California Tourist Attractions

By | January 3, 2023

Interesting places and regions

Hollywood, which means “holly forest”, is a district in LA, whose name stands for the center of the US film industry worldwide. Hollywood is announced with huge letters in the Hollywood Hills. The rise of the quarter founded by the Wilcox family in 1887 began in 1911 with the establishment of the first film studio by David Horsley’s Nestor Company. In the same year 15 more film companies were added, which took advantage of Los Angeles (economic reasons, longer days, better climate than in New York etc.). Nowadays the biggest Hollywood studios are the “Universal Studios” and “Warner Brothers”. No city dweller gets past Hollywood. Crowds of models, artists and actors populate the area and visit the trendy bars. It is not unrealistically open to see a celebrity. Particularly worth seeing in Hollywood are:

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
    Hollywood’s most famous street is between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard. It is a 5.5 km long path with over 2,000 bronze stars, which were embedded in the sidewalk in honor of artists from the film and music industry. In the immediate vicinity of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, hand and shoe prints as well as signatures can be admired, which left about 200 stars (from 1927) on the flooring.
  • Hollywood Sign
    Probably the most well-known lettering from Los Angeles (if not the whole world) is emblazoned over the Hollywood Hills and is composed of approximately 15 meters high and 137 meters long letters.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
    Every movie enthusiast in Los Angeles will probably go to Universal Studios first, a mix of film and television studio and amusement park. Here you can take a look behind the scenes on an adventurous small train tour. Highlights include a simulated earthquake, a bridge collapse, and an attack by the great white shark and King Kong. The offer is rounded off by stunt shows, adventure rides, musical performances and much more.

Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is arguably the most technologically advanced center in the world. Silicon Valley is located in the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. The name also comes from technology and refers to silicon, which is very important in computer technology. Here you will find numerous research institutions, universities and companies such as Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Yahoo.

Special churches

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles
The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The current building replaced a previous building (= Cathedral of Saint Vibiana), which had been badly damaged in the 1994 earthquake. The cathedral, designed by Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo, was inaugurated in 2002. The cathedral is considered a postmodern interpretation of a Spanish mission station with a 40 m high bell tower. In addition to the actual building, there are several gardens and waterfalls as well as the Cathedral Center. The crypt of the Christian building is particularly interesting. Many former bishops and archbishops of Los Angeles are buried here.

Contact 555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

Angelus Temple in Los Angeles
The central sanctuary for worship at the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel across from Echo Park Lake was inaugurated in 1923. The glowing cross on the dome of the temple is particularly striking. It is currently used by the Angelus Temple Hispanic Church. It has been recognized as a national historical landmark since 1992. The temple now offers space for an incredible 3,500 visitors.

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Contact 1100 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90026

Los Angeles California Temple
The second largest temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (= Mormons) is located on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood. It was inaugurated in 1956 and was still the largest Mormon temple in the world – later replaced by the Salt Lake Temple. The temple also includes the visitor center, the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center, and the headquarters of the Los Angeles Mission. The temple can be seen from afar due to its approx. 78 m high tower. At the top of the tower is a 5 m tall statue of the angel Moroni, a prophet from the Book of Mormon.

Contact 10777 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90025

Plaza Church in Los Angeles
The Plaza Church, officially called La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles, is located in the El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park. The church was built between 1824 and 1822. The historic church, which also served as a place of refuge for refugees from El Salvador for a while, has been a historic landmark since 1962. It should be noted that today’s church is, however, a replica from 1861.

Contact 535 North Main Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

Gardens, zoos and amusement parks

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim
The Disneyland Resort in the city of Anaheim is arguably the most famous amusement park in the world. The park was opened in 1955 and today covers a huge area of ​​approximately 17.45 km². Over the years, the park has been continually expanded with new attractions and today includes a huge range of rides, cinemas, shows and much, much more. The park is particularly attractive for children, as they can immerse themselves in the world of their Disney star here. Almost 15 million visitors and the park flock annually, making it the park with the second most visitors in the world.

Contact 1313 South Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, California 92802

Balboa Park in San Diego
The Balboa Park with its 4.9 km² is San Diego’s largest and most popular park. In addition to many museums and the 60-meter-high California Tower, it also contains wonderful buildings that were built in Spanish Baroque style for the Panama-California World Exhibition (1915) and the international California-Pacific Exhibition (1935). In Balboa Park, which is also the perfect starting point for any individual city tour, families can find picnics, but also athletes can go jogging, cycling or walking. The water features and green areas as well as the world-famous San Diego Zoo are particularly beautiful parts of the park.

San Diego Zoo
The world famous San Diego Zoo, which was created in 1915 in connection with the Panama-California World’s Fair, can be found in Balboa Park. It has more than 4,000 animals from more than 800 species that have found a new home on 0.43 km². The zoo, which is one of the largest in the world, can be experienced via bus tours, rides on a gondola lift (“Skyfari”), but of course also individually. The zoo is best known for its generous facilities that emulate the natural living environment of the animals. The zoo has also earned an excellent reputation by breeding endangered species. The zoo’s main attractions are certainly the monkeys, pandas, polar bears, elephants and the only albino koala in the world.

Contact 2929 Zoo Drive
San Diego, California 92101

Sea World San Diego
There is a branch of the well-known Sea World chain in San Diego on the southern shore of Mission Bay. The Sea World was opened in San Diego in 1964 and today covers an area of ​​approximately 0.76 km². The most popular sea creatures in the gigantic aquarium are of course the obligatory dolphins, but whales, sharks, rays and even polar bears can also be admired.

Contact 500 Sea World Drive
San Diego, California 92109

San Francisco Zoological Garden and Childrens Zoo
Between the Pacific and Lake Merced is the largest zoo in Northern California with one of the world’s largest gorilla enclosures. The zoo, opened in 1929, is now home to over 900 animals from more than 250 species. The latest attraction is the spacious enclosure for animals from Africa: giraffes, zebras, kudu antelopes and ostriches live together here. Young visitors can stroke their favorite animals in the children’s zoo. It should also be mentioned that in 2006 the tiger Tatiana attacked an animal keeper and in 2007 the same tiger attacked three visitors.

Contact 1 Zoo Road
San Francisco, California 94132

Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
The park is 5 km long and 600 m wide – making Golden Gate Park one of the largest urban parks in the world. The landscape planner John McLaren managed to turn dry sand dunes into lush vegetation. There is a lot of life in the park: there are skaters, cyclists and joggers; Children fly kites and there is a lot of grilling. The Golden Gate Park is a meeting point for tourists and locals as well as for young and old.

National parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are close together in the Sierra Nevada of California. The area of ​​both parks is approximately 3,500 km². The parks are located at heights between 410 m and over 4000 m. The main sights are the impressive giant sequoias, which can reach a height of more than 80 m and a diameter of over 11 m. The two parks are managed jointly by the National Park Service and are among the best known in the United States.

Contact 47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, California 93271

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is located in California, about 300 km east of San Francisco. Its area is 308 km² and the park stretches along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Yosemite National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.
The approximately 13,628 km² large Daeath Valley National Park is located in southwest California in the Mojave Desert. It is the driest national park in the United States. The valley got its name after several settlers were killed in a blazing heat in 1849. The lowest point in the western hemisphere, Badwater, is also located here at 85.5 m below sea level. Visitors are mainly drawn to the hostile but by no means unattractive environment. Since the park is surrounded by several high mountains, it offers the best views of the park.

Lassen-Volcanic National Park
The Lassen-Volcanic National Park is located in Northern California around Lassen Peak, the southernmost volcano in the cascade chain of the Rocky Mountains. The volcanically active area with boiling mud holes, hot springs and fumaroles covers approx. 430 km² and has been a national park since 1916.

Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park is located in northwestern California, approximately 500 km north of San Francisco. Its area is 534 km² and extends along the Pacific coast. Redwood National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1968.

Other natural beauties

California Coastal National Monument
The California Coastal National Monument is a huge nature reserve that includes all the small islands off the coast of California. These over 20,000 islands and islets serve as a habitat for the indigenous wildlife and therefore deserve special protection.

Carrizo Plain National Monument
The Carrizo Plain National Monument covers an area of ​​approximately 1,100 km². The area represents a landscape type as it was typical for the Central Valley of California. The plain is covered with grass and the highlight is surely the holy stone Painted Rock, which was worshiped by the Cumash Indians.

Devils Postpile National Monument
The Devils Postpile National Monument in the Sierra Nevada covers an area of ​​approximately 3 km². The main attraction of the area is a 20 m high cliff. This consists of numerous basalt columns, which are due to a volcanic eruption and the subsequent lava flow. These columns have a very uniform hexagonal structure. There are also 2 waterfalls in the park.

Lava Beds National Monument
The Lava Beds National Monument is located in the far north of California and covers an area of ​​approximately 188 km². The diverse volcanic landscape attracts approximately 100,000 visitors annually. Of particular interest are the many lava flows that have formed over several eruptions over the past million years. But elongated caves that “eat” the lava flows into the ground are extremely popular.

Muir Woods National Monument
The Muir Woods National Monument is located near San Francisco and is characterized by its giant coastal sequoias. The protected area covers an area of ​​approx. 2 km² and has existed since 1908. With a height of up to 115 m and an age of up to 1,100 years, the coastal redwoods are the tallest and oldest trees on earth and are likely to leave every visitor amazed.

Pinnacles National Monument
The Pinnacles National Monument nature reserve covers an area of ​​approximately 107 km² and represents an area with different terrain formations. These terrain formations are due to volcanic activities. Here rugged rock formations alternate with lava peaks and prairies. Gentle hills in a Mediterranean climate can also be found here.

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument is located in southern California and covers an area of ​​approximately 1,100 km². The area includes beautiful mountain landscapes and a special feature is that private plots can also be found within the protected area.

Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point is a natural monument with a viewing platform in Death Valley. It is also the title of the film of the same name (road movie) by the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni from 1970. The visitor is offered bizarre erosion landscapes that originate from the former Lake Zabriskie.

State Parks
It should also be mentioned that there are over 270 state parks in California, of which only the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is mentioned:

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park covers an area of ​​approximately 2,420 km² and is located in southern California. It is the largest of all state parks in California and the second largest in the United States. The park attracts visitors due to its hiking trails, which have a total length of 180 km, and the nature experiences of the Colorado Dessert.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park