Experience the 30 Best Things To Do in California - LaJolla.com

Experience The 30 Best Things To Do in California

This post is part of our Best Dispensary in San Diego series, sponsored by The Healing Center San Diego.

Ah, California. There is no place quite like it.  The Golden State is where stunning landscapes, iconic attractions, and endless adventures await, and there is never an end to things to do in California. Explore natural wonders like Yosemite National Park and the redwoods of Muir Woods. Have fun with friends at Disneyland or vibrant cities like San Francisco. Couples can enjoy romantic sunsets on Santa Monica Pier or indulge in wine tasting in Napa Valley. Families can create lasting memories at Disneyland or the California Science Center. Undoubtedly, there are oodles of fun things to do in California, and there is always something for everyone.  From breathtaking landmarks to family-friendly activities, we’ve curated some of the best solutions to that common question, what to do in California?  So, let’s get cracking with these amazing destinations, discover diverse experiences, and make unforgettable memories.

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Best California Attractions

Some California attractions simply ooze with Cali style, flavor, and energy.  These iconic destinations have been loved by locals and tourists alike for decades.  Why not step into history as well as excitement with these tried-and-true, classic destinations.  

Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco)

One of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge is the focal point for breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. Its magnificent red-orange color and stunning architecture make it an engineering marvel and a must-visit attraction.  

Address: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA 94129. 

Website: www.goldengate.org.

Yosemite National Park

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers unparalleled beauty and outdoor adventures, from awe-inspiring granite cliffs and cascading waterfalls to pristine meadows and ancient sequoia groves. 

Address: Yosemite National Park, CA 95389. 

Website: www.nps.gov/yose.

Disneyland Resort (Anaheim)

Image courtesy of IG @disneyland

Enter the magical world of Disneyland, where dreams come true. Experience thrilling rides, meet beloved Disney characters, and explore enchanting lands at this iconic theme park. The resort also includes Disney California Adventure Park and an incredible wealth of dining and entertainment options.  

Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802. 

Website: www.disneyland.disney.go.com.

Hearst Castle (San Simeon)

Journey back in time at Hearst Castle, a grand estate built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Marvel at the luxurious architecture, opulent interiors, and extensive art collection during guided tours of this remarkable landmark. 

Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452. 

Website: www.hearstcastle.org.

Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica)

Enjoy a classic California beach experience at Santa Monica Pier. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, play arcade games, savor delicious treats, and stroll along the sandy shore. The pier also offers mesmerizing ocean views and entertaining street performers. 

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401. 

Website: www.santamonicapier.org.

Hollywood Walk of Fame (Los Angeles)

We all know there are tons of things to do in Los Angeles, and walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the classic activities. Walk in the footsteps of celebrities along the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. Admire the famous pink stars embedded in the sidewalk, honoring legends from the entertainment industry, and soak in the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown. 

Address: Hollywood Blvd & Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Website: www.walkoffame.com.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Discover the stunning natural beauty of Point Reyes National Seashore, a coastal sanctuary teeming with diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Enjoy scenic hikes, spot migrating whales, explore picturesque lighthouses, and marvel at the dramatic coastline. 

Address: Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. 

Website: www.nps.gov/pore.

Things to Do in California for Couples

Sharing a glass of wine while savoring smashing ocean views. Sharing a smooch while strolling any number of beaches along the Pacific coast.  Hiking magnificent trails or crisping up marshmallows over a toasty bonfire.  There’s no end to things to do in California for couples, and here are a few ideas.

Napa Valley

Image courtesy of IG @visitnapavalley

Indulge in a romantic getaway in the picturesque Napa Valley, known for its world-class wineries and stunning vineyards. Take leisurely wine tours, savor exquisite cuisine, and enjoy breathtaking views of rolling hills. 

Address: Napa Valley, CA. 

Website: www.visitnapavalley.com.

Big Sur

Embark on a scenic road trip along the stunning coastline of Big Sur. Marvel at dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, and majestic redwood forests. Experience the tranquility of nature, explore hiking trails, and enjoy intimate moments with your partner amidst breathtaking vistas. 

Address: Big Sur, CA. 

Website: www.bigsurcalifornia.org.

Santa Barbara

Fall in love with the charming coastal city of Santa Barbara. Stroll hand in hand along the romantic Stearns Wharf, explore the enchanting Santa Barbara Mission, and relax on the beautiful beaches. The city’s Mediterranean-inspired architecture and vibrant arts scene add to its allure. 

Address: Santa Barbara, CA. 

Website: www.santabarbaraca.com.


Experience the idyllic charm of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a quaint seaside village known for its fairytale-like cottages and pristine beaches. Wander through art galleries, enjoy wine tasting, and take romantic walks on Carmel Beach. Don’t miss the scenic drive along the 17-Mile Drive, showcasing breathtaking coastal views. 

Address: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. 

Website: www.carmelcalifornia.com.

Catalina Island

Escape to Catalina Island, a romantic paradise just off the coast of Southern California. Enjoy activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking, or simply relax on the island’s beautiful beaches. Explore charming Avalon with its boutique shops and waterfront dining, or opt for a more secluded experience in the rustic village of Two Harbors. 

Address: Catalina Island, CA.

Website: www.visitcatalinaisland.com.

La Jolla

Image courtesy of IG @lajolla.ca

Fall in love all over again in the coastal gem of La Jolla. If you want to embrace the natural beauty of the rugged coastline, visit the famous La Jolla Cove, and take a romantic sunset stroll along the cliffs. Enjoy upscale shopping, dine at oceanfront restaurants, and explore the enchanting underwater world at the Birch Aquarium.  

Address: La Jolla, CA. 

Website: www.lajollabythesea.com.

Lake Tahoe

Escape to the breathtaking beauty of Lake Tahoe, a pristine alpine oasis nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This natural marvel will provide you with heaps of invigorating activities such as hiking, skiing, or simply relaxing by the lake. The region offers charming mountain towns, luxurious resorts, and panoramic views that create an ideal setting for a romantic retreat.  

Address: Lake Tahoe, CA. 

Website: www.visitinglaketahoe.com.

Fun Places to Go With Friends in California

Just when you think we’ve exhausted all the possibilities – just wait – because there are more electrifying and fun places to go with friends in California.  From surfing to 4×4 bajaing, and backpacking to enjoying sensational entertainment, Cali has everything you and your friends can enjoy.  Oh, and while you’re planning your outing with pals, don’t forget to see our friends at The Healing Center San Diego where you can pick up all your cannabis products to make your adventures a truly elevated experience.

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Venice Beach (Los Angeles) 

Experience the vibrant and eclectic atmosphere of Venice Beach. From strolling along the iconic boardwalk and people-watching to skateboarding at the Venice Skate Park, this beachfront destination offers a mix of art, street performers, and lively energy. 

Address: Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA 90291. 

Website: www.visitveniceca.com.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Have a blast at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a classic seaside amusement park. Enjoy thrilling rides, indulge in delicious fair food, play games, and sit happily in the sun on the beautiful beach. The lively atmosphere and nostalgic charm make it an ideal spot for a fun-filled day with friends. 

Address: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. 

Website: www.beachboardwalk.com.

Lake Shasta

Head to Lake Shasta for a memorable outdoor adventure. Rent a houseboat and spend a few days cruising, swimming, and enjoying water sports on the lake. With stunning scenery and the opportunity to explore hidden coves and islands, Lake Shasta is a perfect destination for friends seeking a fun and relaxing getaway. 

Address: Lake Shasta, CA. 

Website: www.shastalake.com.

Alcatraz Island (San Francisco)

Image courtesy of IG @hellocalifornia

Embark on a fascinating journey to Alcatraz Island, the infamous former federal prison. Take a guided tour of the prison cells, learn about the island’s history, and enjoy breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline. This unique experience offers a mix of history, mystery, and stunning vistas. 

Address: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133. 

Website: www.nps.gov/alca.

Joshua Tree Music Festival

Join the lively and eclectic Joshua Tree Music Festival held in the scenic desert region of Joshua Tree. Enjoy live music performances from various genres, participate in yoga classes and workshops, and camp under the starry sky. This festival uniquely blends music, community, and outdoor experiences. 

Address: Joshua Tree, CA. 

Website: www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com.

Pacific Beach (San Diego)

Soak up the sun and embrace the beach vibes at Pacific Beach. Enjoy a day of beach activities, rent bikes or rollerblades along the boardwalk, and indulge in the vibrant nightlife scene. With its lively atmosphere, trendy bars, and stunning coastal views, Pacific Beach is a favorite spot for friends to hang out and enjoy the California beach lifestyle. 

Address: Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA 92109. 

Website: www.sandiego.gov/pacific-beach.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Experience the magic of movies at Universal Studios Hollywood. Take thrilling rides, explore behind-the-scenes tours, and immerse yourself in the world of your favorite films. From Hogwarts at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the iconic Studio Tour, this theme park offers friends an unforgettable day of fun and entertainment. 

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. 

Website: www.universalstudioshollywood.com.

Things to Do in California with Kids

When it comes to what to do in California with your kids, be prepared to be equally impressed. Why? Because Cali is a mecca for kids of all ages.  No matter what type of child you have – nerdy to artsy, nature-loving kids to sports enthusiasts Cali has something for them. Check out some of these fabulous destinations you and the kids will absolutely fall in love with.

California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco)

Explore the world of science and nature at the California Academy of Sciences. This interactive museum features a planetarium, aquarium, and rainforest exhibit, providing kids with hands-on learning experiences. 

Address: 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118. 

Website: www.calacademy.org.

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Image courtesy of IG @purplemuseum

Ignite curiosity at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, where kids can engage in interactive exhibits, arts, and hands-on activities. 

Address: 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110. 

Website: www.cdm.org.

LEGOLAND California Resort (Carlsbad)

Enter a world of LEGO-themed adventures at LEGOLAND California Resort. Kids can immerse themselves in creativity and fun from exciting rides to LEGO building stations. 

Address: One LEGOLAND Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008. 

Website: www.legoland.com/california.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Dive into an underwater wonderland at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. With captivating marine exhibits and interactive displays, kids can discover fascinating sea creatures and learn about ocean conservation. 

Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940. 

Website: www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Famous California Landmarks 

You don’t have to look far to find some of the area’s most visually stimulating, soulfully expressive sites. The expansive bounty and natural majesty give vacationers, locals, and tourists tons of things to do in California.  Don’t believe us? Check out these iconic landmarks and landscapes for yourself, and you’ll be converted.

The Hollywood Sign (Los Angeles): 

A renowned symbol of the entertainment industry, the Hollywood Sign is perched high on the hills of Hollywood. Take a hike or find a scenic viewpoint to capture stunning photos with this iconic landmark as the backdrop. 

Address: Mount Lee, Los Angeles, CA 90068. 

Website: www.hollywoodsign.org.

The Painted Ladies (San Francisco)

Image courtesy of IG @themakeitroom

Admire the picturesque Victorian houses known as the Painted Ladies, a row of colorful and ornately decorated homes. Located across from Alamo Square Park, these iconic residences offer a glimpse into San Francisco’s architectural charm. 

Address: Steiner St & Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94117.

Griffith Observatory (Los Angeles)

Visit the Griffith Observatory for stunning views of the city, a chance to explore space and science exhibits, and even observe celestial bodies through telescopes. It offers a blend of educational experiences and awe-inspiring views of the Los Angeles skyline. 

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. 

Website: www.griffithobservatory.org.

The Winchester Mystery House (San Jose)

Delve into the mystery and architectural oddities of the Winchester Mystery House. Explore the sprawling mansion with its maze-like design, secret passages, and peculiar features, said to be built to appease restless spirits. This quirky and enigmatic landmark offers a fascinating glimpse into the eccentricity of its former owner, Sarah Winchester. 

Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128. 

Website: www.winchestermysteryhouse.com.

In conclusion, we hope we’ve addressed all your questions about what to do in California. To be sure, this state is a treasure trove of experiences that cater to every traveler’s desires. From awe-inspiring natural wonders to iconic landmarks and vibrant cities, the Golden State offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, family fun, or romantic escapes, California’s diverse attractions and activities will leave you captivated. So pack your bags, embark on a journey of a lifetime, and let California’s sun-soaked landscapes and endless possibilities create memories that will last a lifetime.

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