The 10 Biggest Cities in California

Situated on the west coast of the United States, California is one of the largest states in the country. It also has one of the largest populations in the country.

Its cities have expanded considerably over the past few decades, and they now form one of the most diverse communities in the US. California is also one of the most important states for economic growth in the country.

Here are its major cities.

Table of Contents

The Biggest Cities in California

1Los Angeles3,898,747
2San Diego1,386,932
3San Jose1,013,240
4San Francisco873,965
7Long Beach466,742

1. Los Angeles: 3,898,747

Los Angeles is the movie capital of the world. It has been home to Hollywood productions and some of the most infamous movies in history. This is why you can’t overlook a visit to the Warner Bros Studios while in LA.

The National History Museum in LA also attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. You can see all types of fossils here, many from the prehistoric era.

If you’re interested in sunbathing or in beach sports, you need to head to Venice Beach. This beach attracts more people than many other famous LA spots.

But some people come to LA for shopping alone, especially those from the state of California. Rodeo Drive is an upscale area that offers quick access to some of the best shops in the state.

If you’re a sports fan, you can also stop at Dodger Stadium. Live baseball might be one of the city’s main sports, together with basketball.

But Los Angeles also has one of the largest airports in the country. LAX is a busy airport by any standard. It connects the west coast and the US to the rest of the world.

This is why you can also see the city as one of the main hubs to travel anywhere around the globe. Direct flights to Asia, Europe, and exotic islands make this airport and LA one of the main economic hubs of the US.

2. San Diego: 1,386,932

Embarcadero is San Diego’s walkable harbor and one of the city’s main attractions. The city is also locally known for its role in the military.

You might be interested in seeing the USS Midway Museum here if you want to learn more about the country’s military history.

3. San Jose: 1,013,240

San Jose is California’s third-largest city with a population of over 1 million. There are multiple reasons to visit this city, from its excellent food to its many hidden gems. One of them is the Municipal Rose Garden.

But if you’re only interested in shopping, you can head over to the San Pedro Square Market which is known as a top location for bargain hunting.

4. San Francisco: 873,965

There are so many interesting things to do in San Francisco that it can take a lifetime to see them all. The iconic cable cars are found in this hilly city, but most tourists head straight to the Golden Gate Bridge.

This historic bridge is one of the most popular in the state and even in the US.

But if you want a completely different visiting experience, you can head over to Alcatraz Island which has held some of the country’s most notorious criminals.

5. Fresno: 542,107

Fresno can feel a bit more relaxed than even Sacramento, the next smallest city on this list. Many people visit the city for its laid-back atmosphere. Even downtown Fresno feels like you’re in a smaller city.

The main attractions in Fresno are all tied to the outdoors. If you’re interested in gardens, The Underground Gardens are a great place to check out.

The Fresno Zoo is an excellent outdoor facility where you can see all types of exotic animals. But if you simply want to real, a picnic at Woodward Regional Park is also a great choice.

6. Sacramento: 524,943

Sacramento is one of the best-rated cities in California for a high quality of life. It is also the home to a few campuses of the University of California.

It’s also a great shopping destination, especially if you love independent shops.

The city doesn’t have the high costs associated with San Diego or Los Angeles and it might also be a good destination for about a week, not only for a short city break.

7. Long Beach: 466,742

If you love the California sun, Long Beach is one of the relaxed cities you can visit. The downtown waterfront area is an excellent spot to walk around and learn more about the city.

The large Aquarium of the Pacific is also found here. But Long Beach is known for its beautiful Catalina Island – the best place to book a boat and simply relax out on open waters.

8. Oakland: 440,646

Oakland is one of the largest cities in California. It represents a valuable destination if you love animals, nature, shopping, and culture.

If you want to see the urban side of Oakland, you need to stop at the Oakland Museum of California.

It has plenty of clubs you can join for events. But if you like nature in the middle of a city, you also need to stop by Lake Meritt. Jogging is a popular activity around this urban lake.

9. Bakersfield: 403,455

The city of Bakersfield is California’s 9th largest city. It has a population of nearly 400,000 people, although unofficial figures believe its population is higher.

The California Area Living Museum is the city’s main attraction, especially for those who love animals. Murray Family Farms is also a great place to check out. These farms have an interactive zone where you can pet animals.

10. Anaheim: 346,824

The city of Anaheim is one of the best for budget-fun in California. It is the home of the incredible Disneyland and is an excellent location for those traveling to the city with children.

If you’re into sports, you can also visit the Angel Stadium – the home of baseball in the city.