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Coolest Car Shows in California To Check Out Now

Coolest Car Shows in California To Check Out Now

There are so many car shows in California that a regular itinerary won’t have enough vroom for it. Check out these cool car shows now.


5 min read

July 09, 2021

If there’s one thing that can unite Californians, it’s the love of cars. Golden State natives don’t just see their vehicles as a mode of transportation; for many, they’re must-haves, collectibles, prized possessions, status symbols, and canvases for colorful customization. Full of automotive aficionados, the state never falls short when it comes to mind-blowing car museums, insane semi-private collections, and—last but definitely not least—car shows. There are so many car shows in California that a regular itinerary won’t have enough vroom for it. To save you from this challenging feat, we’ve compiled a list of the state’s best and biggest. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

Car Shows In Southern California 

The Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase, featuring everything from Corvettes and Vipers to a 1930 Model A Ford, is free to the public.

Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase 

Relish in the sights and sounds of the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter—a prolific local neighborhood—while also enjoying the free Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase. You might want to wear your walking shoes, as the event features six full blocks lined with classic, high-performance luxury cars and the absolute rarest of motorcycles. Perfect for the whole family, this San Diego car show begins at 11 a.m. and closes with rev up and roll out. If you want to watch the cars drive off down Fifth Avenue, hang around until 5 p.m. to see them in action.

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Temecula Rod Run

Every year, Old Town Temecula is disrupted by the sound of revving engines. Do you know what this means? The iconic Temecula Rod Run has commenced. Boasting over 600 vehicles that can be honked, tested out, and ridden from Old Town to Arch to Arch, the event is one all thrill-seekers need to experience. But the fun isn’t just limited to adults—food trucks, live entertainment, and other festivities add more flair to the Temecula car show, making it a fun family event. 

The Orange County Auto Show is an annual event in Anaheim that has been held since 1996, running at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Orange County Auto Show

Searching for adventure in Orange County? Head to the Anaheim Convention Center, where 100 different cars and future debut models await your test drive. The Orange County Auto Show is home to an abundance of displays including the DuPont Registry, an exotic collection of sophisticated manufacturers like Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and more. Some people take good care of a car, others treat it like one of the family—this car show in Southern California is a testament to that. 

Throughout the years, the Rendezvous Back to Route 66 brought thousands of people to the four-day event.

Rendezvous Back to Route 66 Car Show

This one’s for classic car lovers. As the name suggests, the Rendezvous Back to Route 66 aims to capture the nostalgia of the historic highway, as 1,150 classic autos cruise down the streets of Downtown San Bernardino. The first-ever Rendezvous took place in 1990 with only 300 vehicles and about 4,000 spectators—numbers that have greatly risen in time. This colorful extravaganza brings together hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of spectators from all over the globe who share a love of cars, live music, and iconic California food

The Los Angeles Auto Show began in 1907 with ninety-nine vehicles on display at Morley’s Skating Rink.

Los Angeles Auto Show

One of the world’s largest exhibitions and car meets, the Los Angeles Auto Show fills the L.A. Convention Center with automobile enthusiasts. More than a thousand cutting-edge vehicles from notorious brands like Tesla, Maserati, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz—in addition to customized rides on exotic vehicles and supercars—are on display here. Since the event caters to both children and those young at heart, feel free to bring the kids along for various video games, car displays, and virtual reality demos.

Car Shows in Northern California 

Considered to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is a must-see event for all car enthusiasts.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 

If you call yourself a savvy auto connoisseur, then this car show is definitely up your alley. Travel back in time through a classy display of luxury cars, historic automobilia, art, and other elegant vehicles at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Every car enthusiast knows that when it comes to things to do on the Central Coast, this car show takes the cake. Before the Concours, you can also participate in the tour d’elegance, auctions, and forums—talk about a great father-son trip idea.

Fresno Fly-in and Car Show 

Want to check out airplanes, helicopters, and cars on display in the Central Valley? Sierra Sky Park's Fly-in and Car Show is where you need to go. If you know Fresno, then you know car shows are by no means a novelty—this one has a parachute delivery of the American Flag by Bulldog Blitz; an all-female skydiving team. And as for the little ones, this free event in northwest Fresno includes face painting, lawn games, food trucks, and other exciting activities.

If you're a classic car enthusiast and sports car fanatic, there is no better series of events around than Monterey Car Week.

Monterey Car Week

Every August, thousands of cars fill the streets of picturesque Monterey for one of the most renowned auto events in the country—Monterey Car Week. Since its inception in 1950, this iconic car show has been drawing in pros and enthusiasts from around the world. The week-long (August 9–18) show is divided into a handful of mini-events: Concours d’Elegance, The Quail, A motorsports gathering, and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Come on out and enjoy the San Francisco International Auto Show featuring a large display of the latest cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks.

San Francisco International Auto Show

After you’ve biked across the Golden Gate Bridge, why not check out a car show too? The San Francisco International Auto Show is the largest of its kind on the West Coast. This awesome car show features displays of epic new releases, concept cars, classic collections, as well as the latest electric/hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles collection. Head to the Moscone Center to experience this one-of-a-kind extravaganza—you wouldn’t want to miss it.

The Stockton Lowrider Super Show

This car show in Stockton has got you in for the next best thing. The Stockton Lowrider Super Show celebrates the culture of classic lowriders, with over 800 of the best bombs, dubs, trucks, motorcycles, and imports on display. Spend the day eyeing the classic beauties, chatting to the owners about their prized possessions, and sway to the live music—this might even make for a unique first date.

With a nod to the future and a wave from the past, the Sacramento International Auto Show features hundreds of new and vintage cars.

Sacramento International Auto Show

Come October 18, and the California State Capitol transforms into a car lover’s dream. The Sacramento International Auto Show stakes its claim at the Cal Expo, featuring models from iconic brands such as Bentley, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Porsche, and Lamborghini. Feast your eyes on all the displays, get up close and personal with motorcycles and race cars, and marvel at the self-driving car demos. And if you think this NorCal car show is a “can look but can’t touch” deal—think again. Test-driving opportunities are allowed on closed courses, so don’t worry about missing out on driving your dream car.

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