Discover 6 top California attractions and surrounding experiences to round out your vacation.
California is one of the USA’s largest states, spanning some 1,240 kilometers from end to end, and it’s also one of the most diverse. It contains diverse geography, from lush landscapes of redwood forests and mountains, to oceans and deserts. And California is also packed with a diversity of experiences, including world-famous theme parks, bustling big cities, laid-back ski towns and more. Here are six attractions – from world-famous to hidden gems – to plan your trip around.
There’s simply so much to do at Disneyland Resort. Stroll the park’s eight themed areas, from the charms of Main Street USA to the futuristic Tomorrowland. Also part of the resort is Disney California Adventure Park, home to exhilarating rides and attractions like the Radiator Springs Racers ride of Cars movies fame and the celebration of Pixar’s animated movies on Pixar Pier.
In and around Anaheim: Try some of the local treats at the Anaheim Packing House, a restored citrus packing facility from the 1920s that is now home to more than 20 independent eateries. Grab high-end fashion at South Coast Plaza, the West Coast’s largest shopping center. Experience exhilarating rollercoasters, as well as family-friendly rides and entertainment, at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle lit up at night at Disneyland Park
Universal Studios Hollywood
It’s filled with rides and other attractions, but Universal Studios Hollywood also remains a working film studio. See where the movies get made on the laugh-filled and informative studio tour while finding thrills on high-tech rides like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Revenge of the Mummy or Transformers: The Ride-3D.
In and around Hollywood: Nearby in West Hollywood, get the true Hollywood experience – from the old Hollywood-style Sunset Tower Hotel and Tower Bar restaurant to the A-list shops along Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard. Catch a glimpse of a real-life star while watching live music on the Sunset Strip.
The palm tree-lined entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood
SeaWorld San Diego
Meet bottlenose dolphins, soar along the Electric Eel roller coaster or be inspired by amazing killer whales. Those are just a few of the experiences at the 76-hectare SeaWorld San Diego, one of the world’s most popular marine parks.
In and around San Diego: Explore the massive cultural oasis of Balboa Park, home to the San Diego Zoo. Step back in time in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, now a walkable entertainment district dotted with Victorian architecture, delicious restaurants and cocktail bars.
Fast-paced fun on the Journey to Atlantis flume ride at SeaWorld San Diego
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
For more than half a century, riders have marveled at the soaring vistas seen from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The world’s largest rotating tram car takes visitors over four kilometers, up to an elevation of 2,590 meters and across cliffs and wilderness. At the top, visit the observation deck, restaurants, natural history museum and hiking trails.
In and around Palm Springs: Indulge in local culture at the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Palm Springs Air Museum. Or, shop for deals at Desert Hills Premium Outlets.
Expansive vistas from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Devils Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes
It’s believed that the massive basalt columns at what is now Devils Postpile National Monument formed some 100,000 years ago as cooling lava split into multi-sided posts. Also within the park, go day hiking along the John Muir or Pacific Crest trails; try camping, fishing or horseback riding; or peer at the colorful mist created by the towering Rainbow Falls.
In and around Mammoth Lakes: Take a ride on the Mammoth Mega Zip line, or hike and bike the beautiful recreation area around Mammoth Lakes Basin.
The stunning basalt columns of Devils Postpile National Monument
The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose
The fast-moving world of technological advancement is celebrated at The Tech Museum of Innovation, commonly known as “The Tech.” While at this hands-on museum, play cyber detective, learn about robots or experience weightlessness in the Exploration Gallery. Save time for a movie on the giant screen.
In and around San Jose: High-tech life is the hallmark of the city. Explore decades of computer innovation at the Intel Museum, marvel at the nearby search giant’s massive Google Campus, or slow things down with a relaxing walk through the colorful Municipal Rose Garden.
Family fun at the Tech Museum of Innovation
California is home to a number of international airports in each area of the state, including San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and San Jose International Airport.
More experiences nearby