California is such a great state with lots of different attractive places you can choose to visit. There are always some new places to go to and also some new things to do in California. So this state is one of the best choices for you to visit. Suppose you are interested in golden sunshine, unique landscapes, dreamy places, snowy mountains, vast deserts, unique farmlands, ancient and historical sites, museums, or large cultured cities. In that case, California has many suggestions for you.
Remember the Vegetation and geographical condition of each city in California. So you can choose from these parameters and prioritize your visits by your interests. The other way is to list the towns by their prominences. For example, San Francisco is known for excursions and entertainment, shopping, tasting the right foods, and visiting museums. San Diego has pleasant weather and a beautiful golden beach as Santa Barbara. Los Angeles is unique because of including Hollywood and beautiful and charming southern California landscapes.
California is one of the most beautiful parts of the United States and has countless places to visit. Here are the top 50 tourist attractions in California.
#1- Yosemite Valley National Park – Merced
Yosemite, USA National park, Is a place which you must see in the United States. It’s located in the Sierra Nevada mountains and includes 400 kinds of different animals. Lake, valley, mountain, waterfall, and animals are some of the attractions of this park. Yosemite Valley National Park has both rustic cabins and hotels for visitors who want to settle down there for a while.
#2- Santa Catalina, Los Angeles
This Island is one of the top Los Angeles things to do and it is so famous for boat and harbor lovers. Santa Catalina’s weather is warm and pleasant, and you can enjoy many entertainments in this great weather, such as diving, hiking, glass-bottom boat tours, kayaking, and parasailing. The center of most of the activities on this Island is Avalon.
#3- Lake Tahoe – Sierra Nevada
Lake Tahoe is in Sierra Nevada mountain. This lake is so famous because of the clear water Alpine lake, the snowy mountain, and wooded areas. Many visitors prefer to camp in this area and enjoy the charming scenery. Some of them like hiking or skiing, as Lake Tahoe is the premier skiing destination all around California.
#4- Big Sur – Carmel-by-the-Sea
Big Sur is a coastal point in California that is so popular with visitors. You can visit lots of different views from falls, jagged hills, Bixby-Creek-Bridge, to Pfeiffer Beach, which is full of purple sand. Big Sur has camping facilities for resting. Some of the attractions there are hiking and swimming.
#5- Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most exciting attractions in San Francisco city and is one of the most famous sights for visitors. The orange color of the bridge over the blue ocean is so beautiful. You can choose walking, driving, or biking over this bridge. Each California visitor has at least a picture in this place.
#6- Disneyland – Anaheim
Disneyland is one of the famous attractions in California. It has many different parts for all family members, from parks to hotels and shopping centers. It would be so busy on holidays as all family members; especially kids can visit there.
#7- Redwood National and State Parks – Crescent City
Redwood National and State Parks are famous because of their Redwood trees, 300 feet into the sky. Being in these parks, you feel in the other world. These trees are from the ancient Jurassic Period. Hiking and taking pictures are the usual activities in this park.
#8- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park – the Sierra Nevada
These two national parks are both famous, and they include some exciting features. Sequoia National park is popular because of the old and large Sequoia trees, which are the world’s largest living things. And Kings Canyon National Park is like Sequoia but a little wilder, and it’s delightful to visit there to be away from modern life. Both parks are suitable for hiking and camping.
#9- Joshua Tree National Park – Los Angeles
This National Park includes Joshua trees, which are named by the bible. In this park, you can see Cholla cactus Garden and also big rock and boulders. Joshua Tree National Park is right for you if you are a rock climber or want to camp there at night and under the night stars and enjoy the remarkable scenery in the desert.
#10- Universal Studios Hollywood – Universal City
This amusement park is suited for families and older children. You can see many things related to familiar Hollywood films and stories. Also, there are lots of other entertainments, like dining, shopping, watching shows, etc.
#11- Death Valley National Park – Lone Pine
Death Valley National Park is so mysterious. That’s the lowest point in North America. The weather is so hot, and it’s better to visit this park in cooler seasons. This park’s unique features are desert, hills, some flat salty places, and Badwater lake, which is sometimes full of water and occasionally empty. Hiking and also swimming are the most popular activities in this park.
#12- Hearst Castle – San Simeon
Hearst Castle was for George Hearst in 1865. Built-in 28 years and on a 172-acre space with 165 rooms, but it never finished. This Castle is an art collection now. Hearst Castle is on hills, and it has a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Lucia Range. This Castle was the world’s largest private zoo. You can see terraces, pools, walkways and many beautiful sceneries there.
#13- Glory Hole Recreation Area – Angels Camp
Glory Hole is an outstanding natural location that is so incredible. Because of the recent California drought, some problems took place, but the Glory Hole’s beautiful view is stable. Just keep your distance from this place and enjoy it from afar.
#14- Channel Islands National Park – Ventura
These five islands are isolated and undisturbed places, which have unique plants and animals. Getting there is by guided park boats or planes and also private ships. The center of this particular visit is in Ventura and Santa Barbara, and you can start your trip from there.
#15- Cypress Tree Tunnel – Inverness – Inverness
Cypress Tree Tunnel is in Point Reyes, and it’s a famous place with a dreamy view as you think it’s not real. Long and old trees with branches make arch shape overhead that is like a tunnel made up of trees. This location is gorgeous for taking pictures, especially in the late afternoon when the light is suitable for photography.
#16- Ojai Valley – Ventura
Ojai Valley is suitable for you if you are interested in calm and rustic places. You can enjoy this small town and the unique sceneries like the sunset in the mountains. There are many local markets, and you can taste new fresh and notable foods. Hiking and surfing are other experiences you can enjoy in this small town.
#17- San Diego Zoo Safari Park, California
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an open wildlife shelter home to more than 3,000 creatures representing more than 300 varieties. Around 800 acres have been set aside as protected natural species territory. It is situated 48 kilometers north of downtown San Diego. San Diego Zoo Global consists of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy.
#18- Pacific Coast Highway – San Francisco
Pacific Coast Highway is just a road you need to drive from a point to another, but it’s not a usual road. You have an eye-catching view of the ocean, and if you want to stop and stay somewhere between your trip, there are lots of unique locations for you to enjoy the scenery.
#19- Napa Valley – Napa County
Napa Valley is one of the places each visitor must stop and enjoy the specific features. This place is full of vineyards, and if you want to take a look at beautiful points riding a hot air balloon is the right choice. You can see the mixture of the modern and the old city there, and it’s exciting.
#20- Mono Lake – Mono County
Mono Lake is a saltwater lake, so there is no fish in it, but some alkali flies and brine shrimps live there. The shape of this lake’s rocks is unusual, and it turned this lake into the fictional and unearthly one. You can explore this region by walking or kayaking.
#21- Laguna Beach, Orange County
Laguna Beach is a great region. It’s a small town with many different beaches, small to large and quiet to populated. Crescent Bay and Main Beach are well known compared to others. The attraction of this region is not just about beaches. There are some other fantastic places that you can enjoy, like Head to Crystal Cove State Park, which is unique because of its shore view, and also Heisler Park, which is known for its wild plants and special kind of animals living there.
#22- Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest – Bishop
This ancient forest is famous because of its old Pine and Patriarch trees and also old animals. Some Pine trees are more than 4000 years old, and the Patriarch trees are the world’s largest ones of their kind. Visitors can enjoy exploring animals, hiking, and picnicking.
#23- Big Bear Lake – Big Bear Lake City
Big Bear Lake is a fantastic place with its excellent view. There is a green nature near this lake. It’s suited for relaxing and enjoying the happy atmosphere. Also, it is possible to camp there.
#24- Dana Point Harbor – Dana Point
This Harbor is a calm and relaxing place, far from the city population, and if you need relaxation, it’s one of the best. It’s a fantastic place for its fresh seafood, whale watching, fishing, and shopping.
#25- Salton Sea – Riverside County
This saltwater sea is a mysterious place because of the ghost city and its strange history. It is in the Sonoran Desert, and it’s the result of bursting dams about 100 years ago. Exploring uninhabited houses, funny museums, and around the lake is famous for visitors.
#26- Rainbow Falls – Madera County
Rainbow Falls, located in Madera County, is one of the fantastic parts of California. If you get there at the right time, when the sun is in the highest situation, you can see a rainbow over the river. It’s the result of mist that emerged from 101-foot falls and the sunray. You can enjoy hiking there too.
#27- Fern Canyon – Humboldt County
Fern Canyon is an endless canyon with 50-heigh walls of lush green ferns on both sides of the way. They are so old, and some of them are from 300 million years ago. So when you get there, feel like you’re in the age of dinosaurs.
#28- Huntington Gardens – San Marino
Henry Huntington once owned Huntington Gardens; he was a rich railroad man. These gardens are 120-acre waste, and there are lots of beautiful views, inspiring from different regions. There is an especial library for visitors interested in history; you can find manuscripts and ancient American or European art.
#29- Lava Beds National Monument – Tulelake
This Lava Cave is one of the exciting places. There are more than 700 caves; you can see some of them and lava tubes too. Visitors can find how this structure formed at the information center. Some bats are living there. And the Mushpot Cave is the only illuminated cave for visitor’s explore.
#30- Muir Woods National Monument – Mill Valley
Muir Woods National Monument is a location full of redwood trees, And it’s like a heaven jungle covered by the oldest redwood trees. Those trees are the longest ones on the planet, and their diameter is more significant than a car. Walking in this emerald greenery land is one of the best experiences you can have in California.
#31- Carlsbad Ranch – Carlsbad
Carlsbad Ranch is an exciting place for flower lovers. The optimal time to visit this flower garden is early March to early May, and the ranch is open up to the public. There are many picnic tables, You can serve your food on them, and if you can’t bring your food, there are lots of refreshments to buy.
#32- Cabrillo National Monument – San Diego
Cabrillo National Monument named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. This place is beautiful, and it’s one of the San Diego tourist’s interests. It has visible tide pools, and also there is a hidden sea cave. Walking on brilliant Point Cabrillo Light Station is one of the attractions in this location.
#33- Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve – Lancaster
Poppy is the official flower in California, so it’s essential to visit this place. The best time to visit this colossal garden is between March and May when all the orange flowers are in bloom. It’s so vast as you never feel it’s crowded even during its most popular times.
#34- Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LA
This place is not on the first choice list for visitors, but it’s good to see this art gallery. Many ancient arts from different cultures, some entertainment, and the museum’s unique structure are the reasons it’s better to visit there.
#35- Glass Beach – Mendocino County
Glasses cover this beach instead of sands. These pieces of glasses are from bottles, ceramics, or artifacts left by early inhabitants. You can rest and enjoy, like other beaches. Pay attention to rules about taking glass pieces with yourself.
#36- Gray Whale Cove State Beach – Half Moon Bay
This location is one of the first places on the visitor’s list. You can visit Pillar Point State Marine Conservation and Montara State Marine Reserve. It’s good to hike long ways and see wildlife there.
#37- Griffith Park – Los Angeles
Griffith Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Los Angeles, which is the real attraction of this city, founded in 1896, with 4,300 acres. It is famous for visitors because there are many different attractions, like a zoo, theater, museum, and botanical gardens.
#38- Sturtevant Falls – Arcadia
Sturtevant Falls looks like some of the exciting places you see on the postal cards. The waterfall is about 50 feet in height; the cliff coats algae and moss. When you look at the water, you see the color tones dancing through the waves.
#39- Natural Bridges Trailhead – Calaveras County
The Natural Bridges are so unique, located in Coyote Creek, and it’s unbelievable that this cave and bridges are the results of water erosion over rocks. This structure is named Karsts. Remember waterproof clothing while exploring there.
#40- Encinitas Meditation Gardens – Encinitas
This coastal town is a unique place where you can see lots of colorful plants and ponds with fishes and koi ones. Gardens are Solitude and calm, and you can enjoy walking, breathing fresh air, and tasting delicious açai bowls.
#41- Alamere Falls – Marin County
Alamere Falls is the location you must see at least one time in your life. The water is rushing straight into the Pacific Ocean. The hiking way is very long, but it’s worth it because nature’s unique view is waiting for your eyes.
#42- Nitwit Ridge – Cambria
Nit Wit Ridge is a large rustic castle over the hill; That mixed ancient and modern structures. You can see all the open palace rooms. It’s good going there at least once in your life.
#43- Monterey Beach – Monterey Beach
Monterey Beach is one of the best coastlines on Pacific Coast Highway in California. The beauty of this shore is for teal waters, tidepools, and white sand. You can go whale watching, surfing, wildflower exploring, and visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
#44- Bishop – Inyo County
Bishop is a small town, and you must walk hard to get there. It’s special because of the beautiful nature and the unique culture of it. So you can hike and enjoy the sights there.
#45- Alcatraz Island – San Francisco
Alcatraz Island is an especial and memorable island—the place of the sacred Alcatraz military prison, which is 1.25 miles from San Francisco. If you get there by guided tour, you can see many rebuilt buildings, beautiful gardens; and also you can hear old legends.
#46- The Giant Rock – Mojave
This rock is in the Mojave Desert, and it’s about 5,800 square feet. It is the biggest alone standing rock in the world. If you love strange nature, visiting this rock would be suited for you.
#47- Thousand Island Lake – Sierra Nevada
This lake is one of the best because of its unique structure. Getting there is a little challenging, but you find it’s worth it when you get there. This lake with clear water is full of small Islands, and you can see mountains with snow on the peak of them around the lake, and also waterfalls with a fantastic view.
#48- Bumpass Hell – Sierra Nevada
Bumpass Hell is in Sierra Nevada mountain, which is a geothermal spot in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Maybe the sulfur smell bothers you, but you can enjoy seeing fantastic nature like boiling liquid and steam vents.
#49- Bowling Ball Beach – Point Arena
Bowling Ball Beach is in Schooner Gulch State Beach, which is full of spherical rocks. The rocks were made from sandstone erosion over a long time. By a short walk, you can see these balls during low tide.
#50- Mossbrae Falls – Dunsmuir
This exciting place is beneath Shasta Springs. Mossbrae Falls looks like ancient legends, taking water from spring and pouring it into the Sacramento River, and the thick moss is covering canyon walls. You can enjoy this unique nature there.