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Top 20 of the most interesting things to do in California

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I am Yura Matskevich, traveled around 74 countries, travel is my passion, on pages I share useful information.

sean-pavone-shutterstock-comIt is not enough to come to California for a week, “hang out” in downtown of Los Angeles or San Francisco, go to a couple of shopping malls. To know this place better, you have to live here for at least several months. Of course, such a pleasure is not for everybody due to high financial costs, or because of the lack of such a large number of vacation days. Here we are going to help you in imagining that you are traveling around California now! When you want to pick one word that can describe this state best, it comes to mind the word “various”. Sometimes, California is not something to be diverse, many of its locations are diametrically opposed to each other, as the pole of the compass, like the electron charge. Opposite in everything, for example, there is Joshua Park with the desert, with snakes and cactus, and then Yosemite, with its waterfalls, redwoods and bears. Let’s start our journey and discover which things to do in California.
In California, there are a lot of different and interesting sights. If you decide to visit southern California, then there are some places which you should visit to feel the true spirit of the place.


Thing to do number 1: To go to the Paradise Bay, Malibu

Paradise BayThis is a small bay located north of Malibu near Highway №1. There is a beautiful beach Brits, Paradise Cove. The perfect picture is emphasized by the retro Hawaiian bar located right on the beach, where you can enjoy the following things:

  1. to try a variety of cocktails
  2. to admire the beautiful cottages

There you can see many living creatures, such as pelicans which catch fish.

Interesting: This is the place where many TV series have been filmed, including the famous comedy “American Pie 2”.


Thing to do number 2: To visit the beach El Matador, Malibu.

This is the most beautiful beach in Malibu, where it is impossible to be disappointed. Coming out of the car you will get to the dirty parking, but then you are going to see a wonderful beach. There are:

  1. several sea caves,
  2. large boulders,
  3. deep open cove with many reefs and algae inhabits.

This place is often used for taking pictures.

Interesting: Not surprisingly, most of the sights of the Southern California are the beaches. If you like sunbathing, then this place is exactly for you.

Thing to do number 3: To visit the Griffith Observatory

Be sure to visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles at sunset.This is the place where you can watch how the sun is leaving Los Angeles, this is a magnificent sight you should not miss visiting this place. Few tourists come here as this is the place for the locals who like:

  1. arranging picnics here,
  2. watching the sunset.

Interesting: If you love nature, you can also join them and admire wonderful sights.


Thing to do number 4: To visit the Market in Los Angeles.

 the Market in Los AngelesMarket in Los Angeles is our next place of interest as this site reflects the true Los Angeles style, being one of the friendliest places in the city. It is a place filled with:

  1. wooden stalls
  2. restaurants,

Here you can see people of all ages: teenagers and pensioners.

Interesting: This market dates back to the 1930s being the so-called Los Angeles tradition.


Thing to do number 5: To go to Los Feliz, Los Angeles

This is the place which should be definitely visited by those who would like to feel the atmosphere of the city and feel yourself being the local citizen by doing the following things:

  • spending time in cafes and enjoying drinks,
  • relaxing and feeling like a local.

Interesting: This is a very cozy place which has the benefit of not many tourists here.


Thing to do number 6: To go to the Dana Point, Orange County.

the Dana PointGoing down to the California coast to San Diego, you can stop in Dana Point – it is a peaceful coastal community and prosperous harbor.It is described as “the only romantic place on the coast” where you can:

  1. have a good lunch in a local restaurant
  2. watch harbor life

Interesting: This place will be a great choice for the newly-weds to spend the honeymoon.


Thing to do number 7: Little Italy, San Diego.

This place looks like a genuine part of Italy, with trattorias and even marketplace where you can go shopping at the Blick Art Materials before crossing the road to bistro for dinner with pizza and a bottle of Peroni. Tourists usually enjoy the following things here:

  1. Italian music
  2. Delicious wine
  3. Italian traditional food: pasta and pizza

Interesting: This is a piece of Italy in California which you can visit to feel how various California may be.


Thing to do number 8:Loma, Harbor Island & Shelter Island, San Diego

Loma, Harbor IslandGoing to the west of downtown of San Diego, you can find yourself in Loma – an island harbor and the island refuge. Here you can stay in a hotel, which is located right on the waterfront with an amazing panoramic view of the entire San Diego. Loma is a peninsula, which belongs to the national park.

Here you can enjoy:

  1. Observing nature
  2. Going for a walk
  3. Hire a ship and go sailing

Interesting: This place should be definitely included in the list of any tourist due to its great views and a large number of Bay activities.


Thing to do number 9: To visit Wilder Ranch State Park

Wilder Ranch State ParkIf you find yourself near the coastal town in Northern California – Santa – Cruz, be sure to visit Wilder Ranch State Park, a nature reserve on the shore of the ocean with the waves of the sea views.

You can get there, as elsewhere in California, probably only by car. You will like this park especially on weekdays when it is not crowded, but only during the week as at the weekends in the resort the whole Silicon Valley gathers here!)

How to spend time here?

  1. To have a picnic
  2. Enjoy beautiful pictures of the ocean

Interesting: Remember that you shouldn’t swim there as even with the summer temperature you will freeze instantly!


Thing to do number 10: To go to Santa Monica Pier

to Santa Monica PierYou can go on bike directly along the ocean where the characters of the series “Beverly Hills” were rollerblading. At the pier you will find a lot of familiar things, thanks to the many Hollywood movies that were filmed here. Pearce as the main meeting place in Santa Monica offers a lot of entertainment for every taste. Here you will find attractions:

  1. the world’s only Ferris wheel that runs on solar-powered,
  2. vintage carousel 20x years,
  3. numerous souvenir shops,
  4. chat with fur seals, which often swim up to the very pier,
  5. the historical spirit of the main American road ending here -Route 66 ,

Interesting: Here there is a paradise for those who love sports and a healthy lifestyle – many shells, lawn for yoga and meditation, which you can try out with the Californians.


Thing to do number 11: To have a one-day excursion in Los Angeles

Los-AngelesLos Angeles is a city of dream where nothing is impossible – every year tens of thousands of talented people from around the world come here and the number is growing at an incredible pace. Now the city occupies an area of ​​12 000 square kilometers with a population of over 17 million people. Modern Los Angeles is the intertwining of many small and totally different cities, which have incorporated over time into one. This is what makes it unique.  Downtown  is the heart of Los Angeles, the place of its birth. Back in 1781 the settlement was founded here with only 46 farmers. On our walk we will be able to walk on foot through the pages of history of the city of Angels and learn how during two centuries the city has grown from 46 people to 17 million.

So, we’ll go and see how people work in the Los Angeles City Hall. As a bonus, on the 27th floor there is an observation deck, where you will see the whole metropolis and look at the room, where every month there are meetings of the city mayor with the people. Not far from the town hall there is a cozy park where people:

  1. have picnic,
  2. do yoga
  3. just relax, looking at the beautiful fountains.

Along the way you will see the head office of the Police Department and the largest in Los Angeles Roman Catholic Church.

You should also take a walk along the main street of Downtown, where it is necessary to have a look at the historical building, the place of shooting of many famous films, including “Blade Runner,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Artist”. You will see one of the first cinemas in the United States and the historic Farmers Market.

Visit the Chinese community, which is peaceful and beautiful lives in Chinatown. Go to the store with a unique in Los Angeles choice of Chinese tea sold by weight, and other original products from China. Here you may dine in an authentic family-run restaurant, where the chef cooks amazingly delicious Chinese cuisine for the past 30 years.

Go through the first Los Angeles street and visit the oldest house in the city, preserved since 1818. From there, go through the main current and the last surviving railway stations, built during the Great Depression.

Things to do in Los Angeles:

  1. Go among the giant titanium plates of Walt Disney Concert Hall – the newest concert venue, which was designed by one of the greatest architects of our time – Frank Gehry.
  2. Take a ride on the shortest railway in the world – the funicular, preserved since 1911.

Interesting: This place will suit those who love long walks and active rest!


Thing to do number 12: 1000 Steps Beach Laguna Beach

1000 Steps Beach Laguna BeachBest Beach of the Orange County  is the beach 1000 steps in the city of Laguna Beach.

The peculiarity of this beach which attracts many travelers is more than 200 steps that lead to the beach. This is a great advantage that, firstly, eliminates a large number of people, while making the beach empty, secondly, provides with an opportunity to do sports while going upstairs.

Beach 1000 Steps Beach is popular for diving, because there is a very beautiful coast with vegetation, rock formations and marine life.

Beach impresses with its:

  1. beauty,
  2. tranquility

Interesting: Sometimes you can see the fishermen with a fishing rod. Do not be surprised that they are on the beach, because big fish comes to the beach as well.


Thing to do number 13: Go to Kearsarge Pass in Sierra Nevada

Kearsarge Pass in SierraThis pass in Sierra Nevada separates the Kings Canyon National Park and the John Muir Wilderness. The pass is at a height of 11709 feet (3569 meters) above sea level.

The pass was named in honor of Kearsarge mine, which is located to the east of it. In turn, the mine was named by its owner in honor of the warship USS Kearsarge, which was destroyed by the ship CSS Alabama during the American Civil War. The first ship was named in honor of the Kearsarge Mountain, which is located in New Hampshire. The beginning of the trail Kearsarge Pass is located in a beautiful valley called the Onion Valley, located at an altitude of 9,600 feet (about 3,000 meters) above sea level. By the way, it is very convenient to stay here in the camp. And the place for camping is very nice:

  1. waterfalls,
  2. mountains,
  3. valley,
  4. river

Interesting: If you are here, visit the Heart Lake, which actually resembles the heart shape. It is clearly seen from the trail, which runs at high altitude from the lake.


Thing to do number 14: Get acquainted with the whales in the Pacific Ocean

Another entertainment that California offers is the Whale Watching Cruise. Its main purpose – to see whales in the ocean .Cruise in Newport Beach is not only whales, it is also:

  1. beautiful views of the coast,
  2. the contemplation of the magnificent yachts,
  3. lovely homes.

Interesting: This cruise is worth your attention thanks to its great views.


Things to do number 15: Visit Solvang- a part of Denmark in California

Visit SolvangSolvang is a small town with a population of slightly more than 5 thousand people in Santa Barbara County. What is so special in such a small town? And especially the fact that it is a piece of Denmark, lost in the middle of the California hills.

In 1911, a group of Danes immigrated to California and founded the colony, buying pre-9000 acres (3600 hectares) of land Rancho San Carlos de Jonata. The settlers built here a church, school, house, preserving the traditional Danish architecture. And even now in the town you can see a lot of modern houses built in Danish style. Come here and walk around the city.The city center is quite small, there are:

  1. hotels,
  2. restaurants,
  3. souvenir shops

Solvang Center resembles Disneyland: everything is bright and fabulous with its monuments of the Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen.

There is a shop Jule Hus, where all year round New Year and Christmas items are sold. The city is filled with the Vikings, then they are everywhere: in the names of cafes, shops, costumes of people in statues, in souvenirs. You should go to one of the local bakeries: they are great here. Of course, how not to taste fresh European beer here?

Interesting: Drink beer at the brewery Solvang Brewing Company while visiting Solvang.


Thing to do number 16: Go to look at the Hollywood Sign

Hollywood SignHollywood Sign is probably the most well-known not only in Los Angeles, but throughout California. Many of the tourists who come to LA, want to get as close as possible to this destination. But this is not necessarily because the sign can be seen from very many places in the city, also it is better to look at it from the distance. Road to the mountains is quite long and narrow, but there are a lot of very beautiful houses, which will be pleasing to the eye during the trip.

Coming out of the car at the end of the street, you can take your camera, because you are in the heart of Hollywood, and it is necessary to capture! On the same place there is a very nice view of the city.

The city has three trails that will lead to the Hollywood sign, they all begin near Griffith Park. In addition, these trails offer:

  1. stunning views of Los Angeles
  2. great view of the surrounding area

At least on one of the trails you can go to discover all the delights of the city.

Interesting: Besides, it is possible to combine in a single trip and “joy” to the eye of the Hollywood sign and the form of the city during the day, the work of the mind, which gives The Griffith Observatory at night.


Thing to do number 17: Go skiing to Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood Ski ResortThis ski resort differs much from others, for example, Heavenly and Northstar as there are many:

  • off-piste slopes,
  • cliffs
  • riding through the woods.

Generally, the resort itself is small, there is a total number of 65 runs and 15 lifts. But those who come here for a free ride, the route is not needed. It is enough to have one lift and then each new descent is unique in its own way:

  1. you can go down in the woods among the trees
  2. jump among the steep cliffs.

Near Kirkwood there are no hotels, only those that are located on the territory of the resort. However, you may always stop in the city of South Lake Tahoe, and then every day we go in one direction, but the road is very beautiful.

Interesting: Kirkwood Ski resort – the best resort for freeride at Tahoe


Thing to do number 18: Go to Knott’s Soak City

Knott's Soak CityThis is a small water park in the northern part of Orange County in Buena Park city. It is part of the park Knott’s Berry Farm amusement.

It’s sort of a home water park when you do not want to travel far. Due to the fact that there are little hills, and a lot of people come on weekends, then there is a long queue on the same hills, it is not particularly pleasant in the heat, when you want to quickly dive into the water but it is really worth waiting.

What to do here:

  1. To spend time in the park of attractions
  2. To have fun in the water park

Interesting: Don’t miss this place if you like fun things and entertainment


Thing to do number 19: Park Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Park Antelope ValleyIf you love flowers, then go where poppies bloom. There is a park in the city of Lancaster CA. The best place to visit this park – mid-April – early May, at other times there is no sense to go to the park. Driving up to the park, you will definitely have a breath away from the huge field of orange poppies.

Here you can:

  1. Take pictures
  2. Enjoy nature
  3. Just walk and relax

Interesting: If you climb the mountain, you can see the windmills in the distance.


Thing to do number 20: Ancient Bristlecone Forest

Bristlecone ForestThere is a place in the mountains White Mountains in Inyo County (near the town of Big Pine) in eastern California, which is called the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. This place is known for the oldest living organisms on earth:

  1. Pine spinous intermountain, the most famous of them – Methuselah pine, which is approximately 4845 years old.
  2. In 2013, there is also another pine has been found, which is 5065 years old – it is the oldest living tree in the world.

Methuselah pine and its other relatives were discovered in 1950 by the botanist Edmund Schulman, in whose honor there is the grove in the forest – Schulman grove.
Interesting: The Ancient Bristlecone Forest has 2 trails that meander through the mountains, leading tourists to mute witnesses of the previous years – Bristlecone pines.

What makes California so beautiful? Now you can answer this question. It is beautiful due to the fact that here there is something to do all year round, there is no frost or humidity, or heavy rains, which can make you staying at home, but at the same time and the rains and humidity, snow and frost can be found here as well- amazing weather combination, is not it? Probably, there is no such entertainment which cannot be found in California. Rocks, mountains, caves, deserts, forests, the ocean will delight those who love resting in the open air all year round. Expensive restaurants, malls, rich areas, galleries, exhibitions of cars, fashion shows, celebrities, beaches – what else is needed for tourists who would like to have fun in California?



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I am Yura Matskevich, traveled around 74 countries, travel is my passion, on pages I share useful information.

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