Places to Go in California

California offers everything from scenic forests to oceans, National Parks, and big cities. 

So, if you want to take in big-city vibes, surf the waves, or take in the beauty of the forest, then California is the place to go. 

The Golden State has many different attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. 

Attractions such as the famous Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, and Hollywood. 

These are a few of the many different attractions that the state of California has to offer.

Another reason to visit California is the state’s reputation for fantastic weather throughout the year

The states boast summer and fall-like weather conditions throughout the year. 

Thus, it is a great place to visit to bask in the sun while enjoying the different unique destinations the state offers.

Below, we have ten destinations to visit in California. Read to the end for a bonus destination.

1. Santa Catalina Island

Santa Cataline Island is California’s hidden gem. 

The island is a modern-day paradise with incredible beaches and a charming coastal town. Furthermore, the island offers various activities such as hiking, zipline, and ocean excursions.

Another unique aspect of Santa Cataline Island is that you cannot drive an automobile on Catalina Island. 

Usually, island goers and vacationers use golf carts to get around the island. In fact, most homes have golf-cart-sized driveways. How cool is that!

2. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is most known for its Golden Gate Bridge, the most famous bridge in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge features a pedestrian walkway allowing tourists to cross it on foot! 

However, San Francisco has so much more to offer than just that. Another great feature of San Fran is the world’s finest natural harbors that feature four islands. 

These islands include Treasure, Yerba Buena, Angel, and Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz Island is mostly known for touring the once-infamous prison.

Other great attractions to experience in San Francisco are Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the famous cable car. Then you have Dolores Park; if you choose to visit the park, remember to pack and picnic.

3. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is truly a paradise for any outdoorsy explorer. 

The park features over 800 miles of hiking trails that give views of beautiful woods, lakes, waterfalls, and much more.

The park features several waterfalls, including its most famous, Yosemite Falls. 

Yosemite Falls is approximately 2,425 feet tall. Wow, that is one tall waterfall. 

Other waterfalls in Yosemite National Park include Bridalveil Falls and Vernal Falls.

Another popular attraction at Yosemite National Park is the Giant Sequoias. 

These are one of the world’s largest, oldest, and rarest trees. Sequoias alone are a reason to visit the park. The massive trees will leave you feeling tiny and in awe.

4. Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park has the tallest trees on Earth, with trees reaching over 300 feet tall and over 2,000 years old

These redwoods will leave you feeling like a miniature next to these amazing trees.

However, Redwood National Park has more to offer than massive trees. 

The park also features 40 miles of rugged coastline. While here, check out Gold Bluffs Beach. It’s a clean beach, perfect for an afternoon picnic or walks along the coast.

Another great attraction within Redwood National Park is Fern Canyon

Fern Canyon is a 1-mile loop with ferns climbing over 2-stories high. Visiting both Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon requires permits.

5. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is great for visiting throughout the year. There are many different ways to explore and enjoy the park.

Hiking is one of the most common ways to enjoy the park. 

The park features over 150 miles of hiking trails offering various views. It allows one to climb a volcano, explore hydrothermal areas, and take in scenic views that look like it is off a postcard.

Another popular way to enjoy the park’s beauty is from the comfort of your vehicle. 

The park offers Highway Highlights, a 30-mile road connecting both sides of the park, allowing for quick viewing of the park.

Although the park is accessible year-round, the activities differ in seasons.

Enjoy swimming, boating, biking, picnicking, and fishing during summer. 

During winter, activities include sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. Therefore, making Lassen Volcanic National Park a great place to visit year-round.

6. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California, is one of the biggest cities in America and the center of US movie and TV productions. 

We added LA to the 10 Destinations to visit in California because of the vast number of attractions that cater to various interests.

Some of LA’s unique attractions include taking in extensive city views from the Hollywood sign, sunbathing on the beach, a stroll down Sunset Boulevard, and enjoying the magic of Disneyland. 

Therefore, you can choose from a wide range of activities to enjoy your time in LA.

Love television and watching movies? 

Possibly, touring a movie set or seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can find your favorite actor/actress star on the sidewalk. 

Then there is the option for a bus tour to see where famous celebrities live.

If you want to enjoy a day at the beach, you have a couple of options. 

One is spending the day at Santa Monica Pier, riding roller coasters, and trying the various food vendors. 

Then there is Venice Beach, where you can enjoy the beach, take in the local shops, or enjoy the unique culture the town offers.

Another great attraction just a short (approximately 30 miles) distance away is Disneyland

It is a great place to take the kids to meet their favorite characters, from Donald Duck to Mickey Mouse. It’s an excellent experience for the entire family.

7. San Diego, California

San Diego, California, made our list due to its breathtaking beaches, popular attractions, and perfect weather. 

The city features over 70 miles of shoreline, where you will see surfing, beachgoers, and boardwalks.

In addition to miles of beautiful beaches, the town also features the San Diego Zoo. The zoo has over 12,000 animals and, at one time, even housed a Panda. The zoo is one of the most visited zoos in America.

Another famous attraction around Sand Diego is Sea World, where you can have up-close encounters with dolphins. 

Then there is the USS Midway Museum, a historic aircraft carrier with exhibits. These are just a few things to do in San Diego, California.

8. Big Sur

Big Sur is considered one of the longest undeveloped yet scenic coastlines in the United States. In fact, Big Sur features roughly 90 miles of undeveloped coastlines. 

They are usually viewed from Highway 1, allowing you to stay in the car and enjoy scenic views. However, there are several pullovers along the highway to take in the breathtaking views.

While visiting Big Sur check out the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

The park features several different hiking trails that offer scenic views. 

Another area to explore is the Garrapata State Park, featuring a beautiful shoreline and scenic coastal hiking. While here, take the 50-foot climb to view the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

9. Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach made our list of 10 Destinations to Visit in California for its uniqueness, location, and stunning views. Laguna Beach is conveniently located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Laguna Beach features spectacular clifftops allowing for scenic views. Top of the World Park, Heisler Park, and Ken Frank View Park are the best destinations for panoramic views.

However, if nature is not your style, then don’t worry. Take in spectacular views while dining and sipping on wine. The best restaurants and lounges include Las Brisas, The Cliff, and the Rooftop Lounge.

Another great attraction is the beach. Laguna Beach features seven miles of sandy shorelines. 

While here, try surfing, exploring sea caves, and sunbathing on the beaches. 

Some beaches to explore are Main Beach Park, Brooks Street Beach, Aliso Beach, and Treasure Island Park.

10. Malibu, California

Malibu, California, is a must-visit attraction in California. The region is considered laid back, even with many celebrities owning homes in Malibu.

One reason to visit Malibu, California, is the vast number of outdoor attractions the region offers. 

Malibu offers long stretches of sandy beaches, surfing, miles of canyon trails, and the Malibu Pier.

With over 27 miles of beachfront, it shouldn’t be hard to find a spot to relax, enjoy the ocean waves, or even swim. 

Some of the more popular beaches in Malibu are El Matador Beach, Las Tunas Beach, and Point Dume.

Along with the beaches, Malibu also features unique attractions, such as visiting the Santa Monica Mountains National Park, where you can explore 156,000 acres of beautiful lush land. 

Other interests include visiting the Adamson House, the first home established in Malibu. Then there is Getty Villa, a museum filled with Getty’s Mediterranean antique collection.

Bonus: Napa Valley, California

Calling all wine drinkers. Napa Valley, California, is a must-visit destination for avid wine drinkers. 

Napa Valley is known for its wineries, first-class wine, and lush wine-country scenery. 

Make the region famous for wine tours, tastings, and Michelin Star Restaurants. Thus, attracting people from all over the world.

Some of the attractions to check out here is the Castello di Amorosa, a Tuscan-inspired castle that offers winery tours. 

There is Cakebread Cellar which offers wine with spectacular views! If you are interested in visiting a french inspired mansion, then Domaine Carneros is what you are looking for, and, of course, it is a winery. 

Then you have the Venetian theme winery, the Del Dotto Estate Winery & Caves.

These are just a few of the many wineries that Napa Valley has to offer. 

In addition to wineries, Napa Valley also offers various attractions, such as Monticello Dam, Oxbow Public Market, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, and the Old Faithful Geyser of California

Full List of 10 Destinations to Visit in California

1. Santa Catalina Island 
2. San Francisco, California
3. Yosemite National Park 
4. Redwood National Park 
5. Lassen Volcanic National Park 
6. Los Angeles, California
7. San Diego, California
8. Big Sur
9. Laguna Beach
10. Malibu, California
Bonus: Napa Valley, California

If you have been to any of these destinations. Please let us know in the comments below what your favorite part of the trip is and what sights you loved the most. 

About Author, Sara Elizabeth
Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Co-Owner of

Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Amora V Boutique. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.

Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.

When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.

Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!

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