10 Best Famous Buildings In California, USA - Updated 2021

famous buildings in california

California, USA is the most populous state in America, owing to the highly urbanized Greater Los Angeles Area and San Francisco Bay Area. With such a vast population, you can imagine the number of buildings of architectural and historical importance. You will have the opportunity to feast your eyes on some of the most famous buildings in California, USA. Many of them are known for their creativity, and some hold a deep, significant value to the state that is worth learning about, such as California State Capitol Museum and Griffith Observatory. Check out this article for a list of the best famous buildings in California, USA.

1. Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid
Source: Pexels

Transamerica Pyramid is the second-tallest skyscraper in San Francisco. The 48-story building is designed to be futuristic, and it can be spotted from the city’s skyline easily. The structure holds two premium office buildings. Unfortunately, due to security reasons, visitors are not allowed inside the building. However, this should not discourage you from snapping a photo of the bold skyscraper from outside, especially at night when it lights up and stands out among the rest.

Transamerica Pyramid

Address: 600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States

Website: Transamerica Pyramid

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

2. Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

Basilica Mission San Diego de Alcala
Source: Photo by user Prayitno / Thank ... used under CC BY 2.0

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala is California’s first Mission Church, and it is located in San Diego. To appreciate the beginning of Catholicism in California, you must take your time to learn about the remarkable shrines inside the church. Founded in 1769 by a Spanish friar named Junípero Serra, you will notice that the church design is based on Spanish-style architecture. This is one of the most beloved structures in California, and visitors should take the time to see it when visiting San Diego.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

Address: 10818 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego, CA 92108, United States

Website: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)

3. The Gamble House

Gamble House 2016-1
Source: Photo by user Cullen328 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re looking for a classic American Craftsman structure, the Gamble House located in Pasadena is something you should add to your itinerary. Constructed in 1908 for David B. Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company as a humble home, it has transformed over the years and became a California Historical Landmark. The interior design is rustic, with simple wooden furniture, which is the style of American Craftsman architecture. It is a beautiful and well-known structure that is a must-visit in Pasadena. Inside is a simple living room and a picturesque patio - the basic picture of a traditional American Arts and Craft building.

The Gamble House

Address: 4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

Website: The Gamble House

Opening hours: Tue: 10:30am - 2:30pm; Thu - Sat: 11:30am - 4pm; Sun: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Mon & Wed)

4. Walt Disney Concert Hall

Best famous buildings in California
Source: Pexels

The exterior of Walt Disney Concert Hall is an art in and of itself, with an intricate and complex design that will boggle your mind and leave an impression. A tribute to the legendary Walt Disney, the hall holds various concerts and events featuring artists and talents from all around the world. Be sure to catch a concert or event to ensure you get the full experience. With carefully designed acoustic settings, this venue is home to the sensational Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale, both of which will astound you with masterful performances.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

Website: Walt Disney Concert Hall

5. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory
Source: Unsplash

Along East Observatory Road, situated on top of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles, is Griffith Park, a great park with a wonderful view of the open sky, downtown Los Angeles, and, of course, the iconic Hollywood sign. Within this park is Griffith Observatory, a venue famous not only for the architecture but for the activities on offer. This place lends guests telescopes with which to view the surroundings. While here, be sure to stop by Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

Griffith Observatory

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States

Website: Griffith Observatory

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 12pm - 10pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 10pm (closed on Mon)

6. Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl USGS 2010
Source: Photo by user Department of the... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The Hollywood Bowl is on the list of Top 10 Best Live Music Venues by the Rolling Stones. The design of this place was made to cater to live music specifically. An amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California, Hollywood Bowl got its name from the signature curved stage that is shaped like a bowl. Do check out the schedule for their concerts and events - you might be able to attend one and see for yourself the full potential of this amazing structure.

Hollywood Bowl

Address: 2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States

Website: Hollywood Bowl

7. California State Capitol Museum

California State Capitol Museum, Sacramento, California
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Christopher Padal... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

California State Capitol Museum is filled with astonishing art, artefacts, and beautiful architecture that showcases California’s history. The State Capitol building represents its present and future by serving as the state’s seat of government. Come here to explore the museum part, which will surely keep you occupied for a whole day. The best part - admission is free.

California State Capitol Museum

Address: 10th and L Streets, State Capitol, Room B-27, 1315 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Website: California State Capitol Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 5pm

8. Hearst Castle (from USD 159.0)

famous buildings in california | hearst castle

With a history of over 100 years, Hearst Castle’s intricate interior and exterior design will transport you back to the late 1800s and inspire your imagination. One famous attraction inside this place is the pool, beautifully built with the concept of a Roman bath in mind - you will be in awe of its amazing design. With a fascinating history and stunning designs, this building in California is one worth visiting.

Hearst Castle and Central Coast Tour

Duration: 5.5 to 7.5 hour

8 reviews

9. TCL Chinese Theatre (from USD 57.0)

famous buildings in california | tcl chinese theatre

An iconic movie theatre at the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit TCL Chinese Theater to experience what it must be like to be a star. You can walk down the red carpet and enter one of Hollywood’s most prestigious movie venues. Opened in 1927, the theatre has seen countless legends walking in and out of its halls, and now you will have the chance to do the same. While you are here, make sure to listen to the theatre’s fascinating history. While you’re roaming the grounds, look out for the preserved handprints of famous stars who have been here.

LA: Chinese Theater VIP Tour & 24-hour Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus

Duration: 24 hour

1 review

10. The Getty (from USD 375.0)

famous buildings in california | the getty

The Getty is a famous museum known all over the world. More than just a beautiful building, it holds thousands of years of culture and history in its collection. Their mission is to inspire human understanding through visual art and cultural heritage. The Getty also happens to be an education centre, and you can always return as many times as you wish to see new exhibitions.

Los Angeles: Private Getty Museum Tour with Expert Guide

Duration: 1.5 hour

4 reviews

Admire the grandeur of California's buildings

With impressive and beautiful buildings located all around California, you can spend months checking out the architecture in different parts of the state. The rich history, culture, and architecture will blow your mind. Head down to California, USA, to admire the grandeur of California’s most famous and majestic buildings - they are definitely worth the trip.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Currently, a student in International Relations and have a passion for writing. Reading is my primary source for increasing my knowledge and travelling is a way to gain experience that will enhance...Read more

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