The Top 15 Best Cities to Visit in California

best cities in california

Friendly for travelers, the best cities in California have much more to offer. Often located by beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches and old neighborhoods with their own unique identity that is interspersed among modern cities home to an endless amount of fantastic museums or world-class restaurants where you can get your drink on after a long day exploring these fabulous areas!

Top 15: San Jose

San Jose

San Jose is a bustling metropolis in the heart of Silicon Valley with an eclectic and diverse culture. With over 1 million people calling it home, San Jose offers everything residents would need from jobs to entertainment options – all within close proximity!

Despite having almost twice the size and population of San Francisco, this small town is often overlooked in comparison with its more prestigious neighbor. Rampant development projects, unfortunately, mean that it lacks an identity but there are still things worth seeing here such as some great museums or parks spread throughout different neighborhoods- each one unique from the other!

Top 14: Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a small fishing village in northern California that has become well known for its board-shredding waves. The town also houses some of the most luxurious resorts on earth, with picturesque views and endless activities to keep you satisfied through winter too!

Santa Cruz is a town of characters and a countercultural vibe. It’s full of eccentric people from all walks, who have an infectious energy that makes you want to join in on their fun! The city center has plenty for visitors: bars with live music venues; restaurants along the waterfront where one can enjoy watching the waves lap at the sand as they go by – it really doesn’t get much more picturesque than this place!. From here there are several State Parks within driving distance offering scenic views plus hiking trails through nature preserves or up high into mountains covered thickly in pine trees (depending upon what interests your party).

Top 13: Newport Beach

Newport Beach

This is the place to be if you love spending time on pristine beaches. Whether it’s on vacation or in your own home, think about adding a little bit more spice with an escape from reality-the Newport Beach area has what every modern-day traveler needs!

Newport Beach is an idyllic city in Orange County, California. While it’s true that fantastically rich people enjoy the pleasures of this land and its surrounding beaches, there are other options for visitors who want to experience what life has been like for decades past without breaking their budget! One should visit Newport beach on a less extravagant one given all its sunsets which bathe fantastic sand dunes with a radiant glow every day or head towards Fashion Island Mall where you’ll find upmarket shops galore alongside delicious seafood restaurants (among many others).

Top 12: Napa


Napa is like a little piece of paradise. It’s home to an incredible wine country that offers so many different types you’ll never get tired of tasting them all!

If you are looking for a day trip from San Francisco, Napa Valley is the perfect destination. You can sample some of California’s finest wines while touring through this picturesque city that has been revitalized by an increase in real estate prices and now offers plenty to do like horseback riding or hot air balloon rides!

This historic region was once home to only vineyards but it contains over three hundred wineries today – so there really isn’t any shortage when it comes down to trying something new. The scenery around these parts makes them worth visiting again and again:)

Top 11: Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a city in California. It has the best beaches and attracts tourists from all over the world who are eager to enjoy its pristine natural beauty on land or sea!

Santa Monica is the best city in California to explore everything your heart desires. It’s close enough for a day trip, but also offers an eclectic mix of people and places that make it feel like home straight away. From its beaches full of palm trees with plush sand beneath them or winding pier complete with Ferris Wheel (which gives you plenty more things on which think about where life will be taking) there really are so many options when exploring this beautiful seaside town!

Top 10: Long Beach

Long Beach

Long Beach is a great place to visit if you are looking for an active vacation. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches and nature while also doing some hiking or exploring in order to find hidden gems!

Long Beach is a diverse city with many tourist attractions, great restaurants, and bars to discover. The large port makes it worth visiting for its diversity in the whole USA!

With one of the largest ports in the country, Long Beach is renowned for its diversity. This lends itself not only to a visit but also makes an interesting spot from which to explore America’s diverse landscape- depending on your tastes and preferences! For those looking at more urban settings, there are many great restaurants with unique cuisine as well as boutique hotels that cater to guests’ every need; while suburban areas offer up quiet streets lined only by trees where you can go running or biking without worry about traffic noise drowning out nature’s beauty all around us (though we still recommend earplugs).

Top 9: Fresno


If you want to get away from it all and experience some of the most breathtaking scenery in California, then head for Fresno.

This bustling, agricultural city in California’s Central Valley is a popular destination for travelers passing through. A pristine landscape surrounds Fresno and many stop here on their way to Yosemite National Park or the Sierra Nevada Mountains just 30 minutes away by car (or less than an hour if you’re driving).

Over recent years, the city’s surrounding farmland has suffered from droughts and this is helping to stimulate sustainable approaches. This in turn fuels Fresno’s culinary renaissance as it houses communities coming from around the world with all their cultures intact – a great option if you want peaceful surroundings while exploring national parks!

Top 8: Monterey


One of my favorite places to go is Monterey. The views there are gorgeous and everything feels so coastal!

Monterey is a beautiful city on the Pacific coast, with an incredible history. The historic center of this lovely place has many old buildings dating back to when Spain and Mexico ruled California in America! One main attraction that draws tourists here is Montereys magnificent aquariums where you can see some amazing marine mammals up close for yourself.

There is so much to see in Monterey that you might get lost exploring all of it. From seals and sea lions, dolphins swimming by or just relaxing on the beach; there’s something for everyone here!

Top 7: Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a small coastal town in California. I love the feeling of relaxation that comes with being on vacation here!

Santa Barbara is a picturesque town in California, known for its great weather and romantic surroundings. It has many beaches with East Beach being one of the most popular due to its pristine nature on top of being only minutes away from Los Angeles which means you can escape if needed but still be close enough should business or family emergencies arise!

The architecture throughout Santa Barabara’s downtown area itself really stands out; even more stunning when it comes into view just outside your hotel window at night-time (or day).

Top 6: Palm Springs

Palm Springs

If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustles of life, then Palm Springs might be just what your heart desires. The incredible weather year-round makes this destination popular with tourists who are always on vacation but never want to leave!

Some may say that Palm Springs is a “trophy town,” attracting Hollywood celebrities in the 50s and 60s. However, it now caters to retirees who enjoy its laid-back lifestyle with golf courses around every corner as well hipsters making up most of this small city’s population (not too far from The Desert Empire Club). There are more than enough hiking options here for those looking to explore nature while also being close by during the Coachella music festival where many people stop off on their way into town before catching some great acts or just taking advantage of all there has to offer!

Top 5: Sacramento


The Capital of California, Sacramento is a beautiful city that offers art in every form and shape. Whether you’re looking for an active lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to get outside or enjoy some museums while staying inside this metropolis will not disappoint!

The capital of California, Sacramento is a bustling metropolis that offers more than you’d think. As it sits at the point where two rivers join and has some trendy boutiques to go along with its historic center full of museums and restaurants in an old-fashioned setting perfect for young travelers alike!

A great place not only because there are plenty of things going on around town all hours every day or night – but also because this hub city has such an amazing foodie scene too.

Top 4: Anaheim


The city of Anaheim is a vibrant and exciting destination for vacationers. With the theme parks, great weather year-round as well as the reputation that it has among travelers around California to be one-of-a-kind places in America; this will likely become your new favorite spot!

Anaheim is a great destination for visitors looking to explore the many things that this Southern California city has in store. It’s home to Disneyland, which means most people head straight there after arriving; but if you’re not interested in theme parks why don’t take some time off from your vacation and check out one of two different hockey or baseball teams? There are also plenty of convention halls where business meetings can get done while we wait on our next trip back south!

Top 3: San Diego

San Diego

San Diego is a huge city that smacks confidence in terms of all it has to offer. There are over sixty beaches dotted along its shores, each with its own vibe and set activities – whether that be swimming or surfing; they’re always bathed by resplendent sunshine for most year-round!

San Diego is a diverse and cosmopolitan city with everything that you could want. It has an amazing Downtown area, full museums for all types of interests (including family holidays), various theme parks to keep everyone entertained from toddlers up through teens-and even adults will enjoy these places! San Diego also offers plenty in the way of relaxing activities such as zoo trips or aquarium visits…why not spend some time exploring this laidback paradise?

Also check: best things to do in san diego

Top 2: Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The city of angels is more than just a pretty place – it’s home to some amazing natural scenery and exciting attractions. Whether you want to hike the mountains or simply enjoy an afternoon stroll on one of its many beaches, Los Angeles offers adventure seekers everything they need!

With some of the most lavish movie sets in America, Los Angeles is a city brimming with energy and creativity. There are endless galleries to visit as well as theater productions that will entertain you on your trip through this vibrant metropolis. For those looking for even more entertainment, there’s an exciting culinary scene going on while Venice Beach offers beautiful beaches perfect for lounging around all day long!

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Top 1: San Francisco

San Francisco

The city of San Francisco has been a destination for travelers since the 1800s. This landmark, known as “The City by the Bay,” is located on hills that overlook forty-three miles of ocean water and features one iconic structure in particular: The Golden Gate Bridge! Every year millions visit this colorful metropolis to experience its culturally rich neighborhoods filled with unique people from all around the world who are always striving towards their goals no matter what obstacles try stopping them – whether those be fashion trends or technology innovations.

San Francisco is a beautiful city to behold. It has been said that the architecture in San Fran shows off different styles and there are many great viewing points from which one can view this metropolis, but no matter where you go it will amaze your senses with its beauty: bustling markets; colorful street scenes; chic restaurants–even when rain or fo grabs try their best not-so-perfect weather!

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