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The Best Songs That Will Have You Singing, "California!"

The Best Songs That Will Have You Singing, "California!"

From nostalgic 2000s R&B to indie rock, these are the songs you need on your playlist to get into the right (Golden) state of mind.


5 min read

September 26, 2021

No one can deny the fact that California is inspiring. Authors, directors, artists, dancers, painters, screenwriters, and, of course, musicians have long turned to the Golden State for creative inspiration in every medium. So, is it really a surprise that there are so many California songs out there? 

Whether you’re heading out on a long road trip along the unbelievably beautiful Pacific Coast Highway or going camping in the wilderness or by the beach, you’ll need California songs to bop along to on your adventure. Spanning different eras and genres, from nostalgic 2000s R&B to up and coming indie rock, these are the songs you need on your playlist to get into the right (Golden) state of mind.

California girls, we're undeniable. Fine, fresh, fierce, we got it on lock. West coast represent, now put your hands up!

The Best Songs With the Word “California” in the Title 

We figured that springing a list of 60 songs at you might be a little overwhelming. So, we divided our favorite California songs into three different playlists. But hey, who are we to tell you when to listen to what—play these any time and at any place, you’re the boss at the end of the day.

This lengthy list of California songs is listed in no particular order. So, don’t get mad at us if you find your favorite band towards the end of the list; we don’t discriminate!

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Goin' to California with an achin' in my heart. Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair...

Best California Songs for a Road Trip

Not many things rival the liberating feeling of hitting the open road, fueled by the adrenaline of adventure bubbling up inside of you—especially when you’re blasting the ultimate road trip playlist. Whether you’re cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway or discovering small weird towns along Route 66, these California songs will unfailingly have you feeling the main character.

1. “California Dreamin” by The Mamas and The Papas
2. “California” by Joni Mitchell
3. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry
4. “California Friends” by The Regrettes
5. “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin
6. “California Stars” by Billy Bragg and Wilco
7. “California” by Grimes
8. “California Blue” by Roy Orbison
9. “California” by Charlotte Cardin
10. “California” by Lorde
11. “Maybe California” by The Snuts
12. “California” by Phantom Planet
13. “It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond
14. “California” by Tom Petty
15. “California Girl” by Cayucas
16. “California (There’s No End to Love)” by U2
17. “California” by Delta Spirit
18. “California” by Kota the Friend
19. “California” by James Blunt
20. “California Soul” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Welcome to the Wild Wild West. An impenetrable state like Eliot Ness. Track strikes eardrums like slugs to chest.

Best California Songs to Listen to While you Workout

Download a fitness tracking app, choose a new running trail, or sign up for an exercise class at home, and blast your favorite California songs. These picks are bound to excite you, lift your spirits, and get your heart rate up for an adrenaline-fueled workout. After all, what’s a workout without a bomb playlist

1. “California Love” by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre and Robert Troutman
2. “Dani California” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
3. “Heavy, California” by Jungle
4. “Californication” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
5. “California” by Childish Gambino
6. “California Sun” by Ramones
7. “Ms. California” by Beach Bunny
8. “California Day” by Common Kings and Shwayze
9. “California Here We Go” by The Garden
10. “California Soul” by Marlena Shaw
11. “California” by Berhana
12. “California” by CHVRCHES
13. “California” by Delinquent Habits and Sen Dog
14. “California Palms” by Maty Noyes
15. “Miss California” by Dante Thomas feat. Pras
16. “California” by YUNGBLUD
17. “California” by Lenny Kravitz
18. “California” by Dom Kennedy
19. “California Kids” by Weezer
20. “Love in California” by Rooftop Heroes

Best California Songs for a Camping Getaway

No matter how picture-perfect your camping destination might be, the experience won’t be complete without a killer playlist that gets you in the right mood. From mellow melodies for your stargazing escapades to sing-along tunes by the bonfire, these California songs will definitely add to your rustic experience.

1. “Hotel California” by Eagles
2. “Californian Soil” by London Grammar
3. “Fictional California” by Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine
4. “California” by Lana Del Rey
5. “California Waiting” by Kings of Leon
6. “California King Bed” by Rihanna
7. “Queen of California” by John Mayer
8. “I Am California” by John Craigie and Gregory Alan Isakov
9. “Leaving California” by Maroon 5
10. “California Girls” by The Beach Boys
11. “California” by The Lagoons
12. “California” by Blink-182
13. “California Sober” by Demi Lovato
14. “California Sunrise” by Jon Pardi
15. “California” by Jamestown Revival
16. “California” by Nick Cunningham
17. “Cold in California” by Ashe
18. “Snow in California” by Ariana Grande
19. “California” by Mazzy Star
20. “California Sun” by The Rivieras

It's the edge of the world and all of Western civilization. The sun may rise in the East at least it's settled in a final location.

Even before pop music was mainstream, the Golden State wasn’t just a place. It was an idea, a promise, and something worth risking everything for to actualize your dreams. Hence, the ever-growing list of California songs. 

This diverse list of musicians captures the contradictory spirit of California very well. Telling the stories of the hippies, addicts, dreamers, wannabees, romantics, and even the folks in jail; California songs show that this state is for everyone who loves California livin’. Whether you want to laugh, cry, dance, dream, or sing your heart out, there’s a California song out there to suit every mood.

What’s your favorite California song to listen to? If there’s a song you love that we didn’t include in the list, we’d love to hear all about it from you.

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