Celebrity Hangouts in California

By Visit California 

No matter the time of year you visit California, or where you go, there’s always a good chance you’ll cross paths with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. From big screen actors to music icons, celebrities love to call the Golden State home. Here are some of the best places to rub elbows with your favourite A-listers.

Travel with the Stars

Coastal Celebrity Charm in Carmel-by-the-Sea
For over a century, the beautiful coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea has been an artist’s enclave rooted in poetry, art, architecture and of course leisure. Sip a glass of California rosé while soaking in celebrity sightings at La Bicyclette, a favourite of Reece Witherspoon. Sample Italian favourites, like former President Obama, at Little Napoli. Stay at the late Doris Day’s Cypress Inn where dogs are welcome for “yappy hour.” Spot former Carmel-by-the-Sea mayor and legendary actor Clint Eastwood at his Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant. Kourtney Kardashian Barker, Justin and Hailey Bieber, and Brad Pitt are also known to frequent the area.

Reality TV Stars in Solvang
Celebrities are often in Solvang enjoying Danish culture, its iconic pastries and the warm California weather. The city is also where reality shows are filmed. The cast of “Vanderpump Rules” stayed at The Landsby Hotel. Kim Lee and Kevin Kreider of “Bling Empire” sparked their love story at the luxurious Hotel Ynez. The ladies of “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” also recently visited for an upcoming season. Billie Eilish and the Kardashians have become popular regulars at The Solvang Bakery, a family-owned eatery.

Celebrity Sightings in Santa Monica
Santa Monica is known for its laidback luxury, stunning beach and 280-plus days of sunshine per year, yet that’s not all you’ll find. Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger ride his bike down Ocean Ave. Rub elbows with stars at Chez Jay, a dive bar and hidden gem frequented by local celebs, or Élephante, a trendy restaurant and bar from part-owner Steve Aoki. Visit one of Santa Monica’s farmers markets where celebrity chefs like Govind Armstrong, Dave Baren and Josiah Citrin search for fresh produce. For a historical experience, stay at The Georgian, a favourite beachside hotel of stars from the past like Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplain.

Exclusive Golf in Morgan Hill
Catering to the biggest celebrities in the world, The Institute LLC Golf Course in Morgan Hill is often referred to as the Area 51 of golf. Created by John Fry, founder of Fry’s Electronics, the course is believed to be the longest in California with a mile-long row of Italian cypress trees that block views from the outside. One can only assume that an A-list pro or super celebrity has graced this impeccable course. Know the right people and you may be one of the elites to play here.

Home Away from Home in Sonoma County
Where do Hollywood A-listers go to get away for a casually elegant experience? Sonoma County. TV host and singer Kelly Clarkson was seen in Healdsburg at Barndiva and Plank Coffee. Justin Bieber was seen at Giorgio’sValette and Catelli’s restaurant in Geyserville. Actress Elizabeth Olsen calls Ryme Cellars her "breathing space" from Los Angeles. Actor Keanu Reeves hosted a three-day motorcycle ride and stayed at Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn. Celebrity chef Ayesha Curry often visits Scribe Winery. Actor Jason Momoa visited Claypool Cellars in Sebastopol.

Celebrity-Approved Temecula Valley
Temecula Valley, Southern California’s wine country, is a destination celebrities are known to visit. Mario Lopez often stays at Pechanga Resort Casino, Ashton Kutcher attended a wedding at Mount Palomar Winery, and most recently Mark Wahlberg worked out at EOS Fitness. The destination is also home to celebrities like Dean Norris, who owns local favourite, Swing Inn Café. Temecula Valley’s cable cars have also been featured on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Old Hollywood in San Luis Obispo
Located in San Luis Obispo, San Simeon’s Hearst Castle is a monumental gem along the California coast that welcomed movie stars and public figures of its time and even tours today. William Randolph Hearst threw extravagant A-list parties at the grand castle featuring the likes of Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Joan Crawford. Built in 1958, Madonna Inn is also a celebrity hot spot for A-listers like Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and Dolly Parton. Nashville entertainer Kacey Musgraves is known to have an affinity for the themed property, calling it “the most magical place.”

Chic celebrity restaurants and bars

San Diego’s Barbusa and Lionfish
Little Italy hotspot Barbusa is often credited with putting the historic San Diego neighborhood on the map. A night at Barbusa guarantees celebrity sightings like Conan O’Brien, Jack Harlow, Aaron Paul and “Bachelor” nation favourite Hannah Godwin. Don’t leave without trying the secret menu item, “The Busa Board,” a table-length board filled with customized appetizers of the server’s choice. Nearby, Lionfish has received frequent visits from LeBron James, Mariah Carey, Megan Fox, John Hamm and more. Located inside the Pendry San Diego Hotel, the restaurant reflects the city’s lifestyle with modern coastal cuisine that features both sustainable seafood and prime meats in casual, yet complex offerings.

Sacramento's Michelin-Star Restaurants
Sacramento is America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, and it’s easy to dine like a celebrity or see one at the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants. The 2022 Michelin Star recipient Localis offers a locally sourced, 12-course tasting menu. The Kitchen, which retained its Michelin Star initially awarded in 2019, is one of the most sought-after reservations in the state and serves a six-course prix fixe dinner menu featuring the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Courses are presented to guests in an unforgettably lively, theatrical format.

Farmhouse at Roger's Gardens and A Crystal Cove in Orange County
Orange County’s esteemed farm-to-table destination, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, is a favourite backdrop for reality TV shows and posts by top influencers. Guests are encouraged to book reservations months in advance to experience Farmhouse Owner and Executive Chef Rich Mead’s delicious food. The city’s newest and trendiest spot, A Crystal Cove, is a place to see and be seen. The sophisticated beachside hideaway located in Corona del Mar has a stylishly decorated interior that nods to old Hollywood glam with an impressive, show-stopping bar that churns out equally impressive cocktails. Carefully curated by Executive Chef Elvis Morales, the menu offers seasonally inspired, modern-American cuisine.

Hotels celebrities love

Kirkwood Collection Properties
Kirkwood Collection has luxury boutique hotel properties throughout California and is known as the choice of lodging for celebrities looking for an intimate and private luxury stay. “Real Housewife of Orange County” star Gina Kirschenheiter stayed at Seven Gables Inn in Monterey Bay for a mother daughter weekend getaway. At Hideaway Santa Barbara, a charming boutique hotel just three blocks from the beach with views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Camile Hyde from “All American: Homecoming” enjoyed the beach, the views, and amenities. “Love Island's” Eyal Booker and Lisa Rinna's daughter Delilah Belle Hamlin have also stayed on the property.

Dream Hollywood
The Dream Hollywood is the ultimate destination for those looking to live like an A-lister in California. The boutique 178-key hotel is located in the heart of the Vinyl District where the music and entertainment industry began nearly 100 years ago. Mingle under the stars at the recently added TAO Group concept, The Highlight Room, featuring 11,000 sq. ft. rooftop space and sweeping views of the city skyline. Guests can experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood alongside some of its biggest stars such as Michael B Jordan, Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner and Cardi B among others.

See and Be Seen at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel is located in the heart of Beverly Hills at one of the world's most famous intersections - Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard. Since opening in 1928, the legendary hotel has been the preferred address for Hollywood's high-profile celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen. It was also the location of the popular rom-com film Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. A popular stop on star-sighting tour buses, guests come from near and far to see the hotel and who they might see while staying, playing or dining.

Celebrity Hangouts at Pebble Beach Resorts
A-list travellers visiting Pebble Beach more often than not have one goal in mind – a round on Pebble Beach Golf Links, the number one public course in America. Among Hall-of-Fame athletes and Hollywood stars, the iconic course at Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay have been played by greats like Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods. Post-golf, world-class accommodation await at Fairway One at the Lodge. Visitors can stay in one of two stand-alone cottages – featuring furnishings and awe-inspiring views of the famed first fairway.

Prince Harry Approved San Ysidro Ranch
Tucked against the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, San Ysidro Ranch is a haven surrounded by lush gardens, eucalyptus and sycamore trees. The property spans 550 acres and has direct access to 17-miles of hiking trails featuring hot springs and cascading waterfalls. While the guest list ranging from John and Jacqueline Kennedy to Gwyneth Paltrow and Justin Bieber is impressive, it’s the property’s intentionally private accommodation and unparalleled service that make it one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. The resort is reportedly where Prince Harry filmed his exclusive interviews with Anderson Cooper and Tom Bradby. Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Kanye West have also visited the property. 

Historic Hotel del Coronado
Located across San Diego Bay, the resort city of Coronado is popular for its beautiful beaches and upscale resorts like the historic Hotel del Coronado, which is one of the world’s top resorts. It's known for hosting many celebrities and people of note in the past from President Bill Clinton to Thomas Edison to Muhammad Ali.

Sleep Like an A-Lister in Sausalito
The Alexandrite Suite at Casa Madrona and Spa in Sausalito is one of the most luxurious suites in the Bay Area with breathtaking views and incredible amenities. The suite is over 5,000 square feet and features a private jacuzzi off the master bedroom, a fire pit, a nine-panel Samsung media wall, a gourmet kitchen, a gym and more. The living area opens up to a 1,500-square-foot outdoor patio featuring panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and the city skyline. Guests can even request to have a private chef, butler or personal car service. Casa Madrona is listed as a treasured landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fun activities with celebs

Fess Parker Winery Attracts A-Listers from Around the World
Fess Parker Winery, located in Santa Barbara Wine Country, was founded by beloved actor Fess Parker, and is still a Hollywood hot spot. Attracting A-listers from around the world, visitors can enjoy a varying range of group and private tasting experiences, including library tastings, or join one of several Wine Club levels. Fess Parker Winery was proud to be named a Top 100 winery in the world for 2022 by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Star Hangouts in Los Angeles
As an entertainment capital home to movie studios, record labels, and the stars themselves, Los Angeles is an essential destination for hopeful celebrity spotters. The century-old Musso & Frank Grill is a legendary restaurant frequented by Quentin Tarantino, and the likes of Beyonce and The Weeknd have been spotted at the trendy Beauty & Essex. The Chateau Marmont is an iconic place to stay with Lady Gaga, Dakota Johnson and more seen on the property, while The Hollywood Roosevelt remains a favourite hangout (even hosting Marilyn Monroe in its old Hollywood days). Runyon Canyon is a popular trail where Justin Bieber has been spotted hiking, and the Kardashian-approved Nobu Malibu restaurant hosting stars like Drake, Demi Lovato and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Beverly Hills ‘Scene and Be Seen’ Happy Trail
This month, Beverly Hills launches the ‘Scene and Be Seen’ Happy Trail, a destination guide to help visitors traverse the famed 90210. The guide will take visitors through pop culture sights on the big screen from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills Cop to Nate ‘n Al, a nostalgic delicatessen favored by Larry King, VIP shopping on Rodeo Drive, a tour of The Beverly Hilton, and lunch at The Polo Lounge at Beverly Hills Hotel. The restaurant is one of the ‘see and be seen’ spots filled with power lunches and major star power.

Lights, Camera… Buena Park!
You never know who you might run into at California’s first theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm. You just might find yourself sitting next to Katy Perry on the longest, fastest, and tallest wooden coaster on the west coast, Ghostrider, or run into John Mayer at Sutter’s for a boysenberry funnel cake. Celebs are also known to enjoy Buena Park’s world-famous dinner shows – Medieval Times and Pirates Dinner Adventure. Bella Thorne, Kate Hudson, Kevin Hart, Chrissy Teigen, and Neil Patrick Harris are just a few A-listers who’ve come to Buena Park to see swashbuckling pirates and jousting knights.

Surf, Skate and Hang with Celebs in Oceanside
Due to Oceanside’s laid-back persona, visitors may never realize they are sharing a bite, beer, or surf session next to celebrities and world-class athletes. Skate legend Tony Hawk is often spotted enjoying the craft beer scene at Black PlagueSouth O Brewing Company, and Northern Pine Brewing Company. Oceanside resident and singer-songwriter Jason Mraz can be spotted at Jitters Coffee Pub or delivering passion fruit and avocados from his farm at Living Tea Kombucha. Bill Murray is a fan of Oceanside’s flip-flop friendly Goat Hill Park Golf Club, as well as surf legend Kelly Slater. Skateparks and surf spots are regularly frequented by sports stars Bethany Hamilton and Nyjah Houston who often compete and train in the area.