Top 15 Songs That Shows Us How Awesome California Is

As a reminder of how great and awesome the whole state is, here are the best songs to listen to while you're travelling throughout California.

One of the coolest places to visit in the world, or at least in the USA, has to be California. From the beautiful beaches to the gorgeous women and its fantastic weather (save for maybe San Francisco), California has it all. As a reminder of how great and awesome the whole state is, here are the best songs to listen to while you're travelling throughout California.


The Thrills - Big Sur

If you ever find yourself on highway 1 doing the California coastal drive, you’ll be taken aback by Big Sur. The mountains, the scenery , the beaches — it's oh so beautiful. Sure The Thrills didn't quite enjoy their stay, but that’s why they’re at the tail end of this list… Jerks!

Choice lyric: “Just don't go back to Big Sur, Hangin' around, lettin' your old man down”


Guns N' Roses - Paradise City

One of the most iconic Guns N’ Roses songs and Slash’s favorite from the band is set in Paradise City. Now technically, that can be a fictions place for all we know but there’s is a Paradise town in California so this song does belong here. Fun fact, during one of the first takes of the song, Slash interrupted Axl and replaced the now infamous chorus with "Where the girls are fat and they've got big titties"

Choice lyric: “Take me down to the Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty”


Vampire Weekend - California English

There’s a lot different interpretations about California English. It may poke fun at the various Californian stereotypes and especially valley girls but the lyric below shows where Vampire Weekend's hearts are truly at.

Chocie lyric: “Living like the French Connection, but we’ll die in L.A.“


Lana Del Rey - West Coast

Albeit a tad less catchy and certainly slower than the other tracks you'll find on this list, Lana Del Rey's West Coast deserves a special place on this list for being so good.

Choice Lyric: “Down on the West Coast, they love their movies. Their golden gods, and rock and roll groupies”


2Pac - California Love

Soon after being finishing his prison sentence in 1995, Tupac released his comeback song California Love which quickly became his best known and most successful song. The track has been covered, copied and remixed more than any other hip hop song out there, or so it feels.

Choice lyric: “California... knows how to party, In the citaaay of L.A., In the citaaay of good ol' Watts, In the citaaay, the city of Compton, We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin!”


Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication

Years before the show about the sex craved ficticious writer Hank Moody became a hit, there was an excellent and super popular album and song that shared the name Californiation. In case you’re wondering, the lawsuit over the use of “Californication” was settled out of court.

Choice lyric: “Space may be the final frontier but it's made in a Hollywood basement”


Hole - Malibu

While it was released in 1998, Malibu was actually written before Courtney Love's husband Kurt Cobain had committed suicide . The song was about his stay at a rehab clinic in the city. It's one of Hole's most successful songs.

Choice lyric: "Oh baby, fly away, yeah, to Malibu"


Tom Petty - Free Fallin'

Sure you've probably heard this one a few too many times by now but hearing Free Fallin' while in California is the only way to experience the song.

Choice lyric: "I wanna glide down over Mulholland, I wanna write her name in the sky"


Katy Perry - California Gurls

In a rather unusual collaboration, Katy Perry had teamed with Snoop Dogg for California Gurls which is surprisingly really catch and it works.

Choice lyric: "California girls, We're unforgettable."


The Doors - LA Woman

Next to a dry cleaners off Laurel Canyon Hills on Love street you'll find Jim Morrison's former LA residence. From there, you'll probably want to listen to this track while doing the short drive to Whiskey a Go-Go where the late singer used to perform.

Choice lyric: "I see your hair is burnin', Hills are filled with fire, If they say I never loved you, You know they are a liar"


Led Zeppelin - Going to California

Here are two lesser known facts about Led Zeppelin's Going To California. First, Page wrote this when he was 22 and it was originally about Californian earthquakes. Second, the song is allegedly about the Canadian singer Joni Mitchell.

Choice lyric: "Made up my mind to make a new start, Going To California with an aching in my heart."


Weezer - Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is one of the only places where you'll find more gardeners than actual residents. The city is stunning but as River Cuomo reminds us: "It's something that you're born into".

Choice lyric: "Beverly Hills - That's where I want to be!"


The Eagles - Hotel California

Here's a pro tip, if you're ever singing what you think are the lyrics to Hotel California while trying to find the real hotel, you're going to be rather disappointed; Much like Santa Claus, elves and affordable beach housing in California, Hotel California simply doesn't exist.

Choice lyric: "Welcome to the Hotel California, Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)"


The Mamas and The Papas - California Dreaming

An oldie but a goodie. If you've ever travelled to California and then returned to your cold muggy city, this song will speak to you.

California lyric: "I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A. California dreamin' on such a winter's day."


Beach Boys - California Girls

If there's one song that screams California, it's this classic tune by the Beach Boys. Play it at one of California's amazing beaches. Hint: They're all amazing.

Choice Lyric: "I wish they all could be California, I wish they all could be California girls"

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