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10 Best Places To Visit In Southern California To Gaze The Golden City

The gorgeous beaches, sunny weather, deserts, the temperature shore of the Pacific Ocean attractions makes one of the best places to visit in Southern California. When you think about a vacation in southern California, Los Angles, San Diego, Hollywood probably comes to your mind.

These are beautiful and wonderful places to visit in Southern California that offers you amazing tourist attractions like Amusement park, iconic Sights, landscapes, luxurious resorts, and seashores together make your visit unforgettable.

Let’s explore the best places to visit in Southern California.

Top Places To Visit In Southern California

1. Hollywood

Hollywood;Places to visit in Southern California

The name itself makes you feel more exciting, isn’t it? That why I placed it on top of our list of best places to visit in Southern California. It has been an international centre of films and entertainment.

The Santa Monica Mountains is the home of the famous Hollywood sign. Most tourists come here to experience the glamour and excitement of Tinseltown but you will also find a variety of cultural and natural attractions.

Top Tourist Attractions In Holywood City.

  • Hollywood Sign
  • Griffith Park
  • TCL Chinese Theater
  • Paramount Studios
  • Hollywood Wax Museum
  • Dolby Theater
  • Griffith Observatory

Beyond these, there are many other things to do in Hollywood like visiting Chinese Theatre’s Forecourt of the Stars, Seeing Hollywood Relics at the Museum, Visit Museum of Broken Relationships and many more.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Loews Hollywood Hotel
    Address: 1755 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles.
  • The Hollywood Roosevelt
    Address: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

2. San Diego

San Diego;Places to visit in Southern California
San Diego

This place features miles of sandy beaches, stellar luxury resorts, and a picturesque harbour. This city is a perfect destination to have fun on sunny days, relaxing on wonderful beaches, playing water sports, and limitless fun activities for families.

The most popular attraction is America’s premier zoo in San Diego with splendid flowering gardens and a Spanish architecture located in Balboa Park. This is the must-visit place in San Diego.

Top Tourist Attractions

  • Balboa Park
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Old Town State Historic Park
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • Mission Beach
  • SeaWorld

This beautiful city offers lots of more best places to visit in Southern California for families and friends too. A delightful Seaport Village right on the waterfront to stroll around and spend an afternoon, An incredible view of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean from Port Lamba, Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and many more.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Pantai Inn
    Address: 1003 Coast Blvd, San Diego.
  • Tower23 Hotel
    Address: 723 Felspar St, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

3. Santa Monica

Santa Monica
Santa Monica

This place has everything that tourists want during vacation. The main attractions that are popular here i.e. Monica Pier Aquarium, amusement park, and the great Pacific Ocean view restaurants.

For art lovers, Edgemar Center for the Arts, Bergamot Station or the 18th Street Art Complex are top attractions featuring over 20 houses of art galleries. The beaches here offer you lots of fun things to do including wide stretches of sand and plenty of sunshine, great surfing, and swimming.

Top Tourist Attractions in Santa Monica

  • Palisades Park
  • Annenberg Community Beach House
  • Museum of Flying
  • California Heritage Museum
  • American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre
  • State Beach Santa Monica
  • Santa Monica Pier

The Third Street Promenade is one of the region’s premier shopping destinations, so if you are in a shopping mood then don’t forget to take a look here and I’m sure you will definitely surprised to see the varieties in every product.

Nearest Hotels:

  • JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot
    Address: 1740 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
  • The Ambrose Hotel
    Address: 1255 20th St, Santa Monica.

4. Disneyland

Disneyland;Places to visit in Southern California

It is located in Anaheim a world-famous amusement park featuring three separate theme parks, luxurious hotels, iconic shopping spots, and entertainment district. The first park was opened in 1955 and called the Original Disney theme park and other sister parks are opened in 2001 named Disney California Adventure.

There is a Mickey’s Toontown where children can meet their favourite Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and many more.

Top Tourist Attractions In Disneyland

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout
  • Splash Mountain
  • Soarin’s Around the World

This is one of the best places to visit in Southern California where Walt Disney launched a revolutionary new entertainment concept in 1955. If you are planning a vacation with your children then this spot is suitable for your vacation.

Disneyland has more to entertain, Radiator Springs Racers, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Toy Story Midway Mania and it’s a Small World of our childhood you shouldn’t miss.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Best Western Plus Park Place
    Address: 1544 South Harbor Blvd. Anaheim
  • Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area
    Address: 11931 Harbor Blvd. Garden Grove, CA

5. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

Located in the east of Los Angeles from 140 miles desert area of Southern California. This park is popular for hiking, rock climbing, photography, and natural attractions. Joshua Tree National Park filled also famous for astronomy and stargazing and well known for its dark skies.

Multiple overnight camping areas, natural springs, man-made reservoirs and more than 4,500 established rock climbing routes make this park a little more crowdy and of course the first love for all tourists.

Top Tourist Attractions In Joshua Tree National Park

  • Keys View
  • Hidden Valley
  • Barker Dam
  • Lost Horse Mine
  • Jumbo Rocks
  • Lost Palms Oasis
  • Cholla Cactus Garden

If you love to do outdoor activities like Hiking, camping, Rock Climbing, Bouldering, Mountain Biking, and cycling then this National park is one of the best places to visit in Southern California.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Super 8 by Wyndham Yucca Val
    Address: 57096 29 Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley.
  • Americas Best Value Inn & Suites
    Address: 56377 29 Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley, CA.

6. Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara;Places to visit in Southern California
Santa Barbara

This place is also known as “Riviera of the West” and well known for its mild temperatures, beautiful beaches, and California Mission-style architecture. A magnificent palm-lined waterfront, gorgeous Spanish-style architecture, mountains that glow pink in the late afternoon light make this fascinating borough of Southern California.

There are plenty of things to do from kid-friendly adventures to exploring excellent museums that make this city more adventurous.

Top Tourist Attractions

  • Santa Barbara Zoo
  • Whale Watching Tours
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Lotusland
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
  • Mission Santa Barbara

This is a wonderland for wiggly kids, children of all ages will find a range of exhilarating outdoor adventures. Walking on the Wild Side in the Zoo impress you by the collection of critters representing around 146 species.

Arroyo Burro Beach is a family favourite beach you’ll love Surfing and Swimming and also offers many more adventures and enjoyment for the family, friends, and obviously kids too.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Harbor View Inn
    Address: 28 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Spanish Garden Inn
    Address: 915 Garden St, Santa Barbara, CA.

7. Palm Springs

Palm Springs;Places to visit in Southern California
Palm Springs

Looking for a sunny vacation destination, then Palm Spring is one of the best places to visit in Southern California. It offers all you need for the perfect vacation, best known for its wonderful golf resorts, fun vibe, and warm weather. The city has several surrounding communities like Palm Desert which is a favourite winter getaway destination for many Americans and movie stars.

Palm Springs has been a popular vacation destination since 1920 featuring dozens of beautifully maintained golf courses for golf dreamers. Beyond golf, there are also plenty of things to do: from touring, dining, shopping to exploring mountains and canyons. Here is a list of top attractions.

Top Tourist Attractions Of Palm Springs

  • Palm Springs Air Museum
  • Golfing nearby Palm Desert
  • Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto
  • Indian Canyons

Aside from all the above attractions. There are also lots to explore, a wonderful Coachella Valley Preserve natural area, a beautiful and incredible Moorten Botanical Gardens, and on Thursday evenings more than 180 vendors set up in the streets for VillageFest that make downtown Palm Springs come to their life, the event starts around 6 to 7 PM evening.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Desert Riviera Hotel
    Address: 610 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs.
  • Hotel California
    Address: 424 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs.

8. Long Beach

Long Beach
Long Beach

It is an oceanside playground in Southern California where you can enjoy every adventurous activity that you can imagine. Long Beach hosts world-class attractions ideal for a family reunion, romantic weekend or simply a getaway with the kids and ranked among the world’s premier cities along the water’s edge.

Museum of art surprises art lovers with brilliant visual arts and Nature lovers with extravagant views over the Pacific. There is also a Performing Art Centre for Music lovers. Let’s see more attractions in Long Beach.

Top Tourist Attractions In Long Beach

  • Museum Of Latin American Art
  • Cesar E. Chavez Park
  • Art Theatre Of Long Beach
  • Aquarium Of The Pacific
  • Shoreline Village
  • Belmont Shore
  • The Queen Mary

The most interesting thing to know about Long Beach is the Aquarium of the Pacific in Rainbow Harbor is thronged by more than 1.5 million visitors per year, roughly 500 species available for viewing on more than 5 acres of land.

About a 30-minute ride from Los Angeles this is a diverse weekend destination where you find a choice of museums, gardens, historical attractions, and scenic views.

Must Read: Places to visit in Los Angeles

Nearest Hotels:

  • The Cove Hotel
    Address: 200 E Willow St, Long Beach, CA.
  • The Varden Hotel
    Address: 335 Pacific Ave, Long Beach, CA.

9. La Jolla

La Jolla Beach
La Jolla Beach

It is the most beautiful town filled with romantic sunsets, surfing, shopping, and restaurants. You must probably get an idea about California has much to impress and keep you engage with wonderful beaches, historical places, museums and plenty of fun activities to do and enjoy.

La Jolla is also one of them featuring with most underwater park wildflowers and waterfalls with antique museums. On the beach, you can rent a boat, hire water sports equipment, enjoying fishing or book a whale-watching excursion.

Top Tourist Attractions In La Jolla

  • La Jolla Underwater Park
  • The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library
  • La Jolla Water Sports Snorkeling Tour
  • Ellen Browning Scripps Park
  • Thumbprint Gallery
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • La Playa Gallery

La Jolla has an infinite variety of attractions to endure and explore like adventure trips, panoramic beaches, art and cultural venues, and world-class shopping. Also, the shoreline around Scripps Park soaking-up the perfect vacation to just walk and feel the nature.

Nearest Hotels:

  • Empress Hotel – A Greystone Hotel
    Address: 7766 Fay Ave, La Jolla, San Diego, CA.
  • Grande Colonial La Jolla
    Address: 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, San Diego, CA

10. San Clemente

San Clemente
San Clemente

This is the great weekend gateway with beautiful San Clemente Pier, admiring colourful sunsets over the Pacific. San Clemente is home to museums, attractive restaurants, and beautiful beaches.

The Coastal Trail is a great walk trail to feel energetic and enjoy a run or jog along the beautiful Pacific coastline. This city packed with all entertainment and beautiful sights.

Top Tourist Attractions In Clemente

  • San Clemente Coastal Trail
  • San Clemente State Beach
  • Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
  • Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Playground
  • Talega Golf Club
  • Surfing Heritage and Culture Center
  • San Clemente Pier

Nearest Hotels:

  • Hampton Inn and Suites
    Address: 2481 S El Camino Real, San Clemente.
  • Holiday Inn Express
    Address: 35 Via Pico Plz, San Clemente


These are the topmost attractions and best places to visit in Southern California from our list, so it’s all upon you where to start your tour. Every Suggested place have their own special aspects, some have beautiful beaches and a historical appearance, some for kids and families and some for a romantic weekend.

Let’s go ahead and plan a vacation and leave all the excuses behind making your tour more memorable.

Wishing you a good time in South California!

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