10 Top Tourist Attractions in California

With so many man-made attractions, natural playgrounds and dramatic landscapes that are all world-famous, it is no wonder that California attracts millions of visitors from all over the globe. Only in this state can one experience the likes of stunning coastal drives, a forest of the world’s tallest trees, a lake that offers year-round fun, magical theme parks and shows starring killer whales. To learn more about what to see and do in the Golden State, check out the following top tourist attractions in California.

10Redwood National Park

The Redwood National Park is much more than tall trees. In this vast parkland of woodlands, rivers and miles of spectacular coastline, visitors can enjoy a wide range of fun outdoor activities. There are several interesting exhibits, guided walks and nature programs on offer at the various visitor centers. Activities include horse riding and mountain biking along well-maintained trails, fishing for salmon and rainbow trout and kayaking down the trickling rivers. Scenic routes through the forest allow visitors to admire the amazing redwood trees, wildlife and waterfalls while a drive along the coastline offers breathtaking views of the ocean and glimpses of gray whales and seabirds.

9SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diegoflickr/lolilujah

Situated in sunny San Diego, SeaWorld is characterized by its theme of marine mammals, daring rides and live shows. Through shows, displays and enclosures people can learn about the world’s oceans and the creatures that inhabit them such as dolphins, killer whales, walruses, penguins and Polar bears. Rides include a flume roller coaster, rafting through the Shipwreck Rapids and a simulated helicopter ride to experience the Wild Arctic. The main attraction however is the Shamu Show, which involves dancing fountains and talented performances by killer whales.

8General Sherman
General Shermanflickr/goingslo

General Sherman is a Giant Sequoia located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in California. 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. With a height of 275 feet the General Sherman tree is the largest of them all. The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.

7Venice Beach
Venice Beachflickr/cam i am

Venice Beach is one of Los Angeles, most popular beaches. The sandy three-mile beach here is just one of the attractions. During the summer season and on weekends, the Ocean Front Walk fills up with street performers and people just doing their thing: biking, rollerskating, swimming, sunbathing, and people watching. Muscle Beach is a special area where fanatic bodybuilders pump iron in a public show of strength.

6Death Valley

Located in the Mojave Desert, Death Valley encompasses much of the Death Valley National Park. Although regarded as the driest and lowest place in North America, Death Valley offers a variety of outdoor activities, historic sites and nature viewing. From snow-capped mountains to colorful sand dunes, the unique desert landscapes of Death Valley are like no other place in California. Places of interests include the scenic area of Zabriskie Point and historic sites like Scotty’s Castle, the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and ruins of ghost towns.

5Disneyland

Located in Anaheim, Disneyland is a world-famous amusement park where Walt Disney movies and characters all come to life in a magical, make-believe kingdom. Featuring thrilling rides, roller coasters, dazzling shows and colorful districts packed with restaurants and shops, Disneyland offers adventure for the whole family. In themed neighborhoods like Main Street, USA, visitors can step back into the early 1900s, visit Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland or meet Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck in Mickey’s Toontown.

4Big Sur Coastline

Stretching about 90 miles along the Central Coast of California is one of the most scenic driving routes in the world. Known as Big Sur, this stunning coastline covers an area between Carmel and the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Most of the 3 million drivers who visit Big Sur every year travel the popular Highway 1 to admire and photograph some of the country’s most dramatic scenery. Attractions along the route include the historic 40-foot Point Sur Lighthouse, Bixby Bridge, which is one of the world’s tallest single-span bridges, and the splendid, 80-foot McWay Falls plunge directly into the ocean.

3Lake Tahoe

Created about 2 million years ago during the Ice Age, Lake Tahoe is one of the largest lakes in the world. The lake is located along the border between California and Nevada. Surrounded by majestic mountains, this popular tourist attraction offers exciting events and activities all year around. In the winter, the main activities are snow skiing, snowmobile riding, snow-tubing and snowshoeing at one of the ski resorts. From spring to fall, visitors can enjoy a host of water sports and other activities like sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, paddle boating and swimming.

2Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridgeflickr/aslakr

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most visited tourist attractions in California and the US. Spanning over the San Francisco Bay for more than a mile, this famous landmark is one of the world’s most photographed bridges. 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. The splendor of this bridge can be experienced by driving, walking, cycling or participating in a walking tour to learn about the rich history of the bridge.

1Yosemite National Park
#1 of Tourist Attractions In Californiaflickr/*~Dawn~*

Spanning an area of more than 760,000 acres in the central eastern part of California, the Yosemite National Park is well-loved for its stunning granite cliffs, Giant Sequoia groves, beautiful waterfalls and diverse animal and plant life. Visitors can hike among the 800 miles of trails, or drive along scenic routes to experience the beautiful landscapes and glimpse wildlife. Attractions include Glacier Point, with incredible views of the Yosemite Valley, the nature center and Yosemite Museum and historic places like the LeConte Memorial Lodge and the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Map of Tourist Attractions In California

11 comments

  1. Joselyn Seifer

    Well, I guess we’ve seen about half of the major attractions so far anyways. The kids’ favorite is of course Disneyland. I love Yosemite, and it looks like we’re going to have to go see old “General Sherman.” That tree is huge!

  2. DavyRay

    Big Sur is definitely a must! By the way, your photo for the BIg Sur coastline currently shows Yosemite mountains.

  3. Pretty good list. I’d include the Monterey / Carmel area on the list as well. There’s tons of wildlife, beautiful views, good food and one of the best aquariums in the world. Also, I want to note that there’s a lot more to do in Sequoia, and neighboring Kings Canyon National Parks , than just visiting General Sherman. General Sherman is impressive but I found other parts of the parks much more interesting and less crowded. My wife and I have written extensively about the California nature scene on our travel blog: triptwitch.com

  4. srian pedibhotla

    awesome

    i obviously love the san diego and disneyland parks, and they are full of imagination and fun

  5. I have been in Redwood National Park.I will also in the near future visit Disneyland with my family.My son will be very happy.

  6. Mikey Fitz

    Okay I’m going to assume this list is geared towards people that don’t get out much. Redwood forest awesome! Big Sur is a must! But please let’s just discuss Sea World, Disney Land and Venice Beach…for all you east coasters Disney Land is a joke compared to Disney World rest assured you will be dissapointed and Venice beach as much as I love it, it’s honestly a s**t hole the water is gross and the boardwalk is basically a tackier version of canal street if such a thing exists and SEA WORLD?! REALLY?! Maybe after we can petition to reopen the roman colosseum…

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