Best Cities to Visit in California

Best Cities to Visit in California

By Haley Kieser

Travel to the West Coast to explore the Golden State of California. Bask on sandy beaches, go star-spotting to find your favorite celebrities, indulge in the worldly cuisine, and take in the rich history of the state. Stop and smell the oranges, graze through fish markets, and let the warm breezes blow you away.


Throw on your sunhat and sunglasses and let the wind ripple through your hair as you drive along the winding Big Sur coastline on Highway One. You will surely feel like you are in an old-fashioned movie driving along the coast with the warm breeze blowing. Monterey, California was home to many significant “firsts” in the state and holds a wealth of rich history. It is here that the state’s first printing press and newspaper came to be. Monterey was also home to the first theater and public library in California. Monterey used to be known for its fishery, and today Fisherman’s Wharf Monterey is still a must-do. Grab your favorite fresh seafood and sit down to enjoy your meal while looking out over the bay.

San Jose

Next, head to the city of technology and innovation – San Jose, California. Big name technology companies have claimed San Jose, making it the place to be for those aspiring to grow their career in technology. If you’re a major techie, make sure to visit the Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose. Technology isn’t all this California city has to offer. It is also home to the San Jose Giants, a minor league baseball team in California.

San Diego

Consistent warm weather, beautiful beaches, and the true essence of California comes to mind when you think of San Diego. This popular California city has so much to offer and with wonderful weather year-round, it is easy to cross off all the attractions on your to-do list. Visit the USS Midway Museum, which is one of America’ longest-serving aircraft carriers that now floats atop the sea. The giant carrier includes over sixty exhibits that will help you imagine life at sea for the Midway sailors who fought for our country. This top attraction in San Diego will give you a taste of history and the beauty of the city. Visit one of the top-rated zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo has all the creatures and critters you would normally find in a zoo, but offers countless experiences for interacting with the different animal species.

San Francisco

See the famous Golden Gate Bridge and colorful houses unique to the city of San Francisco. Unlike some of the other top cities in California, San Francisco sits atop a hill. Travel through the city on the winding roads and take in the elaborate colored houses that bring San Francisco to life. Look over the city from Twin Peaks, a couple of hills that best position you for a scenic overlook. Visit Alcatraz Island, where the former prison stands and where a local Native American group stood in protest for over a year and a half. The historic landmark now serves as a recreational area where visitors can tour or have events. The abandoned prison is still on premise, as is the lighthouse which was the first working lighthouse on the West Coast.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is the recreation haven of California. With hiking and biking spots, spas, and golf courses, this is the perfect getaway destination. This desert city lies within the Coachella Valley – where the famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place annually. While you are in Palm Springs, what better way to see the local area than by a tram that takes you up into the San Jacinto Mountains? The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway carries you up the mountain for a truly remarkable experience and view. Travel down Palm Canyon Drive to hit the city’s top galleries, attractions, and restaurants.

Los Angeles

Begin your star-studded adventure in Los Angeles, the City of Angels. A stroll through Hollywood might lead you to a red-carpet movie premiere where you just might find your favorite actors and actresses. Your best bet is at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, where you will also find the handprints of certain celebrities. The historic theater has one of the largest IMAX auditoriums in the world and is the place for red carpet movie premieres. Take a tour at Warner Bros or Universal Studios to get the behind the scene scoop on your favorite shows and movies. Dive into the neighborhoods within LA for the underground music scene, local art movement, and unique food experience.


See the sights, stars, and scenery that some of California’s top cities have to offer. The beautiful weather makes any season perfect for exploration. Whether you’re a history or art buff, a fitness junkie or foodie, or just crossing another state off your bucket list, you will want to soak up every last bit of these cities.


Author: Haley Kieser,

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