Billions of dollars are being spent every year by visitors and tourists who step foot into the far West Coast State of California. But it's not just the largest city in the State raking in all that money as there are other cities in the state with the right atmosphere, activities, and pleasure that triggers tourist spending.

These cities in California are often underrated, yet they offer rich cultures, art, entertainment, and all the activities needed to give adventurers a fun visit to California without even stepping foot into Los Angeles.

Updated by Gabriel Kirellos, January 8th, 2021: California is home to many cities that people enjoy visiting to try various activities and witness unique attractions. This list was updated to include some additional areas in California worth hitting whenever taking a trip to the golden state, including Yosemite National Park and the city of Napa.

12 Anaheim, California

The most populous city in Orange County is home to the Disney Resort, which features the Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. The magical experience of Star Wars, Fantasyland, and other interesting Disney movies offered in this adventurous Resort is just enough to transport visitors into realms beyond their imagination.

If Disney Resort becomes too overwhelming, visitors can head over to the nearby Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, and experience a conducive atmosphere for surfing or even explore other nearby beaches for relaxation around Anaheim some of which include - Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Mothers Beach.

Related: Christmas At Disneyland Comes Early, And This Is What You Need To Know About The 2021 Holiday Season

11 San Francisco, California

The windy and mild climate city of San Francisco is especially famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, the second-longest suspension bridge in the United States with a distance of 2.7 km (1.7 miles). The city is also home to a large Union Square, a Museum of National History, a Museum of Modern Art, and one of the largest Chinatown in North America. While touring San Francisco in cable cars (which abound in the city), Seafood lovers can steal the opportunity to visit the Fisherman's Wharf, a bay that offers maritime museums and delicious seafood such as shrimp and cocktails.

10 San Jose, California

The third-largest city in California is a city of entertainment, music, art, recreation, and vibrant nightlife. For Outdoor activities, visitors have a list of parks they can choose from, including The Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, The Alum Rock Parks, and the Guadalupe River Trail. Sports lovers have so much to keep them busy as the city features a long list of sports complexes, golf clubs, Martial arts camps, and bike trails. The year-round sunny weather also offers an amazing atmosphere for all the outdoor activities on the To-do list.

9 San Diego, California

The warm-weather city of San Diego is also famous for its culture and the presence of attractions, seawater, and nature. Visitors seeking interest can begin their tour at Balboa Park, which hosts the San Diego Zoo. Those who want to get wet can visit - Ocean Beach, Del Mar city beach, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach, which are the great for surfing, swimming, and even relaxing in the sunny San Diego. Photo lovers will have their hands full at the nearby Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which offers an incredible sunset and ocean view.

The warm waters of San Diego are also playgrounds for whales and dolphins, and this means visitors can hop on cruise ships and enjoy a whale-watching tour in the Pacific Ocean during their migration.

8 Palm Springs, California

The desert city of Palm Springs, which is less than two hours drive from San Diego, is considered the world's golf capital as it features up to 100 golf courses. Due to its desert-like atmosphere, Palm Springs city features all-year sunny weather and clear skies, which are just perfect for biking, hiking, and golf sports.

The nearby Indian Canyons offers bikers an adventurous hiking and biking experience, while the Coachella Valley Preserve comes closely behind with more exciting outdoor activities. Mountain lovers can begin their exploration of this city from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and enjoy stunning views of Mountain and rugged terrains. Curious travelers who want more can check out the 3,000 specimens of desert plants in the Moorten Botanical Garden.

7 Desert Hot Springs, California

For years, spas and hot springs have been the signature of the small Southern California city of Desert Hot Springs. Visitors will find up to 20 natural hot springs in this city, which they can soak in and enjoy body healing and total relaxation. The hot springs of Desert Hot Springs are rich in Copper, Iron, Aluminum Oxide, Barium Silica, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulfate, and other essential minerals which help heal skin problems, relieve pain, deal with stress, circulate blood, and aid in cell oxygenation. Other activities visitors can enjoy include - a desert hike and visits to parks located in the city.

  • The Desert Hot Springs is just 26 minutes (11.7 miles) away from Palm Springs.

Related: California Does Have Hot Springs, And Here’s How To Enjoy A Good Soak

6 Monterey, California

Monterey features delicious seafood and marine wildlife due to the heavy fishing activities in the area. Places to see marine wildlife in Monterey includes – Monterey Aquarium and Coast Guard Pier. The Monterey State History Park and Monterey Museum of Art will offer art lovers all the satisfaction they need with stunning artworks. The nearby Elkhorn Slough also provides the visitor with the best views of the sea and the birds that flock around the waters. Other natural spots in Monterey include - the Cannery Row and Old Fisherman's Wharf.

5 Carmel By The Sea, California

Located in Western California is this city famous for its artistic environment and rich culture. Carmel by the sea, also known as Carmel, features a cool climate and picturesque beaches. It is a place for lovers of nature who can begin their sightseeing from the 17-Mile Drive.

The White sand beach, also known as Carmel beach, offers a unique view with its beautiful pure white sand and clear skies. Other things to enjoy in Carmel include - stunning artworks, tempting shops, wine, hikes, and rich cultural events. Satisfaction for beach lovers can be found at the Carmel River State Beach, Pebble Beach.

Related: What To Expect When Visiting The Tiny Town of Carmel-By-The-Sea In California

4 Palo Alto, California

The birthplace of Silicon Valley hosts a highly educated population and lots of natural elements for an enjoyable visit. Aside from being the heart of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto also offers natural sights, museums, and parks such as - The Palo Alto Tower Well, Mitchell Park, and the Baylands Nature Preserve. Although expensive to live in, the city features all the things that the traveler needs to have a good time, including hiking trails and vibrant nightlife.

3 Santa Cruz, California

Natural Bridges State Park, Wilder Ranch State Park, and the Delaveaga Park make up the list of exciting parks in Santa Cruz and many of these parks offer lots of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Visitors can head over to the Santa Cruz Main beach or the Aptos beach for swimming and relaxation. The Capitola beach located just outside Santa Cruz is a great place for surfing while Davenport even offers some nice whale watching opportunities.

2 Yosemite, California

While Yosemite is a National Park and not a city in California, the place is worth visiting and exploring. Yosemite is located in eastern central California and is one of the US's most famous national parks. Adventure lovers must visit this unique spot to enjoy fishing, daredevil pursuits, bird-watching, rafting, and rock climbing. Yosemite's best areas to explore are Vernal Fall, Glacier Point, and Half Dome. During the night, people enjoy the clear, starry sky.

1 Napa, California

Napa is located in the iconic Napa Valley in California and is close to San Francisco. This is why the city is perfect for a day trip, particularly for people who would love to try some of the most fantastic wines in the region. The downtown area in Napa has been booming in recent years with increasing real estate prices and plenty of new shops and eateries to try in the city. Horseback riding, riding in a hot air balloon, and taking a cruise are some of the exciting activities that visitors to Napa can enjoy. However, wine tours dominate everything because the city has more than three hundred wineries.

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