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Things to do in California

Things to do in  California

Welcome to California

From southern California’s beachy San Diego and star-studded Los Angeles to history-steeped San Francisco and quieter towns in the north, the Golden State serves up an endless array of destinations and activities. Cruise out to Alcatraz, the famed former prison in the San Francisco Bay, or visit Catalina Island on a boat trip from Long Beach or Dana Point. Outdoor adventures in Yosemite National Park, skiing in Lake Tahoe, or a stroll down the Santa Monica Pier give a glimpse of the state’s majestic natural features. Visit LA to stroll on the Walk of Fame, hit the theme parks in Anaheim, or hike up to snap a photo in front of the Hollywood sign. Monterey and Carmel are home to miles of coastline, a wealth of marine life, and world-class golf facilities. Both the San Diego Zoo and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are considered the top wildlife facilities in their categories, home to an incredible array of animals and opportunities to learn about our non-human neighbors. California’s miles of farm country mean dining opportunities include farm-fresh, high-quality meat and produce. Foodies can dig into fish tacos in SoCal, munch sourdough bread in San Francisco, or hit the wine trail in Napa and Sonoma.

Top 10 attractions in California

#1
Alcatraz

Alcatraz

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A former federal prison that held notorious criminals Al “Scarface” Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Alcatraz is now a national historic landmark and one of the most sought-out (and sold-out) attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Highlights include touring what’s left of the maximum-security facility, hearing stories from former inmates, and sailing past the Golden Gate Bridge to reach the craggy isle.More
#2
Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

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The red-orange Golden Gate Bridge is a San Francisco icon, which spans 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) across and connects the city’s northernmost point to Marin County. While the suspension bridge is a major route for Bay Area commuters, the famous landmark also attracts visitors from around the world with its panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin headlands, Alcatraz, and San Francisco.More
#3
Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

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One of LA's most distinguishing icons, the famous Hollywood Sign proudly stands on Mt. Lee (Mount Lee) in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking Los Angeles and the California movie industry it has come to symbolize. This LA landmark first appeared on its hillside perch in 1923 as an advertising gimmick for a real-estate development called Hollywoodland. Each letter stands 50 feet (15 meters) tall and is made of sheet metal painted white.More
#4
Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Only in Los Angeles are stars so common that they can even be found on the sidewalk. Studded with more than 2,600 brass stars across 18 city blocks, the Hollywood Walk of Fame features names of celebrities in mini monuments. See if you can spot the stars of your favorite motion pictures, TV shows, live theater, and more.More
#5
USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum

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Formerly the US Navy’s longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century (1945 to 1991), the USS Midway is now a floating museum docked off the coast of California. Aboard the hulking vessel, visitors can now explore more than 60 exhibits as well as peek inside the museum’s impressive aircraft collection.More
#6
Coronado

Coronado

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Across the bay from downtown San Diego, the small resort town of Coronado is an idyllic escape from the city with a wide, sandy coastline and a tree-lined main drag that’s home to shops and restaurants. Visitors go to hang out on the beach, tour historical sites, and watch the sunset.More
#7
San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay

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A natural harbor spanned by the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the picturesque San Francisco Bay is the defining feature of California’s Bay Area. Get out on the chilly, choppy water—or just savor the views from the shoreline as the fog rolls in.More
#8
Balboa Park

Balboa Park

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Home to world-class museums, manicured gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park tops the list of San Diego city sights. Its 1,200 lush acres (486 hectares) comprise the largest urban park in the United States. Apart from its many attractions, Balboa Park also features lengthy walking and hiking trails, distinctive landscaping, Golden Age Spanish buildings, and one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs.More
#9
Venice Beach

Venice Beach

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Known for its free-spirited vibe, Venice Beach is a happening, upscale outlier of Los Angeles, fronted by the iconic Venice Boardwalk, officially known as the Ocean Front Walk. Encounters with pickup basketball teams, fortune tellers, and roller skating sunseekers are pretty much guaranteed—especially on hot Southern California summer days. Beyond the sand, visit the skate park, the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard, featuring trendy restaurants, stylish boutiques, galleries, and cafés.More
#10
Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

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One of Long Beach’s top attractions, the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to at least 11,000 aquatic animals across more than 50 exhibits that reflect the marine life of the Pacific Ocean. The nonprofit organization is the largest aquarium in Southern California and one of the most visited in the United States.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in California

San Diego Harbor Cruise

San Diego Harbor Cruise

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1015
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USD30.00
Full-Day Iconic Sights of LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Beaches and More
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Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
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Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

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Skip the Ticketing Line: Aquarium of the Pacific General Admission Ticket
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San Diego Whale Watching Cruise
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San Diego Whale Watching Cruise

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USD85.00
Straight to the Gate Access: Golden Gate Bay Cruise
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The One Day in San Francisco Tour with Alcatraz
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San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise

San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise

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USD110.90
Small Group Yosemite and Giant Sequioas Day Trip from San Francisco
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Temecula Shared Hot Air Balloon Ride
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San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise
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San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise

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USD154.20
San Diego Seal Tour

San Diego Seal Tour

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USD44.00

Recent reviews from experiences in California

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California coast outing
MBB, Jul. 2021
Newport Beach Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise
Watching the pods of dolphins and getting to see Patches, the dolphin, was an added kick.
star-5
Great Tour
Frank_B, Mar. 2021
Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bicycle Adventure
It is a place that might not be well known in California but you definitely need to see if.
star-5
Small Car BIG Fun!
Jeromy_R, Jul. 2021
GoCar San Francisco Tour
There is so much to see and visit in just a small area and the GoCar gets you in an out of parking lots and to see the waterfront and Golden Gate park communities.
star-5
Awesome!
Leesah_L, Jun. 2021
Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco
My 3rd time to visit Yosemite, first time to be with a tour group.
star-4
Really Good Tour
ROBERTTA_G, Jun. 2021
Shared 4 Hours LA Afternoon Tour With Hollywood Sign and Star Homes
I would definitely recommend this tour to someone that has never been to California before and would like to see the site and know the history.
star-5
Pride of San Diego tours
Paul_F, Jun. 2021
San Diego Scenic Tour
While San Diego is the 2nd largest city in California and definitely have a lot to see, considering the time and cost to see it all, I believe the choices that the guide put together fir her tours really covered the main attractions so hats off for a job well done.
star-5
Amazing Views
Michael_B, Jan. 2021
Hollywood Sightseeing and Celebrity Homes Tour by Open-Top Bus
Without even having to spend money on Uber to see places i have always wanted to see i was able to do so by simply being on this tour.
star-5
Fun trip
Randy_H, Aug. 2020
M.S Dixie II Sunset Dinner Cruise
The California forest fires made it tough to see the views.
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Muir Woods
Susan_P, Mar. 2020
Muir Woods Tour of California Coastal Redwoods (Entrance fee included)
Highly recommend this tour to see the great California Redwoods.
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Birthday trip
simonenieves1, Feb. 2020
Hollywood to Beverly Hills Sightseeing Tour from Orange County
We got to see & experience California more than we could ever imagine.
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Wonderful!
IlianaMircheva, Nov. 2019
Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Day Trip from San Francisco
It was a pleasure to visit such a wonderful place and to know more about the wonders of the nature in California.
star-4
Good tour to do
Philippe_C, Jul. 2019
San Francisco Super Saver: Muir Woods & Wine Country w/ optional Gourmet Lunch
It is a good tour to do if you want in the same day to see the famous redwoods from California and get a taste of the wine country.
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Long day but worth it!
P2mee, Jun. 2019
Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco
We may never get another chance to see a national park so we were delighted we didnt let journey time put us off.
star-5
Perfect escape
Harsh V, Jul. 2018
Straight to the Gate Access: San Francisco Bay Twilight or Sunset Cruise
They have good appetizers, live music, welcome drink and California summer coast line.
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All day trip to The park with 3...
Dillonla, Jul. 2017
Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco
All day trip to The park with 3 hours of exploring time at the Yosemite falls with plenty of outdoor places to explore and great scenes.
star-5
This was a very wonderful tour! Our...
Janelle J, Aug. 2017
The Perfect Blend: Napa and Sonoma Combo Wine Tour from San Francisco
We had a wonderfully relaxing time getting to see California's beautiful wine country.
star-5
This is absolutely the way to go...
Valerie T, Sep. 2017
California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes VIP Tour
Not only do you get a behind the scenes tour, but you also get to skip the line for several attractions inside as well as skipping the line to enter the facility.
star-5
Nice half day trip up and down the...
Dillonla, Jul. 2017
Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive - Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Its a worth it trip in my opinion to see some of California's most iconic beaches.
star-4
Great Little places to visit, get to...
Gino C, Sep. 2017
Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive - Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Great Little places to visit, get to see a lot of the coastline and place that made California what it is today, heaps of history, great commentary
star-5
It is a perfect relaxing day trip...
Eva Y, Jun. 2016
Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles
He made quick stops at San Simeon to see the Northern elephant seals and Mission Santa Barbara.

All about California

When to visit

Home to everything from cities, deserts, and mountains to beaches, national parks, and redwood groves, California caters to year-round actvities. During the warmer months, cool down in the Pacific Ocean or hike Yosemite. When winter arrives, hit the slopes of Lake Tahoe for top-notch skiing or enjoy winter sun in SoCal.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in California?
Q:
What are the top activities in California?
Q:
What are the top things to do near California?
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting California?