15 Best Things to Do in California City, CA
California City is a unique and lesser-known destination located in the Mojave Desert.
It is the third largest city in California in terms of land area, covering more than 200 square miles.
Located in Kern County, California City is a paradise for nature lovers.
It’s surrounded by stunning landscapes offering endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.
While it may not have the same recognition as cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, California City has plenty to offer visitors looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Here are the best things to do in California City, California.
Take the Kids to the California City Central Park
California City Central Park is a stunning city park for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The park has over 80 acres of lush green space featuring walking paths, picnic areas, and recreational facilities.
Here, you can enjoy a game of basketball, tennis, or horseshoes or swim in the park's sizeable public pool that’s perfect for desert weather.
The park is also a popular spot for bird watching, with various native bird species making their homes in the park's many trees and bushes.
In addition to its natural beauty and recreational facilities, California City Central Park is home to several cultural and historical landmarks.
Check out the Vietnam War Memorial, which pays tribute to local veterans who served in the war.
Overall, the Park is an oasis of greenery and tranquility, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature and immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the area.
Visit the California City Central Park at 10350 Heather Avenue.
Visit the Desert Tortoise Natural Area Interpretive Center
Start your trip at the Desert Tortoise Natural Area Interpretive Center, northeast of California City.
The center is a sanctuary for the threatened desert tortoise, a slow-moving reptile that can live up to 80 years in the wild.
Here you can learn about the desert tortoise and its habitat through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours.
But the center also offers opportunities to see other desert wildlife, such as coyotes, roadrunners, and various species of birds.
This center is also great for exploring the natural area on hiking trails.
The natural area surrounding the interpretive center is a breathtaking landscape of desert terrain.
It has rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, and sweeping vistas rich in plant and animal life.
It also has desert shrubs, wildflowers, and cacti, providing habitat for various animals, including rabbits, lizards, and snakes.
If you’re interested in the natural beauty and wildlife of California City, visit the Desert Tortoise Natural Area Interpretive Center.
Discover the California City Arts Commission Gallery
The California City Arts Commission Gallery is an incredible destination for art lovers visiting the Art Center in California City Central Park.
The gallery showcases a wide variety of contemporary artwork created by local artists, ranging from painting and sculpture to mixed media and photography.
Here you can explore the gallery's rotating exhibits, which feature works that reflect the vibrant and diverse cultural landscape of California City and its surrounding areas.
The Art Center also hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including live music performances, theater productions, and art workshops.
The California City Arts Commission Gallery and Art Center is a great place to stop by while you’re downtown.
Enjoy Off-Roading at Cal City MX Park
Cal City MX Park is a thrilling destination for motocross enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies.
The park is located at 24510 168th Street and features several tracks for riders of all skill levels.
It has a main track, a vet track, a mini track, and a peewee track for young riders.
The park is open to both recreational riders and professional racers, with regular events and competitions held throughout the year.
In addition, Cal City MX Park is also a popular destination for camping and outdoor recreation.
The park offers several campsites, RV hookups, and amenities for overnight stays, including showers, restrooms, and a concession stand.
This is a great spot to enjoy various outdoor activities in the desert landscape, including hiking, off-roading, and bird-watching.
Whether you're a seasoned motocross rider or just looking for a fun and exciting adventure, visit Cal City MX Park.
Hit a Hole-in-One at Tierra Del Sol Golf Course
Tierra Del Sol Golf Course is a premier destination for golfers of all skill levels at 10300 North Loop Blvd in California City.
The course features 18 holes of challenging play, with stunning desert scenery and various hazards and obstacles.
Golfers can enjoy the course's well-manicured greens, fairways, and excellent practice facilities, including a driving range, chipping green, and putting green.
In addition to its top-notch golf facilities, Tierra Del Sol Golf Course also offers several amenities and services, including–a pro shop, clubhouse, and restaurant.
Stop by the restaurant for a range of delicious menu items, from classic American fare to international cuisine, as you see stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.
The clubhouse is the perfect spot to relax after a round of golf, with comfortable seating areas, a full bar, and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
If you want to experience the beauty and challenge of golf in the California desert, go to the Tierra Del Sol Golf Course.
Play Baseball at Balsitis Park
Balsitis Park is beautiful and peaceful, where anyone can have fun playing outdoor sports in California City.
The park at 7140 Landis Drive features several acres of wide and spacious fields perfect for any recreational sport.
You can use the large and spacious flat areas to play catch, throw frisbees, and do other activities here.
Otherwise, you can stroll through the park's walking paths, enjoying the tranquil surroundings and stunning desert scenery.
The park also offers sports facilities, including baseball diamonds and batting cages.
Balsitis Park is a hidden gem in the California desert, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature and enjoy a fun day playing sports.
Check Out the Quirky Road Signs along California City Boulevard
Watch for the famous "Burma Shave" road signs along California City Boulevard.
These quirky and humorous signs were first introduced in the 1920s by the Burma-Vita company to advertise their shaving cream products.
The signs quickly became a cultural phenomenon, known for their catchy rhymes and witty messages.
Today, the original Burma Shave company may no longer exist, but the legacy of the iconic road signs lives on.
You can still spot several Burma Shave signs along California City Boulevard, each featuring a different humorous message.
Some popular signs include "We're not here to talk about the war, but the shave you've been looking for."
Likewise, another sign reads, "The bearded lady tried a jar. She's now a famous movie star."
These Burma Shave signs offer a glimpse into a bygone era of American advertising and culture.
Grab a Taste of Mexico at Gloria's Mexican Restaurant
If you're a fan of authentic Mexican cuisine, Gloria's Mexican Restaurant in California City is a great place to stop by.
Located at 7027 California City Blvd, this locally owned and operated restaurant serves many traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, fajitas, and enchiladas.
The restaurant's menu features fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and generous portions, ensuring a satisfying and delicious dining experience.
In addition to its mouth-watering food, Gloria's Mexican Restaurant offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly staff and colorful decor reflecting Mexican culture's spirit.
You don’t want to miss the chicken fajitas and crispy beef tacos that people love.
Whether looking for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner with friends and family, Gloria's Mexican Restaurant is the perfect spot.
Grab the Best Chinese Food in the City at Green Tea Garden
Green Tea Garden is a fantastic restaurant to experience the best of Chinese cuisine.
The restaurant features authentic Chinese dishes.
Enjoy classic favorites like Kung Pao chicken and fried rice, to unique offerings like spicy Sichuan noodles and hot pots.
In addition to its delicious food, Green Tea Garden offers an elegant and traditional atmosphere, with the dining area designed with eastern culturally-inspired interiors.
There is also a bar that offers a variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, perfect to pair with your fantastic meal.
If you’re looking for high-quality authentic Chinese food, the Green Tea Garden is a must-visit.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Learn about Aviation History at Edwards Air Force Base
The Edwards Air Force Base is in Kern County, just a 25-minute drive from California City.
It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in military history and aviation.
Established in 1933, the base has played a critical role in the development of American military aviation.
It has been the site of numerous groundbreaking aircraft tests and research projects.
One of the highlights of a visit to Edwards Air Force Base is the opportunity to tour the base's museum.
It features a wide range of exhibits and displays related to the history of American military aviation.
Here you can learn about the different types of aircraft tested and flown at the base.
See firsthand the equipment and technology used by pilots and engineers over the years.
In addition to its museum, Edwards Air Force Base hosts regular air shows and other events throughout the year.
Check out the most advanced aircraft in the world and get an up-close look at the capabilities of the American military.
The Edwards Air Force Base is a top destination for anyone interested in military history and aviation.
Refresh Your Spirit at the Mountain Spirit Zen Center
The Mountain Spirit Zen Center is a unique and peaceful retreat that offers visitors the opportunity to connect with their inner selves and explore the practice of Zen meditation.
The center is in Tehachapi, California, a 34-minute drive from California City.
It is on a stunning 50-acre property in the Tehachapi Mountains, surrounded by beautiful nature and peaceful natural scenery.
Visitors to the Mountain Spirit Zen Center can join various activities and programs.
Try the guided meditation sessions, retreats, workshops, and seminars on Zen philosophy and practice.
The center also offers accommodations for those who wish to stay overnight or for longer periods, including private rooms, dormitories, and camping sites.
If you want to connect with your inner self and explore the practice of Zen meditation, visit the Mountain Spirit Zen Center.
Go Off-Roading at the Jawbone Canyon OHV Area
If you're looking for an adrenaline-fueled adventure while visiting California City, the Jawbone Canyon OHV Area is the perfect destination.
This off-road paradise is a 17-minute drive north of California City.
It is a must-visit destination for off-road enthusiasts, with miles of challenging terrain, stunning desert scenery, and various hiking trails.
The Jawbone Canyon OHV Area offers a wide range of trails to suit every level of experience, from beginner-friendly routes to more challenging and technical tracks for seasoned off-roaders.
You can also enjoy the breathtaking desert view of the mountains and valleys.
Bring your ATVs, dirt bikes, UTVs, and other off-road vehicles, and feel the thrill at the Jawbone Canyon OHV Area.
See Unique Rock Formations at Red Rock Canyon State Park
Red Rock Canyon State Park is a stunning natural wonder to explore in Cantil, California, 15 minutes from California City.
It offers visitors the opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of the Mojave Desert up close.
One of the highlights of a visit to the Red Rock Canyon State Park is the stunning rock formations that give the park its name.
These unique geological features include towering red cliffs, deep canyons, and stunning rock formations that have been sculpted over millions of years by the forces of nature.
Explore the area on various hiking trails, ranging from easy and accessible routes to more challenging and technical tracks for experienced hikers.
It offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, with various species, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and snakes.
With its stunning rock formations, unique geological features, and range of hiking trails and wildlife, the Red Rock Canyon State Park offers something for all travelers.
Visit the Borax Visitor Center
The Borax Visitor Center is a fascinating attraction in Boron, just 30 minutes from California City.
The center provides an opportunity to learn about the history and geology of the area, as well as the mining of borax, a mineral used in various products, including detergents and cosmetics.
The center features a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the history of borax mining in the region.
Check out photographs, artifacts, interactive exhibits, and a short film about the history of borax mining and the mining process itself.
One of the highlights of the Borax Visitor Center is the impressive collection of historic mining equipment: steam locomotives, wagons, and ore carts.
If you want to learn more about the history and geology of the region, stop by the Borax Visitor Center.
Join Plane Crazy Saturdays at the Mojave Air & Space Port
The Mojave Air & Space Port is in Mojave, California, a 19-minute drive from California City.
It is a fantastic destination for aviation enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of flight.
The airport is home to a wide range of aircraft, including experimental and cutting-edge planes, as well as several historic aircraft that have played a critical role in the development of American aviation.
Mojave Air & Space Port is not open for tours, but you can catch the monthly "Plane Crazy Saturdays" every the third Saturday of each month.
This event allows visitors to get up close and personal with various aircraft, including vintage planes, experimental aircraft, and even spacecraft.
Visitors to "Plane Crazy Saturdays" can tour the airport's aircraft display areas, watch planes take off and land, and attend presentations by pilots and aviation experts.
The event is an excellent opportunity for families, aviation enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the history of flight.
California City offers something for every type of traveler; outdoor adventures, stunning natural wonders, cultural attractions, and delicious dining options.
This place has something for everyone, so explore the best things to do in California City, California.
Plan your trip today!