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The best tourist places to visit on the California coast

by Luz Prada | April 20, 2020
Places to visit on the California coast

Do you know the best tourist places to visit on the California coast? Who hasn't dreamed of travelling to the Golden State? The extraordinary beauty of the diverse places to visit on the California coast of the US goes beyond its magnificent natural parks or its extensive beaches. The third American state by extension and the first one in population has much more to offer to the millions of travellers and tourists that visit it annually.

From north to south; from the alternative life of San Francisco to the glamour of Los Angeles. Let yourself fall in love with the variety of its landscapes, its beach towns and its large metropolises. Savor its gastronomy and get lost in forests of gigantic trees while driving on dreamy and movie roads.

Whether you are avid for nature or passionate about large modern cities, the best places to visit on the California coast will activate all your senses. We have prepared this list with some of the essential places to visit on the California coast.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco United States

San Francisco

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and outlined by winding hills, San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the state of California and one of the best cosmopolitan tourist spots in the world. But what makes it one of the top places to visit on the California coast? The city is home to the best-known prison in the world and the most photographed bridge, it mixes the best of American culture with an impeccable gastronomic offer in a liberal and iconic atmosphere.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most touristic places in San Francisco. From Crissy Field, a magnificent green area to the east of the bridge, you can witness a show of colors during a sunset starring the magic of the bridge on one side and the flashes of the city on the other. 

With a highly developed public transport network and a size more accessible than that of some of the largest cities in US, it is the perfect city to discover on foot or by bicycle. If you are one of those who prefer a more relaxed visit, the historic tram is the perfect option to cover almost the entire city.

Yosemite National Park

They say that you have not been to California if you have not visited Yosemite National Park, one of the best places to visit on the California coast for those who love Nature. The jewel of America's national parks offers endless possibilities to suit all audiences. From multi-day hikes to express one-day visits, you cannot miss the spectacular views that this natural paradise offers. No wonder it's one of the best places to visit in USA.

It is very important to plan your visit to the park well as its dimensions are gigantic. It is recommended not to visit it entirely by car, especially in summer, due to the large influx of vehicles in the most popular areas. The essential points to visit in the park are the Yosemite Valley and the Glacier Point, both connected by free buses.

Long road Grand Canyon United States

Santa Barbara

If you want to know one of the best tourist places to stay on the Californian coast, Santa Barbara will seem like a dream place.

Also called the "American Riviera", Santa Bárbara is known for its beautiful and extensive promenades and its historic center characterized by its Spanish Mediterranean architecture. The city gives off a bohemian air and its spacious streets and boulevards are the ideal place to spend a relaxing day and be seduced by one of the best gastronomic and coffee centers in California.

Big Sur and the Pacific Highway

If you are one of those who have always dreamed of taking a road trip to see the best tourist places on the Californian coast, this section of the Pacific Highway should be your priority. More than 140 km of indescribable beauty on one of the most beautiful roads in the world will make you fall in love with California.

If you want to enjoy the full experience and see the best tourist places in California, get behind the wheel in San Francisco and drive down the winding coastal highway that connects the entire coast to Los Angeles. This popular route takes at least a couple of days and offers some of the most spectacular views of the Californian Golden Coast.

Malibu and Santa Monica

Feel like a celebrity strolling along the beautiful shores of Malibu, where hundreds of celebrities have built their beach mansions attracted by the pleasant Mediterranean climate in this northern area of Los Angeles.

Just before arriving in Los Angeles, you will find Santa Monica, a very touristic city adjacent to the Los Angeles metropolitan region, but with a more relaxed and bohemian atmosphere. Its charismatic pier and amusement park are one of the best tourist places in the USA and it is also where the famous Route 66 ends.

Los Angeles is one of the places to visit on the California coast

Los Angeles

Los Angeles comes in second place in the list of the most populated cities in the US.

 The city of stars is a place that will not leave you indifferent. From the glamor of Hollywood to its extensive gastronomic offer and through its busy beaches, let yourself be seduced by its large avenues and palm trees in a mix of luxury, culture and leisure.

Venice Beach is one of the best tourist and busiest places in Los Angeles for its bohemian essence, an ideal place to walk and escape the bustle of the city. If you otherwise want to immerse yourself in luxury, stars, lights and skyscrapers, the walk of fame is another one of the places you cannot miss.

For a movie experience, you can't miss Warner Bros Studios or Universal Studios Hollywood. It wouldn't be weird if you even saw someone famous -you're at the global epicenter of fame!

Sequoia National Park

Another of the best places to visit on the California coast is the Sequoia National Park. It is difficult to describe in words the sensation one has when driving or walking among trees over 85 meters high and up to 8 meters in diameter.

This is one of the best tourist places in the world where these trees can be appreciated and it also houses the largest tree in the world: General Sherman.

Death Valley

Death Valley offers one of the most inhospitable landscapes in California and one of the best tourist places to visit in the United States.

Being the hottest and driest place in the country, the natural park is one of the largest on the west coast and can be visited by car in one or more days. Prepare yourself for intense heat and very arid landscapes dominated by sand dunes, mountains and plains that are reminiscent of a landscape rather typical of Mars.

Also, Death Valley is on the way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, so if that's your next destination, you can include it on the route.