There’s no denying that California is one of the most popular places to visit in the United States, both for Americans and international visitors alike. California is a state rich with history, culture, intrigue, and, of course, entertainment.

If you’re reading this because you want to plan a trip to California soon, you might be wondering what to do when you’re there. As you can imagine, there’s a wide array of things to do and places to visit, whether you go to Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego.

Take a look at the following inspirational ideas to help you create a fun-packed itinerary for your visit to California:

1. Visit Alcatraz In San Francisco

You can find Alcatraz Island in San Francisco bay. Constructed in the middle of the 19th-century, Alcatraz was once a maximum-security federal prison that housed some of America’s most notorious criminals.

Alcatraz was home to people like Al Capone, George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, and Robert Stroud. It was initially built in 1910 as a U.S. Army military prison but was acquired and adapted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1934 as a maximum-security facility.

The prison closed in 1963 and is now a public museum.

2. Go Surfing In LA

If you prefer to spend some time in the ocean during your visit to California, have you considered surfing? When it comes to surf camps Los Angeles is undoubtedly one of the top locations for hanging out with pro surfers, learning how to surf, and enjoying a community vibe.

You might not realize it, but Los Angeles is one of the top destinations for surfing in the United States. It has global appeal, and there are over 70 miles of coastline on offer to beginners and pro surfers alike.

3. Visit Hollywood

Let’s face it: no trip to California is complete without spending some time in Hollywood. As you know, Hollywood is a part of Los Angeles and plays an essential role in the international movie and entertainment industries.

Visitors can go on movie studio tours, but there’s much more to see and do in Hollywood. For example, there’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theater, the TCL Chinese Theater, and the world-famous Hollywood sign.

If you’re in Los Angeles, make sure you include Hollywood as part of your itinerary.

4. Go Exploring At Yosemite

Located in Mariposa Country, Yosemite National Park is another world-famous point of interest in California. It’s the gateway to the Sierra Nevada mountain range and was the catalyst for creating America’s national parks in the 19th century.

It’s a place famous for many reasons. For example, there is the stunning geology and history of the area to immerse yourself in, and there’s also the interesting array of flora and fauna and wildlife you will easily spot.

Yosemite is great for exploring, trekking, hiking, and a whole host of other activities for the intrepid explorer.

5. Go Into Space From The Griffith Observatory

If you live in a major town or city, it can sometimes be hard to see the stars and planets in the sky due to light pollution at ground level. Imagine if there was a way to achieve that goal within a major city without needing to venture out into the wilderness?

Visitors to Los Angeles with more than a passing interest in astronomy should include the Griffith Observatory as part of their itinerary. Aside from its Hollywood fame, the observatory offers stunning views of the surrounding city.

But, what’s really neat is how during an evening you can view the celestial goings-on via the telescope there.

6. Road Trip On 17 Mile Drive

Are you someone that enjoys driving a lot and will happily go on a road trip at just a moment’s notice? If the answer is yes, one thing you should do during your visit to California is take a trip on 17 Mile Drive.

In a nutshell, 17 Mile Drive is a scenic route that passes through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove in Monterey. It snakes much of the Pacific coastline, passing many notable golf courses and points of interest like the Lone Cypress.

7. Visit The Golden Gate Bridge

It’s no secret that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world’s most famous bridges and ranks alongside others like Tower Bridge in London and the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia.

If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, one thing you should do is check out the Golden Gate Bridge. Aside from taking in the architecture of the bridge itself, you could spend time outdoors in the Golden Gate Recreational Area.

8. Check Out Salvation Mountain In Calipatria

While it might not be as famous as other landmarks and points of interest listed on this page, Salvation Mountain is something you should check out if you want to visit a more unique attraction in California.

Located in Calipatria, Salvation Mountain is a creative work of art that took almost three decades to make. It’s one of the world’s most notable art pieces dedicated to creating a visual interpretation of God’s love for the human race.

9. Go Skiing At Mammoth Mountain

If you’re not keen on surfing as per the second idea towards the top of this page, how about skiing instead? You might not realize it, but California is one of the best places to ski during the winter months.

Mammoth Mountain is a world-famous ski resort located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and has ski runs for skiers of all levels.

10. Visit Glass Beach Near Fort Bragg

Last but not least, you should fit in a visit to Glass Beach near Fort Bragg during your stay in California. Adjacent to MacKerricher State Park, Glass Beach is so named because it is abundant with sea glass – naturally weathered glass.

Its abundance of glass is because glass waste got dumped for many years at the northern part of Fort Bragg. The glass on the beach appears as rounded color pebbles.