions, the Santa Monica state beach and the Santa Monica Pier, the city offers you restaurants, bars, hotels, and shops.

Santa Monica Beach Sunset

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/QhwUTgSMHUwAZhwu6

Napa Valley

Napa Valley lies in the north of California. It is famous for trend-setting hotels, best resorts, wineries, and gourmet restaurants. It has a beautiful downtown, spa, hot springs, and volcanic soils. Visit Napa Valley for The French Laundry in Yountville, an award-winning restaurant, ten miles away from Napa.

Napa Valley is a famous tourist destination and is popular for its landscapes and excellent wineries. Tourists visit here for golfing, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, and hiking in the scenic countryside. If you are a wine enthusiast, you can set out on a wine tasting tour in more than 200 wineries where you can taste world-class wine.

Autumn in Napa Valley vineyards.jpg
By John Morgan, CC BY 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/dZbdVsV7NBzY8Cyy9

Giant Rock Is At The Mojave Desert

Giant Rock is a huge boulder in the Mojave Desert, near Landers, California. It lays in an area of 5,800 square feet and is a definite halt in your trip to the Landers. The Giant Rock stands at a height of seven stories and is the largest free-standing rock in the whole world.

The Giant Rock broke into two, in early 2000 and revealed its interiors which are made of white granite while some parts of the outer surface of the rock are covered in graffiti.

Giant Rock

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/rPwJ9RVX6sieMkZx8

Channel islands

The Channel Islands is a group of eight islands, five of which lie within the national park to preserve and protect their sensitive ecosystems. Two of these islands are used by the US Navy and the only island where people live is Santa Catalina. Popular tourist activities here include snorkeling, scuba diving, exploring old shipwrecks and reefs, and riding glass-bottom boats.

Channel Islands National Park in California - Aerial view.jpg
By filippo_jean , CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/fhu8YStRTeTrDXwR6

Visit The Rich In Nature Marin County

Marin County lies just across the Golden Gate Bridge in the north of San Francisco. Visit the Tennessee Valley which is a major California attraction for its springtime wildflowers and walking trail to the beach.

Muir Woods, another popular destination among California attractions, is an expansive forest of coastal redwoods. A scenic drive from the redwoods along the coast leads to Stinson beach. The three and a half-mile long coast on the beach provides excellent picnic areas and barbeque pits.

Going further on the Point Reyes National Seashore, you can visit Bodega Bay. Here, Marin County borders Sonoma County. Bodega Bay is a national favorite among beach lovers and is popular for its hiking, nature walks, kayaking, and surfing.

Paradise Cay, Marin County.jpg
By Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: North California, United States | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uBEyHiuE9vyS1eMo8

Marin Headlands

At the southernmost end of Marin County, lies Marin Headlands. The Headlands have picturesque ridges and valleys. The headlands are home to tens of thousands of migratory birds which are tracked through various techniques in collaboration with the National Park Service.

The Marin Headlands.

Address: Sausalito, CA, United States | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/CmsviuPHi32HxmEw5 | Phone Number: +1 415-331-1540

Humboldt County

Humboldt County is a combination of rivers, beaches, and Redwood Forest. The Redwoods Nations and States Park is UNESCO World Heritage Site and also listed as an International Biosphere Reserve. It is an inspiring place for hunting, fishing, hiking, and outdoor adventures.

The cities and towns here are popular for their ornate Victorian architecture. It holds over 40 percent of the remaining coast Redwood forests, most of which are strictly conserved or protected. The air here offers a mixed fragrance of forest air as well as salty beach breezes which together make the environment very refreshing and energetic.

The unspoiled environment, with its towering trees and open spaces, makes tourists lose themselves in the lap of nature and feel an undying sense of respect for nature.

A walk in Humboldt County - panoramio.jpg
By Annette Teng, CC BY 3.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/W7kNsxvWcdWSV6Gs9

Gold Country

A tourists’ favorite among the places to visit in California, Gold Country was a chance discovery by James Marshall and John Sutter in 1948. If you’re looking for unique things to see in California, you can visit Gold Country and see where the discoverers found gold in the old sawmill, which has now been made a part of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.

You can explore the hiking trail at the park and pan for gold in the American river like in the olden days. At the top on the list of California attractions, the Empire Mine State Park in the Grass Valley is located just 40 miles north of Coloma. Add to it, the Dave Moore Nature Area and the Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park and you have ample hiking trails, picnic spots, and fishing areas.

Gold Rush Country entrance.jpg
By Jordan Messenger, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/ETciErPfycCt3eJG6

Sonoma County

Sonoma County is located in northern California and is one of the best places to visit in California with its wineries, vineyards, museums, and buzzy restaurants.

Sonoma County’s hills rise into the Sonoma Mountains and contain a cluster of small cities you’d love to visit for the several restaurants which serve local delicacies to visitors. There are several tasting rooms where you can explore the region’s best wines and indulge yourself.

Vitis vinifera Sonoma County, California.jpg
By Mike Shelby, CC BY 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/494qfCh5FUHoTHiG9

Mendocino Coastline

Mendocino Coastline is a lovers’ paradise with its breathtaking scenery and rock formations. Nature lovers can enjoy walks through shady redwoods, ocean buffs, and secluded beaches on the Mendocino Coastline.

Tourists can explore through secret coves and tide pools for birds and other wildlife and go camping on the romantic Mendocino coast. The rock formations here are a delightful sight and have been carved by the winds over time. The wetlands are an exciting place to explore and feel closer to nature.


Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/zECisqtY5rTdTvfD8

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is located in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is famous for its giant sequoia trees, one of the highest trees in the world, that can grow more than 90 meters tall and is ideal for camping in winter.

Established in 1980, it is home to the highest point in the US, Mount Whitney. The part was established to protect the massive trees from being cut down and is America’s second National Park. Along with camping, you can also go hiking and snowshoeing.

The General Sherman tree - Sequoia National Park (33241877800).jpg
By m01229 CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/FgviiKAKV4mzWKQUA | Phone Number: +1 559-565-3341

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a year-round desert playground and is home to many celebrities. The city is popular for golf, especially in the wintertime and is famous for its modern architecture dating from the mid-20th century. The architectural style of Palm Springs is celebrated every year with Modernism week. An erstwhile attraction for Hollywood movie stars, Palm Springs has a tourist appeal with its hiking trails and museums.

The city used to be very popular among college students who were looking for a spring break and is now a favorite among retirees to settle down now.

Palmy road at Palm Springs - California

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/25vGtTLSQxEispoY6

Visit Santa Barbara: The American Riviera

Santa Barbara, an extremely picturesque and pleasant coastal city gives you the luxury of beautiful beaches, a grand mountain backdrop, and a happy sunny climate. The city is located between the Pacific ocean and the slopes of the Santa Ynez mountains. Santa Barbara has classy Spanish-style buildings, lush parks, boutique shops, art galleries, and centuries-old artwork.

Santa Barbara has the impressive Old Mission which is a mission church and the Santa Barbara Zoo. The upmarket destination has something for everyone. It is popular for day trips and as a weekend getaway and hosts multiple cultural events and festivals throughout the year for visitors.

You can go hiking along the coastline, visit the multiple wineries and vineyards and go surfing at the beaches.

Santa Barbara California 4882.jpg
By Dori, CC BY-SA 3.0 us, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nxaJDFUuHCTpmqZx8

Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park is the main attraction of the city Anaheim. The resort has been a complex of amusement parks, hotels, and fantasy world for over 50 years. The park is popular among touring families and is a kid’s favorite.

Being the original vintage Disney landmark, this park holds a special place and with the latest addition, Star wars: Galaxy’s Edge to it, there is a whole new dimension to the park.

By Cd637Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA, United States | Timing: Temporarily closed. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/yYJ6jEssKzdGnBEh8 | Phone Number: +1 714-781-4636

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is known as the ‘Happiest City in America’ and offers interesting attractions and an amiable atmosphere to the visitors. This fun-loving town is just ten minutes from the beach. Pismo Beach and Avila Beach are two popular beaches on the central coast and offer a range of fun-filled activities to visitors.

The small town is located somewhere halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Road travelers between the two cities often use the town as a halt when traveling between the cities. The town offers a range of museums, art galleries, shops, and parks to its visitors.

Mission San Luis Obispo (cropped).jpg
By Rennett Stowe, CC BY 2.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/beFVBcKMgdSbeFw29


Carmel is a romantic getaway and is an adorable seaside village. It has beautiful fairytale cottages, enticing boutiques, and hidden passageways. It offers luxurious hotels, fine-dine restaurants, and beautiful sandy beaches.

Carmel is a favorite for its rich artistic history and natural scenery. It’s a paradise for dog lovers as the dog-friendly town has several restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments which allow dogs along with their guests. The town was known for its early city councils, which impanelled several artists like poets and actors like former Mayors Herbert Heron and Perry Newberry.

Carmel by the sea - California, United States - Travel photography

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/rYhbAugnHAndeojU9

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, a surf city with a laid-back feel is a visitors’ paradise. The beach is a seaside city in Orange County in the Southern part of California. It lies between Newport Beach and Long Beach and draws families, sports enthusiasts, and dog lovers alike.

Visit Huntington beach to play beach volleyball, surf, or relax by a waterfront bonfire with your loved ones. Huntington Beach is famous for its mild climate, long stretch of sandy beach, surfing, and beach culture.

Huntington Beach Pier.jpg
By Bamsb900, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/QCx7p8SzejHZeKZX8

So pack your bags for a fun trip and create memories in one of the several mesmerizing places in California!