Robert Scoble/Flickr

Ultimate Sports Events

With nearly twice as many professional teams as any other state, California is big league all the way. But the state’s sports scene goes far beyond football and baseball, with a diverse line-up of world-class events throughout the year. Watch top surfers take on legendary waves in both Northern and Southern California. See sizzling hot tennis in the desert at BNP Paribas in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs. Support the planet’s best cyclists as they cover nearly 700 miles during the Amgen Tour of California. Want a bit more speed? Catch big IndyCar and NASCAR races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana or horses sprint near L.A. See wacky amphibious vehicles in the North Coast or join in the race at San Francisco’s celebrated Bay to Breakers. Or, for a slower pace, a much, much slower pace, watch giant frogs jump in the Gold Country.

March

Get into the chequered-flag spirit at this big and loud NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Cheer for your favourite drivers as they zoom for the front in this 5-wide race event. The action kicks off...

Courtesy of Auto Club Speedway
July/August

With a nickname like “Surf City, U.S.A.,” Huntington Beach is the obvious place for this 9-day, sun-and-wave extravaganza, the world’s largest surf event. Top pros including Kelly Slater and Rob...

Vans U.S. Open of Surfing by William Fovall/Flickr
May

Contraptions, creations, and creativity—those are the mantras for this wacky three-day event on an out-there stretch of the North Coast. Contestants must maneuver their handmade, people-powered...

Kinetic Grand Championship by Erik Fitzpatrick/Flickr
Jun 3
March

So close you can see the fur fly on the tennis balls, the top-tier competition at this two-week-long event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden gets you rivetingly close to the world’s best players...

Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing
April

Known as the ultimate “celebration of cycling,” this four-day event in the rolling coastal hills near Monterey brings more than 10,000 athletes and 65,000 fans together for an action-packed series...

Richard Masoner/Flickr