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Things to do in California

2.248 contributors

The top 1.022 attractions in California

Bridges in San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
(89)
If you're visiting the American West, this is a must-see attraction. It's an unforgettable 1280 meters. The vibration caused by the passing cars only increases the shock of seeing the red mass supported by cables over the sea. Meanwhile, the Pacific mist falls in waves around you ripping the vision of the slopes of San Francisco, producing that magic so characteristic of the city.
Nature Reserves in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
(33)
Yosemite is one of the most famous U.S. national parks, so make sure to reserve your spot early! The ideal time to go is in spring or early summer when the falls are at their peak. It's a spectacular show of water, sound, and the sheer force of nature. There's also free bus service to take you to the different points of interest in the park. We spent three full days hiking and there were lots of different routes to choose from ranging from simple strolls to challenging trekking and even rock climbing. It's all very well put together and visitor-friendly, but there is still plenty of spaces where you can be alone and enjoy the silence and tranquility of nature. Don't miss the view from Glacier Point! It's incredible!
Museums in San Francisco
Alcatraz Prison
(56)
This place is a must if you're headed to San Francisco. Make sure to bring a jacket since it can be a bit chilly on island, at least it was when we went. Everything is very well organized and you can visit the prison with guided-tour headphones (in many languages) and explore at your own pace and take pictures. There's a boat back to the mainland every hour or so. You're taught about life at the prison, you see where inmates arrived, the cells where they spoke with relatives, where the guards lived, the hsitory of some of the escape attempts, and the reasons the prison was eventually closed. Al Capone was the most famous and well-known prisoner there. Again, it's a must if you're in San Francisco. If you go, try to get the tickets ahead of time.
Streets in Los Angeles
Hollywood Walk of Fame
(81)
Everyone says this is a little disappointing. I suppose it is if you're expecting something more glamorous. The truth is that to me it seemed like a nice street, where you can stroll along the shops and you find everyone staring at the ground laughing and pointing when they see a star's name that they like.
Theme Parks in Los Angeles
Universal Studios
(61)
I loved being there and all I wanna do is go there one more time!
Of Touristic Interest in Los Angeles
Hollywood Sign
(59)
Surely one of the most recognizable images on the planet. The famous Hollywood sign at the top of the hill. You can see it from Hollywood Boulevard, even though it's kind of far away for some cameras. It's not that it's beautiful, it's that it's an icon and you have to take a picture of it and see it if you go to Los Angeles.
Streets in San Francisco
Lombard Street
(38)
Although San Francisco is certainly famous for its hills, Lombard Street takes the cake and is a tourist attraction in itself. It has an inclination of 27 degrees and is considered to be the world's most windy street. It's located on Russian Hill and connects Hyde and Leavenworth streets (one block!). Both pedestrians and cars can pass. It is quite a sight to see cars making an "s" shape down the street. It has 10 curves in a "zig-zag" shape and you can only go downhill. It is decorated with flowers and is a great photo-op.
Beaches in Los Angeles
Venice Beach
(49)
The Venice Beach neighborhood has little to envy to Santa Monica. It is lovely, big and has plenty of kiosks and places for snacks. It has more environment than the other but defintely less glamorous. Depending on the roll that one takes, you can go to one part or the other. It is also interesting that Muscle Beach is right there.
Beaches in Santa Monica
Santa Monica Beach
(35)
The Santa Monica beach runs parallel to the Pacific coast. It is more than 3 miles long, and has many services like picnic areas, parks and the film-famous lifeguard stations. We also saw the Santa Monica Pier, which was built in 1909. Its fair carousel has been declared a National Historic Monument. This beach marks the end of legendary "Route 66."
Theme Parks in Anaheim
Disney California Adventure Park
(35)
Opened in 1955, it is now the second most visited park in the world, behind Disney World Orlando. The actual park is known as the Magic Kingdom and is actually just 1 of 4 parks in the area. If I'm not mistaken the parks are: (Magic, MGM, Animal Kingdom, Epcot). The Magic Kingdom is just one of the four, but it is the original. So not to be missed, whether you are big or small, but if you've been to Eurodisney, it is exactly the same. It is 40 km from the center, but within the city, specifically in Anaheim.
Of Touristic Interest in San Francisco
Painted Ladies
(31)
These houses, dated from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are one of the most impressive examples of architecture and features in San Francisco because of their color and their contrast with the skyscrapers of the financial district. You can spend a whole afternoon simply sitting in this square and enjoying the view. It´s a must for any visit to the city.
Shopping Malls in San Francisco
Pier 39
(46)
This is the most famous waterfront of San Francisco and one of the world's most popular. It´s the place from which you can see the island of Alcatraz, with the Golden Gate in the distance, the sea lions of the city and also where you have lunch or dinner, drink, shop, and enjoy one of the most charming places in San Francisco. Although it is very touristy and always packed, it is absolutely essential to go for a walk around there.
Viewpoints in Los Angeles
Griffith Observatory
(34)
The Griffith Observatory is one of the essential places of LA. The idea is to go up during the day to see the inside of the observatory and to go out at night,to see the city lights come on and how the city becomes a beautifully illuminated place, seeing all the way from the beach to the downtown skyscrapers ... passing the Hollywood sign. If you like photography, this is your place.
Shopping Centres in San Francisco
San Francisco´s Chinatown
(26)
As in most major American cities, there is a Chinatown. Providing food, restaurants and all products Chinese, these are always interesting places to visit.
Nature Reserves in Bishop
Death Valley National Park
(11)
Despite its scary name, I highly recommended a visit here. Thousands of years ago, this was a saltwater lake and it currently sits several meters below sea level. The desert landscapes and environmental conditions make it unlike any other landscape. Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America, and temps surpass 50 ° C in the summer. The highest temperature recorded in Death Valley in 1913 was 57 ° C, and the average yearly annual rainfall is 5 cm. Despite these conditions, and contrary to what its name indicates, Death Valley has over 900 species of plants within its park, and some have adapted to the conditions. Some plants have roots that descend more than 15 meters below ground or that "walk" in search of water. If you are visiting Death Valley, you should also go to Badwater, the lowest point in North America at 86 m below sea level.
Squares in San Francisco
Union Square
(22)
Located in the historic center of San Francisco, in the Downtown, it's the hub of the city. Nearby are malls, luxury stores, theaters and the main tram access. It's a cool place, that is pretty nice and inviting to walk around.
Beaches in Santa Monica
Santa Monica Pier
(35)
The Santa Monica Pier is well known thanks to its appearance in several movies. The ferris wheel and the small amusement park have appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows, and you get the feeling of having been there before. It offers a great view of the beach. It is a place that you have to visit.
Gardens in San Francisco
Japanese Tea Garden
(22)
The Japanese tea garden in San Francisco is in the middle of Golden Gate Park, next to the botanical garden. I could not go through the garden because it has separate, limited hours and it was closed for the afternoon when I went, but if you are passing through the park and it's worth knowing about if you're there during opening hours.