The Golden State is rolling out the welcome mat for GCC travelers to experience an abundance of new offerings set to debut in 2024, including new family attractions, milestone theme park anniversaries, cultural fiestas, new luxury hotels and more.
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With its iconic landmarks, theme parks, and stunning wide-open spaces, California was made for big family vacations. Wherever you plan to travel across the Golden State, the vibrant landscapes, the breathtaking natural wonders, the diverse cultures, outdoor adventures and a consistently pleasant climate offer a wealth of experiences to excite kids and parents alike.
“California’s abundance of natural beauty, diverse communities and innovative experiences make it the ultimate playground for visitors of all ages, interests and abilities,” said Caroline Beteta, President & CEO of Visit California. “Landmark new attractions and experiences – paired with milestone anniversary celebrations – make 2024 the perfect time to plan a trip to the Golden State.”
Set to entice, these are the latest attractions and landmarks, serving as fantastic starting points for your next family vacation in California:
Disneyland Park Welcomes Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
A new attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, will debut at Disneyland Park in late 2024. Guests will embark on a musical journey inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Princess and the Frog.” The stories of Princess Tiana also extend to Tiana’s Palace quick-service restaurant that opened in 2023, and Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets retail shop that opened in New Orleans Square in 2022.
LEGOLAND California Turns 25 in 2024
In 2024, LEGOLAND California turns 25 and is celebrating with new attractions, entertainment and experiences. A new land, Dino Valley, debuts in spring with three rides, an interactive zone, and character meet and greets. New rides include the Explorer River Quest and DUPLO® Little Dino Trail rides. Summer introduces North America’s first-ever LEGO World Parade with six themed floats and entertainers inspired by LEGO City, LEGO NINJAGO, LEGO Friends, LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure and DUPLO.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Debuts New Rides and Celebrates Giant Dipper Centennial
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will debut two new rides in 2024, in addition to celebrating the centennial anniversary of the iconic Giant Dipper. The Dream Wheel is a modern take on a quintessential seaside amusement park Ferris wheel. Standing just under 65 feet tall, this family-friendly ride includes 15 colorful gondolas each capable of seating four adults or six children. The ride will provide views of the Boardwalk, Monterey Bay, downtown Santa Cruz and the coastline, and is tentatively scheduled to open around spring break. The second ride, Surge, is tentatively scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. Seating up to 24 people, the modern spin on a classic thrill ride will provide guests with 360 degrees of adrenaline-packed excitement.
“Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience” Coming to SeaWorld San Diego
The first of its kind for SeaWorld parks, the Jellyfish Experience will be the newest immersive and interactive aquarium at SeaWorld San Diego. Guests will be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes in three unique galleries as if diving into the heart of the ocean. Each of the galleries will feature a jelly species to discover including Moon Jellyfish, Pacific Sea Nettles, Upside-Down Jellyfish and Comb Jellies.
New Exciting Accommodations
California’s diverse accommodation offerings continue to expand, with more than 70 new hotels and resorts opening in 2023, accounting for over 7,500 additional rooms.
Noteworthy new hotels slated to open in 2024 include:
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Fairmont Breakers, Long Beach’s first luxury boutique hotel
The Jordan San Gabriel, a tranquil retreat in Los Angeles County
Chicken Ranch Resort in Tuolumne County
Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort
Thompson Palm Springs, in the heart of the Design District
AutoCamp Sequoia, located just outside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Wildhaven Yosemite, located in Mariposa outside Yosemite National Park
Old Spanish Days Celebrates Centennial in Santa Barbara
Old Spanish Days Fiesta is a beloved Santa Barbara tradition celebrating 100 years in 2024. The annual event educates residents and visitors about the history, customs and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican and early American settlers that comprise the rich cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. The festival has grown due to the overwhelming interest of many different organizations to develop and maintain it as an extension and expression of their place in the community. Visitors are able to experience the historical spirit of Santa Barbara when they watch and join the city and its residents in Fiesta celebrations.
Museum Expansion and Re-openings
In 2024, several of California’s museums are reopening or debuting expansions. Highly anticipated openings include an expansion of the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University, including galleries for Indigenous American art and American design. The reimagination and reopening of Building One at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, including over 40 new exhibits. Additionally, in 2024 construction will be completed on the David Geffen Galleries at LACMA, a new building for the permanent collection designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor.
World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024
World Design Capital®(WDC) is designated every two years by the World Design Organization®(WDO) and recognizes cities for their effective use of design to enhance economic, social, cultural and environmental quality of life. The San Diego Tijuana designation provides the region with a year-long international showcase of design through unique experiences and explorations that stimulate thinking and bring the two cities’ communities together to celebrate what makes San Diego Tijuana exceptional.
Intuit Dome Slated to Open in Fall 2024
Intuit Dome, the new home of the Los Angeles Clippers, will open for the 2024-25 season in Inglewood. Intuit Dome will deliver technology-enabled fan experiences, and will drive economic growth to the surrounding communities. Intuit Dome will have five courts – more courts than any other NBA arena, in addition to more than 86,000 square feet of training, medical and player spaces. The 80,000-square-foot outdoor plaza is bordered by Roman steps and will include restaurants and a 5,000-square-foot team store.