California is the most populous state in America. Packed with both natural and man-made attractions, the Golden State is famous for its cultural institutions and national parks which attract a huge number of tourists to the state every year. Some of the top attractions in California include:
Yosemite National Park
This scenic park is one of America’s most visited parks and is located in Northern California. The park boasts of beautiful cliffs, three giant Sequoia Groves, diverse wildlife and North America’s tallest waterfall.
About 4 million people visit the Yosemite National Park each year and majority of them spend almost the whole time in The Yosemite Valley, a beautiful glacial valley which is drained by the Merced River and is regarded as the centerpiece of The Yosemite National Park.
The tunnel view entrance to the valley is another interesting feature of the park. It has a visitor centre, museum and nature centre where visitors learn about the natural and cultural history of the park.
In 2016, the park set a record, surpassing it’s 5 million visitors for the first time and so, is a major tourist attraction in California.
For decades now, Disneyland tops the list as California’s number one premier family destination. This enormous amusement park located at Anaheim in California has all sorts of games, shows, entertainment and of course restaurants and hotels.
Disneyland is a combination of theme rides and recreated worlds and cultures which all make it seem magical to both adults and children.
The entire Disneyland experience features something for everyone in the family, from thrilling rides, roller coasters and dazzling shows to hotels, diners and shops with beautiful souvenirs. Disneyland is no doubt a major attraction in California as it was ranked the world’s second most visited parks in 2017.
Golden Gate Bridge
This internationally recognized monument is located in San Francisco, California. The beauty of the orange frame of the bridge against the blue waters of the San Francisco Bay and the rising out fog which typically covers the area is one of the reasons why a large number of people troop into California each year.
The bridge gives an amazing view of the city and is better explored on foot or by cycling. This bridge is a popular attraction that evokes the strongest nostalgic feel of California.
This is one spot in California that has most people coming back for more. The most common visitors to Big Sur are those who drive through to enjoy the scenery. Others enjoy hikes in the open natural spaces like the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and the Garrapata State Park. This area has a lot to offer to tourists from the falls, lighthouse complex and beaches to a Catholic Monastery.
The drive along Highway 1 in Big Sur has been described as one of the best drives on Earth. Big Sur has a lot of interesting features making it a top attraction in California.
Death Valley National Park
This unique park is the hottest, driest and lowest national park in the United States. Located in the divide between California and Nevada, The Death Valley National Park is home to sand dunes, salt flats, dry parched land, a lake that lies below sea level and a unique geological phenomena– the sailing stones, unique rocks which move without any form of human or animal intervention.
These rocks leave behind long tracks on a smooth valley floor. Visitors can paddle in the Badwater Lake if there’s any water in it at the time, hike short trails or see the ruins of the lake’s former industry. There are designated campgrounds at the park with resorts and motels for visitors who want to stay over.
There is a visitor centre where visitors get to know more about and understand this very unique national park. The park is also a popular location for stargazing as it has one of the darkest night skies in the United States. It’s geological uniqueness and interesting features make it a top attraction in California.
This blue lake with its turquoise coves and surrounding mountain scenery is California’s premier skiing destination. Just like The Death Valley National Park, the large freshwater lake is located between California and Nevada.
This popular tourist attraction offers exciting activities all year long from winter sports to summer outdoor recreation. It has many ski slopes, golf courses, casinos and restaurants catering for visitors. Hiking, scuba diving, boating,kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are also popular there. The variety of fun and recreational things to do make Lake Tahoe a major attraction in California.
Universal Studios Hollywood
This is a popular film studio and theme park in Los Angeles, California. Just like Disneyland, the Universal Studios Park has characters from different animations and Hollywood icons parading its grounds. The park has rides and sets based on famous movies with realistic simulator rides and roller coasters. During organized tours, visitors are given tours of huge sets of big movies. In this place, dining, shows, unique shopping experiences and various events hold throughout the year. This makes Universal Studios a favourite tour destination for tourists. California, the Golden State rightly earned its spot on the list of top tourist destinations in the United States.
What’s a tour without a visit to Alcatraz Island? Located on San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island has lots of landmarks to feast the eyes on: the main cell house, dining hall, lighthouse, library, water tower, recreation yard and ruins of the warden’s house.
With its numerous historical landmarks, Alcatraz Islands is a recognized National Historical Landmark in America.
The only route to Alcatraz is through a ferry. You can book Alcatraz tickets from any of the cruising company available.
With its many tourist attractions and relaxed atmosphere, the Golden State tops the bucket list of tourist destinations worth visiting. What do you think of our list of top attractions in California? Feel free to mention them in the comments section below.