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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.


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...

Surfers competing in the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing
Vans U.S. Open of Surfing by William Fovall/Flickr
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Creativity, contraptions and costumes—those are the mantras for this wacky three-day Memorial Day weekend (last weekend in May) event on a wild stretch of the North Coast. Dubbed the 'triathalon...

The Kinetic Grand Championship on California's North Coast
Erik Fitzpatrick/Flickr
California's North Coast
Jun 3

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...

BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing
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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...

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Richard Masoner/Flickr
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