Professional Sports

photo Mike Kaplan

With nearly twice as many professional teams as any other state, California is big league all the way, especially when it comes to football and baseball. But the state’s sports scene goes far beyond, with a diverse lineup of world-class events throughout the year.


The National Football League (NFL) has four teams in California: the Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and San Francisco 49ers.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is also popular on the West Coast. Los Angeles has the Angels of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Dodgers.


In the summer, the LA Angels play in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the team’s home field since 1965. This iconic stadium offers special features and offerings. Check out the California-centric “A” Wine Cellar wine bar in Section 111. You can even enjoy fine California wine at the game.


  • To get the local vibe, hang out by the Trout Farm (Section 101), the designated cheering section for star center fielder Mike Trout.

The Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants are the top Major League teams in the north, while San Diego has the Padres in the southern part of the state.


NBA fans will find plenty to enjoy in California too. The Los Angeles Lakers are among the most famous basketball teams in the nation. California is also home to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Sacramento Kings.

Three NHL teams grace the state: the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings in southern California and the San Jose Sharks up north. With major stars like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the Ducks give their fans plenty of reasons to keep their eyes glued to the home ice in the Honda Center. In 2013 the team added a giant high-def scoreboard and brought in award-winning food vendors like Pick Up Stix. You can also hang out at the open-air Shock Top Terrace, which serves craft beer as well as wine.


California also boasts two Major League Soccer teams—the five-time champion Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes, which have won MLS Cup twice.

Golf and Tennis

Some of the best golfing in the United States can be found in California, and pros and amateurs alike flock to the links.

Visitors can see an all-star lineup of golfers and A-list celebrities take the ocean-hugging greens at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. This ultra-prestigious tournament, held annually at Spyglass Hill and other legendary courses along the Monterey Peninsula, not only delivers a hefty purse for the winner; it also generates millions for charity.
Tennis fans won’t want to miss the BNP Paribas Open, a top-tier competition held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. This event puts clients up close and personal with the world’s best players as they duke it out under the desert sun.

Every spring, the game’s luminaries—Federer, Sharapova, Williams, Nadal, Djokovic—flock to this spectacular, state-of-the-art facility in the oasis-like town of Indian Wells, just south of Palm Springs. The posh tennis complex itself has become a must-see location for the simple reason that you get so startlingly close to the amazing athletes in action. In addition to two large, stadium-style courts, there are more than half a dozen smaller, more intimate courts, plus a fleet of open-to-viewers practice courts.
If your clients are inspired to test their own skills, check out special tennis clinics offered at area resorts. At La Quinta Resort Tennis Club, that means getting tips from former Davis Cup captain Tom Gorman.

Music Festivals

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival - photo Visit California

From High Sierra mountains to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, from wine country splendor to dramatic deserts, California’s music festivals take place in wow-worthy places. And the music isn’t half bad either. Whether you’re into electronica, vintage jazz, country, indie, or good ol’ rock ’n’ roll, it’s all here.
In April discover the desert at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Each year thousands gather in the desert outside Palm Springs for an extravaganza of music and art. The lineup of artists is extremely eclectic, ranging from cultural folk to rap icons like Ice Cube to hardcore punk like the Vandals. Beyond the music, Coachella has morphed into something of a cultural phenomenon, with fantastic food and high-wattage stars showing up in their best desert boho outfits.
Northern California celebrates music at the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival. This multistage extravaganza is held annually in Golden Gate Park. The three-day event fills the park with a platinum-album lineup of rock royalty. Grammy winners including Phish, Arcade Fire, and Kings of Leon have all rocked the stages here, along with impressive newcomers.
Visitors can enjoy three days of smooth tunes at the Monterey Jazz Festival, alleged to be the world’s longest-running jazz fest. Top names, newcomers, and favorites—some 500 artists in all—jazz it up on eight stages at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Round out your experience by adding a wide range of seminars, panel discussions, and intimate conversations.


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