Songs of California: 100 Songs About California

Updated on January 20, 2017

Picking the Best California Songs

So many songs have been written about California over the years, and many, more are sure to come in the future. Even with 100 entries, this list is far from exhaustive, so please feel free leave a comment noting any overlooked favorites.

The Ultimate California Playlist

California sunset / E. A. Wright 2010
California sunset / E. A. Wright 2010

California in photos

Southern California sunset
Southern California sunset | Source
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach, California | Source

100 Songs About California, From Classic to Quirky

  1. Malibu, Hole
  2. Pacific Coast Party, Smash Mouth
  3. California, Rufus Wainwright
  4. Big Sur, The Thrills
  5. Mendocino, The Sir Douglas Quintet
  6. Summer '79, The Ataris
  7. California, Eddi Reader
  8. California, Dan Zanes
  9. California, The Weekend
  10. California, Hawk Nelson
  11. Heads Carolina, Tails California, Jo Dee Messina
  12. Catalina, Seven Foot Wave
  13. California Nights, Lesley Gore
  14. The Lights and Buzz, Jack's Mannequin
  15. Miss California, Jack's Mannequin
  16. 101, Albert Hammond Jr.
  17. From California, The New Amsterdams
  18. California Day, Starland Vocal Band
  19. Go to California, Motorpsycho
  20. I Remember California, R.E.M.
  21. California Soul, Marlena Shaw
  22. California's Burning, Augustana
  23. California Sun, The Ramones
  24. Back to California, Carole King
  25. (More Bounce In) California, Soul Kid #1
  26. California Rain, Silvertide
  27. San Francisco Days, Chris Isaak
  28. California, The Simpletones
  29. California, Lenny Kravitz
  30. California, The Kooks
  31. California, Georgia Prophets
  32. California, Atherton
  33. California, The Beach Boys
  34. California, Bag of Toys
  35. California, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  36. Los Angeles, I'm Yours, The Decemberists
  37. California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade, The Decemberists
  38. California Sky, Unwritten Law & Blink 182
  39. California, Weezer
  40. Going to California, Led Zeplin
  41. Back Home, Yellowcard
  42. California 2005, Phantom Planet
  43. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair), Scott McKenzie
  44. California Girls, The Beach Boys
  45. California Calling, The Beach Boys
  46. Hotel California, Eagles
  47. California Deamin, Mammas and the Pappas
  48. Dani California, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  49. Santa Monica, Everclear
  50. Holiday from Real, Jack's Mannequin
  51. Beverly Hills, Weezer
  52. A Long December, Counting Crows
  53. California Love, 2Pac
  54. Meet Me In California, Plain White T's
  55. New York to California, Mat Kearney
  56. San Diego, Parmalee
  57. Siren On the 101, Over It
  58. San Simeon, Goldfinger
  59. California Soul, The 5th Dimension
  60. California, Joni Mitchell
  61. California Bound, Carolina Liar
  62. Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Dionne Warwick
  63. The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena), Jan & Dean
  64. Bakersfield Bound, Chris Hillman
  65. Orange County, Stefy
  66. Hollywood, Daniel Powter
  67. Goodbye Hollywood, JET
  68. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
  69. Los Angeles, Counting Crows
  70. Los Angeles, Sugarcult
  71. Los Angeles Is Burning, Bad Religion
  72. L.A. Freeway, Jerry Jeff Walker
  73. Lodi, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  74. Pasadena Girl, Nellie McKay
  75. Ukiah, The Doobie Brothers
  76. Sutter's Mill, Dan Fogelberg
  77. Monterey, Eric Burdon & The Animals
  78. Venice, USA, Red Elvises
  79. Santa Monica, Theory of a Deadman
  80. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash
  81. Palo Alto, Radiohead
  82. Sausalito Summernight, Diesel
  83. Ventura Highway, America
  84. Parallel Universe, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  85. House In California, Keb' Mo'
  86. Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight & The Pips
  87. California, Metro Station
  88. California Love, Tupac & Dr. Dre
  89. Sausalito, Conor Oberst
  90. Back to California, Sugarcult
  91. California Nights, Sweet
  92. Not California, Hem
  93. California, Low
  94. Late Great Golden State, Mike Stinson
  95. California Grace, Long Beach Shortbus
  96. It Never Rains In Southern California, Albert Hammond & M. Hazelwood
  97. Talk to Me of Mendocino, Kate & Anna McGarrigle
  98. Back to California, The Wallflowers
  99. California, Semisonic
  100. (Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 E. A. Wright

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      • kalinin1158 profile image

        Lana Adler 

        4 years ago from California

        Great hub! I never knew there were so many California songs :-)

      • profile image

        Rory Murray 

        4 years ago

        Pico & Sepulveda-Felix Figueroa

        San Fernando Valley-Bing Crosby

        Los Angeles, Los Angeles-The Zanies

        San Berdino-Frank Zappa

        San Bernardino-Christie

        San Bernardino-Los Hobbies

      • profile image

        hally smith 

        5 years ago

        you missed an oldie, but classic California song, and some others:

        Mission Bells by Donnie Brooks, (LA born and bred)

        Santa Monica by Savage Garden

        Going Hollywood by Super Tramp

        Hollywood Nights by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

      • profile image

        Tony C 

        5 years ago

        Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys -- my vote for the greatest rock n roll song written about California

        LA Woman - The Doors

        Freefallin' - Tom Petty

      • profile image

        Missing the Bay 

        6 years ago

        Where's "15 songs about being hella homesick"? ;P

      • profile image

        hmki 

        6 years ago

        ur missing Tony! Toni! Toné! - It Never Rains (In Southern California)

      • cheapestinsurance profile image

        cheapestinsurance 

        6 years ago from California, USA

        What a list! I'll have to plug them into Spotify and give a listen.

      • profile image

        Music lover 

        7 years ago

        Hi ! Nice site mate. But I really have to

        say California Girls and Hotel Californie should

        really been higher... MUCH higher ;)

      • profile image

        henge 

        7 years ago

        aren't 88 and 53 the same thing?

      • profile image

        Hildamari 

        7 years ago

        "California Gurls" by Katy Perry

      • leeroper profile image

        leeroper 

        7 years ago from UK

        It's amazing how many people have named a song California, I just did a Spotify search and found 27 tracks all named after the sunny Cali.

      • manthy profile image

        Mark 

        7 years ago from Alabama,USA

        Nice Hub - I love Hotel California by the eagles it took me a month to learn the guitar solo on it.

      • WannaB Writer profile image

        Barbara Radisavljevic 

        7 years ago from Templeton, CA

        I'll have to come back when I really have some time to listen -- after I finish my taxes. I missed "26 Miles across the Sea, Santa Catalina is Waitin' for Me" (unless I just don't know the title.) I also missed, as someone else did, "California, Here I Come." Maybe they are on some of your other California song lists.

      • profile image

        cali 

        7 years ago

        California Dreamin' by The Mama's and Papa's! i can't believe this isn't on the list!

      • Shadowblack profile image

        Shadowblack 

        7 years ago from England

        "Flower Punk" - The Mothers of Invention

      • profile image

        bwreed66 

        7 years ago

        "Petaluma" or "California Earthquake" from Norman Greenbaum

      • profile image

        asleeemdsfdsf 

        7 years ago

        500 miles by the proclaimers! Amazing roadtrip song!

      • profile image

        Brian Smith 

        7 years ago

        California Man-Cheap Trick, Come To California-Matthew Sweet, California Here I Come-Al Jolson, California Uber Alles-The Dead Kennedys, Estimated Prophet-Grateful Dead, Californication-Red Hot Chili Peppers, Big Sur-Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard, Barstow-Jay Farrar, Santa Cruz(You're Not That Far)-The Thrills, I Left My Heart In San Francisco-Tony Bennett & California Stars-Wilco.

      • profile image

        m.tariq your deer 

        7 years ago

        Nice hub, I was thinking about starting guitar as a hobby since I don't really have any you know. :)...thnx for the info and great hub.

      • oceansnsunsets profile image

        Paula 

        7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

        The song about California, by Paper Tongues is my new latest favorite song about California. If you haven't heard that one, you have to listen to it a couple of times, love it! Great hub of fun songs.

      • profile image

        Da guy 

        8 years ago

        California Flight Project song California Flight

        might be the greatest of them all. It touches on Northern California the State of California. Including Southern California. A breezy smooth , laid back Cali style cut.

        it only been out for a few years. And not many radio stations have heard of it but the underground mix DJ's world wide discovered a California gem of a song. By California Flight {Project} Song California Flight. What a classic.

      • profile image

        ashman 

        8 years ago

        what about im going back to cali by biggie smalls

      • profile image

        Drew 

        8 years ago

        One HUGE omission. Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." has been used in countless movies and CONSTANTLY makes me think of Southern Cal.

      • profile image

        kel 

        8 years ago

        going on vaca to ca and needed a good playlist...thanks!

      • profile image

        The Lanks 

        8 years ago

        This is a great list! But I think that the song listed as 'California - Weezer' is actually by The Rentals. It's a really common mistake though, The Rentals not only sound a lot like Weezer, but they also have a former member of Weezer.

        Again, I LOVE this list, lots of really great songs!

      • profile image

        jeff in sydney 

        8 years ago

        2 crucial omissions -

        Linda Rondstadt's "Adios" with Brian Wilson's gorgeous backing vox, written by Jimmy Webb

        "Ran away from home when I was just 17

        To be with you

        On the California Coast

        Drinking margaritas all night in the old cantina"

        "And I miss the blood red sunsets...Adios"

        And Belinda Carlisle's "California"

        "it took a lot for me say

        To walk away, LA

        From the shops and the chardonnay"

      • kachis profile image

        kachis 

        8 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

        You remind of the legendary 2paq. Thank you.

      • profile image

        pete 

        8 years ago

        mi chota!

      • PhotoShowMan4U profile image

        PhotoShowMan4U 

        8 years ago from United States

        Nice Hub, Great List! Some months back I was searching for some California related songs for a Photo Show I was making, but I couldn't get a list like yours.Lucky, I came across yours now.I am bookmarking this Hub.

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