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15 Best Things To Do In California

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Things to do in California

If you are looking for things to do in California, this article is tailor-made for you. California has a lot to offer to the wanderer’s soul, it has everything right from parks to beaches. 

The city of Golden Gate bridge and Universal Studios Hollywood, awaits you on an adventurous trip! We hope you have fun exploring this beautiful city.

1.Redwood National Park

Things to do in California
Elk Herd Redwood National Park | Photo Credit – Richard Jack

The Redwood National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California and it owes its fame to its natural beauty. The park is an idyllic space, being home to some of the oldest trees in the United States of America. 

Here you can spend your time taking a walk in the woods while you will be able to appreciate the fauna of the park. Make sure that you dress in layers because you will experience cool and damp weather.


Things to do in California
Disneyland | Photo Credit – Mike

Take a nostalgic trip to your childhood with a visit to Disneyland, one of the most famous amusement parks in the world. Here in Disneyland, you will have the luxury of seeing Walt Disney’s characters come to live in front of your eyes.

 There is a lot that you can do at Disneyland. You can indulge in shopping and tasting the food at various restaurants. We also recommend you to try out the rides. This is one of the best places to visit with your family and will surely lift up your spirits.

3.San Diego Zoo

Things to do in California
San Diego Zoo | Photo Credit – Star

San Diego Zoo is a must-visit place if you are taking the outing with young ones. The zoo is famous for being one of the largest in the entire United States of America. Here, you can spend your day in the vicinity of wildlife and observe them at close quarters. 

One of the topmost attractions of the San Diego Zoo is the giant pandas which will take your breath away. You will also get to see other animals like bears, leopards, polar bears, rhinos, sloths among a variety of other animals. 

You will have to do a lot of walking so make sure that you put on your most comfortable footwear.

4.Lake Tahoe

Things to do in California
Lake Tahoe Sunset | Photo Credit – Schwark

Located between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The lake was created around 2 million years ago and is one of the largest lakes in the world. If you are looking to do things in California where you can relax and spend time in the lap of nature then a visit to Lake Tahoe will interest you. 

At the lake, you can also indulge in a number of activities. People usually sail and jet ski at Lake Tahoe during summers. While in winters, activities like snowmobile driving and skiing are practiced by tourists.

5.Golden Gate Bridge

Things to do in California
Golden Gate Bridge | Photo Credit – Jim Joseph

Designed in the year 1917, The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is 1.7 miles long and 90 feet wide and is one of the most visited tourist places in the United States of America. 

The bridge is celebrated as one of the ‘Wonders of the Modern World’ by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Owing to its charm it attracts over 10 million visitors on an annual basis. Spend an evening at the Golden Gate Bridge and watch the sun go down. We would also recommend you to grab a bite at Murray Circle Restaurant.

6.Griffith Observatory

Things to do in California
Griffith Observatory | Photo Credit – Tom Benson

Located in Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory is one of the most celebrated spaces amongst people interested in astronomy. The observatory is located 1,134 feet above the sea level and is a marvelous sight to behold. 

Visitors flock here to observe the planetarium, gaze at the stars using a telescope and to experience the absolutely thrilling view of Mount Hollywood.

The good news is that there is no admission fee to the observatory building and one can use the telescopes absolutely free of cost. 

7.Universal Studios Hollywood

Things to do in California
Universal Studios Hollywood | Photo Credit – ____Ana Lee

If you are a Hollywood buff and cannot get enough of it, a visit to Universal Studios is a must for you. At Universal Studios Hollywood there are a series of activities that you can indulge in. If you are interested in behind-the-scenes movies, you could opt for a tour where you would be taken on a ride and familiarized with the working of the studio. It would take you about an hour to complete this tour and would be completely worth your time. 

If you are taking the tour with your children then you must consider a visit to the wizarding world of Harry Potter where you all shall be able to live the mysteries associated with Hogwards and can even visit the wizard’s shop, Hogsmeade. A trip to Universal Studios Hollywood will make sure that you have a fun time with your family.

8.Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Skiers on Emigrant Peak at Squaw Valley | Photo Credit – Patroller

If you are looking to indulge in skiing while looking for things to do in California, consider a visit to Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Located at Olympic Valley and the second largest skiing complex in the Lake Tahoe region, there is nothing like Squaw Valley Ski Resort. It covers an area of over 3600 acres and was even the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. 

Here you can spend your time leisurely skiing and will get a chance to meet like minded people who love the sport.

9.Stuff yourself with all the mexican food at Santa Monica

If you are a lover of Mexican food then there is no place like California. We recommend you to head straight to Santa Monica, where you shall be able to gorge on a number of Mexican food items. You could start your food tour with a stop at Tallulah’s where you should stuff yourself with beef tacos and potato masala tacos.

Next you could head straight to Azule Taqueria, where you will be able to satiate the foodie in you.

10.San Francisco Cable Car

Cable Car | Photo Credit – Tomas Smits

The world’s last manually operated cable car system, the San Francisco cable car is one of the most popular amongst the tourists of San Francisco. A ride on the San Francisco Cable Car will ensure that you will be able to experience the marvels of the city while being on the cable car.

The cable ride will take you to three routes, The Powell-Mason, The Powell-Hyde, and The California Street.

11.Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park | Photo Credit – tclemitson

Spread over an area of 748436 acres, the Yosemite National Park is one of the most celebrated places in Central California. Deemed as a Word Heritage Site in the year 1984, the Yosemite National Park attracts tourists from all over the globe. 

Here you can see it all, cliffs, waterfalls, groves, mountains, lakes and meadows. A visit to Yosemite National Park will be one of the best things to do in California because it will enable you to experience nature at its best.

12.Chinatown, San Francisco

Chinatown | Photo Credit – Phil Spalding

Explore the essence of China right in the middle of California, with a visit to Chinatown in San Francisco. Here you will be able to explore a number of restaurants that boast of some of the best Chinese delicacies. Not just the restaurants, you will also come across amazing galleries and bars. 

We recommend you to visit China Live, where you will find everything, right from shopping complexes to eateries. Chinatown is a must-visit place for anyone who wants to understand Chinese culture.

13.Municipal Rose Garden at St. Jose

Municipal Rose Garden | Photo Credit – Randy Herring

If you are looking for things to do in California along with your significant other, there can be no better place than the Municipal Rose Garden. Here you can spend your time amongst 200 different kinds of roses and around 3500 bushes. If you are taking the trip in spring, it will serve as cherry on top of the cake. 

The roses with their alluring colors, will leave you completely mesmerized. This will prove to be one of the most peaceful places that you will visit in California as you would have the opportunity to simply relax back and admire the genius of nature.

14.Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island | Photo Credit – Gene Delaney

Endearingly known as ‘The Rock’ and located two kilometers offshore from the coast of San Francisco, Alcatraz Island is one of the most visited tourist destinations in California. The island is home to one of the federal prisons of America. 

This place will prove to be quite an experience for you as here you will be able to take a tour of the prison. The weather at Alcatraz Island can be slightly unpredictable so make sure that you carry your layers with you.

15.Venice beach

Venice beach | Photo Credit – spinyman

 Make the most of your time in Los Angeles, with a visit to Venice Beach. Known as a “global tourist destination”, the Venice beach is one of the most popular spots of recreation amongst tourists. The beach is an idle space for anybody who would want to indulge in recreational activities by the seaside.

 Here you will spot people playing basketball, tennis, streetball and other such outdoor sports. A visit to Venice Beach will help you calm your nerves while having fun.

Please also read about best things to do in Indianapolis.

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