21 Best Songs About California: From Beach Boys to Tupac Shakur

Best Songs About California

If you’re looking for a soundtrack to your California dreams, look no further! This list of 21 best songs about California will have you feeling the sand between your toes and the sun on your skin in no time.

From classic Beach Boys songs like “Surfin’ USA” to modern hits like “California Love” by Tupac Shakur, this playlist has something for everyone.

So put on your sunglasses and let’s move to the list of the best country songs about California!

List of the Best Songs About California

1. “California Girls” by The Beach Boys

This list would not be complete without a mention of The Beach Boys and their iconic song about the girls of California. Released in 1965, “California Girls” quickly became a summertime anthem and is still one of the most popular songs about the state today. If you’re looking for a classic tune to add to your playlist, this is the one!

2. “Do You Love Me?” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave is a master of dark and brooding songs, and “Do You Love Me?” is no exception. This tune is off of his 1996 album Murder Ballads and tells the story of a man who is questioning whether or not his love for California is true. It’s a great addition to any playlist, and will definitely make you think about your own relationship with the state.

3. “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman

Randy Newman’s ode to Los Angeles is one of the most well-known songs about California, and for good reason! This catchy tune was released in 1983 and quickly became a hit, thanks to its upbeat tempo and positive lyrics. If you’re looking for a feel-good song about California, this is the one for you.

4. “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & The Papas

This classic song was released in 1965 by The Mamas & The Papas and quickly became a hit. It’s a beautiful tune about longing for the warm weather and beaches of California and is the perfect addition to any playlist.

5. “California Stars” by Billy Bragg & Wilco

Billy Bragg & Wilco’s “California Stars” is a gorgeous song that was released in 1998. It’s a folksy tune with lyrics that will make you long for the open road and the endless possibilities that California offers. If you’re looking for a song to add to your list, this is definitely it!

6. “San Francisco” by The Mowgli’s

The Mowgli’s are a relatively new brand, but they’ve already made waves with their songs about California. “San Francisco” is a fun and upbeat tune that will make you want to pack your bags and head west. It’s the perfect addition to any playlist and is sure to get you excited about your California dreams.

7. “California Girls” by Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” is a modern take on The Beach Boys’ classic song. It’s a fun and sexy tune that will have you feeling the California sun in no time. If you’re looking for a new song to add to your playlist, this is definitely it!

8. “Going Back To Cali” by LL Cool J

LL Cool J’s “Going Back To Cali” is a great song for anyone who loves California (and who doesn’t?). It’s a fun and upbeat tune that will make you want to hit the beach as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a song to add to your playlist, this is definitely it!

9. “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” is a beautiful song that was released in 2017. It’s a reflective tune about her time spent in California and is the perfect addition to any playlist. If you’re looking for a new song to add to your list, this is definitely it!

10. “California Love” by Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur’s “California Love” is one of the most iconic songs about the state. It’s a fun and energetic tune that will make you want to get up and dance. If you’re looking for a song to add to your playlist, this is definitely it!

11. “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys

Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” is a great song for anyone who loves California (and who doesn’t?). It’s a fun and upbeat tune that will make you want to hit the beach as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a song to add to your playlist, this is definitely it!

12. “I Love It” by Kanye West ft. Lil Pump

Kanye West’s “I Love It” is a great song for anyone who loves California (and who doesn’t?). It’s a fun and upbeat tune that will make you want to hit the beach as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a song to add to your playlist, this is definitely it!

13. “LA” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar paints a picture of his hometown on this track, and it’s not always a pretty one. He talks about the “hustlers, killers, murderers, gangsters, and thugs” that give the city its edge. But he also shows love for LA, saying it’s the place where he “found [his] dreams.” It’s a complex portrait of the city, and one that shows why Lamar is one of the best rappers around.

14. “San Francisco” by Scott McKenzie

This song is all about the city’s hippie history, and it’s one of the most famous songs about San Francisco. McKenzie was inspired to write it after a trip to the city, and it quickly became a hit when it was released in 1967.

15. “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin

Going to California is about, you guessed it, going to California. Specifically, it’s about the band’s first trip to Los Angeles in 1971. The song is a sweet ode to the Golden State, with references to Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, and Santa Monica.

16. Canyon Moon by Andrew McMahon

Canyon Moon was written by Andrew McMahon while he was living in Southern California. The song is about the beauty of the state, and how it can make you feel small.

17. Hollywood by Daniel Powter

Hollywood song is about the shallowness of Hollywood and how Love is not really there. It’s a great song that tells a story while also being super catchy. Moreover, the lyrics are very relatable and Powter’s voice is unique and pleasant.

18. Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys

Good Vibrations is another one of those songs that are synonymous with California. This Beach Boys classic is all about the good vibrations that come from being in California. The lyrics talk about how California is the place to be for good vibes and good times.

19. Malibu by Hole

Malibu is a song by the American rock band Hole, written by frontwoman Courtney Love. The song was released as the second single from the band’s second studio album, Live Through This (1994). Malibu is one of the rock songs about California, it is a power ballad about the city of Los Angeles and its suburbs, specifically the wealthy beach community of Malibu, California.

20. I Left My Heart In San Francisco by Tony Bennett

I left my heart song is another one of the greatest songs about California that is perfect for a romantic evening. This song was written in 1954 by George Cory and Douglas Cross and has been covered by many artists. Bennett’s version was released in 1962 and reached number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

21. Big Sur by The Thrills

The song Big Sur is a great summertime road-trip anthem. It was released in 2003 on the album So Much for the City. The song is about driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and taking in the beautiful scenery.

Conclusion

These are just some of the songs about California that we love. What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re ever in need of a California songs playlist, we’ve got you covered.

Frequently Ask Questions

What song best represents California?

This is a difficult question because there are so many songs that represent different aspects of California. If we had to narrow it down, we would say that the songs “California Girls” by The Beach Boys and “California Love” by Tupac Shakur are two of the most iconic songs about the state.

What’s California’s state song?

“I Love You, California” is the official state song of California. The song was written in 1913 by Francis Bernard Zabriskie and was adopted as the state song in 1951.

What music is California famous for?

California is home to many different genres of music, but some of the most iconic styles include surf rock, punk rock, and hip hop.

What songs is about a state?

There are many songs about different states, but some of the most popular ones include “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, and “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles.

That’s all! You can also check out 15 Best Grateful Dead Live Albums: Rolling Stone’s Picks and 25 of the Best Female Punk Bands (2022 Updated).

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