California Attractions

Coastal California attractions are many and varied. First and foremost, there's the sheer beauty of the coast: the beaches, forests and wildlife. Then there are the cultural attractions: museums, zoos, aquariums, wineries, historical sites and the like.  And last, but certainly not least, there's the fun stuff: parks of all varieties, from state and national parks to some of the best theme parks and water parks in the world. There's plenty of fun to be had here.

Northern California Attractions

The best Northern California attractions come courtesy of mother nature. Northern California beaches are wild and beautiful, with rugged, rocky outcrops and driftwood strewn shorelines. The redwood forest, with it's cathedral like grandeur and lush vegetation invokes a quiet awe.

But there's history, culture, and good food here as well. The Victorian village of Ferndale is a great place for romance, as is tiny Mendocino, which rests dramatically atop a coastal bluff. You'll find art, music, theater, and lots of good food... and wine. There are many wineries here, and most offer tours or wine tasting.

San Francisco Attractions

San Francisco attractions include everything you'd expect to find in a big, sophisticated city, and then some. Besides such must-see attractions as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Park and cable cars, you'll find plenty of museums, theaters, aquariums, historical sites and other cultural attractions.

The surrounding Bay Area has plenty to offer too, including towering redwood forests, theme parks, beautiful beaches, and wineries. To the north lie the redwood groves at Muir Woods National Monument, and the breathtaking shoreline of Point Reyes National Seashore. Or head south to the broad sandy beaches at Half Moon Bay or to Santa Cruz for surfing, sunning, shopping and perhaps some thrills and chills on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Central Coast Attractions

The Central Coast features some of the most dramatic scenery in the state and offers a variety of attractions. On the Monterey Peninsula, there are such famous California attractions as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, and the quaint village of Carmel.

Heading south, you'll find the stunning vistas of Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and scenic Morro Bay. In gracious Santa Barbara, attractions include Stearns Wharf, Mission Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The Central Coast is also a major wine-growing region, and you'll find many of them offer tours.

Southern California Attractions

Southern California features more theme parks and amusement parks than any other region in California, and has a well-deserved reputation for fun. But there are also world-class museums and cultural attractions, many historic sites, and miles and miles of glorious sunny beaches.

Must-see tourist attractions in Southern California include the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, The Getty Center, Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, Sea World San Diego, and Balboa Park.

Theme Parks and Amusement Parks

Theme Parks in California include world-famous parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Sea World San Diego. But there are also some more modest offerings, like Gilroy Gardens with its horticultural theme, or Sonoma Train Town, which appeals to the younger set.

Whether you're looking for thrills and chills or good family fun, you'll find plenty of options on the California coast. There are even California beach amusement parks, where you can combine sand and surf with fun and games.

Water Parks

If you're looking for some clean family fun, try one of the water parks in California. You'll find a variety of ways to cool off and have fun. There are water slides, which range from gentle to fast and furious. There are wave pools, lazy rivers and all sorts of water play areas.

Popular parks include Boomerang Bay at California's Great America, Raging Waters in San Jose and San Dimas, Hurricane Harbor in Valencia, and Wild Rivers in Irvine.