4. Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) Location: Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, Calif. Stadium: Dodger Stadium
It might be in a place called "Chavez Ravine," but historic Dodger Stadium is actually elevated, sitting atop a hill that gazes upon downtown Los Angeles. Fans can take in the trees of scenic Elysian Park to the north and east, and the San Gabriel Mountains beyond the outfield. While the high mound of Koufax and Drysdale was lowered years ago, pitchers still have another advantage: the California weather. When the sun begins to set, the Pacific air is known to cool and increase in density, turning budding home runs into long outs.
5. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB) Location: Anaheim, Calif. Stadium: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Either you love the Rally Monkey, or you hate it. And after stepping foot inside the former Edison International Field, located near the Happiest Place on Earth, it's hard not to warm up to baseball's most famous primate. In recent years, there has been some dispute over owner Arte Moreno's renaming of the franchise -- bizarrely adding "Los Angeles" before "Anaheim" -- but with a park this well-furnished it is hard to complain. The stadium features an "Outfield Extravaganza" area, and a replica of the California coastline that calls upon a 90-foot geyser and fireworks to celebrate home runs and impressive plays.
6. Fullerton Flyers (Independent, Golden League) Location: Fullerton, Calif. Stadium: Goodwin Field
The independent Golden Baseball League has come into the news recently thanks to the venerable Jose Canseco, who signed with the San Diego Surf Dawgs before being traded to the Long Beach Armada. Goodwin Field may not have Jose, but it's worth a visit. Also the home of the college baseball power Cal State Fullerton, the park underwent a $3-million renovation in 2001, and has hosted numerous NCAA tournament games in recent years. And if you happen to catch a Flyers-Armada game, be sure to wish Mr. Juiced the best.
7. Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Class A -- Angels, California League) Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Stadium: The Epicenter
Rancho Cucamonga calls a top-10 caliber stadium known as "The Epicenter" home. Fortunately for you, the name is supposed to indicate fun and entertainment, not actual seismic activity. And the stadium delivers: with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains, a mascot named "Rallysaurus," and great sightlines, Rancho Cucamonga is a jewel in the California League.
8. Lake Elsinore Storm (Class A, Padres, California League) Location: Lake Elsinore, Calif. Stadium: Lake Elsinore Diamond
With the top-selling logo in minor league baseball -- the Storm is represented by two eyes staring out of the cap -- Lake Elsinore only bolsters the California League's resume. Located at a striking lake and amid the Elsinore mountains, the Diamond is nearly as beautiful as the surrounding nature. It's not bad on the promotional front, either: Recently, the team gave away "Tom Cruise Bobblecouches" in honor of the movie star's strange antics on Oprah's furniture.
In San Diego, the Padres have a ballpark which ably matches their surroundings. Covered in stucco and sandstone, PETCO Park is a unique, open-air stadium which embraces its sunny locale. With the restaurants and offices located in nearby buildings, rather than the seating bowl, PETCO boasts concourses with wide-open views of the field and the San Diego Bay and skyline. A ticket to the grandstand allows you to take in the view beyond the wall, which includes all that, plus Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo.
1. Hollywood isn't what it used to be. But even though the movie industry has decentralized over time, moving into places like Burban -- or, gasp, out of California altogether -- it is still worth a visit if you're in Los Angeles taking in the Dodgers. The home of the Academy Awards claims the Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre, Melrose, and its share of celebrities. Not to mention those gigantic white letters, friend of amateur photographers everywhere.
2. Discover why Eli Manning was out of his mind to spurn San Diego. Why anyone would filibuster a contract with a team so close to Pacific Beach is a question you won't know the answer to after visiting this popular stretch of seaside, extending from the La Jolla cliffs to Mission Bay. Surf and then stop at Crystal Pier, where bars and eateries won't be hard to find, with things only heating up at night.
3. There is no shortage of tourist stops in California, but San Francisco has at least three places you need to go. Check out Golden Gate Park, which features an area even larger than New York's Central Park; Alcatraz (reenact your favorite scene from "The Rock" while there); and the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans picturesque San Francisco Bay. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, navigate Lombard Street in Russian Hill, which is known for being the "crookedest street in the world."