35 Must-Have California-Themed Gifts That Locals & Visitors Will Love

Written by: Lara
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This article has been written and researched by our gift experts following our gift selection guidelines
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Golden gate bridge

Have you ever been tasked with finding the perfect gift for Californians or someone who’s been daydreaming about the Golden State? Well, you’re in the right place because we’ve scoured the West Coast to unearth 35 incredible California-themed gifts that will make your friends, family, or loved ones grin from ear to ear.

Whether your recipient is a SoCal sun worshipper, a NorCal tech geek, or someone who’s always dreamed of road-tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway, we’ve got something for everyone. And here’s the best part – you don’t need to buy a surfboard or swap your coffee for avocado toast to get in on the California action, you can just shop from the comfort of your home!

Are you short on time? Check out the editor’s top three California gifts by budget.

Save these California gift ideas

Don’t forget to save these California gifts to Pinterest!

The 30 best California gifts ideas

California gifts for large budgets

#1 San Francisco city LEGO

San Francisco LEGO
Photo courtesy of Amazon

If you think LEGO is just for kids, you’ve probably never tried the architecture series. Because boy, these kits are actually hard. And also really fun to make (for adults as well as for kids). Especially if they get to build their favorite city, such as the San Francisco skyline set.

For more gifts for Californians who love San Francisco, check out #7.


#2 Beach wall art

Wall art in shape of state map
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

If they love the Golden State, they must also love the beach.

Did you know that the California coastline is 840 miles long (source)?

That’s 840 miles of beautiful scenery! And for people who want to bring a bit of that California scenery home, this beach-themed wall art in the shape of California is perfect.


#3 California food basket

California food platter
Photo courtesy of Walmart

Did someone say food hampers?

Then this California cheese basket is exactly what you need. (It works especially well for cheese lovers!)

It includes sausage, cheese, crackers, nuts, mustard, a cheese board, and a cheese knife. They are all locally sourced, of course, making them great gifts from California for a homesick local!


#4 Map of California

California map with wine corks
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I think maps will never grow out of fashion. Especially not if they’re as unique as the ones I selected for you today!

The first one is a map of California with holes for wine corks, so the receiver can fill it up with their favorite (Californian) wine corks (check out #13 for some wine inspiration)!

The second one is basically the same, except it’s for beer caps. And lastly, you can also go for regular posters with a map of California.


#5 California experience gifts


If there is only one takeaway from your visit to our site, let it be this.

If you are looking for the best gift for people who love the Golden State (or any place really); then an experience gift is what you need!

Experience gifts create lasting memories, a strong bond between you and the recipient, and a unique gift that goes beyond any of the products I recommend on this list.

Check out Tinggly to find fun activities they can do in California. From taking them to a museum, on a guided tour, or to one of many beautiful state parks (check out the next gift for more national park gift ideas too), there is something for everyone.

And the best part? At Tinggly, you can buy a gift without setting a date yet, so the recipient can schedule it at their own convenience.

However, if you have no clue what kind of activities the receiver likes. Or if you just want to play it safe, you can also go for a gift card. In that case, buy the Tinggly Gift Card which gives the receiver access to all Tinggly tours.


#6 States national park annual pass

Annual pass of US national parks
Photo courtesy of USGS

If you are looking for California gift ideas for nature and outdoor lovers, the US National Parks Annual Pass is the perfect gift idea.

The pass gives the receiver (plus their car and up to four passengers) free access to many national parks around the US, including California. And I know what you’re thinking.

“Oh, that must only be the parks nobody ever visits.”

But you’re wrong! It includes over 65 different entrees, including some of the most popular ones such as Yosemite, Death Valley, and Lake Tahoe.


#7 San Francisco skyline bookends

Bookends shaped like San Fransisco skyline
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

The San Francisco skyline with its Golden Gate Bridge is such an iconic view that lends itself perfectly to all sorts of home decorations.

This is why you will find quite a few cool San Francisco gifts on this list. I have tried to minimize it, but I just couldn’t leave out these bookends with the skyline of the city.

Even if the receiver is not really into books, I guarantee they will start buying books just to use these beautiful bookends.


#8 California poppy painting kit

California map with poppy flower
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

If you are looking for California gift ideas for creative people, then this California poppy painting kit is a fun idea.

It comes with an explanation of different watercolor painting techniques, and a step-by-step guide, so all they have to do is follow the instructions and they’ll be able to make a beautiful painting in no time.


#9 California gift basket

A California gift baskets with items for women
Photo courtesy of My Daily Mantra

This California gift box is a great gift for a Californian who moved out of state or someone who just moved to the state.

It’s also a wonderful way to send your love to your dear friend or beloved partner.

In the box is a 100% natural soy candle (with the scent of your choice, of course), a boho mantra matchbox, organic vanilla mint lip balm, and more!


#10 Candles that smell like California

Candles with Southern California
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Are you looking for gifts for Californians who just moved out of state and who miss home?

Then these candles will surely make them feel better. There are two options, a northern and a southern California candle, and they both smell just like home. Which is perfect for someone who just needs a bit of California comfort.


#11 State park checklist poster

A checklist poster with all state parks in California
Photo courtesy of Unfinished Art Studio

This is a fun gift for California locals who love being outdoors and exploring state parks.

With this, they get to keep track of all the parks they’ve visited and the ones they have yet to visit.


California gifts for mid-budgets

#12 California jigsaw puzzle

California jigsaw puzzle
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for unique California gift ideas for puzzle lovers?

Then this 1000-piece cartoon-style puzzle of the Golden State is the perfect gift.


#13 Californian wine

Bottle of red wine
Photo courtesy of Drizly

One of the most popular souvenirs and gifts from California is wine.

Did you know that about 80% of all the wine that’s produced in the US is produced in California (source)?

So check out Drizly to find the receiver’s favorite wine brand, and if you’re not sure, a Cabernet Sauvignon by Josh Cellars is always welcome.


#14 California cookbooks

Book titled: California: Living + Eating
Photo courtesy of Amazon

California: Living + Eating

If the receiver is someone who loves the California lifestyle, they’ll love this cookbook with recipes as well as lifestyle tips to bring a bit of that Golden State feeling to their homes.


Book titled: What's Gaby Cooking
Photo courtesy of Amazon

What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Foods

Gaby Dalkin is a famous LA food blogger. For anyone who loves her blog, this book is an obvious gift choice. For anyone who doesn’t know her, this book will make them fall in love with her and her recipes.


Book titled: California vegan
Photo courtesy of Amazon

California vegan

The last cookbook on this list is one of my favorite gift ideas from California because it shows that you don’t need meat or dairy to make delicious meals.


#15 Scarf with map print

A scarf with the map of California
Photo courtesy of Patricia Davi Shop

A unique gift for Californian women, you ask?

Check this one out! It’s a scarf with tassels and a map of California – a lovely gift if you ask me!

The scarf not only adds a fashionable touch to her outfit but also showcases her California pride wherever she goes.

With this, she can wear her favorite state around her neck with style!


#16 California-themed travel mug

Travel mug with surf board and Santa Cruz
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

California-themed gifts for coffee lovers are super easy. Just head over to Zazzle and choose from their many California-inspired travel mugs.

I already picked one for Santa Cruz and surf lovers, but there are over 4,000 designs to choose from.


#17 California uni merchandise

Cal shirt
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for California gifts for someone who goes to or used to go to a Californian University? Then merchandise from their uni is a cool option. Even if they don’t go there, UCLA or Cal shirts are always fun gifts from California.

So check out Amazon for all the different options, you can go for clothing, hats, cups, beer coolers, and a lot more.


#18 Books about California

Book titled: California; An American history
Photo courtesy of Amazon

California; An American History

An American History is a book series that covers (guess what) the history of different American states. They provide informative, but still easy-to-read books for the history buff in your life.


Book titled: Only in California
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Only in California: Weird and wonderful facts about the golden state

For the trivia buff, this book with 50 funny and weird facts about California is a good gift idea.


Book titled: Bound for gold
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Bound for Gold by William Martin

The last book I’ll recommend is a novel that’s set in California. The book combines two linked storylines, one in the past and one in present-day San Francisco. It tells the story of the mythic river of gold that is said to be hidden in the Golden State.


#19 California shotglasses

California shotglasses
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Do you need unique gifts from California for someone who loves alcohol?

Then these shot glasses are perfect. They combine two of the most typical California things. The California bear and surfing, because everyone in California seems to be a surfer.


#20 LA map glasses

LA map glasses
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Another example of glasses for people who love the Golden State is these whiskey glasses with the map of LA etched on them. They are great California-specific gifts for people who love LA and whiskey.


#21 California gifts for sports fans

LA Chargers fan shirt
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for the best gifts from California for people who are really into sports?

Then buy something from their favorite California team.

If they’re into football (American football), then something from the LA Chargers is a great option. And lastly, for baseball fans, the SF Giants are very popular in the state too.


#22 Sage lotion

A bottle of sage lotion from California
Photo courtesy of Refugio Gardens

This lotion has a distinctive scent of sage and is a local product of California and with this gift, your friends get to receive the California spa experience right at home.

It’s a great way to keep their skin moisturized which is especially important because of California’s often dry and sunny climate.

Did you know that California is home to 26 different varieties of native sage species (source)?

One specific species – the white sage – is traditionally used by indigenous tribes in the region for purifying negative energy and spirit rituals which they consider sacred. It’s even used to prevent bad luck!


#23 California travel guides

Fodor's California travel guide
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Fodor’s California

Fodor’s travel guide is the most recent California travel guide I could find. So it’s the perfect California-specific gift for first-time visitors. For locals or people who have visited the state countless times, check out the next two guides.


California hiking guidebook
Photo courtesy of Amazon

California hiking: The complete guide to 1,000 of the best hikes in the golden state

Is the receiver a frequent hiker? And do they live in California or are they planning to spend a lot of time there? Then this guide with the 1,000 best hikes in the state is exactly what they need.


52 weekend adventures in Northern California guidebook
Photo courtesy of Amazon

52 weekend adventures in Northern California

The second travel guide that I would recommend to local Californians is Moon’s 52 Weekends. As you probably already guessed, it includes 52 unique weekend adventures in Northern California.


California gifts for small budgets

#24 Poppy seeds

California poppy seeds
Photo courtesy of Walmart

This is one of my favorite California gift ideas for people who love nature; seeds to plant California’s state flower at home!

This box contains  30,000 Poppy flower seeds so they can grow a bit of their favorite state in their own backyard.


#25 California state cutting board

Cutting board
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This is a great California gift idea for foodies; a bamboo cutting board with the map of California!

They can think of their favorite state each time they prepare food.


#26 California bucket list journal

California bucket list journal
Photo courtesy of Amazon

I love how this journal is one of the few California gift ideas that could work for first-time visitors, frequent visitors, and locals.

It’s a bucket list and journal combined and contains 50 California natural wonders that visitors and locals should have seen.


#27 State ornament

California Glass Ornament for Christmas
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Gifting this glass ornament to your Californian friends is a great way to keep the spirit of the Californian Christmas alive.

It has a delicate and intricate design that truly captures the essence of the country.

Plus, it also serves as a heartfelt reminder of the warm Christmases they’ve celebrated in the region, making it a perfect gift for those spending the holiday season far from their homes.


#28 Socks

A sock with with a california theme
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Looking for a small yet fun California-specific gift for your friends?

Gift them these socks! With this, not only will they get to keep their feet warm but will also have the chance to show off some of their state pride.

(Oh, and be sure to remind them to only use non-chlorine bleach when needed and not to iron the sock to preserve its color and design.)


#29 Pillow cover

A pillow cover with a bear and the text "california republic"
Photo courtesy of Amazon

This pillow cover is a great gift for California locals. It also matches well with any kind of furniture!

Whether they have a rustic or contemporary style of decor, this gift seamlessly complements their interior as it adds a touch of California vibe and charm to their home in a unique way.


#30 map coasters

A set of four bamboo coasters that form the map of California when put together
Photo courtesy of Amazon

These coasters are a cute and practical gift for your Californian friends.

It’s made of Moso bamboo – incredibly durable and lightweight – and crafted with attention to detail, the coaster pieces fit together like a puzzle, showcasing California’s unique geography and landmarks.

Plus, not only will it protect their furniture and is good for the environment but it also adds a bit of their home state to every sip that they take!


#31 California-themed luggage tags

Luggage tag with Southern California cartoon
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

With over 2,500 different California-themed luggage tags on Zazzle, I am sure you can find one that the receiver will love. For example, this cartoon-style tag of Southern California.


#32 California coloring book for adults

California coloring book
Photo courtesy of Amazon

For creative California-specific gifts, a coloring book of their favorite state is a fun option. And if you think coloring books are just for kids, think again.

Studies have actually shown that they are great for adults too because they have the potential to reduce stress and anxiety!


#33 California-themed tote bags

Tote bag with camper van
Photo courtesy of Zazzle

If you are looking for the best California gift ideas for sustainable travelers, tote bags are a good gift idea.

Check out Zazzle to find over 8,600 different California-themed tote bags. Or buy this Yosemite bag with camper.


#33 Cute keychain

California keychain
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Are you looking for cute California gift ideas for someone who lives far away? Or for a local who is about to move elsewhere?

Then this keychain is the cutest gift because no matter the distance, you will always be connected.


#34 California map pendant

California map necklace
Photo courtesy of Amazon

For more cute California-themed gifts for locals, this pendant in the shape of California is perfect!


#35 California poster

California dreaming poster
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Who doesn’t want some California dreaming at their home?

With this retro tin poster, they can bring a bit of the California vibe into their room.


Save these California gift ideas

Did you save these gifts from California on Pinterest yet?

The 30 best California gifts ideas

Final note on California gift idea

Alrighty. I hope that these awesome gift ideas from California helped you to find the perfect present for your favorite Golden State lover, and if not, why don’t have a look at the editor’s top 3?

AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Lara, a 30-year-old travel-lover (but who’s not these days?). I love reading, puzzling, world-heritage sites, researching, and making lists, which comes in quite handy when you’re making lists of travel gift ideas!