There are so many great things to do in California, make sure you don’t miss out on these places!
Looking for things to do in California as a couple? You’re in luck because there is plenty!
Whether you want to do touristy things, go to amusement parks, sit on the beach, or explore nature, you will for sure find something to enjoy!
California has great weather for most of the year, so this is a great year-round location to visit. It makes for a romantic vacation and you will enjoy the moments you and your partner create here.
Eat, Drink, and Fly High in Napa Valley
A wine lover’s favorite thing to do in California is spending time in the beautiful Napa Valley.
Famous for its vineyards, people come from all over the world to take in the scenery and sample wine straight from the vine. Home to over 400+ wineries visitors can enjoy world-class wines, meet local winemakers, and tour private vineyards on foot or horseback.
Napa Valley offers a scenic countryside, perfect weather, and it’s a wonderful escape from city life.
For those seeking a little adventure, California wine country offers daily hot air balloon flights and the scenery is breathtaking, especially at sunrise.
Napa Valley has 35 Michelin-rated restaurants and foodies especially will appreciate the abundance of restaurants and eateries to choose from. Guests can experience delicacies from around the world and enjoy some of the best cuisines the region has to offer.
Daytrip to Solvang, SoCal’s Historic Danish Town
There are some really cute things to do in Solvang, California. Solvang is an absolute must on your list of things to do in California!
A visit to this charming small town feels like you’re stepping into another part of the world.
In Solvang you’ll find authentic Danish architecture, windmills, and a rich history. They’ve done a fantastic job of preserving the Danish culture here, and you’ll love every bit of it.
Solvang is tucked away in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley and the drive along the coast is part of the experience, the views are stunning. Solvang village is a wonderful place for shopping and dining with friends, and here you can taste local wines from over 120 vineyards.
Solvang offers a variety of tours and activities yet still manages to hang on to that “something special” vibe. It truly is a one-of-a-kind place.
Drive, Walk, or Skate across the Iconic Golden Gate Bridge
You can’t make a visit to San Francisco without seeing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for yourself. It’s one of those places that’s on everyone’s bucket list of things to do in Cali. It’s also rated as the top tourist spot in San Francisco.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans 1-mile and connects the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean; the skyline itself will take your breath away.
The American Society of Civil Engineers dubbed Golden Gate Bridge a Wonder of the Modern World. It is one of the most photographed bridges in all the world.
If bridges aren’t your thing, you’ll still appreciate all that this bridge has to offer. Be sure to check out the exhibits at the Golden Gate Welcome Center, explore Fort Points National Historic Site, pay a visit to Crissy Field, and walk the East Batteries Trail up to the bridge.
Witness the Dramatic Scenery of Big Sur on Foot, by Car, or Helicopter
One of the best things to do in California, Big Sur is known as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It is considered the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the US. Big Sur is in the top 35 tourist destinations world-wide.
Big Sur is the 90-mile stretch off the central coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains sit high above the Pacific Ocean. The rugged contrast of the cliffs and mountains against the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean creates a dramatic and memorable scenic view.
A road trip at Big Sur means driving along the unforgettable Pacific Coast Highway (known by locals as the PCH) and it will not disappoint.
Although Big Sur is a remote location there is plenty of things you can see along the way, I can’t mention them all but here are a few favorites that you don’t want to miss:
- Carmel Mission Basilica Museum in the charming coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea
- The crown jewel Point Lobos Natural State Reserve
- The second most photographed bridge Bixby Canyon Bridge, Keystone Rock at Pfeiffer Beach
- McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (McWay Falls is 1 of only 2 waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunge directly into the ocean).
If you want to stay overnight, you can sleep in a cottage or yurt overlooking the coastline at Treebones Resort or stay in a Big Sur lodge cabin in Pfieffer Big Sur State Park.
Snap a Selfie with the Hollywood Sign
An American landmark, the Hollywood Sign is one of the more popular things to do while in California.
Visitors to Los Angeles usually want to get a picture with the world-famous Hollywood sign at least once. However, you might be surprised to learn that it’s illegal for you to get too close. The sign is now surrounded by fencing and security cameras due to vandalism over the years. You can’t get close to the letters, but the sign is visible from all over the city.
There are a few spots you can get a selfie with the sign in the background, the angle is going to be a challenge.
The easiest place to view the sign is from the official viewing point, Lake Hollywood Park near the Hollywood Reservoir. Parking here is limited and strictly enforced.
Lake Hollywood Park is the safest, closest, and most scenic viewing point for taking pictures. Hiking up the peak to the sign is widely popular. If you can commit to the 7.5 miles, it will get you closer.
The peak point ends up above the sign where you will get a skewed view of the letters. It’s worth it though, the views here over the city are amazing!
Meet Your Favorite Disney Characters at Disneyland
Disneyland is the classic All-American family vacation.
More than just a theme park, Disneyland is an experience. The memories you’ll make here are unforgettable.
At Disneyland, both kids and adults will have a wonderful time. There is plenty to take-in, a lot to see, and even more to do. With a ton of rides and attractions, there is no chance you’ll get bored.
Disneyland’s top attractions include Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Splash Mountain. Though if rides aren’t really your thing, you can attend a show, shop at the World of Disney or the Disney Gallery, make a reservation to dine with a Disney princess, and so much more.
Disneyland is a timeless tradition for families, and for good reason. It tops the list of things to do in California.
Drive, Camp, or Tour the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Yosemite National Park
Millions of people all around the world visit Yosemite National Park every year.
Panoramic views, gushing waterfalls, unique rock formations, and giant sequoias trees can all be found at Yosemite. Camping and climbing are popular, but you can also experience amazing views from the comfort of your car; booking a tour will get you to the most popular sites within the park.
Yosemite National Park houses over 500 Giant Sequoias! These are the biggest living creatures on our planet, and they are scattered all around the park.
Mariposa Grove of Great Sequoias is the place to stop if you want to see the largest and most impressive grove of redwoods in the park. The Grizzly Giant tree rests here.
At Yosemite you can see part of the most beautiful scenery that the US has to offer. Famous viewpoints include Glacier Point, Olmsted Point, and Tunnel View. The rock formations of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Cloud’s Rest are striking to see and popular among visitors.
A visit to Yosemite means you will have the opportunity to see one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.
Made up of three separate falls, Yosemite Falls can be seen all around the Yosemite Valley. There are many waterfalls you can see throughout the national park. Favorites include Bridalveil Falls, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, and Nevada Falls.
Yosemite is one of the few places in the US where you can see rainbows appear in the waterfalls within the park.
Make Lasting Memories on Lake Tahoe
The largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada and the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe is THE spot for a wonderful couples vacation.
People come for the lake, but Lake Tahoe offers so much more. And it’s dog friendly too!
In the summer, you can experience the stunning views of the lake and mountains. You can also sunbathe at the beach, and enjoy a plethora of water activities on the lake.
The mountains offer rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and other activities for the adrenaline seekers in your group. Here you will find events happening daily, gourmet dining, and a lively nightlife.
Lake Tahoe is a wonderful place for that much needed R&R.
There is so much here to do that it is a popular choice for family vacations. This is because there is something for everyone to love.
People Watch and More at the World-Famous Venice Beach Boardwalk
Venice Beach is all about people watching. Here you’ll see street performers, beach boys, artists of all kinds, and strange people “doing their thing.” There are a lot of characters that hang out here. If you’re looking for an eclectic, funky vibe you’ll find it here.
More resembling a sidewalk, the Venice Beach Boardwalk is a 1-mile street market and free speech zone on the Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach. You’ll see murals, sculptures, and public art all along the Boardwalk.
The Venice Art Walls represents the tradition of free speech and allows artists to take turns painting the art walls; each one paints over the top of the one before.
At the beginning of each day street performers, artists, and activists can acquire a free permit to perform on the Boardwalk that day. You’ll get to witness musical acts, dancers, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and much more.
When visiting you’ll want to make sure and bring some cash with you to tip the street performers.
The Muscle Beach Outdoor Gym, where Arnold Schwarzenegger trained, is a popular spot to hang out. You can get a day pass to work out here but it’s free if you just want to watch the bodybuilders.
There is a free gymnastics course next to Muscle Beach where you can try out the balance beam, rings, and rope climb.
The Venice Beach Skate Park sits at Muscle Beach and is the go-to place for skateboarders and those who like to hang out and watch them.
The shops of the Venice Beach Boardwalk are a popular spot for buying souvenirs. You’ll find artists selling original works, unique jewelry stores, bohemian clothing, and other cool stuff.
Find Your Favorite Star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame
One of the more popular things to do in California is to find your favorite actor’s star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and take a picture with it.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is comprised of more than 2,690 stars and spans 15 blocks of Hollywood Blvd covering about 1.3 miles.
Hollywood Blvd is a tourist hotspot and Los Angeles icon. Here you’ll find landmarks such as the footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, museums, and other Hollywood attractions celebrating the film and entertainment industry.