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Things to Do in California

With the Pacific Ocean to its west, discover panoramic views, scenic drives around Monterey and great beaches, like those near Santa Monica Pier. San Francisco with its cable cars, hills and great restaurants lies south of the Napa Valley wine area. Los Angeles is home to Chinatown, while Hollywood is movie stars. Tour a studio or visit attractions like Anaheim’s Disneyland.  Mountains are the setting for Lake Tahoe. To the south, find deserts and Palm Springs’ resorts. San Diego’s Balboa Park has tons of things to do. Discover the state’s Spanish missions, as well as gold rush era. National parks include Redwoods, Yosemite and Death Valley. Hotels run the gamut from bed and breakfasts to hotels and inns.
Things To & DoVacation IdeasPlaces to Stay
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Adventure City

1238 South Beach Blvd.
Anaheim, California
714-236-9300
Children of all ages can enjoy rides, plus a carousel, a children's theater and petting zoo.
Hours & Admission
Vary by season. Admission.

Amazing L.A. Race

1023 Hancock Avenue
Los Angeles, California
310-360-6950
Offering two distinct team race events that follow the general concept of “The Amazing Race” television show. The L.A. Race is a annual one-day, day-long event throughout Los Angeles that requires more physical and mapping skills, while the three-hour CityRace Urban Adventure spotlights a particular neighborhood and involves research, thought-processing and problem solving skills.
Hours & Admission
Office: Tuesday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Events: select days. Admission.
Photo Courtesy: Race/LA

Annenberg Community Beach House

415 Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica, California
310-458-4904
The five-acre oceanfront site was originally developed during the 1920’s Gold Coast era by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies. The Davies estate featured a mansion of 100-plus rooms and ornate marble swimming pool. The beach house was a hot spot on Santa Monica’s beach with Hearst and Davies entertaining luminaries from the Hollywood.

The property was later purchased from Davies and converted to Oceanhouse, “America’s Most Beautiful Hotel,” and to the Sand & Sea...
Hours & Admission
Gardens, view deck and splash pad - daily 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; gallery - Monday and second Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Davies guest house - Monday and second Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., café - Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Free.
Photo Courtesy: Annenberg Community Beach House

Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, California
562-590-3100
This internationally renowned aquarium creatively examines the treasures of the Pacific Ocean, the planet's largest, most diverse body of water. The aquarium explores three regions of the Pacific Ocean: sunny Southern California/Baja Pacific, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific and the coral reefs of the Tropical Pacific.

The facility's sweeping, wave-like architecture was designed to emulate the ocean.
Hours & Admission
Daily 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed Christmas. Admission.
Photo Courtesy: Aquarium of the Pacific

California Science Center and IMAX Theater

700 State Drive
Los Angeles, California
323-724-3623
It’s all about the science…captivating guests in a unique environment with contemporary tools, as well as technology that inspires visitors to want to know and understand how things work.

The largest building of the center features the themes of creativity and life. Examine the environment humans build to meet their needs for structure, transportation and communications. From computer technology and digital imaging to solar cars and earthquake-resistant buildings, Creative World...
Hours & Admission
Museum: daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. IMAX®: Monday to Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed major holidays. Free (CMSI). Admission (IMAX).
Photo Courtesy: California Science Center

Chinese American Museum (CAM)

425 North Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, California
213-485-8567
The museum is housed in the historic Garnier Building, the last surviving structure of the city’s original Chinatown*. The museum strives to research, preserve and share the history, rich cultural legacy and continued contributions of Chinese Americans. Its collection of artifacts number more than 20,000 objects. (*see separate listing)
Hours & Admission
Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Free; donations welcome.
Photo Courtesy: Chinese American Museum

Coronado

1100 Orange Avenue
Coronado, California
619-437-8788
Coronado Island Segway Tour
Coronado is a small beach community with a village-like atmosphere that is a short ferry ride via San Diego Harbor Tours* or drive from San Diego. By water arrive at the Coronado Ferry Landing or drive across the Coronado Bay Bridge. Discover upscale shopping, white sand beaches, excellent dining opportunities and great views of San Diego's skyline. (*see separate listing)

The magnificent Victorian-era Hotel del Coronado with its signature red turrets holds court over the...
Hours & Admission
24/7 Free.
Photo Courtesy: Coronado Visitor Center

Downtown Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

200 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California
310-458-8712
Now more than 20 years old, the big draw to this event are the local restaurant chefs who come out to participate in market activities (and perhaps find a few fresh ingredients for their own menus). Find a wide range of fresh vegetables and produce.
Hours & Admission
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Free.
Photo Courtesy: Santa Monica Farmers Market

Downtown Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

300 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California
310-458-8712
The Saturday market has a strong following of residents who come back week after week to purchase fresh foods from their favorite local farmers. Find many certified organic products, fresh flowers, eggs, herbs, honey, cheese, nuts, meat and seafood, and a wide selection of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. Local restaurant chefs are featured as part of the activities.
Hours & Admission
Saturday 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Free.
Photo Courtesy: Santa Monica Farmers Market

Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, California
310-443-7000
The Hammer Museum, a public arts unit of the University of California - Los Angeles, (UCLA) is dedicated to exploring the diversity of artistic expression through the ages, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society.

The Hammer’s collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge, presenting historical and contemporary art, architecture and design, along with selections from its permanent collections....
Hours & Admission
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed major holidays. Admission.
Photo Courtesy: The Hammer Museum
Information subject to change without notice.
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