California

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.

The Rio Theater, which appears in the form of a gigantic Quonset hut along Sonoma County’s winding Highway 116, has an Art Deco façade and a mural depicting the nearby Pacific, including forest and whales.

People have been drawn to waters of Black Point Cove just west of today’s Fisherman’s Wharf since President Fillmore annexed it in 1850. The Works Progress Administration built an aquatic park bathhouse here, which today houses a museum dedicated to the maritime history of the city.

Take a scenic drive through the Joshua Tree Forest.  Trudge up and down the preserve’s 45-square-mile Kelso Dunes—one of the largest dune fields in the United State.

Established by siblings Anette and Brent Madsen, this downtown sweet shop is housed in a yellow-walled, wood-floored space that was formerly Patrick’s candy store.

After the chilly Windy City winter has run its course, North Avenue Beach is one of the city’s best spots to celebrate the summer sun. Managed by the Chicago Park District, this bustling beach is packed from Memorial Day to Labor Day with families, singles and exuberant groups of young partiers.

Elixir is a 148-year-old Mission neighborhood bar, restored by mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann in 2005. He renovated the building into a Victorian-era style saloon while transforming it to San Francisco’s first Green certified bar.

Think of it as nature’s StairMaster: the set of steps running to the top of this 500-foot peak above Culver City is so steep you’ll feel like you’re mounting a pyramid. The stunning 360 views at the top from the South Bay to downtown, plus the heavenly ocean breezes, make the effort worth it.

Named “Artisan Winery of the Year” by Wine & Spirits magazine in just its third year of production, this family-run company produces limited batches of single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel.

Y Fray, who spent 20 years as a limousine driver and then chauffeur of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Prius, utilized his relationships to create this sustainable company.

Inspired by her international art education, Napa native Gretchen Kimball founded Alla Prima Studio as a way to bring both novice and experienced artists together to absorb and paint her hometown’s landscape.

Try a Pinot Noir at Goldeneye, a modern Mendocino County winery surrounded by gardens and redwoods.

This eco-friendly gas station from BP at the high-traffic Beverly Hills intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard looks like the kind of carport Superman would build in his Fortress of Solitude, with crystal-like angularity in its stainless steel construction.

Known for:Rubin is the China expert other agents call for recommendations (among those who outsource to him is members-only travel club Nota Bene).