The L.A. Times guide to the 101 best California experiences

illustrated text reading "101 best California" with a sun wearing sunglasses in place of the zero on a colorful background
(Grace Danico / For The Times)

Now that travel is once again something we can do, cautiously and following CDC guidance, the big question is: Where should we explore?

One great answer is our own backyard. Driven by our pent-up wanderlust, The Times set out to find the most delightful, fascinating and awe-inspiring things to do right here in the Golden State. What we returned with is our most ambitious list of adventures. Behold, the California 101.

These experiences will take you to “where the gold is,” as Times travel reporter Christopher Reynolds puts it. There are new places and new ways of seeing old places.

So choose some favorites from the list (you might start with these), don some merch from our new collection and hit the road. And if we missed your favorite spot, tell us. We’d love to know the places that are most meaningful to you.


Who’s ready to explore?


Writer: Christopher Reynolds
Editor: Michelle Woo
Creative Director: Amy King
Design Director: Taylor Le
Deputy Design Director: Jessica de Jesus
Print Design: Judith Pryor, Jamie Sholberg, Jessica de Jesus
Digital Production: Jessica Martinez
Illustration: Grace Danico
Animation: Tomasz Czajka, Li Anne Liew
Photo Director: Kate Kuo
Photo Editors: Taylor Arthur, Kate Kuo, Calvin Alagot
Photographers: K.C. Alfred, Jason Armond, Mark Boster, Myung J. Chun, Jay L. Clendenin, Carolyn Cole, Gary Coronado, Ricardo DeAratanha, Gina Ferazzi, Rob Gauthier, Mel Melcon, Kent Nishimura, Francine Orr, Christopher Reynolds, Allen J. Schaben, Al Seib, Brian Van Der Brug
Copy Editor: Lisa Horowitz
Audience Engagement: Leslie Cory
Features Editor: Brittany Levine Beckman