Things to do in California
It’s nearly impossible to run out of things to do in California. The state has so much going on, from its bustling urban centers -- most notably Los Angeles (which includes all the razzle-dazzle of Hollywood) and San Francisco (where tourists can visit Silicon Valley, widely considered the innovation epicenter of America) – to its rustic, rugged, sprawling national parks.
Nature-lovers wondering what to do in California have an extensive list of available options at their disposable. From skiing in Lake Tahoe, to surfing in Santa Barbara, to hiking in Yosemite, to touring Napa Valley, the option of outdoor things to do in California is truly endless.
Foodies should also rejoice: Anyone wondering what to do in California need look no farther than the state’s incredibly diverse, eclectic, authentic, adventurous, ambitious, and downright delicious culinary scene. From five-star, Michelin-reviewed establishments to corner delis, food carts and fast food joints, the golden state truly has something for every palate.
First founded by gold miners in 1850, Columbia is now the Columbia State Historic Park, with everything from hotels to restaurants to schools (it’s still a real town). Sure, it’s touristy, but panning for gold at the Hidden Treasure mine is a thrill.
This marine-inspired theme park has activities for kids of all ages, including several water rides like Shipwreck Rapids, a tube-style rafting adventure. Aquariums and permanent exhibits, such as Turtle Reef and the California Tide Pool, allow for up-close encounters with the animals.
Now owned by the city of Long Beach, this historic ship made 1,001 transatlantic crossings carrying WWII soldiers. Grab a map for a self-guided tour through the wedding chapel, isolation ward, and engine room.
Tucked away in a residential area, this nursery spans eight greenhouses across two acres and sells plants, garden accessories, outdoor furniture, vases, and containers.
Being that William Jarvis studied physics and electronics at UC Berkeley, it seems appropriate that his winery is not only one of the most technologically advanced in Napa but also environmentally efficient by way of solar power. The entire facility, from fermentation tanks to bottling machinery,
For sophisticated unmentionables and bedroom play essentials, Kiki De Montparnasse is the place to go. Located on Melrose Avenue, this loft-like retail boutique sells everything from whips, paddles, and leather goods to bridal lingerie, even bath and body products.
Bay Area residents know all about Forbidden Island and its fresh spin on the classic 1960s tiki bar. Ask one of the smart (and proudly tattooed) mixologists for a China Clipper, a concoction of five secret spices, fresh lemon juice, and rum.
As part of the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, the Rudd Center provides a variety of wine-related courses and programs for both professionals and casual oenophiles.
British designer Paul Smith displays clothing with a twist at this hot-pink landmark on Melrose Avenue.
Located on a 23-acre estate, V Marketplace is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The brick walled, open-air, two-leveled structure is more than 30,000 square-feet and has been in existence since 1870.
Where It Is: Sometimes called “the North American Galapagos,” this chain of eight islands lies 150 miles off the coast of southern California, roughly between San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Since 2004, chocolatier Tracy Wood Anderson has sold her collection of delectable handmade chocolates in this sumptuously elegant shop.