Individuals usually keep in Los Angeles or San Diego once they go to the West Coast, however there are such a lot of different nice cities in California.
The state of California is so various and the landscapes fluctuate significantly from north to south. As a California native, I’m right here that can assist you select the very best cities to go to for cliffside seashores, jagged mountain peaks, open deserts, and high quality procuring.
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19 Finest California Cities
The most important metropolis in California with hundreds of issues to do
With hundreds of enjoyable issues to do in Los Angeles, you’ll by no means develop bored with the busy metropolis. Also referred to as the “Metropolis of Angels,” Los Angeles attracts vacationers from all over the world to its well-known eating places, seashores, occasions, and sights.
My favourite factor to do in downtown Los Angeles is to go to Olvera Road, the “birthplace of Los Angeles.” At this time, Olvera Road is a miniature model of Mexico with the very best genuine Mexican meals, annual occasions, and handicraft stalls.
Foodies additionally flock to the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. Situated on Hill Road, you don’t need to miss the well-known Egg Slut and Sarita’s Pupusaria eating places.
A Northern California metropolis that mixes tradition, meals, and enjoyable sights
Just like Los Angeles, you’ll by no means run out of issues to do in San Francisco. Town rose to fame through the 1800s Gold Rush and is now one of many greatest cosmopolitan cities in america.
Take a ship experience to Alcatraz Island and benefit from the San Francisco Bay ocean breeze as you stand up shut and private to the Golden Gate Bridge. Ferries depart again to the mainland each half hour, so go to the island’s historic inmate cells at your individual tempo.
After a full day of exploring the enduring San Francisco websites, loosen up with a scrumptious hand-made ice cream cone from Girridelhi.
👉 Professional Tip: The simplest and most informative strategy to plan a visit to Alcatraz is to take a tour. Take a look at this Alcatraz Island tour for probably the most in-depth exploration of the island.
A metropolis in Los Angeles County with Victorian-style downtown buildings
You should put Pasadena in your California itinerary when you love procuring.
Lined with elegant residential properties and neatly-trimmed timber, Pasadena gives the entire cleanliness and safety you hoped you’ll discover in downtown LA. Right here, you may get misplaced among the many brick buildings and boutique shops in Historic Previous Pasadena on Colorado Road.
Should you’re in search of occasions to attend in Pasadena, the Rose Bowl is a superb leisure pastime. This 90,000-seat stadium hosts faculty soccer video games, live shows, and a flea market on the second Sunday of each month.
Recognized for its Disneyland theme parks and sports activities stadiums
Often known as the Disneyland metropolis, Anaheim is a closely populated metropolis in Orange County. In addition to world-famous theme parks, Anaheim can also be residence to reside music venues and scrumptious eateries.
Cease by the Home of Blues Anaheim to see your favourite reside performers and take a look at the scrumptious Cajun-inspired dishes on the venue.
Sports activities followers should head to the Los Angeles Angels stadium to catch knowledgeable baseball recreation (and possibly even a flyball).
👉 Professional Tip: For the very best baseball expertise, search for tickets to an Angels versus Dodgers recreation to see passionate Los Angeles residents torn between their metropolis’s two baseball groups.
California’s oldest and second largest metropolis that provides unbelievable browsing and nightlife
Thought-about the oldest metropolis in California, San Diego is the right mix of metropolis and seaside life. Guests can surf within the pacific ocean within the morning and placed on their greatest costume within the night for a 5-star dinner.
San Diego can also be a major place to see whales as they migrate to and from Mexico. Listed here are some high whale-watching excursions in San Diego.
Whereas within the space, you could additionally go to San Diego’s north county. This space is stuffed with bustling seaside cities like Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Escondido, that are all nice spots for browsing.
A romantic storybook village by the ocean
You gained’t consider a sleepy fairytale city like Carmel-by-the-Sea exists in California. This seaside city is on the Monterey Peninsula and is legendary for the historic Carmel Mission and the picturesque village space.
Should you’re feeling adventurous, Carmel-by-the-Sea gives nice scuba diving on the Carmel River State Seaside. Be sure that to catch the gorgeous sundown on the white sandy Carmel Seaside afterward.
If the storybook ambiance isn’t sufficient to make you need to go to Carmel-by-the-Sea, the romantic motels and fantastic eating places will.
👉 Professional Tip: Carmel-by-the-Sea is well accessible from the most important cities of South San Francisco, San Jose, or the San Francisco Bay space.
Go to California’s sixth largest metropolis and the state capital
California’s capital metropolis dates again to the Gold Rush period. Sacramento is the political hub of California and a cultural hotspot.
Sacramento is a quickly rising metropolis that provides inexpensive housing costs to its residents. It is usually one in all California’s final city farming communities. Town’s range is mirrored within the meals, artwork, and music tradition of the California capital, Sacramento.
Downtown Sacramento can also be booming with issues to do. Adults and youngsters each love the Coin-Op, an 80s-themed arcade, and the California State Capitol Museum.
Residence to the San Bernardino Nationwide Forest and peaks over 10,000 ft tall
San Bernardino is without doubt one of the greatest counties in California. Town lies on the foot of the scenic San Bernardino Nationwide Forest, only one ½ hours exterior of downtown LA. You’ll find a few of the greatest genuine Mexican meals and swap meets within the San Bernardino metropolis middle.
In addition to climbing within the nationwide forest, San Bernardino County is residence to the very best leisure lakes in Southern California. Massive Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, and Silverwood Lake are all wonderful spots to flee busy metropolis life and luxuriate in a calming day on the water.
San Juan Bautista
Wander all through the historic 1797 Mission San Juan Bautista
Based in 1797 by the Spanish, San Juan Bautista is a small CA metropolis with historic roots and interesting Spanish-style structure. Downtown San Juan Bautista additionally gives adobe shops and scrumptious eating places.
San Juan Bautista overflows with California tradition and combines a coastal ambiance with historic sights to make the superbly balanced California city.
Refill your water bottle and go for a 5-mile scenic stroll amongst blooming wildflowers and views of the valley from the San Juan Bautista De Anza Path. After you’ve labored up an urge for food, cease by Basque Matxain Etxea Restaurant for conventional Spanish Basque meals and wine.
Should you’re touring with youngsters, try the San Juan Bautista public library for a free storytime each Thursday at 10 am.
Take a stroll on the Newport Pier through the day and lightweight a bonfire on the seaside at evening
Newport Seaside is without doubt one of the hottest Orange County seashores. From tons of of eateries to unbelievable nightlife and exquisite seashores, Newport has all of it.
There are two most important piers in Newport Seaside, the Newport Pier, and the Balboa Pier. The Ruby’s Diner on the finish of the Balboa Pier attracts many guests every year. Ruby’s is thought for his or her tasty milkshakes and appetizing burgers.
Though canine aren’t allowed on the seaside in Newport, they’re allowed on the seaside walkway. Don’t neglect to bring a volleyball and firewood to benefit from the seaside’s free facilities as nicely.
Discover the Irvine Spectrum’s retailers and sights for a enjoyable day underneath the solar
Irvine is a superb metropolis to go to in Orange County when you love procuring. This metropolis options the Irvine Spectrum, a procuring mecca with boutiques, eating places, and lots of lounge areas.
Should you’re in search of a extra stress-free day away from the procuring crowds, then the College of California, Irvine Arboretum gives 12 acres of native and worldwide vegetation. It is without doubt one of the greatest free issues to do in Irvine.
A Mediterranean seaside metropolis with upscale eating places and a historic mission
Santa Barbara gives a big shoreline with a few of the greatest southern California seashores and excellent climate year-round. Benefit from the downtown Mediterranean-style stucco buildings and upscale boutiques of this Southern California seaside city.
Sometimes called “Queen of the Missions,” Previous Santa Barbara Mission dates again to 1786 and encompasses a historic museum and peaceable chapel. Go to the Previous Santa Barbara Mission to be taught extra in regards to the tradition and historical past of the seaside metropolis.
After a day of sightseeing and swimming, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. awaits. Unwind with an ice-cold beer and take within the stunning seaside surroundings.
👉 Professional Tip: Renting a automobile is one of the best ways to see Santa Barbara, however when you’re up for one thing just a little extra energetic, then this bike tour can also be an incredible choice.
Watch the pups play on the Huntington Canine Seaside
This Orange County coastal metropolis is called “Surf Metropolis USA.” One of many world’s largest surf competitions, the U.S. Open, is held on the Huntington Seaside Pier yearly and is a favourite occasion for all guests.
Solely a 5-minute drive from downtown Huntington, Huntington Canine Seaside is nicely definitely worth the drive. It’s one of many solely close by seashores that enables pets!
This Southern California seaside is ideal for beachgoers who like to surf or get a superb suntan.
Go to the Santa Ana Zoo or one in all many museums for prime leisure
Santa Ana is a densely populated main metropolis in California. It’s residence to the Santa Ana Zoo, among the finest zoos within the area.
Should you’re a reside music connoisseur, then you could try The Observatory, located within the coronary heart of downtown. There are two performing phases inside, a small one for up-and-coming artists and a bigger one for established performers.
The Discovery Dice Orange County is a superb museum to convey your children to. There are hands-on science reveals fitted to youngsters that can entertain them for hours. The Discovery Dice is open from 10 am-5 pm every single day.
The preferred California desert metropolis
Palm Springs isn’t the most important metropolis in California however it is without doubt one of the hottest. Many celebrities go for an under-the-radar escape to Palm Springs from the hectic Los Angeles ambiance.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the San Jacinto customer middle is without doubt one of the most important sights on the town. Guests additionally wait till the summer season warmth cools right down to browse between native artwork cubicles on the Thursday evening farmers market.
Residing as much as its identify, Palm Springs gives stunning views of towering palm timber and beautiful SoCal mountains from in all places within the metropolis. It’s additionally one of many greatest locations to remain in Joshua Tree.
Go to the Mission Inn throughout winter to see the well-known competition of lights
Part of the Inland Empire, Riverside is barely 60 miles west of Los Angeles. There’s an assortment of actions, fantastic eating, and leisure venues to maintain you occupied throughout your journey to Riverside.
Riverside receives most of its guests within the winter through the Mission Inn Competition of Lights. The resort’s show of lights is the very best within the Inland Empire and gives nice Christmas picture alternatives.
This principal metropolis in Riverside County additionally hosts the Mount Rubidoux hike, the very best hike on the town! The three.2-mile loop is a Riverside, California landmark with views of the entire metropolis from the highest.
One of many largest cities in California close to Yosemite Nationwide Park
Though Los Angeles is the most important metropolis in California, Fresno follows intently behind. When you are on a tour of Northern California, make certain to cease by Fresno in your strategy to Yosemite Nationwide Park.
Fresno is the most important agricultural middle in central California and lots of restaurant dishes are sourced regionally. In addition to scrumptious recent produce, Fresno additionally gives actions and occasions for the entire household.
Go to the 300-acre Woodward Regional Park to have a picnic or play a family-friendly recreation of soccer on a pleasant afternoon.
There are many lodging choices in Fresno which are lower than 2 hours from Yosemite. Many guests select to remain right here as a substitute of the nationwide park for the cheap resort charges.
Browse the very best guided Yosemite excursions right here.
One of the vital populated seashores in California
Situated in Los Angeles County, Lengthy Seaside is without doubt one of the most in style vacationer locations in California. It’s well-known for being near Hollywood, a port for Catalina Island, and having nice downtown nightlife.
Go to 2nd Road for the very best bars and eating places in Lengthy Seaside. Just one block from the beachfront, that is the place you will discover most Lengthy Seaside locals on the weekends. 4th Road has lovely classic and curler skate retailers and shouldn’t be missed when you like procuring.
Lengthy Seaside additionally hosts annual occasions just like the One Love Cali Reggae Fest each summer season and the Queen Mary’s Darkish Harbor horror competition each Halloween season.
San Marcos is within the North County area of San Diego. Town is a small residential city that’s recognized for its nice climate year-round and its many out of doors actions.
Double Peak Park gives nice train whereas on trip. You’ll be able to stroll, run, or bike the paths of the park. Extra adventurous guests may even hike to the 1,700-foot summit of Double Peak.
Within the night, meet native San Marcos residents at Rip Present Brewing, some of the in style breweries on the town.
📚 Associated Studying: 17 Finest San Diego Breweries
FAQs Concerning the Finest Cities in California
What are California’s 10 main cities?
Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, Lengthy Seaside, Oakland, Bakersfield, and Anaheim are California’s 10 main cities.
What number of cities are in California?
There are nearly 500 cities within the state of California.
What are the highest 3 largest cities in California?
Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose are the highest 3 largest California cities.
Thanks for studying this listing of the very best cities in California. Should you’re in search of particular issues to do, try this listing of the very best issues to do in California.
Take pleasure in California’s cities!