There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in California. But with so many possibilities, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices. Let us take care of that for you – check out our list of our top 10 things to do in California!
Photo: National Geographic
10. Explore one of the State’s Many National Parks
California is home to nine National Parks, which the most of any state in the country. From the desert landscapes of Joshua Tree and Death Valley to the lush forests of Yosemite and Sequoia/King’s Canyon, to the coastal islands of Channel Islands, each National Park in California differs from the next. This makes California a must-visit for nature lovers around the world.
9. Walk or Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
As iconic as the State of Liberty with New York City, the Golden Gate Bridge is the defining landmark of San Francisco. Completed in 1937, this mile-long bridge provides incredible vistas of the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay, the San Francisco skyline, and the infamous Alcatraz Island. Walking the bridge gives you the opportunity to take it all in one step at a time. And all you have to pay for is parking.
Photo: Travel Channel
8. Go to the Beach!
The California coastline is 840 miles long and has more than 420 public beaches, so it’s no wonder that they’re also one of the most popular destinations for tourists. Whatever kind of beach your looking for, California has it – from white sandy beaches to rugged rocky coastlines. So whether you’re looking to surf its legendary waves, or simply gaze at the ocean from a bluff, California’s got you well covered.
Photo: Pebble Beach
7. Play a Round of Golf at Pebble Beach
Considered one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, Pebble Beach Golf Links wraps around Monterey Bay, so you’ll be sinking holes right next to the waves. The golf course is also public, which means anybody can play it – as long as they plan ahead and don’t mind shelling out the $525 green fees (not including the $40 cart fee). However, it’s well worth the money and wait. Pebble Beach was the first public course to be selected as No. 1 in America by Golf Digest and is a regular stop on the PGA Tour. The course has hosted six US Opens and a PGA Championship.
6. Go Wine Tasting in Napa
If you love wine, then you have to visit Napa County. Home to over 400 wineries, Napa County is one of the world’s largest producers of wine and produces many different grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and more. In addition to the wine, the landscape of Napa County is worth a trip alone. Its sprawling hills and vibrant colors offer peace and relaxation to those who visit.
Photo: ASLA San Diego
5. Enjoy San Diego County’s Numerous Breweries
Like Napa County and wine, San Diego County is synonymous with craft beer. Called “The Craft Beer Capital of America”, the Southern Californian county is home to 155 different craft breweries and includes some of the industry’s biggest names like Stone (pictured above), Karl Strauss, Ale Smith, and Ballast Point. Trains and buses make brewery-hopping easy and responsible year-round, while die-hard brew-heads won’t want to miss the San Diego International Beer Competition or San Diego Beer Week.
4. Drive One of the World’s Most Scenic Highways
While you’re making your visiting locations up and down California, make the trip an experience in itself by taking California State Route 1. This 659-mile north/south highway is the longest in the state and runs along most of the Pacific coastlines. This means you’ll see gorgeous ocean vistas, dramatic coastline, shoreline forests, and some of the best windy roads in the world.
Photo: I Heart Hollywood
3. Be Part of a Live Studio Audience in Hollywood
You can’t think of Hollywood without the glitz and glamor of celebrities, motion pictures, and TV shows. While being in front of the camera as a talent may require some years waiting tables and sleeping in cars, tourists can still be a part of the production process. TV shows are always looking for people to join their “live studio audience”. You too can be one of those people clapping, laughing, or groaning in the crowd. Plus, you’ll get a sneak peek of what it’s like behind-the-scenes of your favorite show – for free!
Photo: Visit Catalina Island
2. Escape to Santa Catalina Island
Located around 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach in Southern California, Santa Catalina Island is a popular destination for people looking to get away from it all. Visitors can enjoy glass-bottom boat tours of the local reefs and shipwrecks, scuba dive or snorkel in the many great diving areas off the coast, catch some sun on the beach, or explore the untouched wilderness that includes bison and over 400 species of native plants. The Catalina Casino, built in 1929, is a wonderful piece of art deco history and includes its original movie theater and the world’s largest circular ballroom.
Photo: K1 Speed
1. Get Your Need for Speed at 10 K1 Speed locations!
So may go-kart racing isn’t the first thing that comes in mind when you’re planning a trip to California, but there’s a very good reason why it should be: California is home to no less than 10 K1 Speed indoor go kart racing locations. K1 Speed is one of the largest go kart operators in the world, with over 40 locations in 7 different countries. But it all started in Southern California at its Carlsbad location in 2003. Visit that original location, or race on the track at its worldwide headquarters in Irvine! Or try racing at every location from Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area down to San Diego.
Individuals 4’10” or taller can drive their electric karts that speed up to 45 mph. Juniors 4’ (48”) or taller can drive junior karts, which are also electric and reach speeds of 20mph. No reservation is needed to drive, either. Simply Arrive & Drive!