California has an endless number of incredible tourist attractions, from Disneyland to the Golden Gate Bridge to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the Redwoods. While many of these activities are exciting, it can be difficult to find the most spine-tingling and awe-inspiring places in the state. Where does a thrill-seeking tourist even begin? Don’t worry, I made a list for you!
The Top 7 List
Here are the top 7 most thrilling tourist attractions in California.
1. Visit One of California’s many National Parks. Absorb the grandiose natural beauty of the cinematic landscapes of California is very popular, and for good reason. California is home to 9 national parks—more than any other state—including Yosemite, Death Valley, Redwood, Point Reyes, Pinnacles, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Joshua Tree, and the Channel Islands. In each park there are unique opportunities to hike, view wildlife, go trail riding, take scenic drives, and go on nature tours. Some of the activities, like Yosemite’s Half Dome climb on a metal ladder or rock climbing at Pinnacles, will surely get your heart racing.
2. Drive Along the Scenic Pacific Coast Highway. State Route 1, also known as the Scenic Pacific Coast Highway, boasts some of the most amazing scenery in California, with its dramatic cliffs, crashing waves, emerald green hills, and beautiful rock formations. It has some of America’s most dramatic coastal views. This walk is not for the faint of heart; the cliffs can be quite steep, the bridges very high, and the road quite windy, so make sure you buckle up!
3. Board the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Located in the Coachella Valley of the Colorado Desert in California, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the largest rotating tramcar in the world. Starting from Valley station (2,643 feet), the 80-car tram follows the cliffs of Chino Canyon to Mountain Station (8,516 feet) in about 10 minutes. At the top, tourists can see breathtaking views, enjoy hiking, eat at cafes and restaurants, and experience nature and educational exhibits.
4. Check out an Amusement Park. California is home to the Disney empire and Universal Studios as well as their respective theme parks Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. They constantly improve the visitor experience with thrilling and innovative amusement rides, new restaurants, and more. Visitors can also check out lesser-known amusement parks, such as Knott’s Berry Farm or Six Flags Magic Mountain, for a new experience.
5. Walk over the Golden Gate Bridge. Known as the gateway to San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge it is an iconic symbol of the city and the state. The Art Deco designed and red painted bridge is visible from almost every part of the city. Towering as tall as a 65-story building and extending 4,200 feet, tourists can choose to walk the 1.7 miles around the bridge from the Welcome Center to the south end viewpoint lookout in – the north end. You can see epic views of the Pacific Ocean, the city, the national park, and San Francisco Bay.
6. Visit an Escape Room
There are escape rooms all over the state of California, and all of them offer a new, often hair-raising experience. Escape room is an immersive game in which you are locked in a room and have a certain amount of time to escape. Many of these escape rooms are even themed! For example, these escape rooms in LA offer themed rooms ranging from an Alice in Wonderland scene to “Dr. Psycho” experience.
7. Drive Fast and Furious at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center. Located 30 minutes north of San Francisco, the Sonoma Raceway it can quench anyone’s thirst for speed on California’s longest track. The facility has a racing school, performance driving courses, karting opportunities, and more. You can drive their McClarens and F3 race cars, go karting, or bring your own car for a test drive.
California is an amazing state to visit, and offers an abundance of exciting activities. The next time you’re in the Golden State, hit one of these exciting attractions—if not all of them. You are sure to have a real adventure.