What is the most beautiful city in California

The 10 most beautiful towns in California

When you think of California, many visitors know cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The Golden State is also home to many quaint little towns and villages that will delight any visitor. We've compiled a list of some of the most beautiful places in California, from coast summoners to mountain beauties.


Located on Catalina Island, which has a millennia-old rich history, Avalon will remind people of the Mediterranean with its lush vegetation, hilltop houses and beautiful, clear waters. The only town on the island, George Shatto, was the first person to begin developing this beautiful community into a resort. More than a million people visit Avalon each year for its outdoor activities, small shops and art galleries in palm-lined streets, restaurants with incredible water views, and more. It has a temperate climate all year round and is a great place to explore all of the year.

Avalon, CA, USA

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Avalon | Courtesy of Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Carmel-by-the-Sea, also known as Carmel, is a European-style village on the Monterey Peninsula that is very popular with tourists. Because of its size, it's a great place to walk to the white, soft sand beach, or stroll the streets and admire the charming architecture. A must for every Carmel visitor is the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, founded in 1771 by Father Junipero Serra. It consists of a basilica, several small museums and a beautiful park. Over the years the village has been the site of many creations and is home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Carmel Bach Festival.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA

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Carmel Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea | Courtesy of CarmelCalifornia.com


Dunsmuir, a historic northern California railroad town named after Alexander Dunsmuir, a British Columbia coal baron, is a quiet mountain town known for its peaceful ambience. Its location makes it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts as there are plenty of adventures waiting here - from fishing to hiking to mountaineering. For visitors who prefer to enjoy the scenic beauty from afar, the Downtown Historic District with buildings from the early 20th century is a nice place to stroll and discover boutiques and goodies. During the summer, visit the city's botanical garden for colorful flora.

Dunsmuir, CA, USA

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A charming Victorian village nestled between two redwood forests. Visiting Ferndale is like stepping back in time. Made up of milk and agriculture, the town flourished in the late 19th century and is just as charming today as it was then. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to take in the beauty of the colorful Victorian buildings that are now home to a variety of art galleries and specialty shops. For those looking to explore the great outdoors, check out the nearby Lost Coast, a stunning stretch of coastline left to the natural trail, or Russ Park, an enclosed Sitka spruce forest that serves as a bird sanctuary.

Ferndale, CA, USA

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Architecture in Ferndale California | © Carodean Road Designs


Julian is a historic mining town located in the Cuyamaca Mountains after the Civil War, amid oak and pine forests in Southern California. Today the city is known for its historical sites and apple orchards that produce sweet varieties that are in turn made into delicious pies, apple wines and other delicacies. From specialty stores to outdoor adventures, Julian is a city with something for everyone. To learn more about Julian's history, visit the Julian Chamber of Commerce to purchase a History Hunt card that will take you to a variety of locations including Pioneer Cemetery and Julian Jail.

Julian, CA, USA

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Julian | © Tuxyso / Wikicommons

Nevada City

The California gold rush town of Nevada City is located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, a historic landmark, and is an idyllic city full of charm. Proud of their history, the locals have taken great care to preserve the Victorian buildings for visitors and future generations. Park the car, stroll the narrow streets to see the beautiful buildings up close, and discover art, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, books, and tempting cuisine. Many events take place throughout the year, including the Nevada City Bicycle Classic, First Friday Art Walks, and Victorian Christmas. Nevada City is also a popular destination for those looking for a base from which to explore the great outdoors.

Nevada City, California, USA

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Top of Broad Street in Nevada City | Courtesy of the Nevada Chamber of Commerce


Located 90 miles north of Los Angeles, Ojai is the perfect place to escape the hectic city life and enjoy a relaxed retreat. Built in the 1800s, the city features wonderful Spanish Mission Revival architecture - like the Arcade Plaza, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and art - with picturesque backgrounds of the Los Padres National Forest and the Topa Topa Mountains. The city of art is rich in galleries and other art and cultural sites, including the Ojai Valley Museum and Ojai Art Center, as well as other attractions such as Libbey Park, which hosts the famous Ojai Music Festival every year. and the stunning vineyards of the area.

Ojai, CA, USA

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Ojai | © rob_alltimemedia / Pixabay

St. Helena

Known as the Napa Valley's main street, St. Helena is a charming town surrounded by beautiful, rolling vineyards. Known as a wine lover's paradise, it is also home to the Culinary Institute of America. The city offers a historic, picturesque downtown with beautiful architectural gems that is home to a multitude of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants that will impress everyone. The area around St. Helena also offers a variety of activities, from hiking to cycling, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

St. Helena, CA, USA

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St. Helenas Main Street | © Bob McClenahan / Courtesy of the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce


Solvang is a quaint Danish community in the heart of the Santa Barbara wine region. This cultural jewel, which means "sunny field" in Danish, was settled in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1911 and impresses with its charming architecture, which also includes the Bethania Lutheran Church. Visit the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art and the Hans Christian Andersen Museum to learn more about the history of this quaint village, or browse over 150 shops for unique gifts and tasty, authentic goodies. Solvang is also home to several restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and the historic Old Mission San Inés.

Solvang, CA, USA

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One of four windmills in Solvang | Courtesy SolvangUSA.com


Sonoma is a pretty town built around a central square and lined with rolling hills lined with vineyards. It is known as the birthplace of California's wine industry. The city is home to the last mission in California, the San Francisco Solano Mission, which was built in 1824 and is now part of the Sonoma State Historic Park. The city is another great place to discover California's past. Other areas of interest include the aforementioned place which takes to many unique shops, fine-dining establishments, and incredible art and the area's famous wineries. Anyway, there is something out there that will be of interest to everyone from history buffs to wine lovers.

Sonoma, CA, USA

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Author: Laurence Rose

Laurence Rose is a 49 year old journalist. Reader. Coffee pioneer. Web lawyer. Total music freak. General alcoholic.