Touropia Logo

Touropia Travel Experts

Discover the World

10 Top Tourist Attractions in California

' src=

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 .

10. Redwood National Park [SEE MAP]

Redwood 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.

9. SeaWorld San Diego [SEE MAP]

SeaWorld San Diego

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.

See also: Where to Stay in San Diego

8. General Sherman [SEE MAP]

General Sherman

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.

7. Venice Beach [SEE MAP]

Venice Beach

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.

6. Dante's View - Death Valley [SEE MAP]

Dante's View

Set high on top of the Black Mountains, Dante’s View is a terrace that offers stunning views of Death Valley. This unique valley is home to the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin, as well as to the hottest and driest areas in North America. How hot is Death Valley? Well, temperatures in Death Valley’s Furnace Creek once reached a sizzling 134 degrees °F (57 °C).

Because temperatures can be so extreme in Death Valley, travelers are advised visit Dante’s View early in the morning, especially during the hottest months of the year.Travelers who visit Dante’s View on a clear day may be able to see Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the contiguous United States, and Mt. Whitney, the highest point.

5. Disneyland [SEE MAP]

Disneyland

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.

4. Big Sur Coastline [SEE MAP]

Big 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.

3. Lake Tahoe [SEE MAP]

Lake 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.

2. Golden Gate Bridge [SEE MAP]

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco 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.

See also: Where to Stay in San Francisco

1. Tunnel View - Yosemite National Park [SEE MAP]

#1 of Tourist Attractions In California

Located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central eastern California, Tunnel View is an overlook where visitors can enjoy amazing views of El Capital, Bridalveil Falls, Half Dome and the gorgeous Yosemite Valley.

The overlook, which was first built in 1993, was renovated in 2008. Tunnel View is very popular with park visitors, and it attracts between 5,000 and 7,000 visitors a day during the tourist high season. Travelers can find Tunnel View at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel off of Wawona Road.

Email Signup

Share this post:

california tourist attractions map

12 Most Beautiful Lakes in California

california tourist attractions map

20 Best Places to Visit in California

california tourist attractions map

15 Best Cities to Visit in California

california tourist attractions map

10 Best Beaches in California

california tourist attractions map

10 Most Beautiful National Parks in California

california tourist attractions map

12 Most Charming Small Towns in California

california tourist attractions map

11 Most Amazing Hotels in California

Most Beautiful Regions in California

10 Most Beautiful Regions in California

Where to Stay in Napa Valley

Where to Stay in Napa Valley: Best Towns & Hotels

Free Things to Do in San Diego

15 Free Things to Do in San Diego, California

Reader interactions.

' src=

May 16, 2017 at 8:50 am

great I used to live in California great place but they should add Lego land

' src=

May 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm

We are from Europe and we love San Diego, and do not like Disneyland !!! Santa Monica nothing special , beach, like all beaches in California, they all good.

' src=

October 30, 2016 at 7:51 pm

You missed such interesting places as Slab City and the nearby Salton Sea — not commercialized or publicized, but therein lies much of their fascination. Only a two- to three-hour drive from San Diego, and a vastly more interesting experience, away from the massed crowds

' src=

April 13, 2015 at 6:01 pm

planning our trip (June 2016) from Michigan to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and finally to Yosemite before returning home. Want to take in as much as we can in our 30 days. California sure looks like the place to spend extra time in.

' src=

July 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

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…

' src=

June 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

this is very good info for a first time visit to California

' src=

June 17, 2014 at 11:07 pm

had an amzing time at disney land and at the national park 😉 thanks for the most fun!!

' src=

May 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

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.

' src=

May 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm

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

' src=

March 1, 2014 at 5:07 am

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

' src=

February 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Hopefully soon I could explore any of these listed attractions in California. My kids will be thrilled about Disneyland.

' src=

January 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

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!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Learn California

Map of California With Attractions: Explore Hotspots!

map of california with attractions

California is a diverse and vibrant state, offering a wide range of attractions for visitors to explore. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural experiences, or thrilling adventures, California has it all. From iconic sights to hidden gems, a map of California with attractions is your ultimate guide to discovering the best experiences in the Golden State. With this curated map, you can easily plan your perfect California vacation or weekend getaway, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any of the must-see hotspots. So, let’s dive in and explore the top attractions that California has to offer.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • California offers a wide range of attractions for visitors to explore
  • A map of California with attractions serves as a guide to discovering the best experiences in the state
  • Plan your perfect California vacation or weekend getaway using the curated map
  • Don’t miss out on the must-see hotspots and hidden gems
  • Explore the diverse and unforgettable attractions that California has to offer

Discover Natural Wonders and Scenic Spots

California is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and there are plenty of scenic spots and natural wonders to explore. Whether you’re seeking stunning coastlines, towering trees, or dramatic landscapes, California has something for everyone.

One of the most iconic scenic spots in California is Big Sur, located along the picturesque coastline. The rugged cliffs, turquoise waters, and panoramic views make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

If you’re looking for a truly awe-inspiring experience, head to Sequoia National Park where you’ll find the towering sequoia trees. These giants are among the largest and oldest trees in the world, and a walk among them is an unforgettable experience.

For a unique adventure, visit Death Valley, known for its otherworldly landscapes and extreme conditions. From vast salt flats to colorful sand dunes, this national park offers a captivating and surreal environment.

Another scenic gem in California is Lake Tahoe, a picturesque alpine lake surrounded by majestic mountains. Whether you visit in summer or winter, Lake Tahoe offers an abundance of outdoor activities and breathtaking views.

No visit to California is complete without exploring Yosemite National Park. With its iconic granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and pristine wilderness, it’s a paradise for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers.

From north to south, California’s scenic spots offer diverse landscapes that will leave you in awe. So, grab your California tourist attractions map and embark on a road trip to discover the best places to visit in California .

scenic spots in california

In the next section, we’ll delve into the vibrant cities and cultural attractions that California has to offer.

Experience the Vibrant Cities and Cultural Attractions

In addition to its natural beauty, California is home to vibrant cities and cultural attractions that are worth exploring. From the bustling streets of Los Angeles to the iconic landmarks of San Francisco, these cities offer a unique blend of history, art, and entertainment. Discover the glamour of Hollywood, explore the vibrant neighborhoods of San Diego, and immerse yourself in the diverse cultural scene of San Francisco.

california attractions map

  • Experience the glamour of Hollywood and visit the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can find the stars of your favorite celebrities.
  • Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of San Diego, such as the historic Gaslamp Quarter and the trendy North Park.
  • Immerse yourself in the diverse cultural scene of San Francisco by visiting the famous Golden Gate Park, the vibrant Mission District, and the historic Chinatown.

Whether you’re interested in art, history, music, or cuisine, California’s cities have something for everyone. Visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles to see world-class art collections, or explore the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco for contemporary masterpieces. Don’t forget to sample the delicious cuisine that California is known for, from the fresh seafood in San Diego to the farm-to-table restaurants in San Francisco.

With a map of California with attractions, you can plan your itinerary and make the most of your time exploring these vibrant cities and their cultural highlights. So pack your bags, grab your map, and get ready to experience the best of California’s bustling urban centers.

Taste the Flavors of California’s Wine Country

California is renowned for its world-class wines, and a visit to the state would not be complete without exploring its wine country. The Napa Valley and Sonoma County are among the most famous wine regions in California, offering vineyards and wineries that are a delight to explore.

California Wine Country Map

With a map of California’s wine country, you can plan a tasting tour and visit the top wineries in the region. From the picturesque vineyards of Napa Valley to the charming small towns of Sonoma County, these wine regions offer a unique cultural and culinary experience.

Experience the rich history and traditions of wine-making as you stroll through the vineyards, indulge in wine tastings, and learn from knowledgeable sommeliers. Discover the unique flavors and aromas of California wines, from robust reds to crisp whites, and even sparkling varieties.

Not only can you enjoy the exquisite wines, but you can also savor the scenic beauty of the wine country. The rolling hills, lush landscapes, and idyllic countryside create a perfect backdrop for your wine-tasting adventures.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply appreciate good food and wine, California’s wine country is a must-visit destination. With a map in hand, you can navigate the picturesque wine regions with ease and indulge in unforgettable experiences.

Top Attractions in California’s Wine Country:

  • St. Helena Wineries
  • Calistoga Hot Springs
  • Sonoma Plaza
  • Napa Valley Wine Train
  • Healdsburg Plaza
  • Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

With so much to see and taste, a visit to California’s wine country promises a memorable and enjoyable experience for wine lovers and travelers alike.

California is a treasure trove of attractions, offering a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. With a map of California landmarks and points of interest, you can easily navigate the state and discover the best attractions it has to offer. From natural wonders to cultural landmarks, California has something for everyone.

Whether you’re in search of stunning landscapes, exciting adventures, or vibrant cities, California has it all. Explore the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park, witness the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, or soak up the sun on the famous beaches of Los Angeles.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the best attractions in California , such as the renowned Napa Valley wine country or the world-famous Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. With a California travel guide in hand, you can plan your itinerary and ensure that you make the most of your visit to this incredible state.

So, grab your map, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in California. From the top tourist destinations to hidden gems, the Golden State awaits your exploration. Start planning your trip today and prepare to be captivated by the wonders of California.

What are the top tourist destinations in California?

Some of the top tourist destinations in California include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Yosemite National Park, and Napa Valley.

What are the must-see attractions in California?

California is home to many must-see attractions, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland Park, and the Santa Monica Pier.

What are some popular attractions in California?

Some popular attractions in California include the Santa Monica Pier, Alcatraz Island, Griffith Observatory, Hearst Castle, and the La Brea Tar Pits.

What are the best places to visit in California?

There are many amazing places to visit in California , including Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Joshua Tree National Park, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Redwood National and State Parks.

What are the scenic spots in California?

California is known for its scenic beauty. Some of the most scenic spots in California include Big Sur, Death Valley National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast.

What are the best attractions to explore on a California road trip?

On a California road trip, some of the best attractions to explore include the Pacific Coast Highway, Route 66, the Avenue of the Giants, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Joshua Tree National Park.

What are the cultural attractions in California?

California has a rich cultural scene with many attractions to explore. Some of the top cultural attractions include the Getty Center, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Where can I find a map of California attractions?

You can find a map of California attractions online or at visitor centers throughout the state. Many guidebooks and travel websites also offer maps of California with attractions.

What are the top attractions in California wine country?

The top attractions in California wine country include Napa Valley wineries, Sonoma County vineyards, the Castello di Amorosa, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and the Sonoma Plaza.

Related Posts

california road trips

Explore Best California Road Trips – Top Routes!

place to visit in california

Looking For a Place to Visit in California? Go to these Must-See Spots!

san diego visiting places

Top San Diego Visiting Places to Explore

sanfran

Experience the Best of SanFran – Top Attractions & Tips

sonoma california

Discover Sonoma California – Wine Country Charm

california attractions

Top California Attractions | Must-See Gems

travel guide to california

Ultimate Travel Guide to California: Tips & Spots

vacationing in palm springs

Vacationing In Palm Springs: Essential Tips for a Memorable Desert Oasis Escape

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Go Travel California

  • All Articles
  • Los Angeles
  • Santa Barbara
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Monica
  • National Parks
  • Theme Parks

Attractions

26 incredible must-visit california tourist attractions.

Stretching along the Pacific Coast for hundreds of miles, California is filled with redwood forests, massive mountain ranges, and pristine beaches. The state offers breathtaking landscapes, each potentially the perfect setting for the ultimate California road trip .

It’s true that a lot of California’s top rated tourist attractions are nature-made, not man-made, like in other places in the United States. To me, that makes California the perfect place to unplug and get outside, refuel your mind, and leave the stress behind.

Yosemite National Park

There’s plenty to do around this gorgeous state, so strap in and get ready for an action-packed vacation. This guide to the top California tourist attractions will help you plan your next Cali itinerary. Read on to discover the top tourist attractions and the best sights in California.

» Looking for more inspiration along the route? Check out all our guides to San Francisco , Los Angeles , Santa Barbara and San Diego. Find the best beaches in Monterey , waterfalls in Southern California , and national parks.

» Check out these 10 Gold Rush Towns In California To Visit.

Table of Contents

The Best Places to Visit in California – 25 Top Tourist Attractions

1.  disneyland.

Dinosaur bones on the Big Thunder Mountain ride at Disneyland.

A household name around the entire world, Disneyland Resort is split into two renowned theme parks (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure). It’s really THE top attraction in California. And, you don’t have to be a kid to find something amazing there. We go at least once every year to see any new stuff. Check here for the best times to make the trip.

The rides are based on Disney franchises like Toy Story, Cars, and The Pirates of the Caribbean. Its latest addition—Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge—ensures that everyone can geek out regardless of age.

Planning your trip? We’ve got tons of helpful Disney planning guide s from our awesome list of 40 essential tips , to how to get to Disneyland , where to stay near Disney , what to pack , what to wear , where to park , and what to eat in both Disneyland and California Adventure.

2.  Yosemite National Park

yosemite national park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most-visited National Parks in the entire US. It’s an absolute masterpiece of scenic landscapes, mountains, valleys, rivers, and waterfalls.

The park is home to famous sheer granite wall faces that have drawn adrenaline junkies for years. Yosemite is also the home of Mariposa Grove—a stand that holds some of the oldest and largest giant sequoia trees ever.

See our guide to the top sights in Yosemite . Yosemite is an easy day trip from San Francisco , though you will loves the views enough to spend a week.

You can book this day trip from San Francisco to Yosemite for the ultimate trip.     

3.  Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal studios globe

Getting behind the scenes of iconic movies or immersing yourself in the worlds of your favorite franchises is a recurring theme and a great starting point for your next vacation in California.

Get magical at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or go prehistoric in Jurassic World. Sets from these and other famous movies are open to the public. Restaurants live shows, and retail stores here are dedicated to these and many other movies.

Get your Universal Studios General Admission ticket here .

4.  The Hollywood Sign

Hollywood sign

A staple of the Los Angeles landscape is the iconic Hollywood Sign . Viewing the 45-ft tall sign on top of Mount Lee is guaranteed to happen regardless of where you are in the city.

Whether you are simply taking in the scenery of the mountain or getting up close and personal by hiking up through Griffith Park. The sign easily features as one of the top California tourist spots.

See the best Los Angeles has to offer with this full-day iconic LA tour . Did you know that there’s a hike you can take to the Hollywood sign. See this and other great Southern California hikes.

5.  Big Sur

Bixby Bridge

A picturesque stretch of road, Highway No. 1 starts a few miles from Carmel and the great beaches of Monterey and winds its way to Salmon Cove. This piece of road-trip heaven bears the title of ‘Big Sur’.

Driving this road with epic views of the coast will soon become your next favorite place to see in California. Set right in the middle of sandy beaches and teeming forests, Big Sur delivers epic scenes such as McWay Falls, Bixby Creek Bridge, and Pfeiffer Beach.

Make this part of a larger Northern California road trip to see it all.

6.  Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

As one of the best cities in California , San Francisco does quite throw around its weight as one of the top tourist attractions in California already. The Golden Gate Bridge is California sightseeing at its best.

The bridge is so iconic a landmark that it instantly comes to mind whenever anyone thinks of America. Truthfully pictures of the bridge do not do it justice. The vermilion orange giant set against San Francisco Bay needs to be experienced firsthand.

With so many great things to do in San Francisco , it should definitely be on your California itinerary.

Book a tour of the bay around the bridge here .

7.  San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo holds the title of the most popular zoo in the entire US. It draws nearly four million people annually, and it’s easy to see why.

The zoo is home to over 650 species of animals, which are displayed in the many varying sections of the zoo. These include Africa, Australia, the tropics, and the arctic.

Get your day pass tickets here .

As long as you’re going to be in San Diego, you should also see all the other things that make this city great for visitors, like the USS Midway museum.

8.  Lake Tahoe

california tourist attractions map

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe offers you something to do no matter the time of year .

In and around the lake, you can look forward to activities like hiking , mountain biking, boating, and more. That’s just for summer . During the winter months , skiing and snowboarding take the limelight.

Get the best Lake Tahoe experience with this 2-hour sailing cruise.

9. Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is home to a whopping 12,000 creatures native to the Pacific. With over 100 exhibits, you can look forward to seeing everything from frogs to giant deep-sea denizens such as Leopard sharks.

Considering the Pacific is the most diverse ocean, this aquarium showcases the widest variety of ocean life in the US, and you can book your admission ticket here .

10. Joshua Tree National Park

willow hole

Joshua Tree is a massive 800,000-acre national park made up of giant boulders, rock formations, and desert landscapes. It’s filled with a variety of places to visit, such as Keys View and the Cholla Cactus Garden.

The parks northern entrance is located in Twentynine Palms but it also spans the Colorado desert and the Mojave desert in parts of California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

The landscapes within the park have made it a popular destination for music festivals, camping , hiking, and stargazing opportunities unlike any other. While in the park, be sure to check out Skull Rock, a huge boulder resembling an alien-like skull.

Explore the national park with this driving tour .

11. Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Officially called the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, this incredible 165-room monument was built by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst in 1919.

This modern-day castle’s construction was never completed, even after 28 years. The result of different architectural designers is a blend of different architectural styles, which makes it one of the top tourist places in the State. At one point, it was home to the world’s biggest private zoo. There is still wildlife roaming on the property today.

12. Griffith Observatory

griffith observatory

The stellar Griffith Observatory is the best place if you feel like getting unforgettable glimpses into space. It features a live narrated planetarium show and houses numerous giant telescopes which are open to public use.

Home to the Zeiss Telescope, you can catch unprecedented views of our solar system at the observatory. And, if you’re done inside, Griffith Park surrounds the observatory, which delivers excellent views and hikes of the region.

13. Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park

The national park is home to many giant sequoias, which happen to be the oldest living trees on the planet. Being between 2,000 and 3,000 years old, these trees are a must-see.

Inside the park, there is also Mt. Whitney, which is the highest mountain in the continental US. Whether you want to head there for a hike, to marvel at the massive sequoias, or just find some serenity, this park offers it all.

14. Venice Beach

Venice Beach boardwalk

Venice Beach is one of America’s most famous beaches , with a world-renowned boardwalk. The beachfront stretches for miles, and there are many different recreational areas that line its edges.

Visitors to the beach can enjoy a number of activities as there are basketball courts, skate parks, and volleyball nets available. Venice Beach is also legendary among surfers, with pristine waters and giant waves—perfect for any extreme sports fan.

15. Napa Valley

napa valley wine tasting

Napa Valley is nothing less than stunning. The valley’s many rolling hills, beautiful vineyards, and architecture are incredibly picturesque.

Speaking of vineyards, the Napa Valley is one of the best California wine regions , home to over 400 wineries. Although famous for its wine, there are many other things to do when in Napa. Taking a hot air balloon tour over the area is a must.

Enjoy this Napa Valley wine-tasting tour .

16. Six Flags Magic Mountain

six flags magic mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain will have your heart racing in the ultimate theme park dedicated to as much adrenaline as possible. The park boasts more than 100 rides, of which 19 are solely there to test your mettle and bravery.

The Goliath is one of the longest roller coasters in the world and has a 281-ft descent. The park also has a wide variety of live shows for some good entertainment and great restaurants for when you get hungry.

17. Walt Disney Concert Hall

walt disney concert hall

Music lovers finding themselves in LA can delight in the most acoustically advanced music venue in the world—the Walt Disney Concert Hall .

Not only is the musical nature of the building unlike anything else, but the concert hall is visually stunning. The venue is the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Many internationally famous musicians have also performed intimate and amazing shows here.

18. Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium

You can’t experience one of the best states in America without the joy of going to a Major League Baseball game. Dodger Stadium in LA is the home ground for this national sport.

Get tickets to one of the many games hosted at the stadium, or opt for a tour of the stadium to delve into its history. With seats for 56,000 fans and scenery filled with towering palm trees around the stadium, sports fanatics and scenery-chasers will feel at home.

19. Hollywood Walk of Fame

walk of fame

The globally known 1-mile stretch along Hollywood Boulevard represents over 2,700 of the world’s most famous celebrities. Tour the boulevard with an exciting hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

As if getting up close with the famous stars lining the boulevard isn’t enough, you’re bound to see your favorite celebrity strolling by. Well, technically, you’ll be surrounded by impersonators—but you’d be hard-pressed to find the differences rather than similarities.

20. Dolby Theater

While you’re ‘stargazing’ on Hollywood Boulevard, pay a visit to the Dolby Theater . The pioneer playground for modern innovations in sound and visuals, this theater is one-of-a-kind.

The annual host for the Academy Awards and a popular stage for artists such as Celine Dion, the theater also hosts international performances like Cirque du Soleil. Though you’ll find impersonators on the street, inside the Dolby Theater is where you’ll meet the real celebrities.

21. Santa Catalina Island

Catalina Island

One of the smaller islands off the California coast, this little piece of paradise is a favorite for tourists looking for unique beaches, great hiking , and amazing views.

The island has a rich history and various ways to explore this. Avalon Beach is where you’ll head for crystal clear Pacific waters to snorkel and dive. Heading out onto the sea on a glass-bottom boat is truly fun. You can also visit the Avalon Underwater Dive Park for more fun.

22. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

The notorious Death Valley is a premier spot for sightseeing in California. Salt fields, parched landscapes, sand dunes, mountains, and rock formations make this one of the most inhospitable terrains in the world.

Don’t be scared off, though, as the national park has a distinct beauty to it. Numerous viewpoints and short trails flow through areas such as Stove Pipe Walls, Badwater Basin, and Dante’s View.

23. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz

Escaping from Alcatraz was said to be impossible. Only three inmates were rumored to have done so, but nowadays, there are millions heading toward the prison rather than running from it.

As one of the most popular tourist attractions in California, you can head to the island via a ferry from San Francisco. Once there, you can choose a number of tours to explore the prison. There is much to explore, with locations such as the Warden’s House and the lighthouse.

» Book your tour of Alcatraz here.

24. Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

If you love a good mystery and enjoy some good old-fashioned scares, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is perfect for you. It’s one of the most haunted places in America, and sure to spook any who visit.

Beyond its structural beauty and completely crazy layout and design, the history of the house is what draws crowds. Try your hand at figuring out where all the ghosts come from, but be ready for goosebumps.

25. Cypress Tree Tunnel

Cypress Tree Tunnel

If you’re after something straight from a fairy tale, Point Reyes is your go-to. Featuring locations such as the Cypress Tree Tunnel , where you might want to get some peace and quiet or snap the most striking social media shots, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The trees down this tunnel interlock, creating a perfect cove of tree trunks lining an eerily whimsical walkway.

26. Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is a majestic and often underrated gem nestled in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. As a first-time visitor, you’re about to embark on an adventure through one of America’s most stunning natural landscapes.

Encompassing a vast expanse of over 460,000 acres, Kings Canyon is renowned for its dramatic scenery that includes deep valleys, soaring mountains, and ancient giant sequoias. The park is divided into two main areas: the Grant Grove, home to the iconic General Grant Tree, one of the world’s largest living trees, and Cedar Grove, located in the heart of the canyon.

The park’s namesake, Kings Canyon itself, is one of the deepest canyons in North America, rivaling the more famous Grand Canyon in depth. The rugged terrain, dotted with serene meadows and powerful waterfalls, is a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts. You’ll find trails ranging from easy strolls through sequoia groves to challenging backcountry treks in the High Sierra.

Final Thoughts on these California Tourist Attractions

It’s impossible to capture everything that makes California a traveler’s paradise, and even more difficult to choose just a few highlights. No matter what you want to do or hope to experience during your trip to California, there is something for everyone.

Everything from sports, art, nature, science, and adventure, these must-visit California tourist attractions are only a taste of what you can expect. Get ready for a journey like you’ve never had before and head out to the wonderland that is California.

Like this article? Save it on Pinterest so you can find it again. FOLLOW US on Pinterest and Facebook for more California travel inspiration and tips!

Laura in California

Laura is a travel fanatic who loves seeing and doing new things. She lives in Ventura, CA, and spends a lot of time exploring California’s cities, beaches, and national parks.

You might also like:

Bixby Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset

2 thoughts on “ 26 Incredible Must-Visit California Tourist Attractions ”

Awesome, thank you!

You’re welcome!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

15 Places to Visit in Southern California

california tourist attractions map

From sun-soaked beaches to snow-covered peaks, from a crowded amusement park to solitary hikes in a national park, from painted deserts to museums the celebrate street art, from dangling grapevines to towering palms, and from movies sets to stunning sunsets, these are the 15 must-visit spots that make up a quintessential Southern California itinerary when you’re ready to go from California dreaming to planning a dream vacation. 

Courtesy of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board 

Come for the sun, stay for the stars, movie stars, that is. The entertainment industry is usually what first pops into mind when anyone mentions California and Hollywood is at the epicenter of the biz. Film buffs can hunt down locations IRL, find their favorite celebrity on the Walk Of Fame , and ogle the TCL Chinese Theatre ’s foot-printed forecourt. With any luck, you’ll be there on movie premiere day. Hike to the original Bat Cave, Hollywood Sign, and the observatory in Griffith Park. Tour studios like Warner Bros. , Paramount , and Universal . Pop in to admire the recently restored David Hockey pool at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt. Make like Leo and Brad by sipping martinis at the 100-year-old Musso & Frank . Famous graves and summer movies make Hollywood Forever cemetery a worthwhile stop as well. 

Joshua Tree National Park

TripSavvy / Chris VR

With its surreal rock formations and spiky trees, it’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a  Star Trek  shooting location or a Dr. Seuss book when visiting this national park where two desert ecosystems meet, tarantulas and tortoises cross the street, night skies twinkle brilliantly, and influencers take their wide-brimmed hats out bouldering. From Keys View crest, you can see the infamous San Andreas Fault from above. Plan far ahead to get the pick of the campsites litter during high seasons (i.e. when it isn’t a million degrees).  Be sure to explore quirky surrounding towns where hipsters, cowboys, new age practitioners, and retired folks peacefully co-exist and run art galleries, diners, crystal shops, renovated motels , and a kickass all-ages concert venue/saloon called Pappy & Harriet’s .

Santa Barbara

Mark Weber/Visit Santa Barbara

Long the playground of the posh and famous—Oprah, who lives in the community next door, is the area’s patron saint, a gig she seemed to inherit from Julia Child—the picturesque enclave occupies a narrow crescent wedged between soaring ridges and the rollicking sea. It has all the trappings necessary for a successful long weekend: natural beauty, fresh air, pampering accommodations and spas, star-worthy cuisine that takes advantage of local delicacies like uni, finger limes, and spot prawns, arresting Spanish architecture, daily farmers markets, water sports, historical ( the mission , Chumash, cave paintings) and cultural ( Santa Barbara Bowl ) attractions, and shopping (State Street). And did we mention its wine country (see  Sideways ) and urban wine trail , which grow in size and prestige every year.

 Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort 

How could we not include the original Disneyland on this list? It’s the happiest place on Earth after all. Especially after the pioneering 65–year-old theme park added a whole new land, Galaxy’s Edge, inspired by the Star Wars franchise in 2019. Now kids and kids at heart can mingle with Mickey Mouse, Caribbean pirates, the Little Mermaid, Woody, and Kylo Ren all in the same day while stuffing their faces with churros, Tiki Room Dole Whips, and blue milk. Extend your Anaheim stay to experience the companion park, Disney California Adventure (where they serve alcohol!), and the retail/dining district between them.

Brett Shoaf/SanDiego.org

The eighth largest city in the United States is no slouch in the tourism department. Its résumé flaunts 70 miles of scenic coast, 266 days of sunshine annually, the state’s best fish tacos, endless outdoor pursuits and urban delights, the second-ever certified carbon neutral airport in North America, and its hop-notch title as the Craft Beer Capital of America. That was earned with 160 breweries, 55 tasting rooms, a brewers guild, a beer week, various fermentation festivals, tasting tours, and a forthcoming museum. Its very southern positioning allows visitors to border hop to Mexico, by foot no less, for day trips while still hunker down at luxurious resorts like the Hotel del Coronado by night.

Miracle Mile Museum Row

Courtesy of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Learn something along this mid-city stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues encompassing LA’s Museum Row. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is about to get a facelift, but much of its collection remains on display. It’s where Insta icon  Urban Lights , Chris Burden’s installation made of 202 street lamps, resides. The La Brea Tar Pits , still-bubbling pits of black goo where paleontologists have unearthed 3.5 million fossils, and their corresponding museum share LACMA’s complex as will the movie-centric Academy Museum (opening December 2020). Across the street, you’ll find Petersen Automotive Museum , a car collection worth heavy traffic, and the Craft Contemporary for folk art/crafts.

Palm Springs

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

It’s cliché, but true: Palm Springs and the cities that surround it are a FOMO-generating oasis of midcentury masterpieces ( Modernism Week is a design nerd must!), raucous pool parties, funky hotels, that pink door , decadent brunches ( Cheeky’s is a must!), vintage stores, bangin’ music fests, dusk tennis matches, and date shakes in a gorgeous but harsh desert. It’s where cool kid vibes meet old Hollywood glamour and where stressed-out Angelenos, the LGBTQ community, and frostbitten snowbirds seek escape. Downtown and the design district are pedestrian friendly and filled with numerous places to dine, drink, and dance. Craving a more spirited sojourn? Try riding the aerial tramway up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park or a bumpy dusty off-road Jeep tour .

Big Bear Lake

Chris Kaufman/Visit California 

Seeking alpine adventure? Look no further than Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest, a hundred miles northeast of LA. It promises four seasons of fun. Winter brings skiing, tubing, and snowboarding at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit . Spring and summer are perfect for fishing, swimming, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Enjoy leaf peeping and Oktoberfest in autumn. Thankfully, s’mores and cabin chills defy seasonal categorization and can be done in rentals that dot 22 miles of shoreline or at the sleepaway camp chic Noon Lodge . Families can partake in a ropes course, the zoo, escape rooms, bowling, go-karting, and pastries at Sister My Sister Bakery in the village.

Balboa Park

Melanie Stocker/SanDiego.org 

The National Historic Landmark founded in 1868 is San Diego’s Central Park equivalent. (Actually, it’s almost double the size.) Within its 1,400 verdant acres, it boasts 19 gardens, 17 museums and cultural institutions covering science, nature, photography, art, local history, and aviation, 10 dedicated performance venues, the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ, and one gold standard zoo . From Arctic foxes to endangered zebras, it’s easy to spend an entire day admiring the 650-plus species. If the kids still have energy to spare, there’s a miniature train, vintage carousel, and very tall observation tower. A museum dedicated to the city’s annual Comic-Con will soon join the roster. It’s also a great place for a picnic, a round of golf or lawn bowling, or taking a dance class .

Downtown Los Angeles

There was a time, not so long ago, when no one went downtown for fun with any regularity. Not residents, and certainly not tourists. A trip to DTLA usually meant you scored Lakers tickets or a jury duty summons. Now, it’s the most happening part of town, a city center the city has long lacked, with critically acclaimed dines ( Bestia , Majordomo, Guerrilla Tacos ), buzzy watering holes ( Birds & Bees , Everson Royce Bar ), green spaces, street art, immersive experiences, food halls, galleries and retail ( The Last Bookstore ), theaters and music clubs, art museums like The Broad (Yayoi Kusama!), a new soccer club and stadium where matches are pure spectacle, and an explosion of new hotels at a variety of price points ( Wayfarer , The Ace Hotel , InterContinental , Proper ). It also reflects the population’s diverse makeup as its borders engulf Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Latino-heavy Westlake, and districts dedicated to fashion, art, flowers, finance, jewelry, and produce. 

Huntington Beach

Christian Heeb/Visit California 

The name is a bit of a misnomer considering Surf City USA is comprised of five distinct beaches stretching uninterrupted for 10 miles and providing beginners and pros alike with consistent year-round swell. If you’ve ever wanted to learn, it’s a great place to take lessons. Or simply watch the seasoned ride waves under the pier or at summer’s Vans US Open , the world’s largest surf competition. Over at Dog Beach, even pups shred. Further immerse yourself in board culture at the museum, the walk of fame, surf shops, and in diners where surfers tell tall tales over fat breakfast burritos. If hanging 10 isn’t your jam, the wide swaths of sand are perfect for sunset viewing, sandcastle building, barbecues, bonfires, and, of course, long walks on the beach. Camping at Bolsa Chica is fun but so is staying at a resort like Paséa with its beach butlers, hoodie robes, and tranquil spa.

Courtesy of Ojai Trail Riding Company 

There’s something magical about this rural town in the foothills above Ventura. Maybe it’s the bucolic splendor of massive oaks, fragrant citrus groves, the craggy creekbeds, lavender farms, steep surrounding mountains, and clarity of light, which results in a regular sunset spectacle colloquially nicknamed “the pink moment.” Perhaps it’s the unexpected vibrancy of its main street, dining scene, arts programming, and maker community. (You can find local takes on honey, beard oil, craft beer , jewelry, kombucha , candles, toiletries, pottery, olive oil , and dreamcatchers.) Possibly it’s the diversity of lodging that appeals as guests can choose from a historic Five Diamond , upcycled motels , quaint B&Bs, or a collection of Airstreams . Or it could be the simple fact that people still smile at strangers as they pass on sidewalks and the world’s largest open-air bookstore can operate on the honor system. Probably all of the above.

Catalina Island

Carol Highsmith/VisitCalifornia 

Twenty-six miles across the sea, the island of romance with tropical trees and salty air is waiting. So goes the 1957 pop song about of the only developed member of the Channel Islands archipelago. Happy to report not much has changed since chewing gum heir William Wrigley owned the place. There’s still one main town (Avalon) punctuated by a striking 1929 red-roofed Casino, walking is the most used mode of transportation, taffy is sold at the shop where Marilyn Monroe worked, and buffalo, descendants of a herd brought over for a 1920s movie shoot, still roam the backcountry alongside an adorable fox only found here. It’s just now you can see them while on a bio-fueled Hummer safari after zip-lining, scuba diving in crystalline waters, or sipping signature Buffalo Milk cocktails at the beach club.

The Flower Fields At Carlsbad Ranch

Evgeny Yorobe Photography/Courtesy of Visit Carlsbad 

Every spring (approximately March to May), this Oceanside burb in San Diego’s North County explodes in a rainbow of ranunculus rows. The Flower Fields, family run for generations, is 50 acres of social media goals thanks to sunset wine tastings, teas, yoga wagon rides, an orchid greenhouse, a maze, more poinsettia species than you ever knew existed, a vintage playground, and staged vignettes tucked among the blooms. Many of Carlsbad ’s best bars, restaurants and hotel spas create cocktails, dishes, and treatments inspired by the attraction for the annual Petal To Plate promotion. And with the 2020 opening of the destination’s first hotel that overlooks the crops, The Cassara , it has never been easier for petal pushers to maximize their visit.

Venice Beach

Neighboring Santa Monica, Venice became one of California’s original tourist destinations more than 100 years ago when Abbot Kinney used his deep pockets and imagination to construct Italian-inspired canals, islands, a saltwater lagoon with gondolas, shopping colonnades, and a roller coaster. Today, some of the pull is the same—canals with ornate bridges (although not Kinney’s), a pier, grade-A dining, great shopping on the founder’s namesake boulevard, cafes, street performers, and festivals. Other draws came with time as new bohemians, skate punks, bodybuilders, rich folks, artists, and tech bros all claimed the eclectic neighborhood as their own. The intermixing makes for phenomenal people watching, especially along the boardwalk, in front of dispensaries, and at the Muscle Beach gym and skate park.

15 Los Angeles-Area Road Trips and Getaways

48 Hours in Los Angeles: The Ultimate Itinerary

The 15 Best Day Trips From Los Angeles

The Top Golf Courses in Southern California

Best Southern California Family Vacations

The Best Time To Visit San Diego

21 Things to Do in California

Weekend Getaways in California: 34 Trips You Can Take

Fall in California: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Santa Barbara Guide: Trip Planning Basics For The American Riviera

One Day Los Angeles Self-Driving Tour

The 10 Best Day Trips From Palm Springs

Your Trip to San Diego: The Complete Guide

Best Beachfront Hotels in Southern California

Best Places to Honeymoon in March and April

The Top 20 Things to Do in San Diego, California

California Vacation Planning

CA Visitor’s Guide, Maps and Travel Brochures – 2024

Not only will a bit of advance trip planning allow you to get the most out of your visit to California, it can also help you save you money and avoid travel missteps. Below are some resources that will help you get your planning process started.

california tourist attractions map

When you click here , you’ll see an option to choose either a Single or Bulk Order, and underneath that you’ll see links to access Digital versions of the Visitor’s Guide and Road Trips Guide. The digital Visitor’s Guide has been updated for 2024, but at the time of this writing the Road Trips guide is still the 2023 publication.

A 2024 addition to Visit California’s brochure page is the mention of an “Official State Map” — although this appears to only be available to people who request a mailed guide and is not available digitally. We suspect it’s the map that was included in last year’s Road Trips Guide, which frankly is of very limited use for California vacation planning purposes. California is a BIG state to fit on an 8-1/2 x 11-inch page; consequently, it’s very difficult to see any area in detail. As you’ll see in the California Tourism Maps section below, we recommend using Google Maps. Here’s a link to a Google Map of California , and you can use the +/- buttons in the lower, right-hand corner to focus on a specific area of interest.

If you live in the U.S. or Canada and need a printed tourist guide sent to you by mail — updated in 2024 — click on the Single Order option. The next screen presents choices for Language (only English is available at the time of this writing) and Country Version (U.S. or Canada are the present choices). Once you’ve made your selections, clicking the Next button takes you to a screen at which you’ll provide your name and email address and be given an option to subscribe to the state’s email list. When you’ve completed that screen, click Next and a screen for your address details will appear. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll also need to acknowledge consent for them to mail the guide to you and then click the Submit button.

In our experience, processing and delivery within the U.S. can take anywhere from two to eight weeks. If your departure date doesn’t allow for the mail option, you may want to stop at one of the state’s Tourist Information Centers when you arrive.

California Tourist Information Centers

There are California Tourist Information Centers at various locations throughout the state — click here for the list complete with physical location, email addresses and phone numbers — where you can obtain free brochures, maps, attraction offers and lodging information once you arrive in the area.

California Tourism Maps

For each of the California Tourist Guide’s areas (see the navigation buttons at the top of the page) you’ll find a map within an article that provides a general overview of what there is to see and do there. You’ll also find links to maps that have been created by other websites in many of our articles. Most of those maps — some are for self-guided walking tours, others are for wine appellations, etc. — are made available as downloadable and printable pdf files.

When it comes to mapping out a specific route to locations that you plan to visit in California, we always use Google Maps and the associated free smartphone app. One thing worth noting here is that there are areas where you may lose cell phone reception, so if you’re traveling to an off-the-beaten path location it’s a good idea to search for the map(s) you may need before your trip and either take a screenshot or otherwise save them for offline use.

The State also provides online map resources: this one is useful if you’re wondering about current road conditions (weather, accidents, etc.), and here’s a good map for an overview of California cities and highways (again, though, we think Google Maps is the best travel planning resource for all your mapping needs, including accessing information about public transportation options).

Tourism Resources in California Cities

Elton John wax figure at San Francisco CVB

Visitor Information for California National Parks

All of the California National Parks also have facilities to help travelers make the most of their visits. Additionally, in February 2021 the National Park Services released a new smartphone/ipad app wherein you can access maps and information about all the Parks; app details and download access can be found at the preceding link.

Photo of Elton John wax figure at SF Welcome Center by gérard via flickr (Creative Commons).

Similar Posts

California Beaches

California Beaches

The Golden State’s beaches are famous for their variety, and tourists are often surprised at how different the beaches in the north are from those in the south. Where southern beaches are hot, sandy and tropical, northern California beaches are…

California Cities Location Reference

California Cities Location Reference

The California Cities list below can help you determine the area and more specific sub-area in which a particular city is located in the state. Just use your keyboard’s “Find” feature to quickly arrive at the city name that you’re…

California Wineries

California Wineries

California’s viticulture history dates back to the 18th century, when Spanish missionaries planted the first vineyards…

California National Parks

California National Parks

Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park was the first to receive a formal designation in 1872, but some might argue that California was the birthplace of the U.S. National Park Service. This is because President Lincoln’s 1864 signing of the Yosemite Land…

California Culinary Vacation Ideas

California Culinary Vacation Ideas

The World Food Travel Association’s “World Food Travel Monitor 2020” shared that nearly 80 percent of leisure travelers cite food and drink experiences as important to their trip enjoyment, adding that such experiences are even more important to them now…

California Convention and Visitors Bureaus

California Convention and Visitors Bureaus

The conventions and visitors bureaus listed below are available to help you with your California vacation planning. Some even have destination brochure-magazines available that they are happy to mail to you! The list is arranged by area in alphabetical order….

Visit California

California Attractions Map – Things to do in California

california tourist attractions map

If you’re planning a trip to California and you haven’t been before, you probably need some help in planning where to go and what to see. There is a wide variety of things to do in California.  Big cities, beautiful national parks, and scenic drives.  It can sometimes be confusing to decide what to do, especially if you have a limited amount of time. A picture is worth a thousand words, that’s why we’ve built the perfect California Attractions Map.

Planning a multi-week trip can sometimes involve days or weeks of research. Our new California attractions map takes the complexity out of planning your trip to California. Using customized Google Maps you can quickly see all the greatest things to do in California. Easy to see icons on the map indicate the location of all the most popular attractions in California.

map of california attractions

Click on any icon and you will see summary information on the attraction.  The More Details link will allow you to get more information quickly. The link will take you to the authoritative page on the attraction.  For example, the link in the image below would take you to the National Park Service information page on Glacier Point .

California attractions detail

You can also get directions to the attraction by clicking the Get Directions link. This will provide turn by turn directions from your current location or another selected location. 

California Attractions map directions

You can easily zoom in or zoom out on the map to see exactly where things are located.  The map will also show how close some attractions are to each other.

Regardless if you are planning a trip to one of the big cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, or planning a trip to the great National Parks like Yosemite or Sequoia, there’s no easier way to plan your travel and discover all the best things to do in California.

Go to our California map to get started with your planning!

Share this:

  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

Notify me of new posts by email.

california tourist attractions map

12 Epic Things To Do In Northern California [Map Included]

We spent months exploring Northern California and fell in love with it. From the natural beauty of the waterfalls, volcanos and lava tube caves to the outdoor activities there is an abundance of epic things to do in Northern California .

Burney Falls in Northern California

We will cover things to do in Yosemite National Park , the fun things to do in San Francisco , the amazing things to do in Redwood National Park and the epic things to do in Lake Tahoe along with our favorite brewery, the best waterfall in California (it is pretty spectacular), and some unique less visited National parks.

Up for even more of an adventure think about renting an RV for your trip ! Here our are top tips on Renting an RV and planning an RV trip .

We will start at the southern part of northern California and make our way from San Francisco up to the Oregon border. Here is a map of the locations we will visit:

Northern California Map

Here is an interactive map with most of the stops (Google didn’t let me add all of them on the interactive one):  https://goo.gl/maps/6wEYYPEtr1aaTeqv6

Table of Contents

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite

We had heard Yosemite was amazing and they were right! We spent 5 days in the park and did one of our favorite hikes of all time: The Mist Trail. California really has amazing National Parks !

The trail had us hiking up right next to a waterfall. We had brought rain jackets for the kids and it was a good thing we did because they got soaked!! It was such an awesome hike. Definitely wasn’t easy hiking up the mountain, but was well worth it.

There are so many great hiking trails in Yosemite. Make sure to set aside a few days to explore here!

You can check out more great things to do in Yosemite here: 21 Epic Things To Do In Yosemite National Park With Kids

We normally just go and visit the Visitor Center and then go on hikes, but if you are someone who prefers tours there are options out there! Get Your Guide is a great resource to find a tour in Yosemite. Check them out here.

Where To Stay

Inside Yosemite – Check out The Ahwahnee

Outside of Yosemite – Check out The Evergreen Lodge

RV/Camping: North Pines Campground – IN Yosemite National Park! We loved staying in the park but please note there are a lot of restrictions on rig size and you usually have to book 6 months to a year in advance to get a site. But Yosemite camping is totally worth it!

VRBO: Prefer to rent a house? Check out the VRBO options by and in Yosemite .

Rent an RV for your trip! 

San Francisco

San Francisco in Northern California

An interesting city for sure! There are a lot of really cool things to do in the San Francisco Bay area really and lots of historic sites. We spent a couple days exploring the city.

One day was spent just walking around by Pier 39, going up the crookedest street in America, and checking out the botanical gardens. Then heading over to Chinatown where we literally felt like we were in China.

There are also great children’s museums and other museums to visit in the city along with the awe-inspiring Muir Woods and Point Reyes Seashore just a short drive outside of the city across the Golden Gate bridge. You can get some great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from here!

If you are looking for a good deal on a variety of attractions the San Francisco Go City Pass is the way to go!

If you have more time in the area you may want to head to Santa Cruz, the Sacramento River or San Jose.

Learn more about visiting San Francisco here: 17 Unforgettable Things To Do In San Francisco With Kids

Hotel: Westin St. Francis in Union Square

RV/Camping:   San Francisco RV Park  – Basically a parking lot, but you can walk to a bus stop that will take you to the Metra that you can take into the city. So there is that. Or else you can drive into downtown in about 20 minutes.

About an hour and 20 minutes down the coastline is Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort . Although it’s a drive, this campground is located in the California Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains on the San Lorenzo River!

VRBO: There are so many great VRBO options in San Francisco too! Be sure to check them out here .

San Francisco is also a great place to plan a graduation trip !

Lake Tahoe is a top thing to do in northern california

If you are looking for more nature and beauty then you don’t want to miss Lake Tahoe. Plus there is lots of hiking, biking, paddle-boarding and more . I know the area is known for its winter skiing, but it is also a spectacular place to visit in the summer.

We loved Sand Harbor Beach for paddle-boarding and spent a whole afternoon into sunset enjoying the gorgeous water and views.

Learn more about visiting Lake Tahoe in Summer here: 24 Spectacular Things To Do In Lake Tahoe This Summer

Hotel: Hotel Azure – we really enjoyed spending a few nights here in South Lake Tahoe.

RV/Camping:   Campground By The Lake  – Located right across from the Lake in South Lake Tahoe this is a beautiful campground to stay at.

Coachland RV Park is another good option. Located about 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe, you’ll enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Sierra Nevada mountains!

VRBO: VRBO options in Lake Tahoe .

Russian River

Russian River in California

If you are a beer person you don’t want to miss Russian River. Plus there is more than just beer here! We stayed at a campground that had a fun rapids/stream/river that the kids played in for hours.

But back to the beer. Russian River is where Pliny the Elder is brewed. And it is my husbands favorite beer of all time! We headed into Santa Rosa to go the Russian River Brewing Company and it was packed!

We waited in line for about 10 minutes then got a table. Having a Pliny The Elder out of the tap was a highlight of our California trip for Craig and we went home with a case and a t-shirt!

You are also close to the Napa Valley area here and there are a lot of tasting rooms where kids are welcome. There are also a lot of things to do Sonoma with kids.

Hotel:  There are a variety of options available in the Russian River area. Check them out here.

RV/Camping:   Russian River RV Campground. This was a fun campground with an area to put tubes in the creek and ride it down about a 100 yards and then get out and walk back up to do it all over again!

Casini Ranch Family Campground is another good option. Just minutes from the coastline and situated on the Russian River, this campground offers a great location!

VRBO: Check out these VRBO options by Russian River.

Russian Gulch State Park

Russian Gulch

A beautiful state park area that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and Yosemite and out in the middle of nowhere. When you go down the hill into the State Park you loose all internet connection and you can feel the stress melt away.

There is a creek running through the park, a trail at the back end of the park and a beautiful beach that you can walk to.

If you are looking for nature and relaxation this is the place for you.

RV/Camping:   Russian Gulch State Park  is the campground we stayed at. We didn’t recommend a hotel since this stop is all about the state park campground!

Fort Bragg – Glass Beach

Fort Bragg in Northern California

You know those Instagram pictures of the beaches covered in glass. This is the place!! It doesn’t quite look like what it does in the pictures. Since just recently they made it illegal for people to take the glass home with them. Prior to that you could take glass off the beach which depleted the glass.

But don’t let this stop you from going. There is still lots of beautiful glass on the beach and you can sit for hours and search through the sand looking for all different colored glass.

It is also a pretty beach area and nice to just sit and look out over the ocean.

Hotel:  There are some really cute bed and breakfast and cottage options around Fort Bragg. Check them out here.

RV/Camping: Russian Gulch State Park  is the campground we stayed at when we visited Fort Bragg and Glass Beach.

VRBO: Check out these VRBO options by Fort Bragg and Glass Beach.

Humboldt State Park

Humboldt State Park - things to do in California

We drove on the Avenue of Giants to get here and it was awesome. The Redwood trees are so magical and driving through them makes you feel so small! We pulled into Humboldt State Park and we were able to camp among the Redwoods . To date this is one of our favorite campgrounds.

They have a visitor center area where you can learn more about the Redwoods plus multiple trails you can walk right through the Redwoods. There are also trees that have fallen down and you can walk along them. The kids loved this.

You can also climb in the roots of some of the fallen trees. It is a great way to get a perspective on how big these trees are.

While in the area we also visited the town of Loleta so we could check out the Loleta Cheese Factory! If you like cheese don’t miss this stop.

RV/Camping:   Humboldt Redwoods State Park . You could drive in to explore this area from some of the surrounding towns but if you have a chance to stay here it is amazing!

Johnny’s Marina and RV Park is located about an hour north right on the California coastline in Eureka.

Rent an RV for your trip!

This video covers Humboldt State Park, the Redwoods and visiting a couple cities in the area (more on all of them below):

Redwoods National Park

Redwoods a favorite in northern california

I hadn’t realized how spread out the Redwoods are. I thought it was like other National Parks where you went to the Visitor Center and then followed a map around the National Park. Not quite. The National Park is spread out over all of coastal Northern California with a few state parks mixed in.

We ended up doing the Fern Canyon hike which was amazing since it is where they filmed part of the 3rd Jurassic Park movie! Our kids loved that. The trail takes you through trees and ferns while you are walking within a creek. So come dressed in the right clothes!

This is all we did officially in the Redwoods National Park . But after being at Humboldt State Park and driving the Avenue of the Giants we felt we had gotten the Redwoods experience.

If you want to add in another stop check out: Patricks Point State Park. It was a beautiful beach area – though very dangerous so don’t plan to get in the water! But there is a nice sandy beach area to hang out and take in the views around you!

There is also the Redwood Forest Steam Train you may want to check out.

Hotel:  There are a variety of hotels to stay at around the Redwoods.  Check them out here.

RV/Camping: Red Wood Coast Cabin and RV  is the campground we stayed at when we visited the Redwoods and Arcata. It is located in Eureka.

Johnny’s Marina and RV Park is located about 90 minutes south right on the California coastline. It is also in Eureka.

We had a great time exploring the quirky town of Arcata. They had an herbal shop in their downtown area that we really liked and the square in the middle of town was a fun place to hang out.

We also took a drive over to the town of Eureka to check out the Humboldt Cider Company brewery! It was yummy and a great place to bring the kids along to hang out, play games and listen to music while I tried a flight of Cider beer.

Hotel:  There are a variety of places to stay in Arcata.  Check them out here.

McArthur Burney Falls

McArthur Burney Falls

After the Redwoods we headed inland to what was named: The Most Beautiful Waterfall in Northern California and probably all of California – McArthur Burney Falls. It didn’t disappoint. The waterfall was amazing!! It is definitely a place to stop and take the short hike down to the waterfall.

You can also camp here and the campground was beautiful and the spots were big with plenty of room.

Hotel:  There are a few places to stay in the city of Burney.  Check them out here.

RV/Camping:   McArthur-Burney Falls Campground is the campground we stayed at when we visited the falls and also Lassen (it was about an hour drive to get to Lassen from here.)

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Our next stop was Lassen Volcanic National Park . We actually camped at McArthur Burney Falls and drove a little over an hour to get to Lassen for a day trip. It worked out well for us. Lassen is one of those items that should be on your California bucket list ! It is such a unique place.

Once there, we stopped at the Visitor Center to watch a movie about the National Park and to learn about the 4 different kind of volcanoes that are here. We then headed out to drive through the park.

It was a beautiful drive and you can see all of the volcanoes they talk about in the movie. We went from one end of the park to the other. Then stopped at the second visitor center to sit out on the patio and have some beer and ice cream.

Here are a list of hikes you can do in Lassen:

Brokeoff Mountain – 6.8 mile hike

Kings Creek Falls – 3 mile hike

Cider Cone – 5.5 mile hike

There is also the hydrothermal areas and caves to explore (We didn’t do the caves since we were going to visit Lava Beds next!). Bumpass Hell is another trail option.

Lassen is one of the least visited National Parks. What was great about that was it wasn’t very busy. After coming from Yosemite this was so nice!! If you have a chance to visit this beautiful National Park you should do it!

Hotel:  There aren’t to many options close by. But you can check out this link to learn more about the options .

RV/Camping: Lassen Volcanic National Park – if possible stay in the park!

  • Butte Lake Campground
  • Manzanita Lake Campground
  • Lassen RV Park (about an hour from the National Park)
  • Pioneer RV Park (about 90 minutes from the National Park)

Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds

We pulled in to camp here and it was another beautiful and peaceful spot. The further north we got into California the more we liked the state! It became so much more beautiful and peaceful.

We stopped at the visitor center to learn all about these caves and what we could do in the national Monument. They pointed us in the direction of the caves. There is a 2 mile loop you can drive that has 20+ caves you can explore!

They recommend flashlights and helmets and even knee pads. If you are doing the more difficult ones I can see why you need all that. But we did it all with only flashlights. We did buy the kids headlamps and I would recommend doing that somewhere other then the visitor center before you come – it would probably cost a lot less.

We did end up with a few bumped heads and scraped knees, but it was totally doable without all the gear. The Visitor Center will have you walk on a disinfectant type of mat to clean off the bottom of your shoes so you don’t bring any diseases in to the bats.

Caves We Explored

The first cave we did was: Sunshine Cave. This was is ranked as a medium difficulty trail. We did this as our first one and it went fine. It was really cool to walk down into the cave, walk around it and come back out to the bright sunshine.

After conquering that one we felt like we could do a hard level cave. That sent us to Hercules Leg and Juniper Cave. These are 2 caves connected in the middle. You go into one cave and then walk through it and into the other and out a different end.

It is over a 1/2 mile walk and at some points it is pitch black and at some points we had to crawl!! It was a really cool experience and if you have a group that can crawl under low openings I would highly recommend it!

Once we got out we had to walk about a half mile back to our cars and then we headed out.

You could spend multiple days here if you want to explore all of the caves or just stop for the day and do a couple like we did.

Hotel:  There are not many places to stay in the area so you may have to make this a stop on your way to your next location unless you are camping. Then there are options with the National Monument.

RV/Camping:   Lava Beds Campground . We really enjoyed staying at the campground in Lava Beds National Monument! Beautiful views and very peaceful and quiet.

Lassen RV Park is about 90 minutes from the National Monument but is a good option in between Lava Beds and Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Northern California would be fun to explore by car but we have to say we are partial to RV travel! It would make a great RV road trip! Click here to rent an RV for your own Northern California RV Road Trip !

Check out these great road trips in California too!

More On Northern California

Want more info on Northern California? Check out: Stunning Spots You Must See In Northern California

Interested in learning more about Northern California’s 5 National Parks? Check out this great post: The Ultimate Guide To National Parks in Northern California.  Did you know there are also hot springs in California? This state seriously has it all!

Interested in skiing more of the United States? Check out this post on The Top 14 Best Family Ski Resorts To Visit This Year and this one for more California winter fun 10 Amazing Winter Destinations In California For Families.

This wrapped up our North California trip and next we headed into Oregon!

Things To Do In Southern California: 

15 Magnificent Things To Do In San Diego With Kids

The 23 Most Epic Things To Do In Los Angeles With Kids

19+ Unforgettable Things To Do In Sequoia National Park

14 Magnificent Things To Do In Big Sur California

12 Amazing Things To Do In Olympic National Park [Itinerary Included!]

Death Valley National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Southern California

The Best RV Camping in Northern California

Pin This Post:

There is so much beauty and wonder in Northern California. From waterfalls to volcanos and lava tub caves there is an abundance of epic things to do in Northern California. Below our 12 places you have to visit!

  • Recent Posts

Bryanna

  • Dog Sledding in Quebec City - March 20, 2024
  • Touring The Ice Hotel In Quebec City - March 20, 2024
  • Ice Canoeing in Quebec City – What To Expect - March 20, 2024

DISCLOSURE : This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

2 thoughts on “12 Epic Things To Do In Northern California [Map Included]”

I grew up in Western Washington, and a roadtrip to visit the Redwoods is one of my favorite memories from my childhood. I also really loved glass beach, then and as an adult! Great list, thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.

PlanetWare.com

18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Palm Springs, CA

Written by Freddy Sherman Updated Dec 25, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Writer Freddy Sherman lives in Palm Springs and spends most days exploring different parts of the city with his Belgian Malinois Gretel.

Palm Springs is a vacation destination set in the Sonoran Desert surrounded by four different mountain ranges. The resort city is just a three-hour drive from San Diego and a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, making it popular for weekend getaways .

Golf course in Palm Springs

Known for mid-century modern style, its plethora of championship golf courses , warm weather, and a fun and welcoming vibe, the city, along with several surrounding communities known collectively as the Coachella Valley , is a popular winter destination .

Beyond the golf resorts and swimming pools there are still plenty of tourist attractions, things to do, and places to visit. You can take your pick from a wide range of activities downtown like shopping; dining; touring museums; or exploring the surrounding desert, mountains, and canyons.

When it's cold in most other parts of North America (approximately November through March), that's the high season for Palm Springs, and the population swells with visitors and snowbirds.

The city is home to a serious lineup of Hollywood celebrities each January during the annual Palm Springs Film Festival , and draws architecture and design fans from around the world during February's Modernism Week. The city is also crowded in April during the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals , held in Indio about 30 minutes from downtown.

For sightseeing ideas, see our list of the top attractions and things to do in Palm Springs.

1. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

2. take a photo with marilyn monroe, 3. visit the palm springs air museum, 4. take a canyon hike to a waterfall, 5. play golf, 6. visit the palm springs art museum, 7. explore the coachella valley preserve, 8. moorten botanical gardens and cactarium, 9. the living desert zoo and gardens, 10. check out the villagefest weekly street party, 11. palm springs art museum architecture and design center, 12. discover the city's history at the palm springs historical society, 13. visit the windmills, 14. discover sunnylands, 15. visit a date farm, 16. take a jeep tour of the desert, 17. ride a horse through a canyon, 18. fly in a vintage biplane, where to stay in palm springs for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in palm springs, ca.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto

Escape the heat of the desert with a quick ride into the mountains on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway . Standing on the edge of Palm Springs, Mount San Jacinto rises more than 10,000 feet above the desert floor and can be easily accessed with a ride on the scenic tramway.

The tramway, which opened in 1963, has the world's largest rotating aerial tram cars . The cars are suspended from cables, like a ski lift, and the cables are strung atop metal towers installed on the mountainside. From the top, the view out over the desert is fantastic, and on hot days, the cool air (sometimes 30 to 40 degrees lower than that at the desert floor) can be a refreshing treat. During the winter, there is snow at the top.

In less than 10 minutes, the tram will take you up Chino Canyon to an elevation of 8,500 feet. At the top, called the Mountain Station, there are observation decks, two restaurants, historical displays, and videos on the construction of the tram. From here, 50 miles of hiking trails run through the pine forests of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, including a trail to the summit of Mount San Jacinto (11 miles round trip). You can also camp in the park.

At the tramway entrance on U.S. 111, you'll find the Palm Springs Visitor Information Center. Housed in a striking mid-century structure (a former gas station) designed by celebrated architect Albert Frey, the center is a great place to stop for visitors.

It's fun to go swimming in Palm Springs in the heat of the desert, then drive to the tram, take it up the mountain and play in the snow, all within an hour.

Address: One Tram Way, Palm Springs, California

'Forever Marilyn' statue in Palm Springs

The "Forever Marilyn" statue is a 26-foot tall sculpture of the iconic Hollywood actress, now installed right in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum in downtown Palm Springs. The sculpture shows Marilyn with her billowing dress from the film "The Seven Year Itch", one of her most famous roles.

It was originally installed on Palm Canyon Drive from 2012 to 2014, then moved to New Jersey. Public demand brought it back to Palm Springs and it's now the most popular place in the city to take photos.

The area around the statue can be crowded with other visitors, so visit early in the morning or late at night for some alone time with the sculpture. Be sure to visit the adjacent pocket park, which has grass and rocking chairs for relaxing. There are also palm trees to shade you from the sun along with public restrooms, water fountains, and a doggie waste station with bags.

Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum has a large collection of military aircraft, many of which still fly. Planes from World War II along with the Korean and Vietnam Wars are represented. It's a fascinating place to visit as most of the docents who provide tours are veterans themselves, with personal connections to the types of aircraft they talk about.

The aircraft are shown in static displays, and you can also get inside and tour some of them, including a massive B-17 bomber. Much of the collection is displayed inside air-conditioned hangars, so it's a great place to visit if you're looking for an escape from the city's extreme summer heat.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is located at the Palm Springs International Airport, about 10 minutes from downtown Palm Springs. For those wanting to get up into the sky, the air museum offers flights on some of their rare warbirds.

Address: 745 North Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, California

Indian Canyons

The Indian Canyons, located at the south end of Palm Springs, is a popular protected nature sanctuary comprised of three unique canyon environments. The area is part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians reservation and is a great place for hiking and exploring some beautiful desert scenery.

Be sure to start with one of the main areas, Palm Canyon . This 15-mile long canyon, complete with a creek and waterfalls, is lined with large palm trees. In fact, the canyon is home to the world's largest grove of California fan palms . The canyon is home to a range of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties. The Indian Canyons park has a trading post selling souvenirs, Indian art, and other tribal-related items.

Andreas Canyon , another canyon area within the Indian Canyons park, is also worth checking out and is known as a good place to see birds. In the same vicinity is Murray Canyon, with a less frequented hiking trail and better opportunities for spotting deer and other wildlife. There are many hiking trails in the park, and many of those trails take you into multiple canyons.

Tahquitz Canyon is another protected canyon area, also tribal land, located near but not within the Indian Canyons space. This canyon has lots of hiking trails and is home to a 60-foot-tall waterfall. There is a visitor's center with artifact displays, hiking information, and a small theater showing a documentary about the canyon.

Read More: Best Hikes in Palm Springs, CA

Golf course in Palm Springs

Palm Springs and nearby cities like La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Desert have over 100 championship-level golf courses. Many of the city's best courses are public and accessible to anyone (waiting lists are long during popular periods).

The city is a very popular golf destination, as the weather is great for golf (an average of over 300 days of sunshine a year), especially during the winter months. Summer temperatures are extreme, making early morning games the only option.

Aside from the well-groomed and challenging courses, you also get the benefit of the beautiful scenery and desert backdrops. As you play, you're treated to a changing desert landscape with the area's different mountain ranges always visible in the distance.

Popular golf courses playable by the public in the area include PGA West (home to the American Express Desert Classic, formerly the Bob Hope Classic), the Indian Wells Golf Resort (home to the Renaissance Indian Wells, the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, and the Indian Wells Resort Hotel), Marriott's Shadow Ridge, and the Indian Canyons Golf Resort.

Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum features a combination of fine art, natural history, and performing arts. The museum has been in existence since the late 1930s and formerly focused almost exclusively on desert subjects and artists, but over the years, the direction has shifted to a well-curated collection of modern and contemporary art, including Native American art.

In addition to fine art, the museum has a large collection of Native American craftwork and artifacts. There is also a natural science collection of animals and fossils on display, making the museum a great place to visit for kids and families.

Also on-site are two outdoor sculpture gardens. The museum's permanent collections include paintings, photography, glass, pottery, and architecture and design with a focus on American Western art and artists. There are also touring and changing temporary exhibitions and shows.

Providing a wide selection of year-round programming, the museum's large Annenberg Theater hosts an extensive series of music, dance, and theater productions and performances.

Address: 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, California

Coachella Valley Preserve

The Coachella Valley Preserve is a large, protected outdoor space covering over 13,000 acres of raw desert and mountain landscapes. It's a partnership between federal, state, and private land-owners, allowing management and preservation of the natural environment.

Located east of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley Preserve is home to a variety of wildlife. It's made up of three different preserve areas. The best one to visit is the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve area, near Palm Desert. There are 30 miles of hiking trails along with multiple oases.

Guided hikes led by volunteer docents are a great way to see the preserve and offer an excellent overview of the area. Like other outdoor activities in Palm Springs, hiking is best done in the fall and winter months as the temperatures climb to dangerous heights in the summer.

Barrel cactus at the Moorten Botanical Gardens and Cactarium

The Moorten Botanical Gardens and Cactarium is located just past downtown Palm Springs on the south end of Palm Canyon Drive. The unique nature space first opened in 1938 and offers an incredible display of cacti and desert plants that range from full-grown trees to plants just taking root. In the spring, when the desert is coming into bloom, and trees are starting to turn green again, the gardens are at their best.

Moorten is open year-round, but during the cooler months, from fall until spring, you can take a guided tour of the facility offered free with admission. Typical hours are 10am to 4pm and the gardens are closed on Wednesdays.

The gardens are also a commercial nursery, so in addition to being a botanical garden, you can purchase some of the plants to take home with you.

Address: 1701 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California

Jaguar at the Living Desert Zoo

What started 50 years ago as an idea to preserve some raw desert land as the surrounding area developed into a resort has become a world-class zoo. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in nearby Palm Desert offers a chance to see the flora and fauna of the desert and gain some insight into ecosystems from deserts around the globe.

The compact zoo also features a variety of animals from North America and Africa, including camels, coyotes, wolves, foxes, badgers, mountain lions, raptors, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, leopards, gazelle, and many other species.

The morning is generally the best time to visit, when the animals are still active before the heat sets in. Check the zoo's daily schedule to find out about guided nature walks, wildlife shows, and animal feeding times.

A highlight is to participate in the daily giraffe feeding. Guests can feed their herd of giraffes from a tower. It's done in the mornings during the summer and all day during the other months. You can also interact with the zoo's camels, working with keepers on feeding, grooming, or training them.

Address: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, California

Villagefest

On Thursday evenings year-round, downtown Palm Springs turns into a giant street party, with more than 180 vendors set up along the city's main street for VillageFest . A quarter-mile stretch of Palm Canyon Drive is closed to traffic, and booths are set up along both sides of the street.

This is a fun evening out, where you can shop for arts, crafts, jewelry, and other interesting trinkets and also try some tasty snacks from local restaurants and artisinal providers. As you shop, musical performers, buskers, and other street artists provide additional entertainment.

The night market event starts early in the evening, around 6 or 7pm, depending on the season, and runs until 10pm.

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center

Palm Springs is home to the world's largest collection of intact mid-century modern buildings in the world. The city celebrates the design movement each February with Modernism Week.

Design and architecture fans come from all over the world, and there are many events, including open houses, film screenings, and home tours of architecturally significant structures.

The Palm Springs Art Museum's Architecture and Design Center is a unique and free attraction that is worth a stop, particularly if you are interested in architecture or design. Located in a preserved 1960 mid-century modern bank building, similar in style to many other buildings in Palm Springs that still remain from this period, the structure itself is a protected historic site.

The Architecture and Design Center holds the architecture collections of the Palm Springs Art Museum and features temporary exhibitions, as well as a rotating display of material from the permanent collection.

The art museum also operates the Frey House II , an important modernist home in the mountains designed by iconic architect Albert Frey for his own family. The home can be visited on docent-led tours.

Address: 300 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California

Exhibit at the Palm Springs Historical Society

The Palm Springs Historical Society has a small but comprehensive museum in the heart of the downtown area right on Palm Canyon Drive. It's housed in two preserved 19th-century buildings and has a free museum and other exhibits.

The society is also known for its many excellent walking (and biking) tours of the city, available with different themes. You can take a walking tour that explores the city's architecture, its Native American history, its many connections with the Rat Pack, or its many celebrity residents.

Address: 221 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California

Wind turbines in Palm Springs

Just outside of Palm Springs, the San Gorgonio Pass is one of the most windy places on Earth, which is why it's filled with windmills (well actually wind turbines). The pass, located on either side of the I-10 freeway as it enters the Coachella Valley, not only has extreme wind, it has constant wind, which is essential for power generation. Acres of wind turbines dot the desert and the hillsides, silently generating electrical power for the region.

You can view the wind turbines by pulling off the I-10 freeway at the Indian Canyon exit or by taking a tour. Palm Springs Windmill Tours has the only official tour that takes you "behind the fence" to get up close and personal with these giant machines.

Address: 62950 20th Street, Palm Springs, California

Sunnylands

Sunnylands is an incredible, mid-century modern estate that was the home of billionaire businessman (and founder of TV Guide) Walter Annenberg and his wife. The vast 200-acre estate has hosted seven U.S. presidents and summit meetings with world leaders, serving as a West Coast Camp David for several presidents, including President Obama.

Designed by celebrated MCM architect A. Quincy Jones, the 25,000 square foot main house and its incredible art collection, along with its gardens, can be visited. Sunnylands is in Rancho Mirage, about 25 minutes from downtown Palm Springs.

Visiting the park-like grounds is free. Tickets can be purchased for docent-led tours of the house and art collection.

Address: 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, California

Date palm grove near Palm Springs

Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley has a rich agricultural history. One of the key crops is dates, and the area produces more than 90 percent of the dates grown in the U.S. This Middle Eastern fruit was first planted in the desert in the early 20th century, one of the few crops that can be grown year-round in the area's extreme weather.

The Shields Date Garden is in Indio, about 30 minutes from downtown Palm Springs. The almost-20-acre date farm has a café, a guided tour of the date groves, and even a theater showing a kitschy 1940s movie about date farming. They also serve date shakes, a must-drink date milkshake-like smoothie every Palm Springs visitor should try.

Address: 80225 US Hwy 111, Indio, California

Jeep tour driving through Joshua Tree National Park

What better way to explore and experience the desert landscape than in the back of an open Jeep. Most Jeep tours are two to three hours long (a six-hour Joshua Tree adventure is available). The off-road tours explore the local desert landscape and the nearby San Andreas Fault.

Some of the Jeep tours depart from downtown Palm Springs; others start at a ranch in Indio, about 30 minutes east of Palm Springs. The naturalist-guided tours include bottled water and granola bar snacks.

Horses in a canyon near Palm Springs

Another fun way to explore the local desert around Palm Springs in on horseback. Smoke Tree Stables has been operating since 1927 and offers trail rides into the local canyons. These are gentle, guided trail rides suitable for all ages and all levels of experience (including first-timers).

You can do a one-hour group trail ride, which starts at the stables and takes you through the desert along the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Another option is a two-hour group ride through Indian Canyons. The ride goes from Andreas Canyon to Murray Canyon and back, along streams and through palm tree groves.

Vintage biplane

Palm Springs Biplanes , a company based at the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), offers rides in a vintage 1940 Stearman biplane aircraft. The three-seat planes mean the passengers sit next to each other (behind the pilot). The open-top biplanes allow you to see all around, and you wear a cool vintage aviator cap and goggles.

The basic 15-minute flight is only $349 for two people and offers a lot more excitement and memories than a fancy dinner, which costs about the same price. A 30-minute flight takes you across the Coachella Valley and over the Santa Rosa Mountains and the hour-long flight covers the entire region.

Luxury Hotels:

  • Located just a block from the heart of downtown, but worlds away, the Ingleside Inn has a private feel akin to staying at a friend's country estate rather than a hotel. With the San Jacinto Mountains as a backdrop, it is a posh adults-only hideaway with stylish rooms. Amenities include a restaurant, swimming pool, hot tub, and bike rental.
  • Inspired by the desert surrounding it, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel is located downtown and offers 153 stylish rooms and suites. The hotel is inside a seven-story building and boasts the only rooftop pool and restaurant in town. The property is very dog friendly with no nightly charges for your pet. If you are traveling with kids, it is also a family-friendly resort.
  • Colony Palms Hotel has been around since the 1930s and has hosted its share of celebrities over the years including Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, and Frank Sinatra. Today the 4-star luxury property is a boutique hotel with lots of flair to its rooms and suites. These come with colored mosaic tiles and bright fabrics and many also feature claw-foot bath tubs and fireplaces. Amenities include a saltwater swimming pool, hot tub, restaurant, and a spa. Unlike many Palm Springs hotels, the Colony Palms is family friendly.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Desert Riviera Hotel is a top mid-range choice. The vintage property has been recently renovated and features retro decor in its spacious rooms and suites. The adults-only property has a pool, hot tub, and bikes available for guests. A free breakfast is also served.
  • Like many Palm Springs properties, Little Paradise Hotel is also adults-only. The luxe boutique hotel features plush rooms with comfy beds, 4K curved TVs, jet showers, and full kitchens. There is also a heated saltwater pool with sun-loungers.
  • One of the few mid-range hotels that accepts kids, Palm Springs Tennis Club is within walking distance of the historic downtown. It has spacious, modern rooms and suites. Amenities include three swimming pools, tennis courts, and an on-site restaurant.

Budget Hotels:

  • For a family-friendly hotel that is also easy on the budget, check out the Vagabond Motor Hotel . On the outskirts of downtown, it offers tidy and modern rooms. There is a free breakfast offered and parking is also free. If you're traveling with a dog, the hotel allows pets.
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Palm Springs is another budget choice near downtown. It offers spacious rooms with balconies and welcomes families. There is a kid's wading pool, as well as an Olympic-size swimming pool on-site. Other amenities include a hot tub, workout room, restaurant, and free parking.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

Joshua Tree National Park

Less than an hour's drive from Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park , one of the most interesting and beautiful parks in the Southwest. If you have time for only one side trip, this is the place to come. This park has some amazing sites, along with great walks and hiking trails . It also offers outstanding campgrounds , where you can park your RV or pitch your tent next to huge Joshua trees and giant rock formations.

If you are traveling around California and looking for new ideas, be sure to check out our articles on California desert tourist attractions and our list of great off-the-beaten-path attractions in California . For a more general overview of what to see throughout the state, see our article on the top tourist attractions in California .

instagram logo

More on California

California Travel Guide

Palm Springs   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Allard Schager | Getty Images

california tourist attractions map

16 Best Things To Do in Palm Springs

Updated February 6, 2024

This isn't a place where you should pack your schedule: Embrace Palm Springs' relaxed mentality by enjoying time by the pool and at the spa. But if you're interested, there's more to do than just sunbathing and unwinding with a

  • All Things To Do

california tourist attractions map

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The city of Palm Springs rests in the shadows of the San Jacinto Mountains. The towering, snow-topped peaks of Southern California's second-highest mountain range are beautiful to behold from the valley floor, but many visitors say that a mountaintop experience is incredible. To reach the summit, you'll take a 10-minute ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Once you rise 8,516 feet to the top, you can hike (there are more than 50 miles of trails, including to San Jacinto Peak ), or snowshoe and cross-country ski during the winter, before heading back down the mountain via its rotating tram cars.

To avoid waiting in long ticket lines, several travelers recommend purchasing your tram passes in advance on the attraction's ticket page. If tickets are not available online for your arrival date, you will need to buy them on-site. Adults will be charged $28.95 for standard tram tickets; tickets for children ages 3 to 10 cost $16.95. Keep in mind: The weather at the top is typically 30 to 40 degrees cooler than the desert floor, so you'll want to wear layers to stay comfortable.

california tourist attractions map

Coachella Valley Preserve Coachella Valley Preserve free

The Coachella Valley Preserve may seem like a barren desert, but keep your eyes peeled and you'll see that its 20,000-plus acres are more than just sand and brush. The preserve encompasses the smaller, 880-acre Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, which boasts more than 25 miles of hiking trails. Along the trails you'll spot rare wildlife, such as the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, lush palm woodland oases and desert wetlands, which at different times of the year blossom with wildflowers.

Previous visitors said a stop here is worth a few hours of your time to view the unique geography of the Thousand Palm Oasis and to hike the trails. Reviewers also appreciated the free admission. Additionally, some suggested arriving early before temperatures become unbearable and the small parking lot fills up.

california tourist attractions map

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is part zoo and part botanical garden, all in the extraordinary setting of the desert. Along with animals like rhinos, bighorn sheep and meerkats, there are a handful of gardens that showcase more than 1,600 species of plants, including multiple varieties of cacti, prickly pear and agave. If you're visiting between October and May, you can also explore the attraction's three trail loops.

Past visitors enjoyed seeing The Living Desert's animals, but recommended arriving early, since the park offers little shade and temperatures often rise above 100 degrees in the summer. Many also suggested paying an extra $8 to feed the giraffes, and if you're traveling with little ones or don't want to walk between exhibits, consider purchasing a ticket for a two-hour private tour. Passes start at $79 for adults and $49 for children between 3 and 12 and include general admission, a guide and a shuttle.

california tourist attractions map

Popular Tours

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket

(1178 reviews)

from $ 30.00

Joshua Tree Open Air Hummer Adventure

Joshua Tree Open Air Hummer Adventure

(218 reviews)

from $ 179.00

Joshua Tree National Park Scenic Tour

Joshua Tree National Park Scenic Tour

(200 reviews)

from $ 149.00

california tourist attractions map

Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is an oasis in the center of the desert. From Hidden Valley (which features a nice, easy hike) to the Cholla Cactus Garden (home to many a photo-op at sunset), Joshua Tree caters to a variety of active travelers. Meanwhile, with its perch in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, the Keys View lookout is another great place for a spectacular view of the Coachella Valley.

Whether you're planning on hiking or just driving through, the park rangers recommend bringing plenty of water – this is the desert, after all. What's more, recent travelers suggested bringing food to enjoy at one of Hidden Valley's picnic tables.

california tourist attractions map

Indian Canyons Indian Canyons

Located 6 miles south of central Palm Springs, these canyons, which consist of Palm Canyon, Murray Canyon and Andreas Canyon, sit on the reservation lands of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. All three canyons offer hiking trails with breathtaking desert scenery, but other activities are also available. At Palm Canyon, purchase authentic Native American artwork or pottery at the trading post. Andreas and Murray canyons, meanwhile, are best for wildlife-watching; if you're lucky, you may even spot endangered species like the Peninsular desert bighorn sheep and the Least Bell's Vireo bird while exploring Murray Canyon. The new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Tahquitz Canyon and three resorts – Indian Canyons Golf Resort, the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage and Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs – are also situated on or near the reservation.

According to recent travelers, the Indian Canyons are "peaceful" and "stunningly beautiful." Some, however, cautioned that temps often soar above 100 degrees in the summer, so bring lots of water and sunscreen. Many also recommend wearing comfortable closed-toe shoes and skipping the Murray Canyon Trail if you don't want to get your feet wet as it ends at the Seven Sisters Waterfall.

california tourist attractions map

Palm Springs Art Museum Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum, which was founded in 1938, contains a stunning collection, like works from the landscape painter Thomas Moran and glass artist Dale Chihuly. You'll also find an ever-changing list of rotating exhibits, which have included studies of impressionism, contemporary sculpture, pop and graphic art, and architecture. The facility's permanent collection is not to be missed either as it contains more than 12,000 works across its 28 galleries. The museum also owns the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, which sits less than a mile south of the art museum, as well as Frey House II, the longtime residence of architect Albert Frey.

According to recent visitors, the Palm Springs Art Museum is a "cultural oasis" with "wonderful" exhibits. Many also appreciated its small size, adding that it's easy to see everything in an hour or two. Plus, the property offers free entry every Thursday evenings, no reservations required.

california tourist attractions map

Palm Springs Air Museum Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum boasts an extensive collection of aircraft from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, including aircraft that range from the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress to the Grumman F7F Tigercat to the Douglas DC-3 Skytrain. The aircraft are positioned throughout the museum, not unlike the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C .

Several previous visitors said this attraction was "one of the best museums in Palm Springs" and served as a "great place to beat the heat," adding that its kids area, where children can sit in airplane cockpits, is a must if you're visiting with little ones. What's more, many appreciated the property's informative and friendly volunteers.

california tourist attractions map

Tahquitz Canyon Tahquitz Canyon

For stunning scenery and a look at Native American history and culture, check out the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian's Tahquitz Canyon. Situated less than 2 miles southwest of downtown Palm Springs, this area of the reservation boasts the 60-foot Tahquitz waterfall (accessible via the Tahquitz Canyon Trail), rock art and a variety of flora and fauna. You'll also find the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center, where you can watch a movie about the canyon, peruse various artifacts, buy souvenirs and take a guided walk. Additional facilities, including three resorts, the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (opening soon) and the Indian Canyons , can be found on or near the reservation as well.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking the nearly 2-mile-long Tahquitz Canyon Trail, which past visitors said was relatively easy to traverse, despite its lack of shade and occasional changes in elevation (as much as 350 feet). What's more, temps can climb into the 100s at times, so pack plenty of water. Several previous travelers recommended carrying at least one liter of water per person.

california tourist attractions map

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert

(582 reviews)

from $ 150.00

Palm Springs Drag Brunch

Palm Springs Drag Brunch

(58 reviews)

from $ 85.00

Joshua Tree National Park Offroad Tour

Joshua Tree National Park Offroad Tour

(314 reviews)

from $ 235.00

california tourist attractions map

Palm Springs Golf Courses Palm Springs Golf Courses

With 300 days of sunshine and more than 100 courses – many designed by celebrity architects like Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus – Palm Springs is a golfer's paradise. No matter where you decide to play, you'll be surrounded by stunning mountain and desert vistas and towering palm trees.

Some of the top-rated courses include Indian Wells Golf Resort , which offers 36 holes and sits next to the Indian Wells Resort Hotel, originally founded in 1957 by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Players say Indian Wells is in excellent condition and enhanced by the incredible views. For golfers staying in downtown Palm Springs, the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort offers two 18-hole golf courses that recent visitors called challenging.

california tourist attractions map

Sunnylands Center & Gardens Sunnylands Center & Gardens free

For a curated desert landscape that hosted royalty, world leaders and old Hollywood stars, explore Sunnylands Center and Gardens, the 15-acre parcel that's part of the 200-acre Rancho Mirage estate of former ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wife, Leonore. The Sunnylands Center and Gardens features a 9-acre garden with reflecting pools and more than 50,000 arid-adapted plants, some from North and South America, Africa and the Mediterranean. Along a 1.25-mile walking trail, visitors can enjoy views of the nearby mountains and several free audio tours are available for download on smartphones. The Sunnylands Center and Gardens features free activities throughout the year, such as a guided 60-minute birding walk on Friday mornings from November to May. The main house, a midcentury modern classic, is located within the 200-acre estate that also includes 11 human-made lakes and a nine-hole golf course. The home is open by tour only (reservations are required several months in advance) and other guided tours are also available.

Recent visitors marvel at the precision of the gardens, where " no flower or bush or cactus is out of place." Other visitors added that the Sunnylands Center and Gardens offered lots of bird-watching opportunities, in addition to plenty of benches for resting. Reviewers also encouraged visitors to plan ahead and book tickets to the home tour well in advance, as tickets are often sold out.

california tourist attractions map

Palm Canyon Drive Palm Canyon Drive free

With shoulder-to-shoulder restaurants (many with outdoor dining), designer boutiques, locally owned shops and galleries, Palm Canyon Drive is a pedestrian-friendly destination in downtown Palm Springs. Anchoring downtown, Palm Canyon Drive is also the home to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, a collection of more than 400 granite squares embedded in the sidewalk bearing the names of celebrities and well-known locals. Sprinkled along the Palm Canyon Drive sidewalk, artists have painted more than 50 concrete benches for a splash of color and a place to sit. Palm Canyon Drive also hosts the weekly street fair known as VillageFest, where vendors take over the street and the thoroughfare is closed to cars every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Nearly every visitor enjoyed walking up and down Palm Canyon Drive seeing the sights and window-shopping. However, reviewers warn that drivers need to take care when parking in the area as parking limitations are strictly enforced.

california tourist attractions map

Cabot's Pueblo Museum Cabot's Pueblo Museum

Drawing inspiration from the Hopi Native American tribe, Cabot Yerxa, a homesteader in the area that became known as Desert Hot Springs, spent decades creating a four-story, 35-room pueblo. Using reclaimed and found materials from the surrounding Coachella Valley, Yerxa did everything from dismantle abandoned cabins to craft adobe-style sun-dried bricks. Visitors are drawn to the home not only because of the meticulous craftsmanship, but also because of the artifacts on display. The home is filled with Native American art and artifacts, souvenirs of Cabot's travels and Cabot's own works of art. Another highlight of Cabot's Pueblo Museum is Waokiye. Lakota for "traditional helper," Waokiye is a 22-foot-tall sculpture made from donated Sequoia redwood.

A self-guided, 45-minute audio tour is accessible on mobile devices. The tour guides visitors through the building while explaining how it was constructed, as well as Yerxa's role in developing Desert Hot Springs.

california tourist attractions map

Moorten Botanical Garden Moorten Botanical Garden

Established in 1938 by former actor Chester "Cactus Slim" Moorten and his wife, Patricia, Moorten Botanical Garden is a 1-acre privately owned botanical garden and plant nursery. When not tending to their botanical garden, the couple designed gardens for a who’s who of Palm Springs, including Walt Disney. Meander the garden's nature trail to marvel at more than a dozen biodomes and more than 3,000 desert plants. For gardeners, the plant nursery is located on the property and offers a knowledgeable staff.

Recent visitors enjoyed the setting of Moorten Botanical Garden and felt it offered an escape from the surrounding development. Others described the attraction as small and not worth more than an hour of your time.

california tourist attractions map

Professional Stargazing in Joshua Tree

(15 reviews)

from $ 200.00

The Legends & Icons Tour of Palm Springs

The Legends & Icons Tour of Palm Springs

(72 reviews)

from $ 125.00

San Andreas Fault Offroad Tour

San Andreas Fault Offroad Tour

(229 reviews)

from $ 189.00

california tourist attractions map

San Jacinto Peak San Jacinto Peak free

As the backdrop to the Coachella Valley, San Jacinto Peak is part of the San Jacinto Mountains and the second-tallest peak in Southern California. Unique to this summit – and a benefit to mountaineers – is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that carries hikers up nearly 6,000 feet on the way to the 10,834-foot summit. When climbers exit the tram at the mountain station at 8,516 feet, the elevation gain is just over 2,300 feet to the summit.

After exiting the tramway's mountain station, hikers start their 5.5-mile one-way hike to the San Jacinto Peak as they enter Long Valley. After hiking along Long Valley, hikers enter Round Valley, a more open section of the trail. Wellman's Divide is home to the steepest section of the trail, with a 600-foot elevation gain over one mile. According to past visitors, the San Jacinto Peak Trail is well marked to the summit.

california tourist attractions map

Cabazon Dinosaurs Cabazon Dinosaurs

Read More »

california tourist attractions map

Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert

california tourist attractions map

Explore More of Palm Springs

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Best Hotels

World Map

When To Visit

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2024

Christina Maggitas February 6, 2024

california tourist attractions map

The 32 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Gwen Pratesi|Timothy J. Forster February 1, 2024

california tourist attractions map

9 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida for 2024

Gwen Pratesi|Amanda Norcross January 5, 2024

california tourist attractions map

24 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S. for 2024

Erin Evans January 4, 2024

california tourist attractions map

26 Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Zach Watson December 28, 2023

california tourist attractions map

Solo Vacations: The 36 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Erin Vasta December 22, 2023

california tourist attractions map

26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023

california tourist attractions map

The 50 Most Beautiful White Sand Beaches in the World

Holly Johnson December 1, 2023

california tourist attractions map

The 26 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Rachael Hood November 16, 2023

california tourist attractions map

44 Cheap Tropical Vacations That Feel Expensive

Holly Johnson|Alissa Grisler November 10, 2023

california tourist attractions map

RoadsideAmerica.com Your Online Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions

Attraction:

  • California Map
  • Featured Attractions
  • California: Everything
  • California Blog and News

Find California travel tips, stories, maps, videos and news for unusual tourist attractions and sights.

New Reports

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood, California

Many of the entertainment industry's famous (and infamous) celebrities transformed into pink terrazzo stars you can walk on.

Giant Marilyn Monroe

Giant Marilyn Monroe

Palm Springs, California

A full-color statue, 26 feet tall and 15 tons, mimics a famous publicity photo of Monroe standing atop a New York City subway grate, her dress billowing in an updraft.

Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park

Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park

Calabasas, California

Eternal rest for Rudolph Valentino's dog, Mae West's monkey, a Leo the Lion, and "Room 8," famous school cat of the '60s.

Sights for Oddball Excursions

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Escondido, California

Colorful fantasy sculpture world of tiles and serpents. Massive work by sculptor and painter Niki de Saint Phalle.

Official Center of the World

Official Center of the World

Felicity, California

Mayor Istel built his town smack over the Center of the World, now site of a pyramid, church and world history in granite.

In the Box Tour: Battles in Fake Iraq

In the Box Tour: Battles in Fake Iraq

Fort Irwin, California

Fake Iraq and Afghan villages built for Army training employ actor-citizens and insurgents. Special attack tours.

Trees of Mystery: Giant Bunyan and Babe

Trees of Mystery: Giant Bunyan and Babe

Klamath, California

Giant statues guard the entrance to classic Trees of Mystery, full of redwoods, corkscrew mutants and arboreal anomalies.

Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree

Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree

Leggett, California

Drive-thru trees. The horror! The Wonder! Here's an Avenue of the Giants favorite.

Simon Rodia's Watts Towers

Simon Rodia's Watts Towers

Los Angeles, California

An oft analyzed and revered monumental junk art construction of tall spires by outsider artist Sabato Simon "Sam" Rodia, built from 1922 to 1954.

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Niland, California

The late outsider artist Leonard Knight painted huge, divinely inspired visions on a desert dirt ridge he called Salvation Mountain.

Ken Fox's Great Statues of Auburn

Ken Fox's Great Statues of Auburn

Auburn, California

Concrete colossi built by Auburn dentist-sculptor Ken Fox.

Beasts of Borrego Springs

Beasts of Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs, California

Desert sculpture gallery of dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, and at least one sea monster, scattered over three square miles.

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

Cabazon, California

Over-photographed desert dinosaurs, immortalized in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Built by Claude Bell, who ran the Wheel Inn on I-10.

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Culver City, California

A collection both cryptic and illuminating, dedicated to raising public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic.

Unarius Academy of Science

Unarius Academy of Science

El Cajon, California

Headquarters of the Unarians, firm believers that 33 city-ships of the galactic Federation would arrive on Earth in 2001 (they didn't).

Jelly Belly Factory Tour and Museum

Jelly Belly Factory Tour and Museum

Fairfield, California

The factory that makes the jelly beans that a President once made famous.

Bigfoot Discovery Museum

Bigfoot Discovery Museum

Felton, California

The hairy biped, spotted between surfing beaches and Silicon Valley.

Pee Wee Golf

Pee Wee Golf

Guerneville, California

The 36-hole course opened in 1948 may be the birthplace of Odd Golf Sculpture.

Big Mike the Muffler Man

Big Mike the Muffler Man

Hayward, California

1960s vintage fiberglass Bunyan statue spent career in front of Hayward businesses before settling at a plastics fabrication business.

Museum of Death

Museum of Death

Grisly romp through funeral customs, celebrity murders, freak animals, and art of the condemned.

Point Reyes Lighthouse: The Fog

Point Reyes Lighthouse: The Fog

Inverness, California

300+ steps down to 1870 lighthouse at the cold, windy, foggy western reaches of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Tour-Thru Tree

Tour-Thru Tree

A living 800-year-old redwood you can drive thru for a few bucks.

Drive-Thru Donut: The Donut Hole

Drive-Thru Donut: The Donut Hole

La Puente, California

A doughnut shop sandwiched between two giant doughnuts is the very definition of the drive-thru attraction.

Nike Missile Site SF-88L

Nike Missile Site SF-88L

Mill Valley, California

NPS conducts tours through remarkably well-preserved Cold War facility, built to fire supersonic missiles at approaching Soviet bombers.

Battery Townsley

Battery Townsley

World War II era coast artillery bunker restored and open once a month for tours. Big guns, nuclear pressure tests, former teen burner hangout.

Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum

Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum

Monterey, California

The history of Monterey unfolds in wax: prostitutes, Indians, a bull and a bear in a bloody death struggle, and John Steinbeck. Closed in 2023.

Shrine Drive-Thru Tree

Shrine Drive-Thru Tree

Myers Flat, California

One of California's original drive-thru tree attractions is along the Avenue of the Giants.

Columbia, Challenger, and Criswell in Valhalla

Columbia, Challenger, and Criswell in Valhalla

North Hollywood, California

Portal of the Folded Wing, space shuttle memorial, and remains of the Amazing Criswell.

Trunkations

Roadside America's blog, offering news, rants and ruminations on the state of California

Previous: Arkansas | Next: Colorado

Offbeat Landmarks and Oddities

Choice field reports and tips. Or check out: Complete list of California attractions .

  • Adelanto : Miraculous Giant Healing Buddhist Statue [ tips ]
  • Aguanga : Metal Sculptures of Ricardo Breceda
  • Alameda : Carrier USS Hornet, Prints of Moon Men
  • Alpine : Dead Dolly Lane [ tips ]
  • Altadena : Bunny Museum
  • Amboy : Roy's Cafe Motel: Famous Sign [ tips ]
  • Antioch : Statue of the Cannery Lady [ tips ]
  • Apple Valley : 24-Foot-Tall Trigger, Roy Rogers' Horse [ tips ]
  • Aptos : Egg Machine with Robot Chickens [ tips ]
  • Atwater : Castle Air Museum: Parking Lot Jets [ tips ]
  • Auburn : Ken Fox's Great Statues of Auburn
  • Auburn : The Coolie - Ken Fox Statue
  • Avalon : Statue of Old Ben, Hungry Sea Lion [ tips ]
  • Baker : World's Tallest Thermometer
  • Baker : Alien Fresh Jerky [ tips ]
  • Bakersfield : Big Shoe Repair - Shoe-shaped Building
  • Bakersfield : Muffler Man: Indian Warrior [ tips ]
  • Bakersfield : Merle Haggard's Boxcar Home, Black Gold Oil Exhibit [ tips ]
  • Baldwin Park : Replica of the First In-N-Out Burger
  • Barstow : Route 66 Mother Road Museum [ tips ]
  • Barstow : Vehicles from Hell [ tips ]
  • Barstow : Giant Fire Helmet
  • Bellflower : Big Doughnut in Bagel Disguise [ tips ]
  • Bellflower : TV's Emergency! Firetrucks [ tips ]
  • Big Bear Lake : Time Bandits Movie Pirate Ship [ tips ]
  • Bishop : Ghost Town and Freak Lamb [ tips ]
  • Bodie : Bodie State Historic Park - Ghost Town [ tips ]
  • Bombay Beach : Bombay Beach: Odd Art [ tips ]
  • Bonita : Glarfs: Folk Art Dinosaurs [ tips ]
  • Boonville : Where People Speak Boontling [ tips ]
  • Boron : Borax Visitor Center
  • Boron : Twenty Mule Team Museum
  • Borrego Springs : Beasts of Borrego Springs
  • Buellton : Mendenhall's Museum of Gas Pumps and Petroliana [ tips ]
  • Buena Park : Independence Hall Replica [ tips ]
  • Burbank : Batman Statue [ tips ]
  • Cabazon : Claude Bell's Dinosaurs
  • Calabasas : Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park
  • Calistoga : Old Faithful Geyser of California
  • Cambria : Nitt Witt Ridge
  • Campbell : Delta Queen Car Wash
  • Cardiff-by-the-Sea : Cardiff Kook Surfer Statue [ tips ]
  • Carlsbad : Legoland [ tips ]
  • Carlsbad : Craftsmanship Museum: Tiny Machines
  • Cassel : Large Junk Art Sculptures [ tips ]
  • Castroville : Giant Artichoke
  • Chiriaco Summit : General Patton Memorial Museum
  • Cholame : James Dean Memorial [ tips ]
  • Coalinga : Restored 1934 Richfield Gas Station [ tips ]
  • Coalinga : Prehistoric Snail, Earthquake, Town History
  • Colma : Emperor Norton Grave [ tips ]
  • Colma : Circus Showfolks of America Memorial
  • Coloma : Towering Grave of California's Gold Discoverer
  • Compton : Big Doughnut - Dale's Donuts [ tips ]
  • Costa Mesa : 25-Foot-High Doughnut [ tips ]
  • Costa Mesa : Hitler's Car [ tips ]
  • Cotati : Accordion Master of Cotati
  • Crockett : Crockett History: Sugar, Sturgeon, Switchboard
  • Culver City : Museum of Jurassic Technology
  • Culver City : Holy Cross Cemetery - Graves of the Stars [ tips ]
  • Culver City : Cold War: The Wende Museum
  • Culver City : Al Jolson's Flashy Tomb
  • Davis : Toad Hollow - Tunnel for Toad Traffic
  • Davis : Bookhead
  • Death Valley : Scotty's Castle [ tips ]
  • Death Valley Junction : Amargosa Opera House [ tips ]
  • Death Valley National Park : Uhehebe Crater: Volcano!
  • Desert Hot Springs : Cabot's Old Indian Pueblo Museum
  • Downey : World's Oldest Operating McDonald's [ tips ]
  • Downieville : California's Only Public Gallows
  • East Los Angeles : Giant Aluminum Can Man [ tips ]
  • El Cajon : Unarius Academy of Science
  • El Cajon : Giant Mary and Toddler Jesus
  • El Monte : Statue of Liberty Replica [ tips ]
  • Encinitas : Surfing Madonna
  • Encinitas : Neptune's Portal
  • Escondido : Lawrence Welk Statue and Museum
  • Escondido : Muffler Man - Joor Man
  • Escondido : Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden
  • Escondido : Deer Park Winery and Auto Museum [ tips ]
  • Fairfax : Museum of Bicycling [ tips ]
  • Fairfield : Jelly Belly Factory Tour and Museum
  • Felicity : Official Center of the World
  • Felton : Bigfoot Discovery Museum
  • Felton : Redwood Cross-Section of Time
  • Fish Camp : California Tunnel Tree [ tips ]
  • Folsom : Folsom Prison Museum
  • Forestville : Muffler Man - Bunyan [ tips ]
  • Fort Bragg : Triangle Tattoo Museum [ tips ]
  • Fort Irwin : Painted Rocks - Military Boulders [ tips ]
  • Fort Irwin : Hi Jolly Exhibit and Human Leg Bone
  • Fort Irwin : In the Box Tour: Battles in Fake Iraq
  • Fortuna : Chapman's Gem and Mineral Museum
  • Fremont : Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum [ tips ]
  • Fresno : Forestiere Underground Gardens [ tips ]
  • Fresno : Soul Consoling Japanese Internment Tower [ tips ]
  • Garberville : Famous One Log House [ tips ]
  • Gardena : Big Doughnut, Donut King II [ tips ]
  • Geyserville : Isis Oasis Temple and Retreat
  • Geyserville : Coppola Winery Movie Museum
  • Gilroy : Circus Trees at Gilroy Gardens
  • Glen Ellen : Jack London's Grave, Wolf House Ruins
  • Glendale : Big Gold Mall Statue of D-Day Dead
  • Glendale : Museum of Neon Art [ tips ]
  • Glendale : Stained Glass Last Supper [ tips ]
  • Glendora : Rubel Castle
  • Guadalupe : DeMille's 10 Commandments Buried Here [ tips ]
  • Guerneville : Pee Wee Golf
  • Half Moon Bay : Pumpkin Farm, Labyrinth, Gladiator Battles [ tips ]
  • Half Moon Bay : English Pub With Double Decker Bus, Giant Pumpkin
  • Happy Camp : Surreal Scrap Metal Bigfoot [ tips ]
  • Hat Creek : Big Roy, Muffler Man [ tips ]
  • Hawthorne : SpaceX Dragon Rocket Monument
  • Hayward : Big Mike the Muffler Man
  • Hayward : Muffler Man: Happy Halfwit Hollywood
  • Hayward : Wagon Ho Pioneer Giant
  • Hayward : Muffler Man Cowboy - Big Don
  • Hayward : Muffler Man - Paul Bunyan No. 2
  • Hayward : Doggie Diner Heads [ tips ]
  • Hayward : Firefighter Giant - Muffler Man [ tips ]
  • Healdsburg : 26-Foot-Tall Coyote
  • Healdsburg : Lord Snort: Giant Boar of Junk [ tips ]
  • Hollywood : Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Hollywood : Museum of Death
  • Hollywood : RockWalk - Handprints Of Rockers
  • Hollywood : Johnny Ramone Grave [ tips ]
  • Hollywood : Atlas Missile Grave Marker
  • Hollywood : Hollywood Museum
  • Hollywood : Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Huntington Beach : International Surfing Museum: World's Largest Surfboard
  • Huntington Beach : Statue Of Old Sarge - Dog Hero of World War II [ tips ]
  • Indio : Shields Date Garden: Date Capital of the World [ tips ]
  • Inglewood : Big Doughnut, Randy's Donuts
  • Inverness : Point Reyes Lighthouse: The Fog
  • Irwindale : Tour the Sriracha Hot Sauce Factory
  • Jacumba : Desert View Tower
  • Joshua Tree : Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum [ tips ]
  • Joshua Tree : Big Josh: Cowboy Muffler Man [ tips ]
  • Julian : Eagle Gold Mine Tour
  • Keene : Grave of Cesar Chavez [ tips ]
  • Kettleman City : Bravo Land
  • Klamath : Trees of Mystery: Giant Bunyan and Babe
  • Klamath : Tour-Thru Tree
  • Klamath : Radar Station B-71: Farmhouse Disguise
  • La Jolla : Gift Shop Built Over a Sea Cave [ tips ]
  • La Jolla : House Teetering on Edge of Roof
  • La Jolla : The Scripps Turd [ tips ]
  • La Jolla : Giant Snake Mosaic Walkway
  • La Jolla : Teddy Bear Made of Boulders [ tips ]
  • La Puente : Drive-Thru Donut: The Donut Hole
  • Lafayette : Hill Of Crosses - Iraq War Dead Soldiers
  • Lake Balboa : Valley Relics Museum [ tips ]
  • Lake Hughes : Quail Run Ostrich Ranch [ tips ]
  • Lancaster : The Musical Road [ tips ]
  • Landers : The Integratron [ tips ]
  • Landers : Giant Rock [ tips ]
  • Lathrop : Crashed UFO at the Grocery Store
  • Lee Vining : Upside Down House [ tips ]
  • Leggett : Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree
  • Lemon Grove : World's Largest Lemon
  • Lemoore : Giant Transformer Robot [ tips ]
  • Lemoore : Creepy Farm People Dummies [ tips ]
  • Livermore : Longest Continuously Burning Light Bulb
  • Livermore : Muffler Man - Rodeo Season [ tips ]
  • Lodi : A&W Burger Family [ tips ]
  • Lone Pine : Nightmare Rock [ tips ]
  • Lone Pine : Movie Road [ tips ]
  • Lone Pine : Lone Pine Film History Museum [ tips ]
  • Long Beach : Queen Mary
  • Long Beach : Giant Lincoln Penny
  • Los Angeles : 50-Foot-Long Woman with Visible Organs
  • Los Angeles : Icons of Darkness
  • Los Angeles : Academy Museum of Motion Pictures [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Simon Rodia's Watts Towers
  • Los Angeles : Bronson Caves - Batman's Bat Cave [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Muffler Man - Sergio [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Chicken Boy: Muffler Man
  • Los Angeles : La Brea Tar Pits
  • Los Angeles : Giant Italian Chair [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Urban Light - 202 Lit Lampposts
  • Los Angeles : Mount Wilson Observatory [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Cosmos-Themed Encounter Lounge [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : The L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Statue of Businessman With Head Stuck In Building [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Petersen Auto Museum [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Buried Face-Down Above Marilyn Monroe [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Garden of Oz [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Angels Flight: World's Shortest Railway
  • Los Angeles : Forest Lawn Cemetery: Most Patriotic Place in LA
  • Los Angeles : Space Shuttle Endeavor [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : LAPD Museum
  • Los Angeles : Pierce Brothers Westwood Memorial Park [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Hollywood Sign [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Big Bronze Bruce Lee
  • Los Angeles : Funko Hollywood
  • Los Angeles : Phantasma Gloria at Randyland LA [ tips ]
  • Los Angeles : Diorama Museum of Bhagavad-gita [ tips ]
  • Malibu : Salsa Muffler Man
  • Marysville : Museum of the Forgotten Warriors [ tips ]
  • Mentone : Muffler Man - Paul Bunyan [ tips ]
  • Mill Valley : Nike Missile Site SF-88L
  • Mill Valley : Redwood Cross-Section of Time
  • Mill Valley : Battery Townsley
  • Monterey : Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum
  • Mountain View : Computer History Museum [ tips ]
  • Myers Flat : Shrine Drive-Thru Tree
  • Napa : Portal to Hell: Monticello Dam Drain [ tips ]
  • Newhall : Horse Drawn Hearse Under Glass [ tips ]
  • Newport Beach : Bunnyhenge [ tips ]
  • Niland : Salvation Mountain
  • Niland : Slab City [ tips ]
  • Niland : East Jesus [ tips ]
  • Norco : Pumpkin Rock [ tips ]
  • North Fork : Stand on the Exact Center of California [ tips ]
  • North Hollywood : Television Hall of Fame
  • North Hollywood : Portal of the Folded Wings, Space Shuttle Memorial
  • North Hollywood : Columbia, Challenger, and Criswell in Valhalla
  • Norwalk : Miniature Golf - Karate Kid [ tips ]
  • Novato : Olompali: Miwoks, Chosen Family, Grateful Dead
  • Oakland : Champions For Humanity: Mount Rushmore of California
  • Ocotillo : Coyote's Flying Saucer Retrievals and Repairs
  • Olancha : Junk Art Sculptures - Give/Take [ tips ]
  • Oro Grande : Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Ranch
  • Oroville : Bolt's Antique Tool Museum
  • Pacific Grove : Sandy The Gray Whale [ tips ]
  • Pacific Grove : P.G. Butterfly House
  • Pacific Grove : Tree Carved Octopus Attacking Ship
  • Pacifica : Sam's Castle [ tips ]
  • Palm Springs : Giant Marilyn Monroe
  • Palm Springs : RoboLights Sculpture Garden [ tips ]
  • Palm Springs : Palm Springs Air Museum: Darkstar [ tips ]
  • Palmdale : Blackbird Park - Spy Plane Hometown [ tips ]
  • Palmdale : R. Lee Ermey Musical Road [ tips ]
  • Palo Alto : Body of Urban Myth [ tips ]
  • Palo Alto : Naked Running Car Statue [ tips ]
  • Palo Alto : Statue of Nikola Tesla [ tips ]
  • Pasadena : Giant Fork
  • Pearsonville : Uniroyal Gal [ tips ]
  • Petaluma : Rancho Obi-Wan [ tips ]
  • Petaluma : Military Antiques and Penry Museum
  • Phillipsville : Chimney Tree, Old Hobbiton USA
  • Piercy : Confusion Hill
  • Placerville : Hanged Dummy at Hangman's Tree [ tips ]
  • Point Reyes Station : 1906 Earthquake Trail
  • Ranchita : Rancheti the Yeti [ tips ]
  • Redcrest : The Eternal Tree House
  • Redwood City : Pulgas Water Temple
  • Rialto : Wigwam Village Motel No. 7
  • Richmond : Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center
  • Rio Vista : Foster's Bighorn - 300 Heads
  • Riverside : Vietnam War Dog Memorial
  • Riverside : Sanchez's Beer Bottle Chapel, Folk Art [ tips ]
  • Riverside : Hand-Made Dinosaurs [ tips ]
  • Sacramento : Alien Tourist Trailer
  • Sacramento : One-Log Kevin Costner
  • Sacramento : Pancake Circus: Clown-Themed [ tips ]
  • Salinas : Giant Roadside Art of John Cerney [ tips ]
  • San Anselmo : Indiana Jones and Yoda Statues
  • San Bernardino : First Original McDonald's Museum
  • San Carlos : Hiller Aviation Museum [ tips ]
  • San Diego : Air and Space Museum: Nazi Flying Wing, Apollo 9 Capsule [ tips ]
  • San Diego : Embracing Peace Statue
  • San Diego : San Diego Police Museum [ tips ]
  • San Diego : Our Lady of Shoes
  • San Diego : A National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military
  • San Diego : Presidents Museum in a High School [ tips ]
  • San Diego : Model Railroad: World's Largest? [ tips ]
  • San Diego : Louie Mattar's Fabulous $75,000 Cadillac
  • San Francisco : Doggie Diner Heads
  • San Francisco : Wave Organ
  • San Francisco : Musee Mecanique
  • San Francisco : Cupid's Span [ tips ]
  • San Francisco : St. Francis Made of Melted Guns
  • San Francisco : Tonga Room
  • San Francisco : Paxton Gate - Taxidermy Art
  • San Francisco : Crookedest Street in the World
  • San Francisco : Famous Lounging Sea Lions
  • San Francisco : Sutro Baths Ruins and Cave
  • San Francisco : USS Pampanito Submarine Museum
  • San Francisco : Albino Alligator
  • San Francisco : Urge - Robot Mimics You
  • San Francisco : Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum [ tips ]
  • San Francisco : Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium
  • San Francisco : Magic Bus
  • San Francisco : Cement Slides [ tips ]
  • San Francisco : Real Crookedest Street in San Francisco
  • San Francisco : Beach Chalet: WPA Frescos, Undersea Stairs
  • San Francisco : 826 Valencia: Pirate Supply Store [ tips ]
  • San Francisco : Ceramic Congregation: Internet Archive
  • San Francisco : Madame Tussauds
  • San Francisco : Japanese Tea Garden [ tips ]
  • San Gabriel : Monster Park [ tips ]
  • San Jose : Winchester Mystery House
  • San Jose : Babe the Muffler Man
  • San Jose : Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum [ tips ]
  • San Jose : Olympic Black Power Statue
  • San Leandro : 55-Foot-Tall Nude Woman [ tips ]
  • San Luis Obispo : Bubble Gum Alley [ tips ]
  • San Luis Obispo : Madonna Inn [ tips ]
  • San Pedro : Battleship and Barbershop of Presidents
  • San Pedro : SS Poseidon Model [ tips ]
  • San Quentin : San Quentin Prison Gift Shop (and Museum) [ tips ]
  • San Rafael : Museum of International Propaganda
  • San Simeon : Hearst's Xanadu [ tips ]
  • San Simeon : Watch the Elephant Seals [ tips ]
  • Santa Clara : 32-Foot-Tall Steel Mary [ tips ]
  • Santa Clara : Intel Museum
  • Santa Clarita : Star Trek Gorn Battle Rocks - Vasquez Rocks [ tips ]
  • Santa Cruz : Santa Cruz Mystery Spot
  • Santa Cruz : Blue Whale Skeleton [ tips ]
  • Santa Fe Springs : Oxman's Surplus Museum
  • Santa Monica : Mushroom Cloud Made of Chains
  • Santa Rosa : Menacing Goblins [ tips ]
  • Santee : Creation and Earth History Museum
  • Sebastopol : Demented But Lovable Dog Statue [ tips ]
  • Sebastopol : Amiot's Junk Art Characters [ tips ]
  • Sequoia National Park : Tunnel Log: Drive Thru a Fallen Sequoia
  • Sequoia National Park : General Sherman: World's Largest (not Tallest) Tree
  • Sequoia National Park : General Grant - World's 3rd Largest Tree [ tips ]
  • Sequoia National Park : Home in a Log [ tips ]
  • Simi Valley : Ronald Reagan Museum and Library
  • Simi Valley : Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
  • Simi Valley : World's Largest Skateboard Collection [ tips ]
  • Solvang : Ostrichland USA [ tips ]
  • South El Monte : American Military Museum: Tanks [ tips ]
  • South Lake Tahoe : Magic Carpet Mini Golf
  • Stockton : Giant Buddha Statues [ tips ]
  • Sunol : Bosco the Dog Mayor
  • Sutter Creek : Muffler Man [ tips ]
  • Sylmar : Nethercutt Collection: Rare Cars And Music Machines [ tips ]
  • Taft : The Great Mouse Invasion - West Kern Oil Museum
  • Taft : Giant Oil Worker Monument [ tips ]
  • Temecula : Ronald Reagan Can-Do Statue [ tips ]
  • Torrance : JFK Toilet Bowl Memorial
  • Traver : Watch Cheese Made, Climb 7-Story Tree House [ tips ]
  • Trona : Trona Pinnacles
  • Truckee : Donner Party Monument: Cannibals!
  • Tulelake : Lava Beds National Monument [ tips ]
  • Turlock : Office Shaped Like Bulldozer
  • Twentynine Palms : End of the World Sign [ tips ]
  • Twentynine Palms : Outdoor Collection of Vintage Neon Signs [ tips ]
  • Ukiah : World's Largest Redwood Tree Service Station
  • Ukiah : City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
  • Valle Vista : Nightly Bat Swarm
  • Vallecito : Moaning Cavern
  • Vallejo : Mare Island Naval Missile Park
  • Valley Village : Metropolitan Pit Stop: Niche Minicar Museum [ tips ]
  • Van Nuys : Muffler Man - Kevin
  • Venice : Clownerina - Giant Clown in Tutu
  • Venice : Beach Bordello, Gargoyle-Encrusted
  • Venice : Mosaic Tile House [ tips ]
  • Ventura : Backyard Muffler Man [ tips ]
  • Victorville : California Route 66 Museum - Hulaville Model [ tips ]
  • Vina : Medieval Monastery [ tips ]
  • Viola : Muffler Man Paul Bunyan [ tips ]
  • Walnut Creek : Hand of Peace [ tips ]
  • Weed : Living Memorial Sculpture Garden [ tips ]
  • Weott : Charles Kellogg's Travel Log
  • West Hollywood : Tail o' the Pup
  • West Hollywood : Rocky and Bullwinkle
  • Westminster : Vietnamese Boat People Memorial
  • Westport : Westport Whale [ tips ]
  • Willits : Muffler Man: Cowboy Willy [ tips ]
  • Willow Creek : Bigfoot Capital: Museum and Statue
  • Willow Creek : Community Building Bigfoot Mural
  • Winterhaven : Remains of the Imperial Dunes Plank Road
  • Winterhaven : Imperial Valley Sand Dunes [ tips ]
  • Woodland Hills : Old Trapper's Lodge Statues
  • Yermo : Calico Ghost Town [ tips ]
  • Yermo : Peggy Sue's Diner and Diner-Saur Park [ tips ]
  • Yermo : Liberty Sculpture Park: Crazy Horse, Tiananmen Square
  • Yorba Linda : Richard Nixon Museum and Birthplace
  • Yucca Valley : Desert Christ Park
  • Yucca Valley : Sky Village Swap Meet Folk Art [ tips ]

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ... Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad

California Latest Tips and Stories

  • R. Lee Ermey Musical Road , Palmdale, California
  • Feature: Hollywood Walk of Fame , Hollywood, California
  • Toilet Neptune , Guerneville, California
  • Chicken Big , Laytonville, California
  • Grave of Leanna Donner , Jamestown, California

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

JFK's World Famous Twine Ball , Highland Township, Wisconsin (Mar 18-24, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

  • Hanson Ardmore Quarry Observation Tower , Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Spanish Singing Produce Truck , Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Roadside deVine Artesian Well , Burlington, Oklahoma
  • FDR Sat Here , Manteo, North Carolina
  • Kermit's Birthplace , Leland, Mississippi

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights

  • Bakersfield Attractions
  • Eureka Attractions
  • Hollywood Attractions
  • Los Angeles Attractions
  • Sacramento Attractions
  • San Bernardino Attractions
  • San Diego Attractions
  • San Francisco Attractions
  • Santa Cruz Attractions

california tourist attractions map

Miscellaneous

  • Submit a Tip
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms and Conditions

Trip Planning Caution : RoadsideAmerica.com offers maps, directions and attraction details as a convenience, providing all information as is. Attraction status, hours and prices change without notice; call ahead!

Credits, Media/Business Inquiries © Copyright 1996-2024 Doug Kirby, Ken Smith, Mike Wilkins. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the authors.

map of los angeles california

Maps of Los Angeles: Tourist Map of LA, California

Home | Travel | North America | United States | California | Los Angeles | Maps of Los Angeles: Tourist Map of LA, California

When traveling abroad, get a policy from one of the  best travel insurance companies . Y ou can get a  15% discount   on Heymondo , the only insurance that pays medical bills upfront for you, HERE!

Are you looking for a map of Los Angeles ? When traveling, I always carry a map with me so I don’t miss any important tourist spots. To help you plan your trip, I’ve compiled the best maps of Los Angeles (California) in this post.

In this article you will find 10 maps of LA that you can print out or save on your smartphone to check anytime:

Los Angeles tourist map

  • Interactive map of LA
  • Map of the main attractions in LA

Los Angeles street map

  • Map of Los Angeles neighborhoods

Los Angeles metro map

Los Angeles road map

High-resolution map of LA

United States map

  • Map of LA for downloading

With the tourist map of Los Angeles below, you can get a very general idea of the main points of interest in the city and where they are located.

Los Angeles tourist map

Interactive map of LA (California)

The interactive map of Los Angeles that you will find below has all the tourist attractions in Los Angeles and surroundings . Did I forget any? You can leave a comment and I’ll add it as fast as I can.

At the end of this article, you can download the kml file of this map, so you can check it anytime during your trip, even if you’re offline .

Map of the main attractions in Los Angeles

Here is a map of the main attractions in Los Angeles so that, even if you don’t have too much time to get to know the city, you can see the must-see places quickly and efficiently.

Map of the main attractions in Los Angeles

The street map of Los Angeles below will help you avoid getting lost in the city and figure out quickly where you are.

Los Angeles street map

Los Angeles Neighborhood Map

I’m sure you’ve heard of many neighborhoods in Los Angeles, such as Beverly Hills, Bel-Air or Hollywood, but do you know where they are? With the map of neighborhoods of Los Angeles that I include here, you can quickly locate them.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Map

If you want even more information, we’ve written an article on the best neighborhoods to stay in LA that you may find interesting.

A metro map of Los Angeles is an essential tool for getting around big cities like LA. You can click on the Los Angeles metro map to zoom in.

Los Angeles metro map

This LA road map will allow you to move around the city or get in and out of it with no problems. You can also travel the Pacific Coast Highway, a beautiful scenic drive.

Los Angeles road map

If you’re afraid of getting lost in the city, don’t worry. With this high-resolution map of LA, you can zoom in and find any point.

High-resolution map of LA

Thinking to yourself, where is Los Angeles on a map ? Check out this map of the United States.

United States map

Map of Los Angeles for downloading

You can get the kml file of this map of Los Angeles for downloading so you can check it at any time, even when you are offline. To use it, install the Maps.me and Dropbox apps on your smartphone.

map of los angeles california

First, save the kml file that you have downloaded in Dropbox and open it from your phone using Maps.me so that all the places we’ve indicated on our interactive map are downloaded.

And that’s all! With these maps of Los Angeles, you already have everything you need to plan your trip to the City of Stars.

Don't miss a 15% discount on your HeyMondo travel insurance  

and the only one that pays all your medical bills upfront for you!

california tourist attractions map

Ascen Aynat

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

california tourist attractions map

SPRING BREAK PROMO

heymondo travel insurance

  • COVID-19 coverage (treatment, testing, and cancelation)
  • Valid for any future trips 
  • Offer valid through March 3rd
  • All medical expenses paid upfront
  • 24h Telemedicine service included

IMAGES

  1. The Ultimate Road Trip Map Of Places To Visit In California

    california tourist attractions map

  2. California Attractions Map

    california tourist attractions map

  3. California Sightseeing Map

    california tourist attractions map

  4. Illustrated map of California, USA. Travel and attractions. Stock

    california tourist attractions map

  5. California Roadside Attractions Map

    california tourist attractions map

  6. California State Map

    california tourist attractions map

VIDEO

  1. Exploring Monterey California

  2. Trip to California

  3. Top 5 Best Places To Visit In California

  4. Top 7 Places to Visit in California

  5. Most Beautiful Drives in California to take in 2024

  6. Trip to Big Sur California

COMMENTS

  1. 10 Top Tourist Attractions in California (+Map)

    2. Golden Gate Bridge [SEE MAP] The Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco 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 ...

  2. 17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in California

    3. Disneyland. Disneyland. Disneyland, located in Anaheim, is California's premier family destination and one of the top family vacation destinations in the US. This massive amusement park is home to all kinds of rides, games, shows, and entertainment, complete with restaurants and hotels. The park is a combination of theme rides and recreated ...

  3. Maps of California

    This map of the California coast was created just with them in mind. It shows all the most popular places along the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to Oregon. To get tips for driving along the coast and a big list of things you can do along the way, use the map guide to the California coast . Continue to 4 of 6 below. 04 of 06.

  4. California Attractions Map

    Explore the best attractions and fun ideas in California with this interactive map. Click a marker to discover a destination or attraction and get more information on the details.

  5. Best Places to Visit in California for 2023

    Best Places to Visit in California for 2024. Catalina Island. Lake Tahoe. Redwood National and State Parks. Carmel-by-the-Sea. Mammoth Lakes. Yosemite National Park. San Diego. Monterey.

  6. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in California

    6. Griffith Observatory. A public observatory in Los Angeles, Griffith Observatory has been featured in many movies, from 'Rebel Without a Cause' to 'La La Land'. Nestled on Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory boasts some of the best views of the city—the best time to visit is at sunset.

  7. Map of California With Attractions: Explore Hotspots!

    So, grab your California tourist attractions map and embark on a road trip to discover the best places to visit in California. In the next section, we'll delve into the vibrant cities and cultural attractions that California has to offer. Experience the Vibrant Cities and Cultural Attractions.

  8. 26 Incredible Must-Visit California Tourist Attractions

    The Best Places to Visit in California - 25 Top Tourist Attractions. 1. Disneyland. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Photo by Go Travel California) A household name around the entire world, Disneyland Resort is split into two renowned theme parks (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure). It's really THE top attraction in California.

  9. 22 Top-Rated Things to Do in California

    Things to do include swimming, surfing, windsurfing, biking, and yoga. Pacific Beach features a three-mile-long oceanfront boardwalk with shops, cafés, and restaurants. The trendy restaurants attract a young crowd and give the beach a lively atmosphere. 3. Admire Masterpieces of Art in Los Angeles.

  10. 15 Places to Visit in Southern California

    Courtesy of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board Neighboring Santa Monica, Venice became one of California's original tourist destinations more than 100 years ago when Abbot Kinney used his deep pockets and imagination to construct Italian-inspired canals, islands, a saltwater lagoon with gondolas, shopping colonnades, and a roller coaster ...

  11. 26 Top Things to Do in California

    Traveler favorites in Joshua Tree include the 3-mile out-and-back Ryan Mountain trail and the 1.7-mile Skull Rock loop trail. In Anza-Borrego, visitors enjoyed the 2.6-mile out-and-back Pictograph ...

  12. Free 2024 Guides, Maps and Brochures for California Travelers

    The digital Visitor's Guide has been updated for 2024, but at the time of this writing the Road Trips guide is still the 2023 publication. A 2024 addition to Visit California's brochure page is the mention of an "Official State Map" — although this appears to only be available to people who request a mailed guide and is not available ...

  13. Visit California

    Find things to do, places to visit, and experiences to explore at Visit California, the Golden State's official tourism site. Learn about national parks, hotels, restaurants, beaches, mountains, cities, and more.

  14. 18 Must-See Stops on California's Pacific Coast Highway

    The Moorish castle has 165 rooms altogether, along with 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Three different daytime tours are available: a "Grand Rooms Tour," an "Upstairs Suites Tour," and the "Cottages and Kitchen Tour.". Advance reservations are recommended, especially during the summer months.

  15. Visit California Travel Guides

    Order Your Free 2024 California Travel Guides. You'll receive three of our essential planning tools, including the California Visitor's Guide, Road Trips Guide, and Official State Map—all sent straight to your home to help you plan the ultimate Golden State getaway. Plus, for a limited time, you'll also receive the 2023 Visitor's ...

  16. California Attractions Map

    Using customized Google Maps you can quickly see all the greatest things to do in California. Easy to see icons on the map indicate the location of all the most popular attractions in California. Click on any icon and you will see summary information on the attraction. The More Details link will allow you to get more information quickly.

  17. Top 20 California Attractions You Don't Want To Miss

    Top 20 tourist attractions in California. Explore sightseeing, travel destinations & fun things to do in California at famous attractions like Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Golden Gate Bridge, and Big Sur Coastline.

  18. 12 Epic Things To Do In Northern California [Map Included]

    Here are a list of hikes you can do in Lassen: Brokeoff Mountain - 6.8 mile hike. Kings Creek Falls - 3 mile hike. Cider Cone - 5.5 mile hike. There is also the hydrothermal areas and caves to explore (We didn't do the caves since we were going to visit Lava Beds next!). Bumpass Hell is another trail option.

  19. 18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Palm Springs, CA

    For sightseeing ideas, see our list of the top attractions and things to do in Palm Springs. 1. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. 2. Take a Photo with Marilyn Monroe. 3. Visit the Palm Springs Air Museum. 4. Take a Canyon Hike to a Waterfall.

  20. 16 Best Things to Do in Palm Springs

    This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content. Ranking of the top 16 things to do in Palm Springs. Travelers favorites include #1 Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, #2 ...

  21. California Tourist Attractions

    The best California oddities and offbeat attractions, road trip and vacation recommendations from Roadside America's writers and experts -- museums, statues, roadside stops, odd buildings, weird folk art. ... Find California travel tips, stories, maps, videos and news for unusual tourist attractions and sights. New Reports. Hollywood Walk of ...

  22. Maps of Los Angeles: Tourist Map of LA, California

    To help you plan your trip, I've compiled the best maps of Los Angeles (California) in this post. In this article you will find 10 maps of LA that you can print out or save on your smartphone to check anytime: Los Angeles tourist map. Interactive map of LA. Map of the main attractions in LA. Los Angeles street map.