California, LA, Los Angeles, Santa Monica

How to Take a Sports Vacation in California

When it comes to taking a trip, California is at the top of a lot of people’s lists. The sun, surf and general vibe of the Golden State attracts millions of visitors every single year. There is so much variety when it comes to activities that just narrowing them down is a job in itself.

But you could decide to take a vacation to California and just concentrate on all the pro sports the state has to offer. When it comes to sports betting California still has a way to go to catch up with much of the U.S. But if it is national championships and top teams you are after, you have come to the right place. Here are a few things to think about if you fancy taking a sports vacation on the west coast.

City or State?

Before you plan any trip to California you have to realize just how big it is. With an area of around 165,000 square miles, you may have to narrow down your itinerary. This is the most populous and third-largest by area, so it is not really feasible to see everything – even if you are just there for the sports.

One way around this problem is to go north or south. Most of the many pro sports major league teams are clustered around either San Francisco and Los Angeles. There are more than enough teams covering all the sports in both areas – so make a decision and let that be your starting point.

Concentrate on the Sports

If you really wanted to take in as much of the state as possible on this trip you could look into visiting the north and south, while enjoying one of the most beautiful road trips between the two. This might cut into your time, but you could always counterbalance that by concentrating on individual sports.

If you are a basketball fan, for example, you could start off in Sacramento and catch a Kings game before the short drive to San Francisco for the Golden State Warriors. Then the road trip comes into full effect as you drive down the highway to Los Angeles, timing the trip perfectly to catch both the Lakers and the Clippers during your stay.


California has produced more Super Bowl winning head coaches than any other state in the country. But winners are a common thing here, with teams across all the major pro sports bringing the championship home over the years. Here, you just need to decide if you want to watch current champions or historical titans.

San Francisco has both, with the Golden State Warriors picking up four of their five championships in the last eight years. For football fans, it has been a while since the city enjoyed Super Bowl success, but the 49ers have had to size up for rings on five separate occasions in the past.


Women’s Sports

Women’s pro sports leagues have been receiving a lot of much-deserved attention in the last few years and California is home to some of the most high profile. The originals are the Los Angeles Sparks WNBA team, which has claimed three championships of its own.

But soccer is the new sport making waves in California. L.A. Galaxy has also been a big thing in MLS – and LAFC is the current champion – but Angel City and San Diego Wave joined the NWSL in 2022 and are both well worth a visit. The Wave even made it to the playoffs in their very first season in the league.

College Sports

There is definitely a lot to think about if you are thinking of a major league pro sports California trip. But if you bring college sports into the equation, you might need to plan for even longer. NCAA sports can be some of the most entertaining – and this place has some very big institutions.

There are 26 Division I schools in California, up and down the length of the state. You can watch just about any sport but the more famous places include UCLA, USC, and Stanford. Wherever you go in California you will find great sports – you just might have to make a return visit or two to see it all.