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Most of California is open, but these iconic attractions? Not yet

Blue tiles decorate an indoor pool
Blue tiles decorate an indoor pool at ornate Hearst Castle in San Simeon, which remains closed.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Most of California’s visitor attractions are celebrating the resumption of business as usual — including San Francisco’s Coit Tower, which reopened Thursday— but at least a handful remain closed indefinitely:

  • Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles. Director Ed Krupp said that if the state sticks with plans to ease restrictions Tuesday, the observatory should be able to reopen “well before the end of summer.”
  • Bear Gulch and Balconies caves, Pinnacles National Park.
  • The Queen Mary closed in early June when the City of Long Beach (which owns the 87-year-old ship) took control back from the company that had been managing it. The city has said that the ship, which has run for decades as a floating hotel, has millions of dollars’ worth of overdue repairs.

San Francisco’s idle cable cars were on this list until Tuesday, when Mayor London Breed announced that parts of the system would resume operation in August.

The same goes for Buena Park’s Medieval Times, which reopened its castle, feasts and jousting on Thursday.

Reasons for the continued closures vary widely, but new announcements on their status are expected soon.

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The safety of young bats is a factor in Pinnacles’ Bear Gulch Cave. Managers at Hearst Castle and Griffith Observatory have said they’re working to put in place higher health and safety standards in historic structures that get heavy foot traffic, often in enclosed spaces.

These trips will take you to priceless places, and our pro tips will help you dig deeper.

Meanwhile, many other popular California destinations are reopening in the next few weeks.

Most capacity limits have expired. Also, Californians who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may stop wearing face masks in many situations, unless a business or venue decides to keep mask-wearing mandatory.

Visitors should check the linked websites before planning a visit; many destinations will adjust their schedules and offerings in days and weeks to come.

All of California’s national parks are open, but details vary. Some seasonal mountain roads are still closed by snow, but Yosemite’s Tioga Road opened May 27.

All but four of California’s 280 state parks are open, but many of their campgrounds are not, so check individual sites.

Why hike in Los Angeles? Lots of reasons. Use our guide to navigate 50 trails in Southern California, plus tips on gear and treats for the trail.

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Opening soon, by date

Musicians in masks are seated onstage as Gustavo Dudamel, in jeans, bounces on his toes and lifts a baton.
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the L.A. Phil during rehearsal May 12 at the Hollywood Bowl.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Disney Hall in downtown L.A. reopens June 26 with a free concert by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for invited guests and ticket giveaway winners. (The ticket giveaway is open only to people who have been vaccinated.)

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood reopens June 26. The tours will be open to families with children 5 and older.

The Exploratorium on San Francisco’s Embarcadero reopens July 1.

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Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, an open-air venue in Topanga Canyon, will present three plays July 10 through Nov. 7, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Julius Caesar.”

The Hollywood Bowl set five free concerts for healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers, with one more in June, and kicks off a 14-week season beginning July 3. Seating in most sections will require that guests show proof of vaccination.

Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters will run July 7 through Sept. 3. The summer tradition features “living pictures” on an amphitheater stage. Tickets are on sale.

The Pantages Theater in Hollywood said it will resume the run of “Hamilton” on Aug. 17.

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The Dolby Theater in Hollywood has scheduled a production of “My Fair Lady” beginning Oct. 7.

These trips will take you to priceless places, and our pro tips will help you dig deeper.

Open now

Two costumed performers speak to a crowd; one high-fives a little girl.
Pinocchio and Tinker Bell greet Disneyland guests on Feb. 27, 2020, shortly before the pandemic shut down the park.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Alcatraz, part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is open, though access to some areas is still restricted.

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Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

From Malibu to La Jolla, here are five Southern California trails that do something most hikes don’t — take you to the edge of the ocean.

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park, closed after the CZU Lightning Complex Fires, partially reopened May 29.

Bodie State Historic Park is partially open.

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

The Broad museum, L.A.

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California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

California African American Museum, Los Angeles

California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento. Weekend 45-minute train rides are open; walk-through train cars and children’s area remain closed.

A boat goes past a cliff with a lighthouse.
Anacapa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, features a lighthouse completed in 1932.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

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Channel Islands National Park

Cold Spring Tavern, outside Santa Barbara, has reopened for dining but no live music yet.

De Young Museum, San Francisco

Death Valley National Park

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Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park

French Laundry restaurant, Yountville

Pasadena’s Gamble House, a showcase of Craftsman architecture, resumed interior tours June 15.

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The Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades

The Great Park Balloon, Irvine, resumed its tethered flights May 6. The Great Park’s visitor center is open, as its sports complex (for participants, not observers) and the Great Park Gallery. The carousel, under renovations, is expected to reopen in fall.

Highway 1, which has been closed for repairs between southern Monterey County and Big Sur since late January, reopened April 23. With that option open, Southern Californians regain a scenic coastal route to Big Sur and points farther north.

The setting sun falls on an old bridge near ocean cliffs.
Bixby Creek Bridge, completed in 1932, spans Bixby Canyon on the Big Sur coast along Highway 1.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

California’s Highway 1 near Big Sur is open again after a January storm washed away 150 feet of road in January. Recent photos showcase the roadway’s scenic beauty.

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Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino is partially open, including select galleries, many gardens, store and cafe

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles

Joshua Tree National Park

Kings Canyon National Park

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Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, Los Angeles

La Purísima Mission State Historic Park, Lompoc

Lassen Volcanic National Park is open except for Bumpass Hell Trail.

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Legoland California Resort, Carlsbad. On May 27, the park opened a new area, The Lego Movie World, with six rides and attractions on 2 acres. Reservations are required.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Maritime Museum of San Diego, including historic bay cruises

Monterey Bay Aquarium

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The Mount Wilson Observatory reopened June 15 for guided weekend tours.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

Musso & Frank Grill, an iconic Hollywood restaurant, reopened May 6 and is accepting reservations.

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The Napa Valley Wine Train.

Nepenthe restaurant, a Big Sur landmark

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda

The Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.

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The Old Globe theater in San Diego’s Balboa Park resumed outdoor presentations June 4, with full-scale indoor productions to follow in fall.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has resumed daily service.

Palm Springs Art Museum

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Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, a restaurant and bar near Joshua Tree, is open indoors and out. Live music is limited.

Pinnacles National Park

Raging Waters Los Angeles. San Dimas

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley

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Redwood National and State Parks

The Downtown San Luis Obispo Thursday Farmers’ Market

Sacramento History Museum and Old Sacramento Underground Tours

A ship is covered in lights in San Diego.
Star of India, San Diego Maritime Museum, Harbor Drive, San Diego.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

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San Diego Zoo

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

San Gorgonio Wilderness, San Bernardino National Forest. Parts of the wilderness within Sand to Snow National Monument have reopened, including South Fork, Lost Creek, Aspen Grove and Fish Creek trailheads. Also, the Falls Picnic Area, Big Falls Trail and Vivian Creek Trail in the Forest Falls area reopened.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

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Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Santa Barbara Wine Country

Santa Catalina Island

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Santa Monica Pier‘s Pacific Park amusement area has reopened.

Sequoia National Park

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia

Skirball Cultural Center, Brentwood

The Top of the Mark, the emblematic bar perched atop the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco hotel on Nob Hill, reopened June 4. It features new appetizer and cocktail menus, along with tastings of caviar, chocolates and organic vodkas.

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Universal Studios Hollywood

Yosemite National Park’s Wawona Hotel reopened June 10.

Yosemite National Park is open, but requires advance reservations even for day trips, through Sept. 30. The park’s Upper, Lower and North Pines, Camp 4, Wawona, Bridalveil Creek and Tuolumne Meadows campgrounds will be open for the summer, advance reservations required for all. The Ahwahnee, Curry Village and the Yosemite Valley lodge are open too, with some restrictions. There’s no shuttle bus service. Also, visitors in cars won’t be able to reach the sequoias of Mariposa Grove, which was closed to traffic after a January wind storm. But you can hike or bike to the trees on the Washburn Trail (four miles round trip from Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza).

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad


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