Meet a cast of characters at must-see events in California, from your favorite superhero to dancing dragons. Children will be enthralled at this state's many options for a day out with the family.
Enter a magical world and meet all your favorite Marvel characters at California's massive July comic convention. Based in San Diego, the event sponsors local platforms for art and culture. Enjoy games of all kinds, anime and indie films, plus the comic industry's Oscars, the Will Eisner Awards. Take part in a masquerade competition and let the kids spot their favorite celebrities at this major convention.
Held at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California's state fair offers a cornucopia of children's entertainment and is a superb insight into local history and culture. A permanent monorail system whisks you from fairground ride to fairground ride, and there are four separate trams — as you can imagine, there is much to see and do here. Competitions, live music, and plenty of California cuisine attract almost a million visitors a year.
Bright, 100-foot dragons dance above this parade that fills Los Angeles' North Broadway every January. Celebrating Chinese New Year has been a Californian tradition for over a century. The event attracts a throng of more than 100,000 people, who come for fireworks, martial arts demonstrations, and music. It's an unforgettable sight for young and old.
Get your cheer on at California's sporting events. Roll into the Rosebowl with thousands of other fans to see one of football's most famous events, or join the crowds cheering for speeding cyclists competing in the Amgen Tour.
Known as "The Grandaddy of Them All," the Rosebowl is the oldest, if not the biggest, of college football games. It has attracted more spectators than any other college football game since its inception in 1945, when it was moved to Durham, North Carolina for the year. The event is responsible for the stadium where it's played being designated a National Historic Landmark, lending an air of sanctity to this pivotal annual New Year's Day game.
The world's best cyclists roll into California for one of the biggest events in the sport. Covering some 700 miles and some of the state's most famous sights, the race lasts for eight days, animating the major cities through which it passes. Why not trail its participants through giant redwoods, wine country, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Pacific coast? Look out for the lead rider's yellow jersey, a reference to the California Gold Rush.
Kick your vacation into fifth gear with a head-spinning trip to the races at the Auto Club Speedway. IndyCar races are a quirky alternative to speed freakery. March sees the Auto Club 400 weekend, a heart-thumping heat of races to which fans return year after year.
Being home to the Beach Boys, the state offers up a roster of music festivals for locals and visitors alike.
You're likely familiar with this annual April music festival thanks to every celeb's social media feed. Against a backdrop of dramatic desert, art installations and sculptures create a mirage-like feel at this indie festival featuring a who's who of musical artists. Be sure to get tickets in advance!
Country music has found a spiritual home at Stagecoach, the world's biggest festival dedicated to the genre. With performers spanning folk, bluegrass, and roots rock, there's no better place to soak up the sounds of the South. Notable performers have included Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift, and Shania Twain, so there's something for everyone. Besides the music, California's best local dishes are also showcased over the course of this April weekend.
San Francisco's biggest music event features some 60 top performers from across the globe alongside art installations. The event is star-studded, with the biggest acts in every genre drawing in 60,000 or so fans every day. Headliners have included Radiohead, Tenacious D, Al Green, Kanye West, and Solange Knowles.