Highest-rated things to do in California, according to Tripadvisor

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December 26, 2021
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Highest-rated things to do in California, according to Tripadvisor

When planning your next holiday, you might feel an instinctual pull toward destinations that would take you across oceans, like Tokyo or Paris, but there are experiences closer to home that will have you thinking twice before booking a trip abroad ever again.

If you're craving a burst of adrenaline, why not reserve a spot in Michigan's famed Saugatuck Dune Rides? The activity's charmingly dated website is a great indication of its word-of-mouth notoriety and timeless appeal. Over in Arizona, you might be surprised to find that it's not just the Grand Canyon that tempts travelers to its desert landscape—it's also one-of-a-kind venues like the Musical Instrument Museum, where music enthusiasts can find over 7,500 instruments from 200 countries around the world.

Indeed, even if you've lived in California your whole life, you might be surprised by just how many top-rated things you've yet to cross off your list. From architectural wonders and picturesque views to historical museums and other must-see sights, you'll find your appreciation for California reignited just by reading through this list of top-rated things to do.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated things to do in California using data from Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor ranks places using a combination of metrics, including overall rating, reviews, and number of page views. As a result, an activity with a 5 out of 5 overall rating might rank lower than one with a 4 out of 5. Data is as of June 3, 2024.

Whether you're a family of five traveling in a recreational vehicle or a duo of friends looking for a quick getaway in California, read on for a list of sights you could easily plan a trip around.

#30. The Nethercutt Collection

- Rating: 5/5 (854 reviews)
- Address: 15151 Bledsoe St. Sylmar Los Angeles, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#29. Heisler Park

- Rating: 5/5 (1,320 reviews)
- Address: 375 Cliff Drive Laguna Beach, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#28. Pine Ridge Vineyards

- Rating: 5/5 (539 reviews)
- Address: 5901 Silverado Trl Napa, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#27. K1 Speed

- Rating: 5/5 (598 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#26. Avenue of the Giants

- Rating: 5/5 (1,005 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#25. Redwood National Park

- Rating: 5/5 (1,165 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#24. Armstrong Redwood State Reserve

- Rating: 5/5 (1,436 reviews)
- Address: 17000 Armstrong Woods Road Guerneville, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#23. Oakland California Temple & Visitors' Center

- Rating: 5/5 (949 reviews)
- Address: 4770 Lincoln Ave. Oakland, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#22. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

- Rating: 5/5 (1,594 reviews)
- Address: 1111 Second St. Crescent City, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#21. Gracianna Winery

- Rating: 5/5 (982 reviews)
- Address: 6914 Westside Road Healdsburg, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#20. California State Railroad Museum

- Rating: 5/5 (2,827 reviews)
- Address: 125 I St. Sacramento, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#19. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

- Rating: 4.5/5 (2,109 reviews)
- Address: 250 South Harbor Blvd. San Pedro Los Angeles, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#18. Glacier Point

- Rating: 5/5 (4,599 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#17. Point Lobos

- Rating: 5/5 (4,884 reviews)
- Address: Hwy 1 Carmel, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#16. Disney California Adventure Park

- Rating: 4.5/5 (15,758 reviews)
- Address: 1313 Disneyland Drive Anaheim, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#15. Santa Monica Pier

- Rating: 4/5 (19,325 reviews)
- Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#14. 17-Mile Drive

- Rating: 4.5/5 (12,710 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#13. Lombard Street

- Rating: 4.5/5 (18,401 reviews)
- Address: Lombard St. The Presidio east to The Embarcadero San Francisco, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#12. Pier 39

- Rating: 4/5 (22,974 reviews)
- Address: Beach St. & The Embarcadero San Francisco, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#11. Monterey Bay Aquarium

- Rating: 4.5/5 (14,477 reviews)
- Address: 886 Cannery Row Monterey, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#10. Balboa Park

- Rating: 4.5/5 (13,105 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#9. Cable Cars

- Rating: 4.5/5 (25,564 reviews)
- Address: San Francisco, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#8. La Jolla Cove

- Rating: 4.5/5 (13,768 reviews)
- Address: 1100 Coast Blvd. La Jolla, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#7. The Getty Center

- Rating: 5/5 (14,761 reviews)
- Address: 1200 Getty Center Drive North Sepulveda Blvd. & Getty Center Drive Los Angeles, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#6. Griffith Observatory

- Rating: 4.5/5 (20,687 reviews)
- Address: 2800 E. Observatory Rd. Los Angeles, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#5. Universal Studios Hollywood

- Rating: 4.5/5 (37,544 reviews)
- Address: 100 Universal City Plaza Los Angeles, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#4. USS Midway Museum

- Rating: 5/5 (25,693 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#3. San Diego Zoo

- Rating: 4.5/5 (29,554 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#2. Golden Gate Bridge

- Rating: 4.5/5 (49,841 reviews)
- Address: US-101 San Francisco, California
- Read more on Tripadvisor

#1. Alcatraz Island

- Rating: 4.5/5 (56,212 reviews)
- Read more on Tripadvisor

This story features data reporting by Karim Noorani, writing by Michelle No, and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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