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30 Best Things To Do in California




California is an incredible state to visit whether you’re a relaxed vacationer or an adventurous tourist. This destination is packed full of spectacular sights and exciting experiences. There’s something waiting for you in California. Especially if you’re interested in art, nature, culture, food, technology, or entertainment.

This state offers diversity both in terms of culture and landscape. You can admire gorgeous national parks, indulge in both surf and snow, and experience the thrilling urban nightlife. The beauty and intrigue of California are present whether you visit the southern or the northern parts of the state.

The Golden State offers a wide range of things to do and memorable experiences. Below is our list of the 30 best things to do in California.

1. Yosemite National Park

El Capitan in Yosemite National Park stands tall in California.
Source: David Fulmer / Flickr
El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is best known for its spectacular and powerful displays of natural beauty. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, this area features waterfalls, rock formations, and impressive groves of trees.

The park is home to three of the world’s ten tallest waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in the United States. Also, El Capitan, the largest exposed granite monolith on earth, is located on the north side of Yosemite Valley.

This area is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and rock climbing. The natural wonders of Yosemite National Park attract a wide range of travelers. Everyone from adventurers to photographers and families can enjoy a day out in the wilderness. For guests who like to relax and stay in, the park also offers a variety of restaurants and hotels.

Yosemite National Park is America’s second national park. It was first protected in 1864, then later designated a World Heritage site in 1984. Yosemite is an internationally famous destination. It receives about four million guests on average per year. The area covers 748,436 acres and spans across four counties.

Popular lookout destinations within Yosemite include Tunnel View and Glacier Point. Mariposa Grove is another scenic location in the park, which features marvelous giant redwood trees. Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake offer incredible views and relaxing serenity.

2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

One of the best things to do in California is visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium like these families.
Source: photocritical / shutterstock
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium is a nonprofit aquarium in Monterey, California known for its regional conservation efforts. This public aquarium was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest. Also, it was the first to successfully display a great white shark.

This aquarium has won numerous awards for its marine conservation efforts, educational programs, and impressive exhibitions. It was founded in 1984 on the site of a former sardine cannery.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is home to sharks, sea otters, penguins, jellyfish, and thousands of other animals and plants from the ocean. Also, their extensive collection of marine life ranges from mammals to fish, to invertebrates, and more.

3. Disneyland & Disney California Adventure Park

Disney California Adventure ferris wheel with Mickey Mouse on the front. Disney provides a lot of fun things to do in California.
Source: HarshLight / Flickr
Disney California Adventure Park

Disneyland is one of the most famous amusement parks in the world. It is located right in the heart of Anaheim, California. This theme park is the home to beloved Disney characters, thrilling rides, dazzling live shows, delicious restaurants, and timeless souvenir shops.

Opened in 1955, Disneyland was designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. Today, much of this old magic is still alive, along with new rides and upgraded attractions. Disney California Adventure Park opened next door in 2001, which greatly expanded the fun.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park consistently raise the bar for unbeatable, high-quality, wholesome fun. A day spent at one of these parks is packed full of parades, fireworks, and imaginative splendor.

Classic characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy can be found at both parks. Visitors also have the chance to meet modern fan favorites, like Princess Tiana, Mr. Incredible, Joy, and Elsa. If you’re visiting Galaxy’s Edge, you also expect to run into Star Wars characters like Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Superheroes like Black Panther and Captain Marvel hang out at California Adventure in Hollywood Land.

Disneyland is more than just a theme park, it’s a complete vacation destination. The resort complex offers three hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Downtown Disney is also home to a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

4. Redwood National and State Parks

Redwood National Park in California during midday enjoying the sunlight.
Source: Curioso / shutterstock
Redwood National Park

The Redwood National and State Parks are a grouping of several protected areas of beautiful nature. The entire complex is comprised of Redwood National Park, Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The entire area is nearly 140,000 acres of wilderness.

Located along the shores of northern California, the parks contain forest, coastline, and rivers. The wildlife in the area is extremely varied and consists of a number of protected and threatened species.

Visitors can also travel to the Redwood National and State Parks for a wide range of outdoor activities. Hiking, camping, horseback riding, and mountain biking are popular ways to spend a day in the woodlands. On the coast and in the rivers, guests can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.

The Redwood National and State Parks contain about 45 percent of the remaining California Redwood trees. These trees stand nearly 400 feet tall and can live for up to 1,800 years. Visitors are awed by these ancient as well as enormous redwoods.

5. Napa Valley Wineries

Napa Valley Wineries among the rolling hills of Northern California.
Source: Michael Warwick / shutterstock
Napa Valley

Napa Valley of Northern California is known for its fantastic wineries. The winemakers of Napa Valley have been perfecting their craft since the 1800s.

Visitors in Napa Valley can enjoy a wide range of premium regional wines and luxury experiences. Popular activities include guided tours of vineyards, wine tastings, and exquisite dinners.

The region is internationally known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and other varieties. There are currently more than four hundred wineries in the region producing some of the world’s best wine.

Napa Valley also offers a scenic and serene landscape lined with vineyards and gardens. The world-famous wine-growing region is situated in between the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountains. Fine dining restaurants also offer a breathtaking view of the valley.

6. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is a fun place to visit when looking for things to do in California.
Source: f11photo / shutterstock
Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is often a highlight for visitors to San Francisco, California. It’s mostly known for its infamous prison, but there are more unique things to see. There are early military fortifications as well as the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast. Visitors can also enjoy natural features such as tide pools and seabird colonies.

Alcatraz used to be a functioning prison that housed infamous and dangerous criminals like Al Capone. The penitentiary operated between 1934 and 1963.

Tours to Alcatraz Island are taken by ferry. The National Park Service also manages the area and park rangers conduct captivating tours that highlight the natural beauty and fascinating history of the area. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even tour Alcatraz at night. The island and the prison are cold and damp even in the summer, so dressing for cold weather is advised.

7. The Getty Center

The Getty Center in Southern California. Green trees and bushes appear below a line of California mist.
Source: Tinseltown / shutterstock
Getty Center

The Getty Center is home to the Getty Museum as well as other programs of the Getty Trust. Sitting atop the hills west of Hollywood, this destination is known for its exquisite architecture and breathtaking views of Los Angeles. The center features landscaped gardens, thoughtful sculptures, and entertaining tram-style transportation.

The spectacular Getty Museum boasts an impressive collection of paintings by visionaries such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Gauguin. Their exhibitions include various European and American artworks throughout history.

Aside from the museum, some other buildings in the center include the Getty Conservation Institute, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Getty Foundation. These buildings are usually closed to the public, but their gorgeous architecture can be enjoyed by all visitors of the Getty Center.

The Getty Center, as well as the Getty Museum, are excellent attractions for anyone visiting the area of Los Angeles, California. The design triumphs of the buildings and gardens makes this center a visual as well as an artistic feast for the eyes.

8. Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier with the beach and ocean in the foreground.
Source: ProDesign studio / shutterstock
Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is an energetic wooden pier loaded with eateries, lookout spots, and fishing locations. Also, there is a classic amusement park. If you’re visiting Santa Monica, California, this pier is a must-see attraction.

The amusement park is called Pacific Park. Guests can ride a roller coaster, the iconic Ferris wheel, the original carousel from the 1920s, or other thrilling rides. Also, concession stands, arcade games and souvenir shops line the park.

Visitors to Santa Monica Pier can enjoy a vast selection of restaurants, bars, and places of entertainment. Beneath the pier, guests can also check out the exhibits at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

Santa Monica Pier is a 100-year-old landmark, but it’s just as lively and popular as ever. The pier often hosts concerts and other special events. Throughout the year, live music performers and entertainers keep the energy lifted.

9. Big Sur Coastline

The Big Sur Coastline in Northern California is breathtaking.
Source: Jon Bilous / shutterstock
Big Sur

The Big Sur Coastline is widely regarded as one of the most scenic driving routes on the planet. This gorgeous section of California coast stretches 90 miles from Carmel to the Santa Lucia Mountains. The powerful scenery offers views of the ocean, cliffs, and beaches.

Points of interest along the Big Sur coast include Bixby Bridge, the world’s tallest single-span concrete arch bridge, and Point Sur lighthouse. Visitors can also enjoy the natural beauty of McWay Falls, an impressive waterfall cascading into the ocean.

California Highway One is also the best route for sightseeing if you want to admire the breathtaking, seaside views. Visitors can use turnouts to stop and enjoy the scenery or to take some pictures. Restaurants like Nepenthe are also great places for guests to relax and enjoy panoramic views.

Adventurous visitors can tour the Point Sur Lighthouse or explore the nearby hiking trails. For lodging, the Big Sur Coastline is dotted with campgrounds, cabins, and inns. Regardless of where you stay, you’ll wake up to unparalleled views of pristine nature.

10. Hearst Castle

The outside pool of Hearst Castle in California.
Source: Victoria Garagliano / California State Parks
Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is a massive mansion and the previous residence of William Randolph Hearst. The hilltop property was turned into a California State Park in 1954.

The main castle building is surrounded by three guest houses, an enormous swimming pool, tennis courts, and 127 acres of garden. Hearst Castle is built on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, producing incredible, scenic views.

Visitors can tour Hearst Castle as a National Historic Landmark and museum. Guided tours allow guests to view the architectural wonders while learning about the intriguing history of the building. Evening tours are also available for guests who want to experience the castle at night.

Inside the Hearst Castle Theater, guests can watch the movie “Building the Dream,” which details the history of the castle. Visitors will learn that back in Hearst’s day, the castle was home to frequent parties, a wide range of sports, and the world’s largest private zoo.

Hearst Castle is a monument to luxury, excess, and eccentricity. The visual beauty is wondrous, and the historic value is fascinating.

11. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove in the middle of the day with blue ocean water and surfers in the distance.
Source: Dancestrokes / shutterstock
La Jolla

La Jolla Cove is the best spot for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring in San Diego, California. Whether you’re interested in gorgeous natural views or exciting downtown opportunities, there’s something for everyone to do at this destination.

Relaxing on the shores near the cove is the ideal retreat. The water is calm and the sand and sun are abundant. For more action, exploring the nearby caves and tide pools can reveal a variety of exciting wildlife. The local beaches are great places to surf, build sandcastles, or go swimming.

La Jolla Village is the perfect place to spend a posh afternoon. This affluent seaside town is decorated with luxurious mansions and fashionable boutiques. The beachside restaurants offer premium quality meals and unbeatable views of the Pacific Ocean.

12. Sequoia National Park

A tree tunnel in Sequoia National Park.
Source: Kusska / shutterstock
Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is a 404,000-acre region covered in enormous, ancient trees. Located in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, this park features impressive giant sequoia tree groves.

Visitors of this park can enjoy hiking and camping activities while they admire the scenery. Points of interest include High Sierra Trail, Moro Rock, and Crescent Meadow. The mountainous terrain encompasses the Kings River Canyon, a place of unparalleled natural beauty.

Sequoia National Park is most well-known for containing General Sherman, the largest living tree in the world. General Sherman is an unbelievable 275 feet tall and 36.5 feet wide. Seeing this massive tree in person is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience.

13. USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum from above.
Source: USS Midway Museum
USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway Museum used to function as America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier. The carrier has now been transformed into a popular museum located in downtown San Diego, California. This museum offers an exciting educational experience with tons of family-friendly fun.

Guests who visit the USS Midway Museum will literally be walking in the footsteps of the 225,000 sailors who served on Midway. Visitors can enjoy thrilling flight simulators, masterfully restored aircraft, and the “Battle of Midway Theater” experience. Learn the fascinating history of the Midway with self-guided audio tours narrated in six languages.

The USS Midway Museum is the most famous naval warship museum in the United States. On an international scale, the museum is known as “Navy Town, USA.” More than 700 events are hosted at the USS Midway Museum each year, including a 4th of July and Veterans Day celebration.

14. Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
Source: Lucky-photographer / shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks not just in California, but in the entire United States. Located in San Francisco, California, this bridge is admired by countless tourists each year.

Visitors who come to see the Golden Gate Bridge can drive, walk, or cycle across the length of the landmark. A wide range of guided tours is also available for people who want to learn about the bridge’s remarkable history.

Lookout points are on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge are perfect spots for taking photographs. The vibrant red paint of the bridge makes admiring the landmark and taking pictures easier, even in the thickest of San Francisco fogs.

When the ​Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, it featured the longest bridge span in the world at the time. Additionally, it is the first bridge support ever constructed in the open ocean. The incredible engineering and construction safety record was especially extraordinary for the time period.

15. The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign on top of the hill in Los Angeles, California.
Source: logoboom / shutterstock
Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is an iconic attraction that symbolizes the glamour, fame, and intrigue of Hollywood. If you’re visiting Los Angeles, California, make sure you catch a glimpse of this legendary sign,

You can see the Hollywood Sign from tons of places around town. Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon are excellent options if you want to admire the landmark while enjoying a hike. These locations provide great lookout points for taking photos. However, in recent years, many of these access point trails have been restricted.

Erected in 1923, the Hollywood signs was the idea of real estate developers who were looking to capitalize on the desirability of the Hollywood movie star lifestyle. The landmark has survived fires, the weather, vandals, proposed real estate development, and more. This famous sign has been a key feature of the Hollywood skyline and California culture for decades.

16. Death Valley National Park

Brown and red hills in Death Valley National Park.
Source: BrunitaGio / shutterstock
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is incredibly beautiful but is also a brutally hostile place to visit. Straddling the California-Nevada border, this region is the hottest, driest, lowest, and largest of all the national parks in the United States.

Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. Guests visiting this spot can admire the surreal landscape and walk out onto the vast salt flats. From this spot, you’re actually able to see the highest point in the contiguous United States just 85 miles away. Admiring Mount Whitney from these minimalist plains is a highlight of visiting the park.

Dante’s View is another great lookout point that offers tremendous views of the stark scenery. The Furnace Creek Visitor Center and the surrounding entrances are excellent spots to start exploring Death Valley.

Temperatures of 134° Fahrenheit (56.7°C) have been recorded at Badwater Basin, which is the highest air temperature ever recorded at the Earth’s surface. Due to this extreme heat, visitors are advised to stay hydrated, dress for warm weather, and visit Death Valley in the early hours of the morning.

17. Venice Beach

The boardwalk on Venice Beach during late afternoon.
Source: Ingus Kruklitis / shutterstock
Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a unique and vibrant seaside neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. This quirky destination is famous for its talented street artists, skateboarders, bodybuilders, and bohemian, beachy lifestyle.

Visitors to Venice Beach can enjoy a one-of-a-kind shopping experience with the street vendors, market stalls, and beachfront stores. Restaurants and bars line the boardwalk, offering the option to enjoy a meal while you watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. If you have time, take a stroll through the scenic Venice canals or watch the talent at the skatepark.

One of the most popular things to do at Venice Beach is to rent a bicycle or scooter ride along the boardwalk. If you’d prefer to get in the water, rent a surfboard instead and explore the waves.

18. Lake Tahoe

The crystal clear blue-green waters of Lake Tahoe with the Sierra Nevada mountains and trees in the background.
Source: topseller / shutterstock
Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a massive, majestic lake located along the California-Nevada border. This destination offers tons of activities for tourists in both the summer and winter.

In the summer, visitors can boat, kayak, swim, or jet ski in the lake. Being one of the largest lakes in the world, there’s plenty of room for water-based activities.

Warm weather at Lake Tahoe also gives guests the opportunity to hike and camp the surrounding area. Lodging in the area ranges from isolated campsites to rustic cabins, and luxury hotels.

In the winter, skiing, snowboarding, and riding snowmobiles are popular activities. Being pampered at a high-end or indulging in Lake Tahoe’s active nightlife are also fun ideas for when it’s more fun to stay indoors.

19. San Diego Zoo

Orangutans relax at the San Diego Zoo.
Source: Chris Gotz / shutterstock
San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo, a pioneer of open-air, cageless exhibits, houses more than 3,500 animals consisting of over 650 species. The zoo is located inside Balboa Park in San Diego, California.

Interactive tours and programs make this zoo a unique and memorable experience. Guests can also interact with animals, tour botanical exhibits, or watch fascinating educational performances.

Exclusive VIP experiences, dinner events, evening tours, and other wild activities are highlights of the park. Children and families can partake in a wide range of fun programs, including wildlife sleepover safaris.

The San Diego Zoo has won numerous awards for its conservation efforts and educational programs. It also has the distinction of being the most visited zoo in the United States. Tourists who visit this California attraction won’t be disappointed by the incredible 100-acre zoo.

20. Griffith Observatory

A pink skyline shot of the Griffith Observatory.
Source: f11photo / shutterstock
Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory is a gateway to the cosmos and a delight to lovers of astronomy. Guests can look through telescopes, explore museum exhibits, or watch live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

Enthusiasts of stars and space can enjoy a wide range of educational programs, events, and exhibits. Cosmic parties and informative lectures are commonly held at the Griffith Observatory. During eclipses and other notable astronomical occasions, public special events are often held.

This destination also offers stunning views of Hollywood and Los Angeles. Visitors can check out the bustling streets, the Hollywood sign, and the gorgeous California sunset. Offering spectacular views of both skyline and space, the Griffith Observatory is an awe-inspiring attraction.

21. Lombard Street

Aerial shot at night of Lombard Street in San Francisco.
Source: Terry Richards / Getty Images
Lombard Steet

Lombard Street attracts millions of tourists each year as the “crookedest” street in the world. Located in San Francisco, California, this steep, curvy one-way road is a sight to behold.

The famous one-block stretch of Lombard Street is located between Hyde Street and Leavenworth Street. The winding road features eight hairpin turns at a steep incline.

Travelers visiting this Russian Hill neighborhood can take intriguing photos of the street from all angles. If you want to drive down the road, you may need to be patient, since it can get busy. At peak traffic hours, Lombard Street can see around 250 cars per hour.

22. Universal Studios Hollywood

Cutout of King Kong hangs from the Hollywood Pizza sign at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Source: Alkhutov Dmitry / shutterstock
Universal CityWalk

Universal Studios Hollywood is an amusement park. It is loaded with nonstop fun and movie-making magic. Guests can tour a real working movie studio, experience thrilling rides, and watch amazing live performances.

Tourists visit this theme park from all over the world for a behind-the-scenes Hollywood experience. Guests can ride the legendary Studio Tour and explore the Universal Studios backlot. This attraction gives tourists the possibility to interact with celebrities if any happen to be around the studio.

The heart-pounding rides and attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood are thrilling fun for the whole family. Just one day in this theme park can be packed with dinosaurs, Transformers, 3D experiences, and real celebrity encounters.

Directly outside of the theme park, Universal CityWalk is the perfect place to end an exciting day. This three-block shopping center features trendy shops, premium restaurants, and a variety of entertainment. Visitors to CityWalk can enjoy nightclubs, live music in the promenade, and an Imax cinema.

23. Fisherman’s Wharf

Outside in the day at Fisherman's Wharf with the sign.
Source: / shutterstock
Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a neighborhood San Francisco, California that’s popular with tourists for its unmistakable bayside charm. This area is best known for being the home of Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. As well as a wide range of other exciting attractions.

Pier 39 is an excellent location for guests to enjoy fresh seafood and go shopping for souvenirs. If you’re visiting the wharf, make sure you check out the lively sea lion colony that hangs out on wooden docks around this pier.

Fisherman’s Wharf also features a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, a wax museum, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. At the legendary Ghirardelli Square, tourists can indulge in luxurious chocolate. Visitors can take a cable car to the wharf for the ultimate San Francisco experience.

24. La Brea Tar Pits

Mastodons stand outside at the La Brea Tar Pits.
Source: Ken Wolter / shutterstock
La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits are a famous excavation site and museum that make tourists feel like they’ve teleported back in time. You wouldn’t expect to see mammoths and saber-toothed cats in the middle of urban Los Angeles.

The museum is home to an impressive collection of fossils and specimens. Visitors can admire dramatic exhibits and learn the processes of tar pit formation and excavation. Some highlights of the destination include the fossil lab and the 3D theater.

The La Brea Tar Pits is an awesome attraction for history buffs and museum lovers. Exploring the excavation pit and visiting the interactive museum is fun for the whole family.

25. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Source: Andrew Zarivny / shutterstock
Hollywood Walk Of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an iconic 15 blocks of sidewalk. It is embedded with more than 2,500 legendary stars. This recognizable sight is a must-see if you’re visiting Hollywood, California.

Spend the day on Hollywood Boulevard shopping for souvenirs and tracking down your favorite celebrity’s star. Taking a picture in front of a star is a popular thing to do when visiting the famed area. If you’re lucky enough to watch a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, you can watch a celebrity get their star and cement their legacy.

The first stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame were laid in 1960. Today, a wide range of public figures have stars, including actors, musicians, directors, producers, and more. Even fictional characters have stars on this iconic attraction.

26. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Exterior of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) at night.
Source: LACMA
Urban Light, LACMA

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) showcases a unique collection of art representing the diverse population and culture of Los Angeles. The mission of the museum is to collect, exhibit, and conserve meaningful pieces of art from varying cultures, media, and periods of time. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy this gorgeous collection of artwork.

LACMA features more than 150,000 pieces of art. These stunning art displays, created by talented artists from around the world, will delight visitors.

A variety of educational, interactive tours helps visitors explore LACMA’s collection and exhibitions. Guests can also enjoy educational programs and workshops. For those who want to dive deeper into academics, classes, research facilities, and scholarly catalogs are available.

The permanent art installations at LACMA are timeless attractions. The spectacular sculpture garden, palm tree groves, and reflecting pool are some highlights of this fantastic art museum.

27. Chinatown San Francisco

A busy San Francisco Chinatown street.
Source: Michael Urmann / shutterstock
Chinatown San Francisco

The Chinatown in San Francisco, California is also the oldest and most popular Chinatown in the Americas. Tourists love visiting this area to browse local markets and admire the neighborhood’s distinct architecture.

Highlights of Chinatown include the delicious food options and unique shopping experience. This landmark neighborhood is the birthplace of chop suey, making it a must-have dish to try when visiting. Shops in the area offer a wide range of goods, from touristy souvenirs to interesting, authentic pieces of art and decor.

The neighborhood is easy to walk, so browsing the stores and alleyways on foot is pleasant. Walking tours that explain the rich history of the area are popular with travelers.

Chinatown boasts the largest Chinese New Year parade in the Americas. Guests who attend this event can enjoy an award-winning dragon dance performed by the San Francisco Police Department.

28. Mono Lake

Stars appear in the dark-blue night sky above rock formations in Mono Lake.
Source: flickr
Mono Lake

Mono Lake is an ancient saline soda lake at the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The beautiful, still waters of this desert lake reflect the colors of the sky and the nearby peaks. This dramatic landscape is the perfect destination for nature lovers.

The limestone formations known as ‘tufa towers’ are highlights of Mono Lake. These unusual features form when calcium-rich water from underwater springs mixes with lake water and creates a buildup of limestone. These massive towers rise from the surface and line the shores when water levels drop. Visitors to Mono Lake are able to get breathtaking, dramatic photos of the natural formations against the serene landscape.

Mono Lake is a healthy, thriving ecosystem and the home to two million annual migratory birds. Every summer, tens of thousands of birds called phalaropes arrive at the lake.

29. Ferry Building Marketplace

Outside the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco.
Source: Flickr
Ferry Building Marketplace

Ferry Building Marketplace is the ideal location for tourists who love shopping and eating. The food options at this popular landmark are legendary. Located in the Embarcadero on Market Street, this attraction is a must-see for visitors of San Francisco, California.

The eateries in the Ferry Building Marketplace range from tasty concession stands to upscale Michelin-recommended restaurants. The Ferry Building is wildly regarded as the best place to eat in the city. This landmark building contains some of the best restaurants and the finest chefs.

Guests of the Ferry Building can also enjoy a premium farmers market stocked with locally grown produce. Vendors in the marketplace also offer everything from organic fruits to fresh fish and artisan cheeses.

30. Joshua Tree National Park

A lone Joshua Tree sways in the wind at Joshua Tree National Park.
Source: fotogestoeber / shutterstock
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a beautiful park full of unique rock formations and unusual trees. This destination is a spectacular attraction for travelers who enjoy camping, hiking, and backpacking. Also, setting up a campsite nestled between enormous boulders is a unique experience guaranteed to delight any nature lover.

Points of interest to hike or drive to include Barker Dam, Arch Rock Natural Trail, and Skull Rock. Also, Keys View, sitting at an elevation of 5,185 feet (1.5 km), offers guests awe-inspiring views of the Coachella Valley. below including. On a clear day, visitors are able to see San Jacinto Peak, San Gorgonio Mountain, and the Salton Sea.

A popular attraction to visit within Joshua Tree National Park is Pinto Basin Road. As the Mohave Desert transitions into the Colorado Desert along this road, guests can admire the dramatic landscape change from Joshua trees to cacti.

Tourists who enjoy nature, plants and desert botanical life will love Joshua Tree National Park. The Cholla Cactus Garden, Ocotillo Patch, and Cottonwood Springs are great places to admire desert plant life. Visitors also may be surprised by the vibrant red Ocotillo flowers exploding to life after the rain. A host of botanical wonders in the park live in the fan palm oasis. Cottonwoods, palms, and other lush plants thrive in this area.

John Ghost is a professional writer and SEO director. He graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in English (Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies). As he prepares for graduate school to become an English professor, he writes weird fiction, plays his guitars, and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters. He lives in the Valley of the Sun. Learn more about John on MuckRack.

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