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Plan Your Trip to See Taylor Swift in California

Plan Your Trip to See Taylor Swift in California

The superstar recording artist is headed to Santa Clara and Los Angeles this summer. As Swift herself might ask, “Are you ready for it?”

Posted 3 months agoby Katrina Hunt

If you were lucky enough to snag tickets for one of Taylor Swift’s California concerts, it’s not enough to just throw on a Swiftie-style cardigan and head to the stadium—this show deserves its own getaway.

The Eras Tour, which encompasses the many albums (and looks) of Swift over her career thus far, has been a blockbuster event in every town it has visited. Fortune recently noted that Swift is singlehandedly boosting the economy everywhere she goes, selling out stadiums as well as local hotels. In some places, that means planning your concert logistics can feel as challenging as getting that red scarf back from Jake Gyllenhaal.

If you’re seeing Swift in one of the two California locations—Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (July 28–29) or SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles County (Aug. 3–9)—the good news is that, as of press time, there are still many hotels to choose from, including plenty of affordable options. Indeed, the two stadiums and their surrounding areas were built for big events—both have hosted Super Bowls in recent years. So you won’t be, as Swift would say, “lying on the cold hard ground.”

Check out the tips below for how to get to the shows, where to stay, and how to make a party out of your concert trip, including some Swiftie-friendly dining, shopping, and things to do.

The Northern California Shows

As a testament to its Silicon Valley heritage, Levi’s Stadium is known for being cutting edge: It’s LEED Gold Certified, it serves only sustainable seafood, and it boasts incredible WiFi—a necessity for frequent concert selfies. For extra-green dining, check out the stadium’s The Organic Coup, with its açai bowls and organic vodka lemonades.

Getting There

If you’re driving, pre-book your parking spot through the Levi’s Stadium site, or from sites such as Park Whiz, Vivid Seats, or Seat Geek.

Better yet, consider taking mass transit, since there are a lot of transit options serving Levi’s Stadium, including CalTrain from San Jose and San Francisco, or the light rail of VTA (Valley Transportation Authority). The Levi’s Stadium stop serves the orange, green, and blue lines of the VTA, stretching from Mountain View to the west to much of San Jose to the east and south.

Before you arrive, check out Levi’s Stadium’s bag policy so you know what you can and cannot bring inside.

Where to Stay Near Levi’s Stadium

Santa Clara, San Jose, and all of Silicon Valley make a good home base for seeing the show. Levi’s Stadium has its own page of nearby hotel suggestions—like the Hilton Santa Clara, a five-minute walk from the stadium as well as the California’s Great America theme park. If you’re taking mass transit to the show, look at San Jose hotels in Japantown or downtown near the Convention Center, which are close to the blue and green lines. Convenient downtown options include the boutique-style Hotel Clariana, the Hilton San Jose, and the Westin San Jose.

Swiftie Things to Do Around Santa Clara

Swift is known for touring with some of her cats in tow (Benjamin, Meredith, and Olivia), and has even shown slideshows of them before concerts. To get in the spirit, or if you are just missing your own fur babies, create your own Caturday in San Jose by hanging out with the felines at The Dancing Cat Café in downtown San Jose, or picking up some treats and toys at Biscuits Pet Boutique in Japantown.

San Jose is a hotbed for international dining, so while you’re in Japantown, enjoy one of Taylor’s favorite foods—sushi—at spots such as Kazoo or Minato, then belt out your best version of “Shake It Off” at nearby karaoke bar 7 Bamboo. For breakfast, seek out some buckwheat crepes (reportedly another Swift staple), at local restaurants such as Crepes Bistro in Santa Clara or Crepevine in various spots around the Bay Area.

Didn’t get a ticket, or just want more Taylor Swift vibes? Grab a spot at one of the pop-up The Taylor Party dance parties currently touring the nation, with dates in San Jose and Sacramento this August.


A post shared by SoFi Stadium (@sofistadium)

The Southern California Shows

As the NFL’s biggest and most technologically advanced stadium, SoFi Stadium is a natural setting for the larger-than-life Eras show. For one thing, SoFi’s giant, oval-shaped infinity screen, suspended from the top of the stadium, makes any seat a good one. Inside the stadium, SoFi also offers four culinary kiosks based on different regions of Los Angeles, such as Olvera Street and San Vicente (the latter not far from Beverly Hills, where Swift currently has a home).

Getting There

If you’re driving, use SoFi’s Parking Whiz site to pre-book a parking spot; most are within a 15-minute walk of the stadium (and note that on a big event night like this, you will have many fellow Swifties making a similar walk). Or make the most of the Los Angeles mass transit system, which is bigger than many visitors realize: SoFi is very close to the Hawthorne/Lennox Station stop on the Metro’s green C Line. You can also take rideshares to the stadium, or book a spot on one of the Rally luxury rideshare buses, with pickup spots all over the county.

Check out SoFi’s policies page for details on what size bags are allowed in the stadium.

Where to Stay Near SoFi

If you want to stay near the concert, or have the easiest access by mass transit or a short drive, consider staying in Downtown Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, or Torrance—or even near LAX Airport, which has many affordable options. The Marina del Rey hotels page and the Redondo Beach hotels page make it easy to check availability at local hotels, such as the boutique-style Shade Hotel Redondo Beach. Torrance is just a 10-mile drive from SoFi and has a wide range of affordable chains as well as unique stays such as the Japanese-style Miyako Hybrid.(Torrance is also home to a celebrated ramen trail).

Swiftie Things to Do in Los Angeles County

Come early, and explore a few areas near SoFi that would be right up the alley of Swift, who has also lived in Nashville and makes no bones about her love of baked goods. In Inglewood, stop in at the branch of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and the family-owned bakery Sweet Red Peach, offering Southern goodies including sweet potato pie and red velvet cupcakes.

Since Swift is a part-time Angeleno—during the Covid-19 lockdown, she wrote and recorded the Grammy-winning Folklore from her Los Angeles home—it’s not hard to seek out some of her own local favorites. She has supposedly bought instruments at the Old Style Guitar Shop in Silver Lake, and she’s been known to shop at The Grove, east of Beverly Hills (could this be the shopping center that inspired the line “meet me behind the mall?”). She reportedly enjoys the Mexican cuisine at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, the pan-Asian cuisine at Wokcano, and—an easy stop—the classic burgers, fries, and shakes at In–N–Out.

Ready for more concert-based getaways? In the spirit of “Wildest Dreams” (“let's drive out of the city, away from the crowds"), take a music-based California road trip, such as the twangy-spirited Highway 99 drive to hear the Bakersfield Sound. Also, check out 2023’s don’t-miss music festivals around California.