California themed itineraries

California themed itineraries

See also thematic routes in National Parks of the American West.

With family, with children

In San Francisco

  • Golden Gate Park (and California Academy of Sciences)
  • Cable car trip and visit to the Cable Car Museum
  • Chinatown
  • The old boats of Fisherman's Wharf
  • The Mechanical Museum
  • The sea lions at Pier 39
  • Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Exploratorium
  • Driving down Lombard Street (the most winding street in the world)!

On Highway 1

  • The Monterey Aquarium, a sea trip to observe whales

In and around Los Angeles

  • Universal Studios and Disneyland
  • The Grammy Museum
  • A Lakers game
  • The Queen Mary transatlantic liner in Long Beach (possibility of sleeping in a cabin fitted out as a hotel room)
  • Huntington Beach (surf)
  • San Diego Safari Park


  • Yosemite National park, of course
  • Delicious walks around Mammoth Lakes and South Lake Tahoe

Museums, culture and architecture

In Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), home of modern art $
  • The Broad for contemporary art
  • The unusual Brea Tar Pits & Museum (prehistoric animals stuck in a natural asphalt deposit)
  • Getty Center and Getty Villa
  • Norton Simon Museum
  • Huntington Library in Pasadena

In San Francisco

  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • SFMoMA
  • Asian Art Museum
  • California Palace of the. Legion of Honor
  • From Young Museum

In Palm Springs

  • A tour of typical 50's Californian villas

Beaches and surfing

  • San Diego, the surfers' mecca

And going up towards Los Angeles:

  • Ocean Side
  • Saint Onofre
  • Dana point
  • Laguna Beach
  • Huntington Beach
  • Newport Beach

Also essential in LA:

  • Santa Monica
  • Venice
  • Malibu (a myth!)

Fan of the movie La La Land

Compulsory pilgrimage to Los Angeles:

  • Griffith Observatory
  • Warner Bros Studios and Smoke House Restaurant in Burbank
  • Grand Central Market and Angels Flight Railway in Downtown
  • Chateau Marmont Watts Towers
  • and Hermosa Beach (pier and Lighthouse Café).


  • Lone Pine (where legendary boys shot the greatest westerns in Hollywood cinema)
  • Death Valley
  • Bodie ghost town

IT giants

  • Silicon Valley, where Google, Facebook, Apple and Netflix are headquartered. You cannot visit these, just approach them, but the area hosts two interesting museums:
    • the Computer History Museum
    • and the Intel Museum
  • And the historic Stanford University where the brains of Tech are spinning!

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