California is the most visited U.S. state, with more than 200 million visitors each year. Few states have more to offer travelers than California. Located on the Pacific Ocean, and referred to as the Golden State, California is known for its sunny weather and stunning scenery. Some of the best beaches, vineyards, and mountains are located here, as are cosmopolitan cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. California is also home to more national parks than any other state in the nation, including the world-renowned Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree.
Best Places to Visit in California
California is one of the most unique places to visit—whether you’re looking for a romantic excursion, family vacation, weekend getaway, or road trip. The different regions of California vary greatly in geography, culture and diversions.
Southern California, including the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, is known for its year-round amazing climate and beautiful beaches. One-of-a-kind attractions make Southern California one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
Hollywood: Home of the United States’ motion picture industry and some of L.A.’s most popular and historic destinations, like the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Chinese Theater.
Beverly Hills: Shop like the rich and famous on the iconic Rodeo Drive.
Disneyland: Visit “the happiest place on earth,” the theme park created by Walt Disney in 1955. Millions of fans of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Star Wars, and the rest of the Disney universe make the pilgrimage each year.
Cities in California
San Francisco: The heart of the Bay Area, which spans the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, and is home to the nation’s tech capital of Silicon Valley.
Santa Barbara: Known as the “American Riviera”, this charming destination is lined with upscale boutiques, wineries, art galleries, and a European feel (thanks to its Spanish colonial history).
Los Angeles: The largest city in the state is a sprawling metropolis and the Entertainment Capital of the World.
San Diego: Known for its perfect climate year-round, beautiful beaches and the renowned San Diego Zoo.
California State and National Parks
Joshua Tree National Park: Popular with campers, hikers, and climbers who appreciate the desert flora and the namesake trees.
Yosemite National Park: Climbers come from around the world to scale the granite walls of El Capitan and Half Dome. Families enjoy Yosemite Falls, the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias, and hiking the over 800 miles of trails.
Death Valley National Park: The hottest and driest national park lies on the border of California and Nevada.
Redwood National Park: Camp, hike, and bike in the home of the tallest trees on earth.
Popular Tourist Attractions in California
Whether you’re looking to surf, snowboard, sightsee or simply sip some wine, California is the perfect place for your next trip.
Golden Gate Bridge: The iconic suspension bridge links San Francisco to Marin County and has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World.
Alcatraz: This small island off the coast of San Francisco was once a fort and a maximum security prison.
Venice Beach: The famous boardwalk is home to colorful street performers, fortune tellers, artists, and vendors.
Catalina Island: A rocky island off the coast of Southern California is a popular destination for dolphin and whale watching, boat tours, and water sports.
Big Sur: The middle stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway features stunning seaside cliffs and secret beaches, ideal for hiking, camping or just taking in the views.
Napa: One of the world’s most premier wine-making regions, famous for its prized Cabernet Sauvignon.