Top 5 Famous Travel Destinations in California to Consider for Your Next Trip

When planning a fun vacation, whether with family or by yourself, it’s easy to default to wanting to get out of the country by traveling internationally. However, there is so much beauty within the continental United States and so few people have the opportunity to see it all. One state in particular stands out as a must-visit for both residents of the United States and international visitors. Learn everything there is to know about the best spots to see in California.

How Many Visitors Travel to California?

Believe it or not, the most popular state for tourism is California with well over 250 million visitors on average, with even more expected in 2023. The primary reason California wins the crown for the state that is most visited is due to its size. To put it into perspective, driving from one end of the state vertically to the other takes around twelve and a half hours, and there are gorgeous stops every step of the way.

Is Southern California or Northern California More Popular?

While California is one unified state with gorgeous scenery everywhere a person turns, there is a long-standing debate over whether Northern or Southern California is better for tourism. On a population basis, Southern California has more residents with an estimated 23.8 million as of the last census, compared to Northern California which has a population just reaching 15 million.

With that said, the geography of Southern and Northern California varies so drastically due to the size of the state that a visitor could travel to both parts and not even realize it’s the same area. Therefore, there is no right or wrong answer when considering the two halves of California to visit, and the choice should be entirely dependent upon what you’re hoping to get out of your vacation.

5 Must Visit Destinations in California

Below are five of the most popular tourist destinations around the state of California that any family or solo traveler should consider seeing on vacation:


Naturally, Disneyland earns the top place on this list of places to visit in California. Located just around an hour outside the downtown of Los Angeles in Anaheim, California, Disneyland is an iconic theme park that features amusement park rides, delicious food, zany and loveable characters, along with much more. No California trip would be complete without stopping in here. Additionally, there are a number of vacation rentals near Disneyland that can be stayed in, as opposed to a hotel, so that you can explore the surrounding area.

2.Napa Valley

Known as the wine region of California, Napa Valley is a location more suited for adults. With sprawling vineyards and greenery as far as the eye can see, taking a wine tasting trip out to Napa Valley or even just going for a picnic is a great way to see one of the unique business cultures of California.

3.Yosemite National Park

For those with an adventurous spirit, stopping off at Yosemite National Park is an absolute must. With an area of 1,169 square miles, there are camping grounds, hiking trails, outdoor activity spots, and so much more. For those who would prefer not to sleep on the ground, there are many luxury hotels situated inside the park that offer a preferable alternative to fighting with outdoor bugs.

4.San Francisco

Where Los Angeles is associated with Southern California, San Francisco is associated with Northern California. Home to a vibrant culture, amazing nightlife, and delicious food, San Francisco is a popular travel destination for visitors to the state. Additionally, iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Prison, and more make San Francisco ideal for sightseers and history buffs alike.

5.Lake Tahoe

Finally, Lake Tahoe is a lesser known yet gorgeous part of California that offers everything from outdoor sports to hiking trails. While half the lake does reside in Nevada, Southern Lake Tahoe sits within California and offers plenty for visitors to do. With their economy based on tourism, you will find a large tourist population enjoying the sights with you.

Plan your California trip today

No matter where you choose to visit in California, you’re bound to have an exciting and fun trip that will leave you satisfied and wanting to return. Whether you’re road tripping, flying, or taking a train to the beautiful state, plan ahead and build an itinerary so that you can hit the ground running once you arrive.