There’s few states that can match what California offers in terms of outdoor recreation. The state is filled with world class golf courses, tons of state parks and natural reserves, ski slopes, world famous surfing, hiking and biking trails, fishing and off-roading spaces.
One of the best aspects of living in California is that there’s something for everyone that wants to get outside, soak up some sun and have some fun. Here’s a guide to finding the best recreation and outdoor activities that the state has to offer.
California State Parks – With more than 1 million acres of state parks, California is truly an outdoor enthusiasts dream. The official page for the Department of Parks and Recreation has all the information you’ll need to start exploring.
Mountain Bike Trails – Maps and ratings of nearly 500 different mountain biking trails in the state. Search by tags, city, trail features and difficulty. There’s also information about camping, running, hiking, skiing, caves and lakes.
Hiking Trails In California – A thorough and information-packed website with resources about hiking trails you can find around the Golden State. There’s maps, points of interest, weather reports and a helpful app to guide you along your hiking adventures.
California Surf Spots – Find the best locations in California for surfing, split up into regional categories for Northern California, Bay Area, Central Coast and Souther California. You can also submit a surf spot to the Surfing Waves database.
California Golf Courses – California is home to more than 1,100 golf courses, including everything from the local pitch-and-putt to world class courses. Find ratings, locations and green fees with this guide from Golf Digest.
California Ski Resorts – Find all the popular ski resorts in the state, as well as lift ticket deals, vacation packages, maps and lodging.
Wilderness Destinations – Explore the California wilderness and learn about the best outdoor spots, including the numerous forests, mountains, valleys, deserts and coasts that makeup the diverse landscape of our state.
Free CA Campsites – Looking for places you can camp for free? You’re in luck. This resource has a comprehensive list of all the free and low-cost camping options in the state.
Amusement & Theme Parks – California has a lot of theme and amusement parks and this website has a complete listing of them, along with water park and zoo listings.
CA Fishing Guide – If you like fishing, California has plenty of options for you! The Department of Fish and Wildlife has a fishing guide if you need help finding the right spot or a particular type of fish.
California Zoos – The Wikipedia listing for all the zoos in California.
California Off-Road Vehicle Association – The California Off-Road Vehicle Association, or CORVA, is an outdoor recreation group that promotes the use of vehicles on public lands.
Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area – Sometimes referred to as Glamis or the Algodones Dunes, this area is the largest stretch of sand dunes in the United States that is open to off-road vehicles.
Rock Climbing – The Mountain Project has a great map and listing of the best outdoor rock climbing destinations in the state. There’s pictures for most locations, as well as difficulty ratings and a regional map search.