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.
Just offshore from developed SoCal lie the Channel Islands, five of which are protected as a national park.
Sip six of this setup’s best wines, take in the view from one of the picnic tables, play a game of chess on the life-size chessboard, or walk along the connected hiking trail.
Run by husband-and-wife team Adam and Dianna Lee, Siduri Wines produces an average of 27 Pinot Noirs each year, more than any other winery in California.
It’s difficult to miss Beard Papa's Sawtelle location with its bright lights and constant line of customers. This Japanese chain, which started as a small cream puff shop in Osaka, has an almost cult-like following.
Housed in the former studio of famed Hollywood makeup artist Max Factor, this museum spans four floors containing thousands of TV and movie props, posters, and costumes, which make up the bulk of the collection.
The park is a miniature Yellowstone (complete with fumaroles and mud pots, as well as a new LEED-certified visitors’ center) created by the massive 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak.
Spiritual seekers find refuge at Self-Realization Fellowship’s temples, ashrams, and meditation centers around the world. Its Mount Washington site serves as the organization’s international headquarters and is aptly named Mother Center.
Visit injured and sick sea lions; they’re rehabilitated here.
Frog Hollow Farm, a certified-organic fruit farm on the delta of the Sacramento River, sells much of its produce in San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace.
One of the first artists to set up a public viewing space in Culver City, Gregg Fleishman’s studio displays a rotating body of work, all of it grounded in geometry and functionality. Items are organized into three main areas—structures, furniture, and vehicles.
This Nob Hill bar channels a relaxed, dive-y vibe, thanks to its modest, pub-like exterior, and location smack-dab next to the Stockton Street Tunnel.
Bay Area fashion icon Susan Foslein, owner of this namesake clothing boutique in Presidio Heights, is well-regarded by both devoted customers and the world’s top echelon of designers.
Visit the art-filled sultry little wine bar where residents and visitors alike mingle over glasses of regional favorites; the 54-bottle list includes three from the Ojai valley itself.