20 Best Places To Visit In California (2024 Guide)

Looking for the best places to visit in California? Find out our 20 favorite and must-visit destinations in the Golden State!

California is truly one of the most diverse states in the USA. With major cities, small towns, snow-capped mountains, ancient redwood trees, alpine lakes, idyllic beaches, sand dunes, rolling hills, and so much more, there are some awe-inspiring places in the Golden State.

Though you could spend years uncovering all of California’s wonders, we’ve narrowed down a list of the 20 best places to visit in California.

From seeing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to touring Balboa Park in San Diego, there are many fabulous cities around California waiting to be explored.

Or if you’re more into adventure activities like rock climbing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, or hiking, California is home to some world-class national parks where you can immerse yourself in nature.

Whether you want to surf in the Pacific and admire the Santa Monica Pier, or admire monstrous redwood and sequoias like the General Sherman Tree, California has something for everyone!

Read next: The Ultimate Los Angeles To San Diego Drive Itinerary

Best Places To Visit In California

From touring Old Town San Diego, to embarking on scenic hiking trails in Yosemite, Joshua Tree, or Kings Canyon National Parks, you will never run out of things to do in the beautiful state of California!

Of course, there are many more worthwhile destinations that haven’t made our list of the best places to visit in California. But this is just an overview! Consider road-tripping around California or spending a few weeks in a big city like Los Angeles or San Francisco and taking a bunch of day trips!

However you choose to explore California, make sure you include some of these fabulous locations in your itinerary!

1. Los Angeles

First on our list of the best places to visit in California is the world-famous city of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, often referred to as LA, is a sprawling metropolis nestled on the western coast of the United States. Renowned for its vibrant cultural diversity, iconic landmarks, and entertainment industry, LA stands as a global hub of creativity and innovation.

The city’s allure lies in its ability to seamlessly blend the glamorous with the everyday, where towering palm trees line sun-kissed boulevards leading to world-famous beaches like Huntington and Venice.

Home to Hollywood, the epicenter of the movie and television industry, LA exudes an unmistakable cinematic charm, attracting dreamers and artists from around the world in pursuit of stardom and success. Visits to the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, the Hollywood Sign, and Warner Bros Studios are a must when exploring Hollywood!

Amid the urban sprawl, Downtown Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and cuisines. Art and creativity flourish here, with a multitude of museums, galleries, and street art murals dotting the landscape.

The Getty Center, perched atop a hill, showcases impressive art collections spanning centuries, while the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosts a diverse range of exhibitions.

You can admire the city from above at Griffith Park, where an amazing observatory boasts excellent views.

From the iconic Hollywood Sign to the stunning Griffith Park, Los Angeles encapsulates the essence of the American Dream and continues to captivate hearts and minds as a city of endless possibilities.

Griffith Park
Get the best views of LA from Griffith Observatory!

2. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, a mesmerizing desert expanse located in Southern California, is a place of otherworldly beauty and stark contrasts. Covering over 790,000 acres, the park is characterized by its striking landscape, where the high Mojave Desert and the low Colorado Desert converge.

The park’s namesake, the Joshua Tree, stands as an iconic symbol of the region, with its spiky, twisted branches reaching skyward. These peculiar trees punctuate the arid landscape alongside massive boulders and rugged rock formations that seem to emerge as if sculpted by an artist’s hand.

These unique geological features attract rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking to explore the challenging terrain and the surreal vistas that stretch for miles in all directions.

Beyond its geological marvels, Joshua Tree National Park is designated as an International Dark Sky Park, making it a paradise for stargazers. The absence of light pollution allows for a celestial spectacle, where the night sky comes alive with an awe-inspiring display of stars, planets, and celestial bodies.

From the rugged landscapes that seem to belong to another planet to the serene beauty of the desert’s flora and fauna, Joshua Tree National Park offers an escape into a realm of raw natural beauty, providing an opportunity for solitude, reflection, and a deep connection with the mysteries of the universe.

Read next: The 25 Best Things To Do In Southern California

3. Lake Tahoe

Nestled high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is a shimmering jewel that spans the border between California and Nevada in the United States.

Renowned for its breathtaking beauty and crystal-clear waters, Lake Tahoe attracts visitors year-round, offering a diverse range of recreational activities against a backdrop of stunning natural scenery.

In the warmer months, the lake becomes a playground for water enthusiasts, with opportunities for swimming, kayaking, boating, and fishing.

The pristine beaches that encircle the lake provide a serene escape, while the surrounding trails cater to hikers and mountain bikers, leading to panoramic viewpoints that showcase the lake’s vivid blue hues against the majestic mountains.

Lake Tahoe’s allure extends into the winter season, transforming into a winter wonderland that draws skiers and snowboarders from across the globe. The area boasts numerous world-class ski resorts, such as Heavenly, Squaw Valley, and Northstar, offering powdery slopes and a variety of winter sports experiences.

South Lake Tahoe, with its lively casino scene, contrasts with the more tranquil and charming ambiance of North Lake Tahoe’s communities. A sightseeing cruise around South Lake Tahoe is the best way to soak in the scenery of the surrounding Emerald Bay State Park, a gorgeous alpine area that often graces the covers of postcards.

Whether you want to bask in the summer sun on the lake’s shores or carve through fresh powder in the winter, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the USA and one of the best places to visit in California!

4. Santa Barbara

Another gem of the Golden State is Santa Barbara. Known for its stunning Mediterranean-style architecture, picturesque landscapes, and laid-back yet sophisticated vibe, Santa Barbara is often referred to as the “American Riviera”.

The city’s iconic red-tiled roofs, white stucco buildings, and lush gardens create a scenic backdrop that evokes the feeling of a Mediterranean coastal town. Santa Barbara County Courthouse is a stunning landmark of the area that showcases the intriguing architecture and design.

Stearns Wharf, extending into the ocean, offers a blend of shops, restaurants, and panoramic views of the coastline, while the historic State Street serves as the bustling heart of downtown, lined with boutiques, galleries, and eateries.

Santa Barbara’s stunning nature is a major draw, with pristine beaches like East Beach and Butterfly Beach providing opportunities for sunbathing, surfing, and sunset strolls.

The Santa Ynez Mountains, which form a stunning backdrop, are home to hiking trails that offer breathtaking vistas of the city and the Pacific Ocean. The city’s commitment to preserving its natural surroundings is evident in its parks and botanical gardens, such as Lotusland and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

With a rich cultural scene, including renowned music festivals and art galleries, Santa Barbara seamlessly blends sophistication with a relaxed coastal lifestyle and is one of the top tourist attractions in California.

Santa Barbara
Get a taste of California coastal living in Santa Barbara.

5. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park stands as a crown jewel among America’s national parks, a pristine wilderness in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California that boasts an extraordinary range of natural wonders.

Famous for its towering granite cliffs, ancient sequoia trees, and cascading waterfalls, Yosemite’s beauty has captivated visitors for generations.

The iconic El Capitan and Half Dome formations dominate the skyline, drawing climbers from around the world to test their skills on these monumental rocks. The park’s diverse ecosystems support a wide array of wildlife, from black bears and mule deer to rare species like the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.

The serene meadows, dense forests, and alpine lakes add to the park’s captivating diversity, offering visitors an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, and photography.

Yosemite’s waterfalls are among its most enchanting features, with Yosemite Falls being one of the tallest in North America. Bridalveil Fall, Horsetail Fall, and Vernal Fall are other notable cascades that grace the landscape.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias showcases some of the world’s largest trees, including the Grizzly Giant and the Tunnel Tree. Driving along the scenic routes of Yosemite Valley, including Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road, provides access to panoramic vistas that truly showcase the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada.

Whether it’s gazing at a starlit sky in the high alpine meadows, hiking among ancient giants, or marveling at the incredible Half Dome, Yosemite National Park encapsulates the essence of nature and makes a lasting impression on all who visit.

6. San Francisco

Another one of the best places to visit in California is the vibrant and innovative city of San Francisco. Known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the city is characterized by its dramatic fog-shrouded bay, cable cars climbing steep streets, and an eclectic mix of neighborhoods each with its own distinct character.

The bustling Fisherman’s Wharf offers waterfront attractions, fresh seafood, and the lively atmosphere of Pier 39, while the historic Alcatraz Island invites visitors to explore its notorious former prison.

Chinatown, with its ornate architecture and vibrant markets, immerses visitors in a world of cultural immersion, while the bohemian enclave of Haight-Ashbury captures the spirit of the 1960s counterculture.

San Francisco’s innovation-driven economy is underscored by its reputation as a global tech hub, being home to Silicon Valley and numerous tech giants. The city also boasts a rich arts scene, with world-class museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the de Young Museum.

Plus, the entire San Francisco Bay Area is packed with natural wonders, like Golden Gate Park and the national historic landmark of the John Muir Wilderness.

From the Golden Gate Bridge, to the local markets, to the nearby wilderness areas, San Francisco has so much to offer and it’s one of the highlights of Northern California.

Check out our ultimate 3 days in San Francisco itinerary for more ideas on how to explore the city!

7. Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park, situated in the rugged Sierra Nevada mountain range, is a sanctuary of ancient giants and pristine wilderness.

The park is most famous for its awe-inspiring groves of giant sequoia trees, some of which are among the largest living organisms on Earth.

Towering sentinels like the General Sherman Tree stand as testaments to the passage of time, with their colossal trunks and branches reaching skyward. The landscape is a mix of towering peaks, deep canyons, and alpine meadows, providing a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers.

Beyond the trees, Sequoia National Park is home to diverse ecosystems, from the lush meadows of Crescent Meadow to the towering granite walls of the High Sierra.

Crystal-clear rivers and lakes like the Marble Fork and Pear Lake attract anglers and offer tranquil spots for reflection. The park’s rugged terrain is laced with hiking trails that cater to various skill levels, leading adventurers to stunning vistas, hidden waterfalls, and pristine backcountry landscapes.

The underground world of Sequoia extends to its extensive cave system, with Crystal Cave being a popular destination for guided tours. This national park is a realm of natural wonders, where the ancient meets the contemporary, and where visitors can forge connections with the wild and experience the profound beauty of the natural world.

8. Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a desert oasis located in Southern California’s Coachella Valley. With its iconic mid-century modern architecture, the city exudes a timeless charm that has attracted celebrities, artists, and vacationers for decades.

Visitors often indulge in rejuvenating experiences at the area’s world-class resorts and spas, which offer lavish accommodations, therapeutic treatments, and opportunities to lounge by elegant poolside settings.

Palm Springs also caters to outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous golf courses, hiking trails, and opportunities for exploring the surrounding desert landscapes.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway takes visitors on a breathtaking journey up the cliffs of Chino Canyon to the cooler alpine forests of Mount San Jacinto State Park, offering panoramic views that span for miles.

The city’s vibrant downtown area boasts a mix of boutiques, art galleries, and gourmet dining establishments, creating a hub of cultural activity.

From the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival to the Modernism Week celebration of mid-century design, the city’s cultural events attract enthusiasts from around the world.

Whether it’s indulging in leisure, exploring the natural surroundings, or embracing artistic and cultural experiences, Palm Springs continues to captivate with its distinct blend of relaxation and sophistication.

Find more things to do in Palm Springs with our complete guide!

9. San Diego

Another one of the best places to visit in California is San Diego. Known for its idyllic weather, pristine beaches, and diverse cultural offerings, the city offers a well-rounded experience for both residents and visitors.

Downtown San Diego hosts some incredible tourist attractions. The iconic Balboa Park is a cultural oasis, housing museums, gardens, and the renowned San Diego Zoo.

The Gaslamp Quarter, with its historic architecture and vibrant nightlife, contrasts with the serene beauty of La Jolla, where the rugged coastline meets upscale boutiques and art galleries.

History lovers can check out the USS Midway Museum which showcases San Diego’s rich naval history. Another highlight is the nearby Coronado Island offers a charming retreat with its Victorian architecture and sandy beaches.

San Diego’s coastal allure is epitomized by its stunning beaches like Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and the aptly named Sunset Cliffs, where dramatic cliffs meet the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Surfers, sunbathers, and beachgoers alike are drawn to the city’s coastal stretches.

From the San Diego Zoo, to the sea caves of La Jolla, to the unique neighborhoods of downtown, San Diego is a highlight of Southern California.

San Diego Beach
San Diego has it all, from beaches and eateries to parks, museums, and more.

10. Napa Valley

Napa Valley, located in Northern California, is a world-renowned wine region that beckons wine enthusiasts and travelers seeking a refined blend of culinary excellence, picturesque landscapes, and leisurely exploration.

This iconic valley is home to some of the finest wineries and vineyards in the United States, producing a diverse array of wines that have earned Napa a prominent spot on the global wine map.

Wine tastings, guided tours, and charming cellar-door experiences allow visitors to immerse themselves in the artistry of winemaking while savoring the flavors of the vineyards.

Beyond its vinicultural allure, Napa Valley boasts a serene and picturesque landscape, characterized by rolling hills, sprawling vineyards, and the meandering Napa River.

The Silverado Trail and Highway 29 serve as the main arteries of exploration, leading visitors through a succession of idyllic towns and wineries. The towns of Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga each offer distinct experiences, from gourmet dining establishments and artisan boutiques to relaxing hot springs and hot air balloon rides.

Napa Valley encapsulates a refined blend of sensory pleasures, where each sip, taste, and view reflects the passion and dedication that have defined the region as a premier destination for wine enthusiasts and those seeking a taste of the good life.

Find more of the best things to do in Napa Valley!

11. Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is a quintessential beachside town that radiates a blend of artistic charm, natural beauty, and coastal elegance. With stunning beaches, pristine coves, and turquoise waters, Laguna Beach offers a haven for sun-seekers, surfers, and beach enthusiasts.

Main Beach, with its iconic lifeguard tower and bustling boardwalk, is a central hub for visitors to bask in the sun and enjoy the inviting Pacific waters. The hidden gem of Thousand Steps Beach, accessed via a stairway, offers a more secluded escape and sweeping views of the coastline.

Laguna Beach’s lush hillsides and rugged cliffs provide a striking backdrop to the charming town, while scenic parks like Crystal Cove State Park offer hiking opportunities.

The town’s commitment to preserving nature is evident in the lush Heisler Park, where walking paths wind through beautifully landscaped gardens and along coastal bluffs.

The annual Pageant of the Masters, a unique artistic spectacle where real people recreate famous artworks, is a highlight of the town’s cultural calendar.

With a mix of upscale boutiques, al fresco dining, and a relaxed coastal ambiance, Laguna Beach captures the essence of California’s coastal elegance, making it a beloved destination for those seeking a blend of art, nature, and seaside relaxation.

Consider a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway to combine Laguna Beach with numerous other coastal hotspots in California!

12. Death Valley National Park

For nature lovers, Death Valley National Park has a unique, other-worldly landscape that is one of the best places to visit in California.

As the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the United States, Death Valley is characterized by its vast desert expanses, towering sand dunes, and dramatic mountain ranges.

The iconic Badwater Basin salt flats, one of the lowest points in North America, stand as a mesmerizing testament to the park’s extreme conditions.

Zabriskie Point offers panoramic vistas of eroded rock formations and colorful mineral deposits, while Dante’s View provides a breathtaking overlook of the entire valley, highlighting the rugged terrain and vast expanse.

Amid the arid environment, Death Valley surprises with its hidden treasures. Artist’s Palette showcases a kaleidoscope of colors on the hillsides, a result of various mineral deposits.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, with their ever-changing patterns shaped by the wind, invite visitors to explore and photograph the enchanting landscape.

From the mysterious sailing stones of Racetrack Playa to the historic sites that tell tales of human perseverance, Death Valley National Park is a realm of desolate beauty, rugged wilderness, and a reminder of nature’s capacity to shape and endure in the face of extreme conditions.

Death Valley National Park
Step into another world in Death Valley National Park!

13. Carmel By The Sea

Another one of the best places to visit in California is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a charming coastal town in Central California. Known for its quaint architecture, pristine beaches, and artistic atmosphere, Carmel exudes a timeless allure that has attracted artists, writers, and nature enthusiasts for generations.

The village’s cobblestone streets wind through picturesque neighborhoods, where enchanting cottages, boutique shops, and art galleries create a uniquely inviting ambiance.

The iconic Carmel Mission, a historic Spanish mission dating back to the 18th century, stands as a cultural and architectural landmark that adds to the town’s character.

Carmel Beach, with its white sand, cerulean waters, and iconic cypress trees, offers a serene escape for beachgoers and a captivating setting for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

The nearby scenic 17-Mile Drive, renowned for its breathtaking coastal vistas and famed landmarks like the Lone Cypress, is a must-do route that offers glimpses of the dramatic coastline and sea cliffs that define the region.

Whether it’s exploring the hidden treasures of the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, strolling through the Fairytale Cottages, or savoring a meal at a cozy restaurant, Carmel-by-the-Sea has an artistic charm that is truly captivating.

14. Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, is a realm of awe-inspiring landscapes and natural grandeur. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are right next to each other, so you can easily explore both in one visit!

Celebrated for its breathtaking canyons, towering peaks, and pristine wilderness areas, Kings Canyon National Park showcases the power of geologic forces over millennia.

The park’s namesake, Kings Canyon, is one of the deepest in North America, with walls that rise dramatically above the Kings River, creating a dramatic backdrop for hikers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts.

The General Grant Grove of giant sequoias is a testament to the park’s diverse ecosystems, housing some of the world’s largest and oldest trees, including the General Grant Tree, also known as the Nation’s Christmas Tree.

Beyond its ancient trees and dramatic canyons, Kings Canyon offers an array of outdoor adventures. The High Sierra backcountry attracts backpackers and mountaineers, with numerous hiking trails leading to pristine alpine lakes, rugged terrain, and breathtaking views from passes like Kearsarge Pass and Glen Pass.

The combination of dramatic geological formations, serene alpine landscapes, and the quiet beauty of the giant sequoias make Kings Canyon National Park a haven for rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, camping, and sightseeing.

15. Santa Monica

Another top spot to visit in California is Santa Monica, a lively coastal suburb of Los Angeles. Famous for the iconic Santa Monica Pier, which boasts a historic carousel and a variety of amusements, the city offers a classic beach boardwalk experience combined with stunning ocean views.

The expansive Santa Monica Beach stretches for miles, providing opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and beach volleyball. You can even hit the waves with a surf lesson and try to blend in with the locals!

Be sure to visit Third Street Promenade, which has pedestrian-friendly streets and a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Beyond the beachfront, the city is also celebrated for its commitment to healthy living and sustainability. The beachside bike path offers a scenic route for cyclists, while the picturesque Palisades Park offers a tranquil escape with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

The bustling Main Street captures the city’s laid-back yet cosmopolitan vibe, with a mix of boutique shops, art galleries, and trendy eateries.

With its ideal coastal location, artistic culture, and a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement, Santa Monica is a must-visit while exploring LA.

16. Big Sur

Big Sur, a rugged and breathtaking stretch of California’s central coast along Highway 1, is a place of natural grandeur that captivates with its dramatic cliffs, crashing waves, and lush wilderness.

Nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Big Sur offers a landscape of unparalleled beauty.

The iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, spanning a deep canyon, serves as an entry point to this awe-inspiring region. McWay Falls, a stunning waterfall cascading onto a secluded beach, is another highlight that encapsulates the magic of Big Sur.

Coastal hikes, like the renowned Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park trail, lead to panoramic viewpoints that showcase the wild beauty of the coastline.

Big Sur’s artistic and bohemian spirit is reflected in its vibrant arts community, with galleries, studios, and workshops nestled within the rugged landscape. The Henry Miller Memorial Library, dedicated to the famous writer, serves as a cultural hub with literary events, performances, and an appreciation for the area’s counter-cultural heritage.

From the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge to the enchanting redwood groves of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, this region offers an escape into the heart of nature’s majesty.

Big Sur
Big Sur has some of California’s most dramatic landscapes.

17. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a captivating beach town that blends the charm of a coastal getaway with a distinct bohemian spirit.

Known for its iconic Beach Boardwalk, the oldest amusement park in California, Santa Cruz offers a delightful mix of nostalgia, classic rides, and oceanfront fun.

The town’s vibrant Pacific Avenue is lined with eclectic boutiques, art galleries, and laid-back cafes, reflecting its free-spirited and artistic community.

Steeped in surf culture, the town’s pristine beaches like Cowell’s Beach and Pleasure Point attract surfers and beach lovers, while West Cliff Drive provides scenic views of the rugged coastline and the famous Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.

Nearby Natural Bridges State Beach, with its natural rock formations and tide pools, offers a glimpse of the area’s rich coastal ecosystems. The town’s lively music scene and numerous annual events, such as the Santa Cruz Beach Music Festival, reflect its creative and dynamic atmosphere.

From the laid-back beach vibes to the culturally rich downtown, Santa Cruz strikes a harmonious balance between coastal relaxation and a vibrant, artistic community that continues to draw in visitors and residents alike.

Read next: 25 Best Things To Do In Northern California

18. Mammoth Lakes

Located in the Eastern Sierra region of California, Mammoth Lakes is a captivating alpine town that beckons outdoor enthusiasts year-round with its stunning nature and recreational opportunities.

Best known for its world-class ski resort, Mammoth Mountain, the town draws winter adventurers seeking powder-packed slopes and breathtaking mountain vistas.

As the largest ski resort in California, Mammoth offers a range of winter activities beyond skiing and snowboarding, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even a snowcat-driven dining experience.

In the warmer months, the town transforms into a haven for hikers and mountain bikers, with trails that wind through pristine forests, meadows, and lakes.

Nearby, Rainbow Falls offers a mesmerizing spectacle as the San Joaquin River cascades over colorful rock formations. The town’s cozy atmosphere is complemented by a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops that cater to both adventurers and relaxation seekers.

The tranquil scenery of Mammoth Lakes provides a refreshing escape, while its year-round outdoor offerings make it an ideal destination for those seeking adventure and the rejuvenating embrace of nature’s wonders.

Explore more of Northern California with this epic road trip itinerary!

19. Redwood National Park

Another one of the best places to visit in California for nature lovers is Redwood National Park. This collection of protected areas is renowned for its towering ancient redwood trees, some of which rank among the tallest and oldest living beings on Earth.

The park’s namesake trees, with their massive trunks and canopy of thick foliage, create a surreal and enchanting forest environment that transports visitors to a prehistoric era.

Fern Canyon, with its lush greenery and crystal-clear stream, is a magical setting that has even served as a filming location for movies like “Jurassic Park 2.” The park’s rugged coastline, characterized by sea stacks and rocky cliffs, adds to its dramatic beauty.

Beyond the magnificent redwoods, the park’s diverse landscapes encompass pristine beaches, wild rivers, and lush meadows. The park offers the chance to see fascinating endangered species like the marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl.

Redwood National and State Parks offers a range of outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to kayaking along the Smith River. Those looking for adventure should not miss out on this beautiful location!

20. Sacramento

Last but not least on our list of the best places to visit in California is the state capital itself, Sacramento.

Situated at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, the city has deep historical roots dating back to the Gold Rush era, and this legacy is celebrated in Old Sacramento, a charming district that retains its 19th-century charm with historic buildings, wooden sidewalks, and horse-drawn carriages.

The California State Capitol, with its distinctive white dome, serves as the heart of political activity and offers tours that delve into the state’s governance and history.

The Crocker Art Museum, one of the oldest art museums in the West, houses an impressive collection of European, American, and Californian art, while the vibrant Midtown district showcases a lively cultural scene with galleries, boutiques, and diverse dining options.

Sacramento’s urban revitalization has seen the emergence of contemporary neighborhoods that balance history with innovation. The R Street Corridor, once an industrial area, has transformed into a hub of creativity with galleries, breweries, and trendy eateries.

The city’s proximity to agricultural regions has resulted in a flourishing farm-to-table culinary scene, with the Sacramento Farmers’ Market providing a showcase for fresh produce and artisanal products.

The American River Parkway, a 23-mile greenbelt, offers residents and visitors the chance to cycle, hike, or kayak along the scenic waterways. Sacramento is a multifaceted city that has much to offer travelers in California.

Find more things to do in Sacramento with our detailed guide!

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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