Travel News

Best California cities to visit in 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

With such a variety of places to see and things to do, it’s no wonder that California is one of the most popular US states for tourists. Last year, over 15 million international visitors went to the Golden State.

From the urban sprawl of Los Angeles to the relaxed lifestyle in San Diego, California has a range of cities almost unlike any other state in the USA, with everything from well-known sports teams to some of the most famous locations on the planet.

Florida has Miami and Orlando, New York has the Big Apple, but no other state can boast three of the country’s most-visited cities, over 60 coastal cities located on 840 miles of Pacific coastline and 146 of the country’s National Historic Landmarks.

What are you waiting for? Get planning your Californian dream trip; to help, we’ve rounded up some of the state’s best cities – plus where to stay.

Los Angeles

A view of LA’s Financial District
A view of LA’s Financial District (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Where else to start but the state’s largest and – arguably – most famous city? LA is a sprawling metropolis of over three million people, with consistently good weather (think average temperatures of 15C in winter and 21C in summer, along with only 20 days of rain per year) and a dizzying number of landmarks and neighbourhoods – such as Silver Lake – to keep visitors entertained. It is one of the beacons of the USA, from the “American Dream” of Hollywood to the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills or Rodeo Drive.

Hollywood Boulevard and the famous Hollywood Sign are among the other prominent attractions in the city and also possess a wealth of beaches – including the famous Venice Beach – as well as different areas for shopping, dining and nightlife (The Grove and Melrose Avenue are both good options). Those who want to experience more culture can visit museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Getty Center, while the Universal Studios theme park and Disneyland California (located in nearby Anaheim) are another popular option for a day out.

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Where to stay

Built in 1927 in a Spanish colonial style, The Hollywood Roosevelt is located in the heart of the famous neighbourhood. Room interiors are a good mix of classic and contemporary, and the bar, restaurant and pool areas are all equally stylish.