Tourist Attractions in California

  • Gruman's Chinese Theater
    Gruman's Chinese Theater
    by HispanicYob
  • Costa Mesa, OC hotspot , California
    Costa Mesa, OC hotspot , California
    by marinarena
  • Crabs who gave their all
    Crabs who gave their all
    by califdweller

Most Viewed Tourist Traps in California

  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    The Cabazon Dinosaurs

    by traveldave Updated Aug 8, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For many years, the Cabazon dinosaurs have been a roadside attraction for those traveling Interstate 10 between Riverside and Palm Springs. They have become an American icon, appearing in rock videos, Coca-Cola and Kodak commercials, and the movie Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

    The two concrete dinosaurs, one an Apatosaurus ajax (named Dinny) and the other a Tyrannosaurus rex (named Mr. Rex), were constructed by Claude Bell as an attraction to lure guests to his motel, the Wheel Inn. Considered the world's largest models of dinosaurs, Dinny is 150 feet (46 meters) long and weighs 150 tons (136,078 kilograms), and Mr. Rex is 65 feet (20 meters) tall and weighs 100 tons (90,718 kilograms). There is a small souvenir stand in Dinny's belly, and admission is only one dollar. Work stopped on Mr. Rex in 1989 when Bell died, and there are no current plans to complete it.

    The dinosaurs once stood on an open patch of desert and were clearly visible from the interstate, but unfortunately today they are surrounded by fast food restaurants and gas stations.

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    Getting Gas in Yosemite

    by DueSer Updated Jun 28, 2011

    If you're driving in to Yosemite National Park on your own (not on a tour bus) then getting gas is a concern. You certainly don't want to run out while you're in the park because there's only one place to fill up (that I saw) and it's small and expensive. So, if you fill up before you go to the park or on your way back home, here's a tip: don't fill up in one of the small towns that surround the park.

    When I went recently I was surprised to see that all the stations in the area have two different prices: one for cash and one (more expensive) for credit cards.

    Also, after I filled up at one of these places, and went on into the park, I started having trouble with my car. The engine jerked but when I checked the transmission fluid, it was full. Then the Check Engine light came on. When reading up on this, I discovered one reason it can come on is if you get water in your gas tank. I started getting really suspicious of the place in Coarse Gold where I'd filled up.

    Unique Suggestions: If you have to fill up in one of these small towns, I'd make sure it was one offering gas I'd at least heard of - Chevron or Arco or something - and fill up in the largest of the small towns in the area - Oakhurst. Also, be sure to pay cash so you get the cheapest price.

    Fun Alternatives: My suggestion to just avoid the whole questionable thing is to fill up prior to even getting into the area. If you're driving in from the south, fill up in Fresno. If you're coming in from the west or north, fill up in Modesto or Merced. A full tank from one of those places should be able to get you to the park, through the park, and back again if you're driving a car. With a camper or RV, however, it might not, so be careful.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • e Hollywood tours

    by Korki Updated Feb 3, 2011

    E Hollywood tours -- that's the name of the company you should stay away when walking along Hollywood Blvd. People who work for this company will jump out of nowhere and sell you the tour for 25$ + free parking for 4 hours at the Kodak theater. My friend and I got on the 2 hours tour around Hollywood and Beverly Hills (which I think is boring and not worth the money but my friend really wanted to go and I didn't feel like driving anymore). After the boring tour of houses-where-famous-people-supposedly-live we returned to the parking space only to find that the garage doesn't accept their stamped recites (aka tour tickets) and we ended up paying 10$.. I went back to look for the guy at the place where he is "working" but he was gone for the day.
    Tip -- stay away from E Hollywood Tours.. and if not interested in Hollywood and movie production stay away from LA as well =)

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • e Hollywood tours

    by Korki Written Feb 3, 2011

    E Hollywood tours -- that's the name of the company you should stay away when walking along Hollywood Blvd. People who work for this company will jump out of nowhere and sell you the tour for 25$ + free parking for 4 hours at the Kodak theater. My friend and I got on the 2 hours tour around Hollywood and Beverly Hills (which I think is boring and not worth the money but my friend really wanted to go and I didn't feel like driving anymore). After the boring tour of houses-where-famous-people-supposedly-live we returned to the parking space only to find that the garage doesn't accept their stamped recites (aka tour tickets) and we ended up paying 10$.. I went back to look for the guy at the place where he is "working" but he was gone for the day.
    Tip -- stay away from E Hollywood Tours.. and if not interested in Hollywood and movie production stay away from LA as well =)

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Laurel16's Profile Photo

    Santa Cruz Main Beach

    by Laurel16 Updated Apr 4, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is occasionally fun for local children (we go maybe once a year) the main beach below the boardwalk is usually crowded and dirty during the summer. When I was younger (middle & high school) we used to call this beach "San Jose by the Sea", meaning most of the people on the beach were from "over the hill" in San Jose. There are other, much better beaches.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    The Lone Cypress, 17-mile-drive

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    A well-known spot on this drive is The Lone Cypress. This tree is very characteristic and stands on a bare rock formation in the sea. Is it a must see? No, not at all! I think it is just a tourist attraction. It wasn't busy at the viewpoint when I was there, so it wasn't too bad. It was actually quite amazing to see the tree in such a strange place on the rocks. But I think it can be very busy here, and I wouldn't want to make a stop here at such a time. It must be very annoying to watch a tree from a long distance with all the tourist around you, all trying to get the best view.

    Take a look at my Monterey page for more photos and info.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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  • Napa Valley

    by YouthinAsia Written Feb 24, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Copia. What a RIP-OFF. This is supposed to be the Napa Valley's great visitor's exposition but beware, better yet don't bother. The supposed showcase of food & wine but it is neither and totally it is without "soul". Sure there is wine (you'll pay for it), there is food too (you'll REALLY pay for that) and you'll even pay to come in the door here with the admission charge. Nevermind that the whole "experience" is completely removed from any winery this place is a total waste of $$$. Better to just check out the gardens in front (you can do this without lightening your wallet) and drive over to Sonoma where you can actually talk to a winemaker while he pours you a glass - sometimes still at no charge. For a much better presentation of wine and food get up to Hopland (Mendocino County) to Fetzer's or The Old Schoolhouse. Anderson Valley is a good bet also with very low key atmosphere, great wine and you're almost to the town of Mendocino.

    Unique Suggestions: Keep driving, or if you must stretch your legs check out Copia's gardens. Downtown Sonoma is much better for walking, eating and drinking -it isn't very far, maybe 20 minutes and well worth it. Napa is for chumps these days and the traffic during a summer weekend is lousy.

    Fun Alternatives: see above...
    Town of Sonoma and nearby wineries, Vella's Cheese is walking distance from the Sonoma town square and well worth the visit, too.
    Hopland (Mendocino County).
    Anderson Valley (Mendocino County).

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining

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  • Hollywood Boulevard

    by c-girl Written Sep 21, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In front of Grauman's Chinese Theater-all the stars have their handprints or footprints...and in some cases....hoof prints! This may be a tourist trap....but lots of fun!

    Unique Suggestions: Get down and see how your feet and hands match up!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • Where to see celebrities

    by BGordonLA Written Jul 31, 2003

    You will not see celebrities if you go to the wrong places, and Hollywood Blvd. is the wrong place--unless you go on the day of a movie premiere or somebody is being immortalized on the Hollywood Walk Fame. Your best bet is to go to the restaurants and hotels that cater to a celebrity clientele. One of the best is the Four Seasons Hotel on Doheny, at the border of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. When new movies come out, the studios rent rooms there for the stars to be interviewed by journalists. Later in the day you can almost always find celebrities at the hotel bar or restaurant. When I gave a tour of Hollywood for winners of an American Movie Classics contest, some of the winners did not want to go on the organized tour. They wanted to stay at the Four Seasons.

    William A. Gordon
    Author
    "The Ultimate Hollywood Tour BooK"

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  • b1bob's Profile Photo

    Hollywood

    by b1bob Written Jul 28, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We also went to Mann's Chinese theater to see the hand and footprints of a smaller group of movie stars. In total we walked about 3 miles. I found Hollywood to be seedier than I thought it would be. There were bums asking for a handout every 15 ft. (5 m).

    Unique Suggestions: I pretended not to know English to get away without harassment. If you don't happen to speak 6 foreign languages like I do, fake it by babbling like a madman.

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  • b1bob's Profile Photo

    Downtown Los Angeles.

    by b1bob Updated Jul 17, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Downtown Los Angeles. The second largest U.S. city does sure enough have a skyline, but it lacks a real core downtown. All the major tourist areas are out a ways from central city L.A. The movie studios have moved to the hills, the major theme parks are in neighbouring Orange County or in Valencia (on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains).

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  • WFTR's Profile Photo

    Salton Sea

    by WFTR Written Dec 14, 2002

    On my big trip in '88, I saw a state recreational area listed on the east side of the Salton Sea and thought that it would be a fun place to see. I guess I envisioned a neat trail along this huge lake in the middle of the desert. I thought I'd spend part of a day walking the trail and experiencing the desert. I was wrong.

    When I arrived, I found a huge parking lot in the sand. As far as I could tell, the parking lot was just an area that had been designated and was not improved in any way. RV's were parked all over the place, but nothing looked as if it would be scenic or fun. I think the whole place was just a hangout for RV'ers and locals. There's nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't recommend it for the average tourist wanting to experience the desert.

    Unique Suggestions: If you think you might go that way, you should check the California state tourism web pages to see whether the place has been improved. Maybe they've organized some neat stuff to do out there. Otherwise, take a couple of cases of beer and plenty of ice. Because sitting around drinking beer has never been my thing, it wasn't my kind of place.

    Fun Alternatives: I've never been to Joshua Tree National Park, but it is very close. Even now, I can't believe that I planned to go to the Salton Sea and didn't realize how close Joshua Tree was. I'm sure that I would have had more fun at Joshua Tree, and you can learn more about this park from numerous sources.

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  • kaybsix's Profile Photo

    Don't give them your money

    by kaybsix Written Sep 21, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tony and Maria's Anniversary Party.
    Dinner Threatre and it needs help!!

    Not cheap, but cheap food and not a good performance. Not like the Tony and Maria's wedding in Chicago

    Fun Alternatives: Spend and $150.00 and go to the Island and have a nice meal or to a Jazz Club.

    DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY ONTHIS!

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  • KaiM's Profile Photo

    Death Valley

    by KaiM Written Sep 12, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Don´t get sucked into this tourist trap. Death Valley is a great National Park. The hottest and lowest (several meters below sea level) point of the US. A desert in a huge mountain valley in Eastern California. You can see snow on the surrounding peaks, but still suffer from the hot and dry air. ABSOLUTELY DON´T FORGET TO TAKE ENOUGH WATER. Not only for yourself, but also for the cooler of your car. If your car is overheated and doesn´t work anymore and you don´t have enough water to drink, you might get into big, big trouble. Still, Death Valley is a place you shouldn´t miss. Great sand dunes, a salt lake, some canyons and even an oasis with the tourist lodge Furnace Creek Ranch are worth a visit.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    This is the original...

    by acemj Written Sep 12, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the original Disneyland and I'm only putting it under 'tourist trap' because there will be a lot of tourists if you visit. But don't let that stop you! It's still a great place that is sure to put a smile on your face.

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