California is a state that is filled to the brim with things to see and do. This state is well-known for its flamboyance, beautiful landscapes, and top attractions. It is also popular for its breathtaking cliff-lined beach towns, rocky national parks, and incredible recreational activities.
The state of California is one of the most popular gateways for tourists coming from other countries to visit the United States, and the state’s collection of landmarks offers something for everyone.
Here is a list of the top famous landmarks in California that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
1. Yosemite Falls
Yosemite National Park, which can be found in Northern California, is not only an amazing place to visit but also one of the most well-known landmarks in both California and the United States. Yosemite is famous for a number of things, such as its hiking paths, mountains, valleys, and rivers; however, the incredible Yosemite Falls are likely the reason for the majority of the park’s notoriety.
Yosemite Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in California, with a height of more than 2,425 feet and a powerful flow of water. Hiking to Yosemite Falls is a great way to get in touch with nature and witness it in all of its splendor.
There is a variety of back country camping trails to choose from, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even hike all the way up to the top of the falls for panoramic views of the Yosemite Valley.
2. The Death Valley National Park
The Death Valley National Park is home to some of the most desolate and hauntingly beautiful landscapes in the state of California. It has incredibly huge sand dunes, salt flats, a variety of colorful rock formations, and deep canyons.
Here, temperatures can reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest place in all of America. Visitors have the option of driving through the park or hiking through it to take in all the breathtaking scenery. There is also the Zabriskie Point Lookout, an attraction that should not be missed under any circumstances.
Moreover, extreme landscapes, some of which date back more than 5 million years, can be found here. You can witness the incredible show of nature which takes place each morning at sunrise when the light shines on the rock formations, causing them to transform into a variety of colors.
3. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is a crowning achievement in the desert because of its lunar-like scenery, epic rock formations, and giant boulders. The stunning Coachella Valley can be seen from the vantage point of this national park, which is situated in the southern part of California and encompasses more than 800,000 acres.
There are a lot of things to do and see in Joshua Tree National Park that are going to blow your mind, regardless of whether you want to go for a day trip or spend the night sleeping outside under the stars. Look for the famous zigzag Joshua Trees, the wonderful Lost Palms Oasis, the Cholla Cactus Garden, and the ruins of the historic Keys Ranch while you’re in the area. These are just some attractions you’ll find here.
You might also want to these best places to visit in California.
4. San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo, which can be found in Balboa Park, is an excellent place for families to spend a day together having fun. This magnificent zoo has been delighting guests for well over a century since it first opened its doors in 1916.
The zoo is so well-known for its famous Giant Pandas that it draws visitors from all over the world to see these endangered species. There are so many things to see and do, and when you add in the other 4,000 animals, such as polar bears, gorillas, tigers, and elephants, there is so much more.
Spend the day at the zoo getting up close and personal with lovable creatures, participating in immersive shows and wildlife exhibits, and gaining an understanding of the wonderful rehabilitation work that takes place on site.
5. Walt Disney Concert Hall
During your time in California, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to go to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is an absolutely incredible building that can be found right in the middle of Los Angeles. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is renowned for its breathtaking architecture and captivating shows.
It also serves as a venue for many of the most accomplished musical performers from around the world. At the Walt Disney Concert Hall, there is something for everyone to take pleasure in, whether you want to take an identity audio tour, marvel at the modern design, or watch a cultural performance of world-class caliber.
6. The USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a wonderful landmark that is the ideal location for people who are interested in history. What was once one of the United States’ military aircraft carriers that served for the longest amount of time is now a museum that is permanently docked at San Diego’s Navy Pier.
You can fill your time by going on tours of the ship and the aircraft, starting to learn about the history of the military and life crew on board the USS Midway, as well as participating in one of the many live talks and looking at the exhibits that are available.
Learn more about the best museums in California.
The most popular amusement park in the state of California is still Disneyland, which can be found in Anaheim. There is something for everyone in the family to do at Disneyland, which is why many people consider it to be the happiest place on earth.
Disneyland is home to some of the most famous rides, attractions, entertainment, and shows in the world. From the chills of the Haunted Mansion to the exhilaration of Splash Mountain and the hilarity of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Disneyland is certain to put a smile on your face as soon as you step foot inside the park.
8. The Getty Museum
The Getty Museum, which is a magnificent architectural landmark in California and can be found in the Santa Monica Mountains. The museum was established in 1997 and is well-known for its historical collection of artwork from Europe that were created before the 20th century, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, contemporary and modern works of art.
In addition to housing some of the world’s most intriguing works of art, the Getty Center also features awe-inspiring architecture, verdant gardens, and breathtaking panoramas of the Los Angeles skyline.
9. The Hollywood Walk of Fame
A journey to the Hollywood Walk of Fame is an absolute must on any itinerary that includes a stop in California. You’ll find all the bronze star plaques of your favorite celebrities right here, from Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift to Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog, and everything in between.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is always being extended in new directions. On the other hand, a good number of celebrities can be found walking along Hollywood Boulevard between Gower Street and la Brea Avenue, as well as on Vine Street and Marshfield Way.
During the course of your journey, you will have the opportunity to take pictures with some of your favorite characters, such as Spider-Man and the Hulk, who are known to stroll around town and stop to pose for pictures.
10. Santa Monica Pier
The world-famous Santa Monica Pier is the first thing that comes to the minds of the vast majority of people when they hear the name Santa Monica. There are numerous restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and also an amusement park.
In the amusement park, you will only be required to pay for the roller coasters, and the prices will typically range anywhere from $5 to $12. It is open every day of the week from 10 AM to 8 PM. In the late afternoon, after the sun has set below the horizon, there is a possibility that you will be able to enjoy live music while also listening to the sound of the waves.
It is also the best time to take a ride on the Ferris wheel! Santa Monica Pier should be on everyone’s list of places to visit in Los Angeles, whether you want to have some excitement at the adventure park or truly enjoy a stick of puffy candy floss while taking a stroll.
11. Runyon Canyon
At the most eastern point of the Santa Monica Mountains is where you’ll find Runyon Canyon Park. This enormous park in California is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, but that’s not the sole reason it’s well-known: it’s also beautiful!
Due to its location immediately adjacent to the homes of Hollywood’s A-listers, the park is frequently visited by famous people. Visitors come throughout the year because the landscape is stunning; there are excellent hiking trails, and there is always a chance that they will run into a famous person.
The administrators of Runyon Canyon highly recommend that visitors walk the 3.5-mile loop that goes all the way around the area. This will enable them to take advantage of everything the park has to offer. There is no entrance fee to enter Runyon Canyon Park. The park is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the week, Monday through Sunday.
12. Hearst Castle
About four hours’ drive to the north of Los Angeles will bring you to Hearst Castle, which is situated on Highway 1 along the coast of California. The mansion is 1,600 feet above sea level, and is situated on a hill that George Hearst dubbed “The Enchanted Hill”, is visible for miles around.
Hearst Castle is now a California State Park as well as a historic house museum that features thousands of works of art from all over the world. Prior to its transformation, the property was a private estate.
The Grand Rooms, the Upstairs Suites, the Cottages and Kitchens, and any seasonal tours are all available for guests to choose from when they take a tour of the mansion. Each tour lasts approximately three hours, and individual tickets are required for participation in each one.
13. City Hall
The Main City Hall building is both a well-known landmark in the state of California and a popular tourist destination in San Francisco. It is always the site of massive demonstrations, political gatherings, and other celebrations that center on San Francisco-related activities in a social, political, or cultural way.
Because it is located right in the middle of the city, it serves as such a prominent gathering place. The City Hall building is stunning, and as a result, it is almost always a major point of interest for tourists and tour buses, all of which congregate in the plaza in front of the building to take photographs and explore the building’s stunning rotunda interior. The Beaux-Arts architecture that was popular in the United States during the 1880s is responsible for the magnificent appearance of City Hall.
After the devastating earthquake that occurred in 1906 and set almost all the city on fire, it was reconstructed. This magnificent building is actually 42 feet taller than the United States Capitol. It also features a main rotunda that is located above the central interior court, as well as a grand staircase that astonishes everyone who enters the building.
14. Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive is a neighborhood in Beverly Hills that is lined with high-end designer stores, making it not only one of the most well-known landmarks in the state of California but also a shopper’s paradise. This lively area, which is frequented by visitors from near and far and stretches from Beverwil Drive all the way to the world-famous Sunset Boulevard, is always packed with people.
On Rodeo Drive, you can anticipate seeing all the most iconic brands, including Audemar Piguet, Gucci, and Jimmy Choo, among others. Even if you don’t want to spend any money, it’s still worth your time to walk down this famous street just to try the local cuisine and see if you can spot any famous people.
15. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, which spans the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Marin County, is widely regarded as one of the most recognizable symbols associated with the state of California. Johan Strauss was the person in charge of the creation of this bridge, and he supervised the proposal until it was finally finished in 1937, after it had been under construction for a total of four years.
This red art deco bridge is only 4,200 feet long; despite its diminutive size, however, it is quite impressive and consistently draws large crowds throughout the year. It is impossible to come to San Francisco and not take a picture on the bridge because it is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
16. Hollywood Sign
Who would have imagined that nine white letters on a hill would come to symbolize an entire city? Most likely nobody.
The topic of discussion is the Hollywood Sign, which stands watch over the Hollywood neighborhood in the famed city of Los Angeles. Not only is it the top attraction in the area, but it’s also one of California’s most well-known landmarks!
17. Walk of Fame
One of the most well-known landmarks in California is the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame. In all honesty, a trip to LA wouldn’t be complete without posing for tourist photos next to your favorite celebs’ stars on the Walk of Fame.
The most well-known sidewalk in the world is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Celebrities who have a lasting impact on the entertainment sector are honored in perpetuity by the renowned terrazzo and brass stars.
18. TCL Chinese Theatre
This Los Angeles attraction draws visitors from all over the world and is situated on Hollywood Boulevard next to one of the most well-known sections of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Since 1927, the theater has hosted the most illustrious film premieres. Since almost a century ago, the biggest superstars have blessed the theater with their presence on the red carpet.
California has everything you could possibly want. And, if you want to immerse yourself in nature at one of the state’s many popular landmarks, you can also do so.