The Most Popular Attraction in California: Ranking the Top Pick

Choose the attraction you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 20, 2023 07:36
Welcome to StrawPoll, your one-stop destination for discovering the most popular attractions in the Golden State! We've compiled a list of California's top hotspots, and now it's your turn to cast your vote and help us rank these iconic destinations. From the sun-kissed shores of Malibu to the magical kingdom of Disneyland, our poll covers it all! So, what are you waiting for? Dive into this exciting ranking of "What is the most popular attraction in California?" and make your vote count. Don't see your favorite spot? No worries! Simply suggest a missing option, and watch as fellow wanderlust enthusiasts join in to make it soar up the ranks. Happy voting!

What Is the Most Popular Attraction in California? (September 2023)

  1. 1


    Walt Disney
    The Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland is a world-famous theme park that has been entertaining visitors of all ages since 1955.
    Disneyland is a world-renowned theme park that offers a magical experience for visitors of all ages. It is a place where fantasy and imagination come to life, providing endless fun and entertainment. With its iconic characters, thrilling rides, enchanting shows, and immersive environments, Disneyland is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a truly unforgettable adventure.
    • Location: Anaheim, California, United States
    • Opening Date: July 17, 1955
    • Size: Approximately 85 acres
    • Number of Parks: 2 (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure)
    • Rides and Attractions: Over 50 different attractions
    Disneyland in other rankings
  2. 2
    The Golden Gate Bridge is a world-renowned suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate strait, connecting San Francisco to Marin County.
    The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic suspension bridge located in San Francisco, California. It is known for its distinctive orange color and unique design. Spanning across the Golden Gate Strait, the bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County. It has become one of California's most popular tourist attractions and a symbol of the city.
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Type: Suspension bridge
    • Total Length: 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers)
    • Width: 90 feet (27 meters)
    • Height: 746 feet (227 meters)
    Golden Gate Bridge in other rankings
  3. 3
    Universal Studios Hollywood
    林振宇 · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Universal Studios Hollywood

    Universal Studios
    Universal Studios Hollywood is a popular movie studio and theme park that offers visitors an immersive entertainment experience.
    Universal Studios Hollywood is a world-renowned theme park located in Universal City, California. It is a thrilling and immersive entertainment destination that brings the magic of movies to life. With a combination of thrilling rides, live shows, and immersive attractions, Universal Studios Hollywood offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.
    • Movie Studio: Universal Studios Hollywood is an active movie studio where visitors can get behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood magic.
    • Location: Universal City, California
    • Opening Date: July 15, 1964
    • Size: 415 acres
    • Number of Rides: Over 15
    Universal Studios Hollywood in other rankings
  4. 4
    Hollywood Walk of Fame
    BenSherman · Public domain

    Hollywood Walk of Fame

    E. M. Stuart
    The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a famous sidewalk embedded with stars honoring the most notable actors, musicians, and entertainers in the world.
    The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an iconic tourist attraction located in Hollywood, California. It is a public walkway consisting of more than 2,690 embedded stars with the names of famous actors, musicians, directors, producers, and fictional characters. Each star is dedicated to an individual or group in recognition of their contributions to the entertainment industry.
    • Location: Hollywood, California
    • Established: 1958
    • Total stars: Over 2,690
    • Categories: Motion pictures, television, music, radio, theater
    • Star recipient selection: Nomination, committee selection, paid fee
    Hollywood Walk of Fame in other rankings
  5. 5
    Alcatraz Island
    Miskatonic · CC BY 2.5
    Alcatraz Island is a former maximum-security prison that is now open to visitors as a museum and historic site.
    Alcatraz Island, located in San Francisco Bay, is a small rocky island known for its infamous former federal prison. It is considered one of the most popular tourist attractions in California.
    • Size: 22 acres (8.9 hectares)
    • Location: San Francisco Bay, California
    • First Prison Built: 1861
    • Federal Prison Established: 1934
    • Most Famous Inmates: Al Capone, Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz)
    Alcatraz Island in other rankings
  6. 6
    San Diego Zoo
    Cburnett · CC BY-SA 3.0

    San Diego Zoo

    Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth
    The San Diego Zoo is a world-famous zoo that is home to over 3,500 animals from more than 650 species.
    The San Diego Zoo is a world-renowned zoo located in San Diego, California. It is known for its extensive collection of exotic animals and its commitment to conservation and research. The zoo provides a unique opportunity for visitors to observe and learn about a diverse range of animal species from around the world.
    • Location: San Diego, California
    • Size: 100 acres
    • Number of Animals: 3,700+
    • Number of Species: 650+
    • Exhibits: Over 100
    San Diego Zoo in other rankings
  7. 7
    Santa Monica Pier
    Jelson25 · Public domain

    Santa Monica Pier

    Santa Monica Amusement Company
    The Santa Monica Pier is a historic landmark that features an amusement park, an aquarium, restaurants, and shopping.
    The Santa Monica Pier is a vibrant and iconic landmark located in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. Stretching out into the majestic Pacific Ocean, this lively destination offers a unique blend of entertainment, scenic beauty, and ocean views.
    • Location: Santa Monica, Los Angeles
    • Year Established: 1909
    • Length: 1,600 feet (490 meters)
    • Height: 61 feet (18.6 meters)
    • Attractions: Pacific Park, Ferris wheel, roller coaster, arcade games, and more
    Santa Monica Pier in other rankings
  8. 8
    Yosemite National Park
    Thomas Wolf, · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Yosemite National Park

    The United States Congress
    Yosemite National Park is a natural wonderland that boasts stunning scenery, including towering waterfalls, granite cliffs, and ancient sequoia trees.
    Yosemite National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, United States. It is renowned for its stunning granite cliffs, majestic waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, and diverse wildlife. The park covers an area of approximately 748,436 acres and attracts millions of visitors each year who come to experience its unparalleled beauty and connect with nature.
    • Location: California, United States
    • Size: Approximately 748,436 acres
    • Elevation: 4,000 to over 13,000 feet
    • Geological Features: Granite cliffs, valleys, domes, and waterfalls
    • Vegetation: Ancient giant sequoias, diverse coniferous forests, and wildflower meadows
    Yosemite National Park in other rankings
  9. 9
    SeaWorld San Diego
    ZooFari · CC BY-SA 3.0

    SeaWorld San Diego

    SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
    SeaWorld San Diego is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park that features live animal shows and exhibits.
    SeaWorld San Diego is a world-renowned marine theme park located in San Diego, California. It offers a unique and immersive experience that combines education, entertainment, and conservation efforts. With a focus on marine life, SeaWorld San Diego provides visitors with opportunities to interact with and learn about a wide variety of fascinating sea creatures.
    • Location: San Diego, California
    • Opening Date: March 21, 1964
    • Size: 189 acres
    • Aquariums: 3 major aquarium exhibits
    • Animal Shows: Various shows featuring dolphins, sea lions, and orcas
    SeaWorld San Diego in other rankings
  10. 10

    Hearst Castle

    William Randolph Hearst
    Hearst Castle is a historic mansion that was once the home of media magnate William Randolph Hearst, featuring beautiful architecture and gardens.
    Hearst Castle, also known as Casa Grande, is a magnificent mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It is an iconic symbol of wealth and grandeur, combining European and Californian architectural styles. The castle is nestled on a hilltop with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. It was originally built as a private residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and showcases his eclectic taste and opulent lifestyle.
    • Location: Central Coast of California, United States
    • Architectural Style: Combination of European and Californian styles
    • Nickname: Casa Grande
    • Views: Breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and mountains
    • Original Purpose: Private residence
    Hearst Castle in other rankings

Missing your favorite attraction?


Ranking factors for popular attraction

  1. Number of visitors
    Determine the number of visitors each attraction receives annually, as this will give a good indication of popularity.
  2. Reviews and ratings
    Look at online reviews and ratings on popular platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google Reviews. High ratings and positive reviews indicate that an attraction is well-liked and popular among tourists and locals alike.
  3. Cultural, historical, or entertainment significance
    Consider the importance of each attraction in terms of its cultural, historical, or entertainment value. Attractions that are iconic or have a significant impact in these areas are likely to be more popular.
  4. Accessibility and location
    The ease of access and location of each attraction can impact its popularity. Attractions that are conveniently located and easy to reach may draw more visitors than those that are out of the way or challenging to access.
  5. Affordability
    The cost of admission or participation in an attraction can greatly impact its popularity. Attractions that offer free or affordable experiences may have a broader appeal and higher visitor numbers.
  6. Target audience
    Each attraction may cater to different types of visitors, such as families, couples, adventure seekers, or history buffs. Evaluating its target audience and its appeal to a broad range of visitors will contribute to its popularity.
  7. Seasonal variations
    Some attractions may have peak seasons when they experience higher visitor numbers. Take into account the seasonality of each attraction when determining its popularity.
  8. Marketing and media exposure
    Attractions that have strong marketing campaigns or receive extensive media coverage continue to draw visitors' attention and increase their popularity.
  9. Awards and recognitions
    Attractions that have received prestigious awards, distinctions, or recognitions, within the tourism industry or from reputable organizations, are likely to be more popular.
  10. Sustainability and environmental impact
    In recent years, an increasing number of tourists have become environmentally conscious and choose attractions that align with their values. Attractions that prioritize sustainability and minimize their environmental impact may see increased popularity with these conscious travelers.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular attraction in California. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite attraction is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 157 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each attraction once every 24 hours. The rank of each attraction is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular attraction in california

California is a state that has a lot to offer for both locals and tourists alike. From its sunny beaches to its breathtaking national parks, there is no shortage of attractions to explore. It comes as no surprise that California is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. But with so many options to choose from, which attraction stands out as the most popular? In this article, we take a closer look at the most popular attractions in California based on the votes and opinions of our StrawPoll users. Whether you are planning your next vacation or simply looking for some inspiration, read on to discover the top attractions in the Golden State.