Top 10 Best Places to Visit in California

California is a state of US stretching from the Mexico border along the Pacific for nearly 900 miles. There are many places to visit in California that will blow your mind away. Tourist attractions in California includes from natural beauty to man-made attractions. The center of the nation’s film and television industry, Los Angeles is also located here in California. Other than Hollywood, the tourist attractions in Los Angeles include Disneyland, Griffith Park and Observatory, La Brea Tar Pits and many more.

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Los Angeles tourist attractions also offer you the Santa Monica Pier, Universal City Walk, and many famous museums including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and Museum of Contemporary Art. Another famous city and one of the best places to visit in California is San Francisco. It’s known for its hilly landscape, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, year-round fog, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses. Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious former prison and now one of the most intriguing tourist attractions in California is located in the San Francisco Bay area.

As there are so many places to visit in California, you can find everything you desire in here. An American author named Edward Abbey said that,

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California”.

10 Best Places to Visit in California:

California tourism offers visitors a very diverse terrain that includes cliff-lined beaches, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, redwood forest, Central Valley farmland and the arid Mojave Desert; and many more stunning places to visit in California.

There are also many man-made attractions that are very famous California attractions. Only in this state can one experience the likes of stunning coastal drives, a lake that offers year-round fun, a forest of the world’s tallest trees, magical theme parks and shows starring killer whales. As there are many tourist attractions in California, here is a short list of the best places to visit in California.

10. Redwood National Park

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in California, Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park | image credit – Flickr/Byron Hetrick

Our list of best places to visit in California starts with the Redwood National Park. Located along the coast of northern California, the Redwood National Park is magnificent network of parks protecting nearly half of the world’s coast redwoods. Redwood is the tallest living things in the world that grow over 350 feet/107 meters high.

But the Redwood National Park is much more than tall trees. As one of the most famous California tourist attractions, the park features vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild river ways, and nearly 40 miles of pristine coastline, all supporting a rich montage of wildlife diversity and cultural traditions. You can see majestic (and big) Roosevelt elk grazing in grassy prairies. You can enjoy the wild beaches dotted with weathered driftwood with not a footprint in sight. Or simply watch vigorous rivers tumbling into the sea.

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It is not one of the best places to visit in California simply because of the outstanding scenery. Here visitors can enjoy a wide range of fun outdoor activities. California tourism offer visitors several fascinating exhibits, guided walks and nature programs. Visitors can enjoy horse riding and mountain biking along well-maintained trails. Or you can go fishing for salmon and rainbow trout down the trickling rivers. For the more adventurous one there is kayaking.

There is multitude of activities in this one of the top tourist attractions in California. Scenic routes through the forest allow visitors to admire the amazing redwood trees, wildlife and waterfalls. You can also drive along the coastline that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and glimpses of gray whales and seabirds. No matter what you do, you will appreciate the park as one of the best places to visit in California.

Also Read: Top 10 best safari destinations in the world

9. SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego, tourist attractions in California
SeaWorld San Diego | image credit – Wikimedia/Antoine Taveneaux

SeaWorld San Diego is one of the most famous California tourist attractions. It is one of the best places to visit in California with family. Located in sunny San Diego, California, the SeaWorld San Diego is an animal theme park, outside aquarium, oceanarium, and marine mammal park. Among the many California attractions, the SeaWorld is a bit different as it is characterized by its theme of marine mammals, daring rides and live shows. Here visitors learn about the world’s oceans and the creatures that inhabit them such as dolphins, killer whales, walruses, penguins and Polar bears while enjoying the astounding shows, amazing displays and enclosures.

For those who want to get even more up close to some of the ocean’s most mesmerizing creatures, they can join various programs. The Dolphin Interaction Program allows guests to feed touch and play with bottle-nose dolphins and the Beluga Interaction Program is a unique chance to enter the water with beluga whales, which are gentle giants known as “sea canaries” for their bird-like vocalizations. There are also many daring rides in this one of the most awesome places to visit in California including a flume roller coaster, rafting through the Shipwreck Rapids and a simulated helicopter ride to experience the Wild Arctic.

As one of the most fascinating places to visit in California, the SeaWorld offers the Shamu Show that involves dancing fountains and brilliant performances by killer whales. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in California because along with the theme park and all the shows and rides, the SeaWorld also care for the rescued animals that were found ill, injured or stranded on beaches along the San Diego coastline.

Also Read: Top 10 largest aquariums around the world

8. General Sherman

General Sherman, California tourist attractions
General Sherman | image credit – Wikimedia/Jim Bahn

One of the most amazing places to visit in California is the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park where you can find General Sherman, one of the top California tourist attractions. The General Sherman Tree is the largest (by volume) tree in the world. The volume of the Sherman Tree was calculated to be slightly over 52,500 cubic feet (1,486.6 cubic meters). The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old. With a height of 275 feet the General Sherman tree is the largest tree in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park.

An awe-inspiring sight that exemplifies the remarkable ecology, no wonder it is one of the top tourist attractions in California. Other than the General Sherman, the Giant Forest contains dozens of wonderful groves of sequoias. The trees of the Giant Forest are among the largest trees in the world. In fact, if measured by volume, five of the ten largest trees on the planet are located within this forest.

An extensive network of trails provide access to many peaceful places amongst the trees and to other lovely features like meadows, fallen logs, streams, granite domes and mountain viewpoints. The journey on the trail itself is a wondrous thing. After all it is one of the most awe inspiring places to visit in California.

Also Read: Top 10 most amazing trees to visit

7. Venice Beach

Venice Beach, tourist attractions in Los Angeles
Venice Beach | image credit – Wikimedia/Dilerius

Los Angeles city is one of the most famous places to visit in California. It is a major site of California tourism. Los Angeles tourist attractions include the Venice Beach, one of Los Angeles most popular beaches. Venice Beach is the only one where the lively boardwalk upstages the Pacific Ocean.

The Venice Breakwater is a favorite local surf spot, and is the only place on the beach where waves break on both sides. The sand here is reportedly the finest for creating sand sculptures. Venice certainly marches to the beat of its own drum. The Venice Beach Drum Circle, an improvisational jam session that takes place on the sand where Brooks Avenue meets Ocean Front Walk on Saturdays and Sundays. Hundreds of people from around the world gather to play their drums, shakers, congas and more, while others dance and chant in the beach.

During the summer season and on weekends, the Ocean Front Walk fills up with street performers and people just doing their thing: biking, roller skating, swimming, sunbathing, and people watching. All of these things made the Venice Beach one of the most amazing tourist attractions in Los Angeles. Known as the ‘Venice of America’, Venice is one of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles.

The sandy three-mile beach here is just one of the Los Angeles tourist attractions. You go to Venice to shop and gawk not for the beach. From its world famous boardwalk and beautiful beach to the shopper’s paradise of Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice offers a distinctive and vibrant mix of activities and attractions. During the summer season and on weekends, there is street entertainment including instrumental musicians, singers, jugglers, acrobats, mimes, comics, magicians, prophets, fortune tellers, and other assorted entertainers at every intersection along Ocean Front Walk.

You will see people with tricolor hairdos, painted faces, weird tattoos, and outlandish clothing–or lack of it. There are lots of funky shops, too, if you want to eat out of the ordinary or buy an unusual souvenir or T-shirt. Venice is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in California for unchained entertainment.

Also Read: Top 10 best city beaches

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6. Dante’s View – Death Valley

Dante's View - Death Valley, Los Angeles tourist attractions
Dante’s View – Death Valley | image credit – Flickr/Jeff

Among the many places to visit in California, Dante’s View of Death Valley is one of the most unique California tourist attractions. Dante’s View is a terrace set at 1,669 m height on top of the Black Mountains. The terrace is easily accessible and offers spectacular views of Death Valley, which in turn makes the peak one of the top tourist attractions in California.

The Dante’s View is quite close to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. Dante’s View can be reached by a 13 mile spur road that runs south from CA 190, just inside the eastern park boundary. Visitors can take several paths from the Dante’s View parking lot. One of the path leads to the very threshold of the edge that offers a remarkable panoramic view. There is also a rest area with picnic tables 320m north from the peak, which can be reached by another path. Dante’s View provides a panoramic view of the southern Death Valley basin.

The Owlshead Mountains to the south and the Funeral Mountains to the north are visible beyond Furnace Creek. Across Badwater Basin to the west, the Panamint Range rises dramatically to Telescope Peak. Greenwater Range can be found to the east.  The temperature in the Death Valley can reach very high. So the best time to visit Dante’s View is in the cooler morning hours or during night time. As one of the best places to visit in California, Dante’s View is an excellent venue for night time star viewing with telescopes. On a clear day, travelers may be able to see Badwater Basin, the lowest point and Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the bordering United States. It is really one of the most dramatic places to visit in California.

Also Read: Top 10 remarkable desert landscapes around the globe

5. Disneyland

Disneyland, California attractions
Disneyland | image credit – Pixabay/rgrivas10

There can be no argument about Disneyland being one of the most beautiful and exciting places to visit in California. The world famous amusement park and also one of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles, the Disneyland is located in Anaheim. Walt Disney movies and characters all come to life in a magical, fantasize kingdom in this amusement park. As it is one of the top Los Angeles tourist attractions, Disneyland features exhilarating rides, stunning shows, roller coasters and colorful districts packed with restaurants and shops.

Disneyland is one of the best Los Angeles tourist attractions not only because of all the rides and shows but because it offers adventure for the whole family. Disneyland can be a little overwhelming to a first-timer with so much to do and see. But then again there are always those favorite rides and attractions that you just can’t wait to see again. For instance, the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, and so many more. There are so many things to do and so many things to see here.

No wonder it is one of the top tourist attractions in Los Angeles. Visitors can step back into the early 1900s in themed neighborhoods like Main Street, USA, visit Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventure-land or meet Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in Mickey’s Toontown. Disneyland is taken over by tricksters during Halloween. And also for the end-of-the-year holidays, the entire Disneyland is transformed into a winter wonderland. As far as tourist spot goes, Disneyland is one of the best tourist attractions in Los Angeles. We all should thank California tourism for offering us such entertaining destination.

Also Read: Top 10 most famous family vacation destinations

4. Big Sur Coastline

Big Sur Coastline, California tourism
California tourism | image credit – Wikimedia/Robert Schwemmer

There are many things to do and numerous places to visit in California. Big Sur Coastline is another one of the must visit California tourist attractions. Big Sur stretches about 90 miles along the Central Coast of California. It is world renowned as one of the most scenic driving routes that follows each twist and turn of the jagged and striking California coast.

This spectacular coastline covers an area between Carmel and the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Big Sur cannot be described by simply telling its location or how beautiful it is. As one of the most beautiful places to visit in California, Big Sur features the historic 40-foot Point Sur Lighthouse, the grand 80-foot McWay Falls plunge directly into the ocean and Bixby Bridge, which is one of the world’s tallest single-span bridges.

The jewel-blue sea, the hushed twilight of the redwood groves, the visions of buttressed cliffs rising up like hallucinations out of the mist, you will have to see it for yourself to understand the beauty of Big Sur, one of the best California tourist attractions. About 3 million drivers visit Big Sur every year to admire and photograph some of the country’s most dramatic scenery. If you are traveling there, I do recommend you to keep Big Sur in your list of places to visit in California.

Also Read: Top 10 most visited sea cliffs in the world

3. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, tourist attractions in California
Lake Tahoe | image credit – Wikimedia/Michael

One of the best places to visit in California as a family is Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is one of the most famous tourist attractions in California as tourist can visit there any time of the year. It is one of the largest lakes in the world. Created about 2 million years ago during the Ice Age, the lake is located along the border between California and Nevada.

This beautiful alpine lake is deep and wide, bluer than blue and surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. As one of the best places to visit in California, visitors can enjoy exciting events and activities all year around in Lake Tahoe. As far as California tourist attractions goes, Lake Tahoe offers numerous outdoor activities all year round. Snow skiing, riding snowmobile, snow-tubing and snowshoeing at one of the ski resorts are the main activities during winter.

From spring to fall, visitors can enjoy a host of water sports and other activities like sailing, jet skiing, kayaking, swimming and paddle boating. Lake Tahoe is one of the most thrilling places to visit in California.

Also Read: Top 10 amazing lakes of color

2. Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge, California tourist attractions
Golden Gate Bridge | image credit – Pixabay/tpsdave

Among the many places to visit in California, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most visited tourist attractions in California and the US. The Golden Gate Bridge is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This famous landmark span over the San Francisco Bay for more than a mile connecting San Francisco to California’s northern counties.

The famous red-orange color of the bridge was specifically chosen to make the bridge more easily visible through the thick fog that frequently shrouds the bridge. Visiting the bridge is a sensory experience featuring color, light, and sound. The splendor of this bridge can be experienced by driving, cycling, walking or participating in a walking tour to learn about the rich history of the bridge. Once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built,” is now one of the most famous places to visit in California.

Also Read: Top 10 famous bridges around the world

1. Tunnel View – Yosemite National Park

Tunnel View - Yosemite National Park, tourist attractions in Los Angeles
Tunnel View – Yosemite National Park | image credit – Wikimedia/Mark J. Miller

California attractions offer the Tunnel View of Yosemite National Park. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in California that should not be missed. Tunnel View is located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central eastern California. It is a historic and scenic overlook offering amazing panoramas of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall.

First built in 1933, the overlook was renovated in 2008. It is one of the top tourist attractions in California attracting between 5,000 and 7,000 visitors a day during the tourist high season. The large viewpoint area is located directly east of the Wawona Tunnel portal off of Wawona Road. As one of the best places to visit in California, internationally renowned artists to casual tourists have painted, drawn, and photographed the spectacular scenery from here and nearby vantage points since the 19th century.

As you drive through, suddenly the tunnel end and an epic view of a breathtaking valley with magical waterfalls spilling off dramatic granite wall appears. This epic view is what makes the overlook one of the most stunning places to visit in California.

Also Read: top 10 highest mountains in the world

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