What is California Known for/Famous for?

California is the third largest state in the United States in terms of land size and is the biggest US state in terms of population. There are so many great things about California that make it a great place to live and also make it an extremely popular tourist destination. 


California is known for many things including the beaches, surfing, Hollywood, and wine, amongst many other things. California is arguably the most famous state in America and millions of tourists travel there every year for the nightlife, scenery, and sunshine. However, there are some other things you may not know California is known for. 


Whether you’re looking to get away from everything and visit some amazing national parks or you want to visit all the hip celebrity spots and try to meet someone famous, there’s something for everyone in California. Let’s take a look at what things California is most famous for.  



Some Facts About California

We know California is a very famous state, but what else do we need to know about California? Below is a list of facts about this gorgeous state:


  • California is a state within the Pacific region on the United States
  • It is the biggest state in terms of population
  • The state has an area of roughly 163,696 square feet
  • California is the third largest state in terms of land
  • The capital city of California is Sacramento
  • Los Angeles is the most populated city in the state
  • Los Angeles is the second most populated city in the United States behind New York City
  • California has the largest economy of any state


Now that you know some interesting facts about California, it’s time to take a look at some of the things that California is most known for. Below is a list of things that California is famous for. 



Things That California is Famous For

California is a beautiful state that’ll make you instantly fall in love with it the second you step foot on Californian land. From the golden beaches and beautifully relaxed coastal vibes to the lively cities and exciting places to venture – California has something for everyone. 


Here are 20 things that California is most famous for: 




California is known for its many beaches. There are several state and privately owned beaches spread over most of the counties in California. These beaches are perfect for those who love being in nature but they’re also great for those who enjoy a bit of sunbathing and swimming. It’s thought that there are over 840 miles of golden sands in California. 


An example of one of the amazing beaches that California has to offer is the natural bridges state beach in Santa Cruz. This beach offers gorgeous scenic views and clear blue waters. It has a fantastic rock formation rising from the water which looks beautiful and unique. The water is also great for people who love to surf and swim. 


Below is a list of some other beautiful beaches in California:


  • Pfieffer Beach, Big Sur
  • Capitola Beach
  • Stinson Beach, Marin County
  • Coronado Beach
  • La Jolla
  • McWay Cove
  • Leo Carrillo Beach
  • Newport Beach
  • Huntington Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Santa Monica Beach
  • Ocean & Baker Beach, San Francisco
  • Carmel Shore




When you mention California to someone, they will often think of the bustling Hollywood area. This is seen as the most well-known and famous part of California. Of course, this is only a small part of the state but it’s definitely an extremely significant part. The media coverage surrounding the Hollywood area of California is what really helped to put this state on the map. 


Hollywood lies right in the center of the state and is known for being home to various film studios, celebrities, and wannabe celebrities. There are many great landmarks in Hollywood that make it a great tourist spot such as the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign, and countless museums, libraries, and markets. 


Hollywood is also known for its great nightlife with many bars, clubs, and music venues that attract people from all over the US and beyond. Hollywood really does have it all and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re planning a trip to California. 




Surfing is very popular all over the world but is especially popular in California as the numerous beaches with great waves make perfect surf spots. It makes a great hobby or pastime for many local Californians. 


One of the most popular surfing beaches in California is the Trestles in San Clemente. This beach is usually filled with surf enthusiasts every single day. This beach also hosts a lot of water-sporting events such as the National Scholastic Surfing Association Nationals, the ASP World Tours, and many other water-sports events. 


Below is a list of the best surfing beaches in California:


  • Rincon Point, Santa Barbara
  • Malibu, Los Angeles
  • The Wedge, Newport Beach
  • Laguna Beach
  • Huntington Beach
  • Lower Trestles, San Clemente
  • Doheny State Beach
  • Cardiff Reef, San Diego
  • Blacks Beach, San Diego
  • Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz




California is one of the largest producers of wine in the entire world. It accounts for almost 90% of the total win production in the entire nation. The state alone produces more wine than the entire country of Australia – that’s how big the wine production is in California. If California was a country, then it would be the fourth biggest producer of wine in the entire world. For these reasons, California is definitely very famous for its wine production. 


Wine production started in California in the 18th century and the trend grew from there. Today, there are around 1,200 wineries based in California – some large-scale wineries and some small-scale wineries. 


Some of the most popular areas for wineries include the Napa area, the Central Valley, and the Russian River Valley, as well as some other regions. If you’re interested in wine, why not try a wine tasting at a Californian winery where you can also learn all about the production of wine? 



Redwood Trees

California is also known for its very large forests which are filled with trees. The forests are collectively known as the Redwood National and State Parks. These forests hold a huge amount of the worldwide mass of redwood trees. In fact, the forests in California hold around 45% of the global mass of redwood trees. 


The redwood trees take up around 60 square miles of land in California. They are some of the largest and tallest trees found on earth and look absolutely astounding. The scientific name for this particular type of tree is Sequoia. 


While some other parts of the USA and Canada are home to redwood trees, the giant redwoods can only be found in California. People flock from all over the world to get a look at these magnificent giant trees. 



Death Valley

Death Valley is located on the northern side of the Mojave Desert and falls close to the Great Basin Desert. This particular desert is one of the hottest deserts on earth. The highest ever temperature recorded in Death Valley was 134.1 degrees Fahrenheit. This was recorded on July 10th in the year 1913. 


Another amazing fact about Death Valley is that it is home to the lowest point in North America. The area named Badwater Basin has a height of 282 feet below sea level, which is very low in relation to most of the rest of the US. In contrast, it is also home to some of the highest points in the US. The area of Mount Whitney reaches up to around 14,505 feet.



Theme Parks

There are several states in America that are famous for their theme parks and California is one of them. There are themes parks of all different styles, shapes, and sizes, so there is literally something for everyone from very young children to older adrenaline junkies – California has it all! 


California is home to the original Disneyland so it’s a must for any avid Disney fan. This theme park was opened in 1955 under Walt Disney’s supervision. It is the most popular theme park in the entire world and serves millions of visitors every single year. Since it first opened, it has had around 709 million visitors. 


Below is a list of some other notable theme parks that can be found in California:


  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Disney California Adventure Park
  • California’s Great America
  • Legoland
  • Aquatica San Diego
  • Adventure City



National & State Parks

If you are a fan of nature, then California is definitely the place for you. It is home to 280 state parks and 28 areas that are protected by the federal government. Collectively, these make up the largest system of parks in the entire United States. 


Whether you’re interested in breath-taking scenery, remote park locations, coastal walks, or giant redwood trees, California’s parks have something for everyone. Many of the parks in California can be visited on a day trip and some of them even have spots for camping to heighten the experience. 


Below is a list of some of the most popular parks in California:


  • Death Valley National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
  • Pinnacles National Park 
  • Devils Postpile National Monument
  • King’s Range National Conservation Area
  • Redwood National and State Parks 




The island of Alcatraz is a very popular tourist destination and something that many people who visit California want to see. The island has been home to a fort, military prison, and a maximum-security federal penitentiary. 


Now, it is home to a museum where you can learn all about the island’s incarceration history and all of the interesting stories that come with it. Visitors can take a guided tour of the area which can often be a very moving experience. These tours will include stories and secrets about the island’s past. 


In order to get to the island, you have to hop on a ferry to get to it. This makes the stories about prisoners attempting to escape all the more interesting as you can see just how difficult it would be to leave the island without some form of transportation. 


You can choose an audio guide option that will allow you to take the tour at your own pace. You can stop off at the entrance of each of the cells and try to really capture and feel what the prisoners must have felt like being locked up there. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience and something that you should definitely look into if you are planning a trip to California. 



Silicon Valley

San Francisco is now the most expensive city in the United States because is home to Silicon Valley which is one of the main forces behind the booming economy within the state of California. There are many huge worldly successful technology companies houses within Silicone Valley. 


Below is a list of some of the major worldwide companies that are housed in the Silicone Valley area:


  • Google
  • Apple, Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Facebook, Inc.
  • Netflix
  • Adobe Systems
  • eBay
  • Cisco Systems
  • Yahoo!
  • LinkedIn Corporation



In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out burger is a very famous name now across the entire length of the United States. While it is available now in some other states, it is very much a Californian family business. It was founded back in 1948 by the Snyder’s who chose to never franchise the company. They did this to avoid compromising the quality of the customer service and of the food. 


It features a fairly simple menu including things such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and the “Double-Double”. Its unique flavors and tastes have helped it build up a kind of cult following. It’s become so popular that when a new store opens up in a new area, people will line up for hours on end just to try one of these famous burgers.  



Big Sur

Big Sur is a unique part of California that features beautiful scenery and gorgeous views. The gorgeous mountainous land that hangs over the seas is simply breathtaking. The area falls right in between the Southern and Central parts of California. 


The area is home to around 1,800-2,000 residents and doesn’t really feature any great tourism infrastructure. However, the Big Sur area makes the perfect place for a day trip out. The gorgeous winding highway is well worth the drive out just to simply take in the beautiful views. 


You may even be able to see a sea lion on your trip out. You will also see some absolutely pristine beaches and beautiful tall cliffs. If you are taking a trip to California, it’s well worth going on a little trip out to see Big Sur. 



Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is an extremely famous landmark that people from all over the world visit every year. The bridge spans from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific. It is recognizable by people from all over. 


The bridge first opened in 1937 and has since become an iconic US monument. The bridge has been known to become corroded from the bay’s salty air. With this in mind, there is a team of painters who have been painting the bridge regularly since the late 1960s to keep it from continuing to corrode and keep it looking as beautiful as ever.  


Below are some fun facts about the Golden Gate bridge:


  • The bridge is 1.7 miles long
  • An earthquake struck the bridge before it was completed
  • A safety net below the bridge saved 19 men’s lives during construction
  • The orange/red color was originally supposed to just be a primer



Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is a very large pier that is located in Santa Monica. It features some really fund things such as a small amusement park, areas to check out the views, fishing points, and concession stands. 


Locals travel from all over the state to visit Santa Monica Pier and tourists love to visit this unique attraction. The amusement park features a solar-powered Ferris wheel which can be seen from quite a distance, a video arcade, and the original carousel hippodrome which originated in the 1920s. 


The pier is also host to a wide range of activities such as outdoor concerts, movies, entertainers, trapeze school, and so much more. If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do in California, then you won’t be short of finding something at Santa Monica Pier to do. 




The West Coast of the United States is known for its glorious weather and California is a major part of it. It is known for its gorgeous turquoise waters with breathtaking views, rocky cliffs, and gorgeous scenery that’s continuously showered in sunshine. 


California has great weather all year round which means that you can travel to the state at pretty much any time and you’ll be guaranteed to be able to do all of the activities that you had planned. California is a great place to spend time in nature and the weather means that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so. 


The gorgeous weather in California is one of the main reasons why people love to visit this beautiful state. It makes the perfect vacation spot as you’re pretty much guaranteed great weather no matter when you choose to visit. 



Palm Trees

When people think of California, they will often picture gorgeous sunshine and lots and lots of palm trees. Palm trees can be found almost everywhere in California. To the locals, this might not seem so special but for people who live elsewhere, this can be quite exciting. 


If you are interested in viewing the most famous palm tree street in Los Angeles, then you have to visit Sunset Boulevard. The gorgeous street stretches over 39 kilometers right from Hollywood all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway. The street can be seen in numerous movies and music videos. 



Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is home to some of the most beautiful views and scenery in the entire state of California. It lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. 


The area features a blue lake with gorgeous turquoise coves which are surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. People from all over visit the area for the nature, for camping, for attending the beach, and for boating. There is also a huge range of amazing hiking trails with ranging abilities. 


Lake Tahoe is also a great destination for skiing and makes up California’s main skiing destination. There are many popular ski resorts in the area and people from all over the United States visit during the wintertime to take advantage of the amazing snow conditions and the perfect skiing terrain.


Chill Vibes

California used to be a hugely popular destination for hippies and now it is a very popular area for hipsters. All parts of California boast a sense of community, creativity, and individuality. The culture in California is all about openness towards others, socializing, enjoying things, and relaxation. 


Those who live in California know how to live every day to the fullest. With so much around to do and beautiful weather all year round, Californians are never short of activities. No matter what it is that you’re interested in, it’s easy to find something to do that’s fun and relaxing in California. 


California is a very creative area filled with talented people who love to get stuck into hobbies and other activities. The people of California tend to have a strong sense of individuality. Everyone in California lives to their own beliefs and you can really, truly be your authentic self in this state without ever having to worry about being judged or ridiculed. 



Los Angeles in California is thought to be the home to the most creative and talented people in the world. When you think about Los Angeles, you will often think about the area of Hollywood. Hollywood is known for being filled with movie stars and starlets. 


However, it’s not just movie stars that you can find in California. There are also several great legends of music who reside in the area. Also, many of the best legends of music history started their careers in California. Artists such as The Doors, The Eagles, and Guns ‘n’ Roses all started their booming music careers in California. 


More recently, California has become home to a huge variety of social media stars and reality TV stars. Everywhere you look, there is something to do with celebrities around California. If you’re a fan of all things celebrity, there is really no other place on earth quite like California. 


Below is a list of some of the most recognizable celebrities that were born in California:


  • Kim Kardashian
  • Katy Perry
  • Billie Eilish
  • Kylie Jenner
  • Zac Efron
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Cher
  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Will Ferrell
  • Tom Hanks
  • Paris Hilton
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Marilyn Monroe



Healthy Lifestyles

The West Coast of the United States is all about fitness and health. Eating clean and eating smart is a big part of many Californians’ everyday lives. Californians tend to take each day consciously and will celebrate every single meal, every single workout, every single passion, and every single little accomplishment they experience. 


In order to accomplish great things, Californians believe in remaining healthy and strong, and this is reflected in their daily routines. When you take a look around California, you’ll notice many gyms, meditation classes, yoga studios, Pilates studios, and mindfulness seminars. 


Also, there are many drug rehab centers located in California and these are thought to be some of the most praised and successful rehab centers in the entire world. These centers help people to regain their healthy lifestyles, find their strength, and make complete recoveries from addictions. 


As soon as you step foot on land in California, you’ll feel the energy from everyone’s healthy lifestyle. You’ll instantly want to treat your body well and lose all of your bad habits. 




The University of California, Los Angeles is one of the most sought-after universities in the United States. People from all over the US choose UCLA as their top choice of college and for that reason, it can be extremely competitive to get in to. 


The college offers over 5,000 different courses in a huge range of subjects. UCLA takes pride in the extreme diversity of its students and staff and people from all over the world attend the college each year. 


UCLA is not only one of the most famous universities in the United States, but it is also one of the most famous universities in the entire world. 



Final Thoughts

Now that you know exactly what California has to offer, you can see why it is an extremely popular destination. If you are planning a trip to California, you can rest assured that you will never be short of things to see and things to do. 

No matter where you are from, whether it’s from somewhere else in the United States or from a completely different country, California is 100% worth a visit at some point in your life. Make sure you get it added to the bucket list!


If you’re planning a trip to California be sure to check out this California Bucket List Adventure Guide on Amazon here.