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31 Best & Fun Things To Do In California

California is one of the best travel destinations in the United States.

It might be famous for its glitzy resorts and celebrity sightings, but there’s so much more to the state than its polished, brochure-ready surface.

For example, did you know that it’s also home to some of the most historic landmarks on the west coast?

Were you aware that it’s a melting pot for cultures all over the world?

It also has a stunning range of geographical diversity; it’s filled with mountains, rivers, volcanoes, deserts, forests and wetlands.

There’s a reason why California is one of the top travel destinations for tourists.

Let us prove it to you.

Here are 31 things to do in California and why they’ll rock your socks off!

1. Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Visiting the Hollywood sign is one of the best things to do in California.

Jutting proudly over the cliffs of Hollywood Hills, it’s the single most iconic landmark in cinematic history, and visitors come from all around the world to snap a selfie with its famous white letters.

You’ll have a few options when it comes to reaching the sign.

If you’re outdoorsy, you can hike a trail through the woods that will lead you to a good vantage point.

If you prefer your fun to be a little more air-conditioned, you can hop in an elevator in an observation tower near the cliffs.

There are strict rules for visiting the sign, so don’t expect to get too close.

Just appreciate the opportunity to take vacation photos with such an amazing monument.

If you’re wondering what to do in California, you can’t go wrong with the Hollywood sign!

Address: Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

2. Big Sur

Big Sur, California

Big Sur

With the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, Big Sur is one of the most breathtaking destinations in California.

It’s a scenic drive that will ruin you for all other scenic drives.

The views will range from gentle hills to dramatic waves pounding against the cliffs.

You’ll see bridges, crags, canyons, lighthouses and waterfalls.

The route itself is 90 miles long, but if you want to extend your sightseeing, you can venture into a number of nearby parks, forests, beaches and campgrounds to keep the fun going.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy at these destinations, too.

Take a hike along the Pine Ridge Trail; splash around at Pfeiffer Beach; search for nephrite jade crystals at Jade Cove.

Climb a mountain in the Ventana Wilderness. Go hang-gliding at the Big Sur Village.

The sky is the limit when you visit Big Sur, so it’s definitely a must do in California.

You’ll be able to pack several different vacation experiences into a single trip!

3. Venice Beach Boardwalk

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Known for its vibrant, colorful atmosphere, the Venice Beach Boardwalk is one of the main attractions of California.

There’s always a crowd, and they’re always full of energy.

Jugglers weave around face painters and street musicians; fortune-tellers call out to tourists while food truck owners entice them with sights and smells.

Bodybuilders flex. Skateboarders do tricks. Vendors hawk their t-shirts and key chains.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the Venice Beach Boardwalk, but it’s a good kind of overwhelming.

There’s a lot of fun stuff to do, so it’s just a matter of deciding what interests you the most.

If you’re looking for places of interest in California, the party never stops at the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

There’s a reason why it sees millions of visitors per year.

People are drawn to its energy and vibrancy just like moths to a flame!

Address: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291, United States

4. Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento Historic District

Old Sacramento

Step back in time with a trip to Old Sacramento.

As one of the communities at the forefront of the Gold Rush, it’s been carefully preserved with buildings, railways, museums and memorials that both celebrate and commemorate its role in U.S. history.

Horse-drawn carriages clank down streets that are lined with old-fashioned courthouses and schoolhouses.

A train offers regular rides through the city.

Visitors can check out everything from a centuries-old governor’s mansion to an authentic terminal for the Pony Express.

There are many fun things to do in Sacramento, but there’s something special about its historic district.

Maybe it’s because the Gold Rush was such a defining era of U.S. history, and Old Sacramento was right in the thick of it.

You won’t want to miss this slice of the good old days when the gold was flowing and anyone could strike it rich.

5. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is home to some of the most extreme landscapes in the US.

It’s hot, dry and dangerous, which is exactly how it got its name; many pioneers lost their lives while toiling through its rocky canyons and snake-infested sand dunes in the 1800s.

There’s a kind of rugged beauty to the landscape, however, especially when you visit places like the cracked salt flats of Badwater Basin.

At 280 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest point on the entire continent, and it’s both desolate and dazzling.

You might also enjoy Furnace Creek: It’s recorded the highest air temperatures on the planet.

If you aren’t afraid of rattlesnakes, there are places to go off the beaten path, too.

You can enjoy all sorts of hiking, biking, climbing, camping and stargazing in Death Valley National Park.

In the middle of the desert, you’ll be miles from the lights and air pollution of nearby cities, so the stars will stretch as far as the eye can see.

Consider a trip to Death Valley National Park if you’re looking for cool things to do in California.

Even setting aside its one-of-a-kind views, how often do you get the chance to say that you survived a place called Death Valley?

6. OUE Skyspace

OUE Skyspace

OUE Skyspace

There are lots of cool things to see in Los Angeles, but few will get your heart racing like OUE Skyspace.

It’s one of the tallest observation decks in California, so you’ll already feel the thrill as you ascend to the top, and your nerves will absolutely crackle like pop rocks when you see the transparent glass slide that will take you back down.

It’s perfectly safe, of course; tourists take the slide every day.

You just need a certain amount of courage to send yourself hurdling into the open air with nothing but the blue sky to catch you.

When you’re done tempting fate, there are other things to enjoy at OUE Skyspace as well.

A bar is always stocked for happy hour, and there are frequent music performances and wine tasting events.

There’s even a selfie machine if your smartphone isn’t capturing your best angle at 70 stories high.

OUE Skyspace is a must do when you’re in Los Angeles.

In fact, it’s a must do even when you’re in other parts of California.

Take a side trip to come and marvel at the aerial views of one of the world’s most famous cities.

You won’t regret it!

Address: 633 W 5th St #840, Los Angeles, CA 90071, United States

7. Santa Cruz Vineyards

Santa Cruz Vineyards

Santa Cruz Vineyards

Many people think of Napa Valley when they think of wine, and while that can be a great place to sip a red, it isn’t the only destination in California that will get you buzzed.

Santa Cruz has gorgeous vineyards with lots of tours and tastings, and as a bonus, it’s often less crowded than other parts of “wine country.”

The best vineyard tour for you will depend on the type of experience that you want to have.

If you like casual, laid-back atmospheres, sit on the patio of MJA Vineyards and enjoy live music and conversation.

If you want something a little more rustic, hike into the mountains for a picnic on the grasses of Beauregard Vineyard.

If you’re interested in wine production and its history, Ridge Vineyards has been in operation since before Prohibition.

These are just a few of the best vineyards in Santa Cruz, but there’s a lot more where that came from.

Stomping on grapes is one of the most fun things to do in California, so don’t miss out on this opportunity when you’re traveling on the west coast!

8. Disneyland

If you’re taking your kids to California, it would be a downright crime not to visit Disneyland located in Anaheim.

Not only does it offer all of the games, rides, activities and events that you could ever want from an amusement park, but it will also keep you comfortable with luxury accommodation and cuisine.

There are so many things to see in Disneyland that they could make up an entire list of their own.

From haunted houses to jungle cruises, it’s absolutely jam-packed with entertainment.

Trains will take you throughout the park so that you don’t miss a thing.

When you’re not splashing or shrieking on rides, you can explore various shops, cafes, restaurants, arcades, emporiums and hotels.

Going to Disneyland is on a lot of bucket lists.

If it’s on yours as well, cross it off during your trip to California.

See for yourself why it’s considered the happiest place on Earth!

Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, United States

9. Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu is known for its rich and famous residents, but it’s also gaining popularity as a hot spot for surfers.

People come from all over the state to enjoy its crystal-clear waters and moderate climate, and surf shops are popping up like dandelions along the coast.

It’s okay if you’re a beginner.

Surfers of all ages and skill levels can find a place to practice their alley-oops, and local instructors are available to help you rent a board, master a stance or weather a wipeout.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to have a great time at Malibu Surfrider Beach.

Catching a wave is one of the best things to do in California, so grab your board and shimmy into your wetsuit.

The water is waiting!

Address: 23050 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States

10. Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

Built by an eccentric woman for more than 30 years, the Winchester Mystery House is an architectural oddity that defies explanation.

It’s a gigantic, Victorian-style mansion with literally hundreds of rooms, windows, staircases, corridors and closets, but they don’t follow any kind of design.

The staircases lead nowhere. The doors are oddly shaped and spaced.

Many hallways are more like labyrinths than passageways in a home.

Some people say that its builder, a wealthy widow named Sarah Winchester, came unhinged after the death of her husband.

Others say that she was trying to confuse the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles; her husband was their inventor, and that’s how she inherited so much money.

Some people say that the house is still haunted to this day.

Regardless of the story that you believe, the Winchester Mystery House is a unique, must see destination in California.

If you’re looking for neat things to do in San Jose or the Silicon Valley area, grab your energy reader and go ghost-hunting in one of the most bizarre buildings in the world.

Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

11. San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

With thousands of animals in hundreds of habitats, the San Diego Zoo is the biggest zoo in California.

It houses all of the usual suspects, including lions, gorillas and elephants, but it’s also home to unique species like the pancake tortoise and the clouded leopard.

Some of these creatures are only on display at the San Diego Zoo, so it’s a rare opportunity to see and photograph them in real life.

Visitors to the zoo can hop on a train or ride a gondola skylift to reach different enclosures.

Special events happen on the weekends for kids and couples, including “sunrise tours” before the zoo opens and “wild nights out” that include drinks, music and animal petting.

Are you still planning your vacation from home?

Check out the zoo’s live cams on your smartphone to watch the frolicking of penguins and polar bears.

You can decide if you’re interested in a visit before you even pack your bag.

The San Diego Zoo is easily one of the top things to do in California.

If you want a fun time with your favorite critters, buy a ticket today.

Address: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, United States

Planning a trip to San Diego soon? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in San Diego!

12. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

You’ve probably heard of Alcatraz, the famous penitentiary that housed all sorts of mobsters, gangsters and ne’er-do-wells.

But did you know that you can actually tour the now-closed cell blocks?

They’re some of the top things to see in California, and they’ll provide an incredible experience for people traveling to the Golden State.

The first thing that you’ll need to do is hop on a ferry in San Francisco and ride out to the island.

Once you’re ashore, you’re free to roam the land and check out all of the tourist attractions as you see fit.

The prison is the biggest draw, of course, and there are audio tours of the facility available in multiple languages.

But you can also explore the local lighthouse or the abandoned military fortresses of the island.

There are even collections of rock pools and rare migratory birds for nature lovers.

Visiting Alcatraz Island is one of the best things to do on a California vacation.

How many chances do you get to walk on the same grass as Al Capone, Bumpy Johnson and George “Machine Gun” Kelly?

Take advantage of the opportunity while you can!

Address: San Francisco, CA 94133, United States

13. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

When are you traveling to California?

Are you looking for tourist attractions that are fun and accessible at any time of year?

While some beaches and parks are closed during the off-season, there’s one place where you can always enjoy nature: Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Like the name implies, Lassen Volcanic National Park is built on volcanic land.

It’s dormant, but you can still hike to places with steaming geysers, black lava rocks and bubbling mud pits.

Other sections of the park are covered in flowers in the spring and snow in the winter.

You can indulge in everything from backpacking to alpine skiing depending on the weather.

All things considered, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the biggest points of interest in California.

It provides some of the best sightseeing opportunities in the state, and it’ll keep you busy with its never-ending roster of events and activities.

It’s a top attraction for sure.

14. Solvang

Solvang, California


You don’t have to fly to Europe to experience a European vacation.

In Solvang, Europe will come to you in the form of a quaint, charming little village nestled in a small California valley.

Denmark is its country of origin.

The streets are crowded with bakeries, wineries, chocolate shops and shoe cobblers; the buildings are designed with the red bricks and sloped ceilings of real Danish architecture.

An old-fashioned windmill slowly turns on top of the main square.

If you’re a fan of Hans Christian Anderson, his museum is here.

If you’ve always wanted to try ableskiver pastries or medisterkorv sausage, there are designated “Danish Days” where residents come together to celebrate the music, art, food, fashion and dances of their homeland.

Solvang is one of the best California attractions for lovers of the quirky and unique.

You’ll be transported right back to an 18th-century European village without even having to leave the west coast!

15. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Surrounded by mountains and filled with water so blue that it looks like a child’s crayon, Lake Tahoe is one of the highlights of California.

Not only does it offer stunning panoramas of the local scenery, but its activity roster is packed with fun stuff for families, couples and groups.

A dozen ski resorts are nestled in the mountains for wintertime pursuits.

Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or snowmobile riding, you’ll find it at Lake Tahoe.

Summertime activities include hiking, biking and camping, and when you jump in the water, they expand to swimming, sailing, fishing, kayaking and scuba diving.

Do you feel lucky?

Lake Tahoe straddles the line between California and Nevada, and there are casinos on the Nevada side that are easily accessed via highways.

Are you a fan of arts and culture?

Several mansions and museums are located near the water, and tours are available for curious tourists.

Lake Tahoe is one of the major points of interest of California, so if you’re looking for the best ways to spend a vacation or honeymoon on the west coast, put the lake on your shortlist.

It can fill your weekends with everything from low-key leisure activities to thrilling, death-defying sports, and it’s beautiful to boot!

16. RMS Queen Mary

RMS Queen Mary

RMS Queen Mary

The RMS Queen Mary is a gigantic ocean liner that used to sail the waters between America and Great Britain.

She was retired in the 1960s, but instead of scrapping her for parts, the California government decided to turn her into one of their most unique attractions.

Today, the RMS Queen Mary functions as a hotel, museum, restaurant and shopping plaza that bobs right in the harbor of Long Beach.

There are lots of things to see on the ship.

From ballrooms to workout rooms, there’s a little something for everyone.

You could eat, shop and tour this massive 1,000-foot vessel for an entire weekend without seeing everything that it has to offer.

To experience the best of California, you need to know how to plan a trip with the right accommodation.

Choose the RMS Queen Mary for fun and function under a single roof.

When you’re done fluffing the pillows under your porthole window, you can hit the deck for all kinds of seaside adventures.

Address: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802, United States

17. San Francisco Cable Car Museum

Cable Car Museum

San Francisco Cable Car Museum

You’ve probably seen the iconic cable cars of San Francisco in movies and TV shows.

Few people know, however, that it’s the last manual cable car system in the entire world, and it’s actually considered a “working museum” in its own right.

If you’re interested in the cars, you’ll definitely want to hop aboard during your trip to California.

Since they’re the last of their kind, you won’t get this opportunity anywhere else.

You might also enjoy the San Francisco Cable Car Museum.

It goes into the story and history of the cable car system while also providing an insider look at its mechanics.

You’ll be amazed at the constantly-spinning wheels that pull the levers of the cars!

Try something new with the San Francisco Cable Car Museum.

It isn’t a beach or a casino, but if you’re visiting California and wondering what to do with your time, it can be just as fun.

Address: 1201 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108, United States

Visiting San Francisco soon? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in San Francisco!

18. Glass Beach

Glass Beach

Glass Beach

Glass Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in California, so it might surprise you to learn that it was created by something very ugly: pollution.

Years ago, Glass Beach was a dumping ground for garbage.

It was taken into the ocean and eroded, smoothed and polished until it became something known as “sea glass.”

Sea glass is shaped like natural stone but comes in a dazzling, glittering rainbow of man-made colors.

You won’t believe your eyes when you step on Glass Beach.

With the tide bringing in wave after wave of multicolored sea glass, it’s one of those picturesque tourist attractions where you’ll have to pinch yourself to know that it’s real.

Even photos fail to do it justice; there’s something special about the way that sunlight glitters off the glass.

If you’re wondering what to do during a California vacation, Glass Beach should definitely be on your bucket list.

It’s a place where trash has turned into treasure. You won’t want to miss it.

19. Presidio of Santa Barbara

Presidio of Santa Barbara

Presidio of Santa Barbara

Presidio is a Spanish word meaning “prison” or “fortification,” and it’s used to describe a specific kind of military fortress that was built by Spanish forces during their expansion into the New World.

A well-known example of this architecture is the Presidio of Santa Barbara.

Originally built in the 1700s, the Presidio of Santa Barbara has seen everything from wars to earthquakes.

It’s one of the oldest surviving structures in the state of California, and it’s among the last of the military outposts that were built by Spain on U.S. soil.

Its white adobe bricks are topped with red-tiled roofs.

Its twisting hallways lead to gates, chapels, plazas, kitchens, bedrooms and training rooms.

When you see it, you can’t help but think that it’s a landmark that has been frozen in time; you’ll be able to walk along the same paths as Spanish, English and British soldiers from centuries past.

If you’re looking for things to do in Santa Barbara, consider this well-preserved presidio.

It’s a must see for history buffs, culture lovers and military enthusiasts alike.

Address: 123 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, United State

20. Balboa Fun Zone

Balboa Fun Zone

Balboa Fun Zone

If you love amusement parks but don’t have the time or budget for Disneyland, the Balboa Fun Zone located in Newport Beach is a nice alternative.

It’s a rare “coastal amusement park,” which means that you’ll be treated to ocean views whenever you ride to the top of the Ferris wheel, and you can also partake in unique harbor activities like whale watching or bayside bungee jumping.

Another nice thing about the Balboa Fun Zone is that it’s suitable for all ages.

If you’re traveling to California with kids, they can enjoy carousels, arcade games or gentle ferry rides while mom and dad are shopping or dining nearby.

The whole family can have a good time.

In terms of California attractions, it’s hard to beat the Balboa Fun Zone.

It might not be as large or as impressive as Mickey Mouse’s natural habitat, but it still has tons to offer its visitors, especially when you’re vacationing on a budget.

It’s a very wallet-friendly destination in Orange County.

Address: 600 E Bay Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92661, United States

21. Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park

California is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S., and when you visit Sequoia National Park, you’ll understand why.

From its larger-than-life redwood trees to its glittering underground crystal caves, it will leave you breathless from top to bottom.

The main attraction of the park is its giant sequoia trees.

They’re more than 2,500 years old and 275 feet tall, so humans are the size of ants compared to their trunks.

They’re also quite rare; California is the only place to find their particular species, so the park is a unique chance to see, touch, smell and photograph them.

You can also explore caves, canyons, rivers, granite domes and toppled tree groves in Sequoia National Park.

In the summer, there’s rock climbing and horseback riding. In the winter, there’s skiing and snowshoeing.

Consider a trip to Sequoia National Park if you’re looking for fun things to do in California.

Not only is it a beautiful place, but it’s open 365 days per year, so you’ll never have trouble fitting it into your schedule.

You can be packed up and ready to explore the redwoods as early as this weekend!

22. Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf

Seafood lovers, this destination is for you.

Fisherman’s Wharf lives up to its name by offering freshly-caught and freshly-cooked seafood at a variety of waterfront restaurants.

Not only will you enjoy the view, but you’ll also fill your belly with some of the tastiest dishes in California.

If you like crab, for example, there’s a famous dish in Fisherman’s Wharf that serves crab and clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.

If you can’t get enough lobster, they come dripping with butters, spices, sauces and glazes.

If you’re a fan of catfish, they’ll practically purr on your plate.

Stop by Fisherman’s Wharf if you’ve worked up an appetite during your travels.

It’s one of the best places in California for seafood, and the only bad thing about it is that you might not fit into your pants anymore when you’re done!

Address: Jefferson Street, Between Hyde and Powell Streets, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

23. Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Natural hot springs can be found throughout the cliffs and valleys of California, but the best are tucked away in hot, humid landscapes where the heat and steam can really come together and make you woozy.

One place to enjoy this kind of decadence is Desert Hot Springs.

Located about a half-hour from the more famous Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs is a resort town that’s filled with spas, salons, hotels and mineral springs.

You’ll have your choice of where to get a good soak.

If you’re into luxury living, you can book a suite at a high-class resort with artificial waterfalls and steam rooms.

If you prefer a more rustic experience, you can find a local boarding house with big wooden tubs and heated mineral water drawn directly from the streams.

Consider Desert Hot Springs if you’re looking for fun things to do in Palm Springs and its surrounding areas.

There are more mineral springs here than anywhere else in the U.S., so revel in it!

24. Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

There are a few different Universal Studios in the world, but the one in Hollywood is the most iconic.

After all, Hollywood is where the movies are made, and many attractions at the theme park are dedicated to famous films like Harry Potter and King Kong.

The fun doesn’t stop with fictional characters, however.

Visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood can enjoy rides, slides, studio tours, stunt shows, games, mazes and motion simulators.

You can shop ’til you drop or fling yourself into the sky with roller coasters and aerial carousels.

You can run from zombies or cuddle with kung-fu pandas.

You can even reserve a hotel room or dine on a four-course meal right there in the park.

You don’t have to miss a moment of the action by stepping away!

Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the highlights of California, so book your ticket as soon as you know that you’re headed in that direction.

Don’t wait for this weekend.

It’s an extremely popular destination, so secure your tickets in advance!

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States

25. Burney Falls

Burney Falls

Burney Falls

Once called “the eighth wonder of the world” by Theodore Roosevelt, the power of Burney Falls has to be seen to be believed.

The water rushes from a dozen drop-off points into the lake below, and it runs continuously throughout the year.

More than 375 liters move through the waterfall on any given day.

This is good news for anyone visiting California during the dry season: Burney Falls is never affected by a lack of rain!

Another nice thing about the waterfall is that it’s located within a larger area known as McArthur Burney Falls State Park, so when you’re done with sightseeing, you can go camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking or horseback riding on the nearby nature trails.

If you like climbing, you can also haul yourself to the top of several different observation points for panoramic views.

The beauty of Burney Falls will take a long time to fade from your memory.

It might even linger forever. For this reason and many others, we consider it one of the best things to do in California.

Address: Highway 89, Burney, CA 96013, USA

26. Anza Borrego Desert

Anza Borrego Desert

Anza Borrego Desert

The Anza Borrego Desert is technically part of the Colorado Desert, but since the dry, prickly landscape stretches across California’s borders, you can visit it without actually stepping foot into the other state.

It’s a fun way to play with your map while you journey into the sandy recesses of the wild west.

As for the highlights of the desert, it depends on what you’re in the mood to see.

If you’re a naturalist, you’ll be fascinated by the catclaws and manzanitas that flourish despite the conditions of the earth.

If you’re fascinated by foreign cultures, the desert is close to several Native American reservations.

The Anza Borrego Desert is also home to metal art sculptures that draw thousands of curious visitors each year.

They range from mythical dragons to abstract geometric shapes, so they’re always worth a look.

If you’re looking for the top attractions in California and Colorado, consider the Anza Borrego Desert.

It’s cool, unique and multicultural, so it’s one of the best finds in two separate states.

Address: 200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004, United States

27. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Stepping into the Monterey Bay Aquarium is like submerging yourself in the deepest, most mysterious parts of the ocean.

It isn’t a rinky-dink pet store where you watch goldfish swim around in circles.

It boasts massive, multi-story tanks that hold back millions of gallons of water and are larger than apartment buildings, and more than 35,000 sea creatures call them home.

The animals range from cute little starfish to deadly hammerhead sharks.

While most of the creatures live in the water, there are also birds, penguins, amphibians and crustaceans on land.

Visitors can explore the dark, shadowy corridors with the gigantic tanks above them and beside them.

They can also step outside to the observation decks that overlook the bay; many free-range animals can be seen splashing in the water and staring curiously at tourists.

If you’re wondering what to see in California, consider the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Between its size, scale and biodiversity, it’s definitely one of the top 10 destinations in the state.

Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, United States

Ready to travel to Monterey? Don’t miss our list of the best things to do in Monterey!

28. Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island

Located a few miles off the coast of California, Anacapa Island offers one of the most authentic nature trips that you’ll ever take.

There are no roads, bridges or airports, and it doesn’t have any stores, restaurants, hotels or shopping malls.

Public bathrooms are few and far between. Public phones are nonexistent.

You won’t even find bottled water on the island; you’ll need to bring your own food and drink.

If you’re looking for the best hike of your life, however, Anacapa Island is the place to be.

Its untouched wilderness is a marvel in today’s world of commercialized parks and gardens, and its views are some of the most stunning in California.

It will allow you to get in touch with nature in a way that simply isn’t possible in busier, less remote places.

Anacapa Island isn’t for everyone.

If you’re a person who enjoys the conveniences of modern living, you might want to give this destination a pass.

But if you don’t mind losing cell service in the pursuit of something new, give Anacapa Island a try!

29. Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

If you’re planning a trip to California and wondering what to do with your time, Turtle Bay Exploration Park will check off a lot of boxes.

It combines various elements of a museum, arboretum, botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary, so there’s always something new and exciting to check out.

The nature sections have everything from flower meadows to butterfly gardens.

The museum is home to photos, samples, artifacts, hands-on exhibits and viewing tanks for marine life.

The “forest camp” is outfitted with playgrounds and water features, and an amphitheater has live animal shows on the weekends.

When you can’t decide where to go on vacation, go to a place that has it all.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park can keep you entertained for days, so it’s definitely worth a spot on your list of California attractions.

Address: 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96003, United States

30. Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie State Historic Park

Another relic of the Gold Rush, Bodie is a former boom town that grew quickly and noisily when people flooded it in an attempt to get rich.

The population dried up when the gold did, and the economy never recovered.

The good news is that Bodie now functions as an amazing ghost town.

Its homes, parlors, mills and saloons have been carefully preserved like flies in amber, and tourists can explore the empty buildings and see what life was really like at the turn of the century.

Tours are available by request.

An on-site museum is filled with photos and artifacts to flesh out the community and its former residents.

If you’re curious about the Gold Rush, Bodie State Historic Park is one of the best places to learn about it.

It’s also fun even if you aren’t a history buff!

Ghost towns are always fascinating, so get ready to shiver with a trip to Bodie.

Address: CA-270, Bridgeport, CA 93517, United States

31. Legoland California

Legoland California

Legoland California

Last but certainly not least, Legoland located in Carlsbad is something that you’ll want to cross off your California bucket list.

It’s such a famous attraction that it’s always ranked as one of the top destinations in the state by travel agencies!

What can you do at Legoland?

A better question is what you can’t do.

From dinosaur rides to safari treks, there’s something crazy and colorful around every corner.

Kids can splash in pools, operate robots, drive miniature cars and hit each other with foam.

There’s an aquarium for animal lovers and musical instruments for aspiring stars.

There’s honestly no limit to the fun, and you don’t have to be a child to enjoy it.

Legoland is one of the biggest points of interest in California, so don’t hesitate to get on the phone and book your reservation.

You won’t want to miss out on a place that satisfies more than three million visitors per year.

Address: 1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To California

These are just a few of the most fun things to do in California.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which attractions and activities are the best for your family.

You can have a wonderful time in the Golden State; you just have to plan it right!