20 Songs About California

California is a state that has inspired many musicians to write songs about its beauty, culture, and people. From the beaches of Malibu to the mountains of Yosemite, the Golden State has something for everyone. Whether you’re a native Californian or just a visitor, these 20 songs about California will make you want to hit the road and explore the Golden State.

From classic rock anthems to modern hip-hop hits, these songs capture the spirit of California. From the sunny beaches of Los Angeles to the rolling hills of San Francisco, these songs will take you on a musical journey through the Golden State. Whether you’re looking for a road trip soundtrack or just want to reminisce about your favorite California memories, these songs will have you singing along in no time.

1. Eagles - Hotel California - 2013 Remaster (1976)

Artist: Eagles
Track name: Hotel California - 2013 Remaster
Album: Hotel California (2013 Remaster)
Release year: 1976

Hotel California is an iconic song by Eagles from 1976. The song is a haunting, melodic piece which incorporates country, folk, and rock music. Its instrumentations of synthesizers, acoustic guitars, and drums give the song an eerie yet smooth feeling. Lyrically, the song is open-ended and could represent a variety of themes. However, it is commonly interpreted as being a critique of the hedonistic lifestyles of the Hollywood elite. In summary, the 2013 Remaster of Hotel California by Eagles is an eerie yet smooth song which conveys the meaning of the lifestyles of the Hollywood elite.

2. Lil Baby - California Breeze (2022)

Artist: Lil Baby
Track name: California Breeze
Album: It's Only Me
Release year: 2022

Lil Baby's California Breeze from 2022 is an upbeat and melodic song filled with inspiring lyrics. His unique flow and sound perform an uplifting message of chasing and achieving dreams. He takes us on a journey through the beauty of California, the sun-filled days and the calming ocean breeze. His voice blends soft and rapping techniques, swaying between fast and slower-paced verses. The song speaks of freedom and unlimited possibilities, allowing you to believe in yourself and your dreams. The upbeat, positive mood of this song makes it enjoyable to listen to, inspiring you to work hard for your goals.

3. The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin' - Single Version (1966)

Artist: The Mamas & The Papas
Track name: California Dreamin' - Single Version
Album: If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears
Release year: 1966

The song California Dreamin' by The Mamas & The Papas is an upbeat and dreamy track released in 1966. It was an instant hit, making it to the Billboard Hot 100 in the same year. It has an uplifting and cheerful melody, which is driven by harmonies and string instruments. It paints a picture of longing for the sunny Californian coast, with its reverberations of cascading waves and a symphony of exotic birds. It has been described as a hymn of hope, as it has a bright attitude that explicates visions of better days. With its messages of nostalgia, escape and a longing to find home, it remains an iconic piece of popular music.

4. 2Pac, Roger, Dr. Dre - California Love - Original Version (1998)

Artist: 2Pac, Roger, Dr. Dre
Track name: California Love - Original Version
Album: Greatest Hits
Release year: 1998

The sunny and energetic song California Love by 2Pac, Roger, and Dr. Dre from 1998 is a true hip-hop classic. It features a prominent funky bass line and a strong beat, creating an anthemic and uplifting atmosphere. The playful lyrics express a love for California and the carefree lifestyle it embodies. The chorus speaks of a vibrant nightlife of partying and dancing. The message of the song is hopeful, encouraging us to come together, enjoy life's pleasures, and be proud of where we live. Whether it is California or not, it is a reminder to us all that life should be celebrated.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California (2006)

Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Track name: Dani California
Album: Stadium Arcadium
Release year: 2006

Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers is an energetic and catchy song with a rock/funk vibe. The electric guitars and driving rhythms lay the foundation for a passionate, lively track. Lyrically, the song is a story of broken dreams and resilience - life being lived, how the times keep changing, how one can overcome the odds. Throughout, the music creates a powerful edge and the chorus has an anthemic feel. Its a powerful and uplifting song - about hope and never giving up.

6. Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg - California Gurls (2012)

Artist: Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg
Track name: California Gurls
Album: Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection
Release year: 2012

California Gurls by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg is a bubbly pop song that oozes with sunshine, joy and summer excitement. Its cheerful rhythm and cheerful melodies are sure to transport you away to a happy and carefree place. Its joyous chorus, California Gurls, we're unforgettable, Daisy dukes, bikinis on top, sun-kissed skin so hot, will melt your popsicle, captures the carefree summer vibe of California. Lyrics like, bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, no weenies, also capture the energy and playful nature of the song. The song is an ode to the sunny and beautiful state of California and its inhabitants.

7. Feid - California (2022)

Artist: Feid
Track name: California
Album: SIXDO
Release year: 2022

Feid's California is an uplifting and inspired track released in 2022. The track offers a tropical melody with breezy, summery beats and an energizing chorus. Listening to the song, you can imagine yourself walking on the beach with your friends, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and having a day full of joy. The lyrics are full of passion and hope, encouraging listeners to appreciate their present moments and to keep fighting to find their dreams. With its melodic guitar riffs and captivating rhythm, California will bring joy and strength to anyone who listens.

8. Ariana Grande - Snow In California (2013)

Artist: Ariana Grande
Track name: Snow In California
Album: Christmas Kisses
Release year: 2013

Snow In California is a song by Ariana Grande from 2013. It has a gentle, calming vibe with faint, echoing guitar melodies and drum beats that bring a soft and peaceful atmosphere. Grande's light, soft voice brings out the joy of the song while her lyrics express a feeling of hope and contentment. Snow In California is a reminder that even in times of darkness, in the depths of winter there is still beauty and love and that no matter how dark it can seem, there will be moments of light. With its hopeful message and soothing atmosphere, Snow In California is perfect for those moments when you need a calming moment to just breathe.

9. Rihanna - California King Bed (2010)

Artist: Rihanna
Track name: California King Bed
Album: Loud (Japan Version)
Release year: 2010

California King Bed by Rihanna is a beautiful, heartfelt love song from 2010. The song features a gentle, soft beat accompanied by a unique and passionate vocal performance by Rihanna. It is a powerful story of longing, with the singer expressing her sadness that her lover is not there to share a ‘California King Bed'. The lyrics are both soulful and sad which give the song a melancholic feeling. The track conveys an emotion of being broken-hearted yet never giving up on love, as the singer battles with the pain of intimacy. With beautiful instrumentation, California King Bed is Rihanna's heartbreaking anthem to the power of true love.

10. Led Zeppelin - Going to California - Remaster (1971)

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Track name: Going to California - Remaster
Album: Led Zeppelin IV (Deluxe Edition)
Release year: 1971

Led Zeppelin's 1971 classic, Going to California – Remaster, is a heart-stirring acoustic number that beautifully encapsulates a longing for the West Coast. Guitars, piano, and mandolin intermingle around Robert Plant's emotive vocals that yearn for the California coast. The sorrowful minor melodies tug on the heart strings and convey an inescapable sense of missing the one he loves. As the song builds to its finale, the optimism in Plant's vocals – and the jubilant strings – provide hopeful solace and alludes to the promise of a brighter future should he make it to California.

11. Jo Dee Messina - Heads Carolina, Tails California (1996)

Artist: Jo Dee Messina
Track name: Heads Carolina, Tails California
Album: JoDee Messina
Release year: 1996

Heads Carolina, Tails California by Jo Dee Messina is a mid-tempo country rock song released in 1996. It takes a lighthearted look at the idea of going on a road trip to clear a person's head. The tune is cheerful and uplifting, featuring a catchy and positive chorus. Messina's vocals are full of energy and emotion as she begs a rock to take her away from the heartache she's trying to run from. The song expresses how we all have moments in our lives that make us wish to escape somewhere else. Through this track, Messina encourages us to take chances and embrace the uncertainty of life. Whether we flip a coin to decide our destiny or not,

12. Judy Blank - California Christmas (2022)

Artist: Judy Blank
Track name: California Christmas
Album: California Christmas
Release year: 2022

Judy Blank's song, California Christmas, paints a beautiful sound of joy and hope. With uplifting, upbeat instruments, Blank creates an atmosphere of celebration and fun. Dripping in nostalgia and heartfelt emotion, the song carries precious memories that last long after the festive season has passed. Though it speaks of the longings of winter, it conveys the hope of warmer days to come. A smile brings with it the warmth of a California Christmas, and Blank's song captures it with true and honest emotion.

13. Marlena Shaw - California Soul (1969)

Artist: Marlena Shaw
Track name: California Soul
Album: The Spice Of Life
Release year: 1969

California Soul by Marlena Shaw from 1969 is a timeless and energetic soul track that lifts the spirits of the listener. With its groovy horns and funky rhythms, the song creates an inviting atmosphere. Lyrically, the song is a love letter to the place Shaw loves and has left a deep imprint on her heart - California. The soulful and near dreamy vocals convey a sense of joy and peace that makes you want to keep listening. In this song, Shaw captures all of the emotion that you feel for the place that you hold in your heart. California Soul is an uplifting and nostalgic reminder of the joys of living in a beautiful place.

14. Nessa Barrett - tired of california (2022)

Artist: Nessa Barrett
Track name: tired of california
Album: tired of california
Release year: 2022

Nessa Barrett's song Tired of California from 2022 is a pop track that explores the idea of being worn down by the high pace lifestyle of California. The melody is catchy with a tropical beat, layered with a steady base. Nessa's voice carries a note of exhaustion in her lyrics that can be felt as she sings, feeling frustrated with the demands of life. The song is ultimately about how she's been searching for an escape from it all. By the end of the song, her message is clear - she doesn't want to lose sight of the real things in life, even when she's tired of California.

15. Albert Hammond - It Never Rains in Southern California (1972)

Artist: Albert Hammond
Track name: It Never Rains in Southern California
Album: It Never Rains In Southern California
Release year: 1972

It Never Rains in Southern California by Albert Hammond is a classic hit that evokes feelings of peace and contentment. With its acoustic-driven sound and laid-back vibe, it transports listeners to a simpler, happier time. Hammond's passionate vocal delivery runs through the sadness and irony of the situation described in the lyrics, which reflect unexpected tragedy and the challenge of resilience. The chorus speaks to an insecurity people often feel when presented with misfortune: “It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya, it pours, man it pours.” All in all, the song expresses Hammond's sincere understanding of life's ever-changing moments and the power of optimism.

16. Machine Gun Kelly, Gunna, Young Thug, Landon Barker - die in california (feat. Gunna, Young Thug & Landon Barker) (2022)

Artist: Machine Gun Kelly, Gunna, Young Thug, Landon Barker
Track name: die in california (feat. Gunna, Young Thug & Landon Barker)
Album: mainstream sellout
Release year: 2022

Die in California is a great song from 2022 by Machine Gun Kelly, Gunna, Young Thug and Landon Barker. The song is upbeat and energetic but at the same time has somber undertones. With lyrics focused on striving to achieve the ‘California dream', living life to the fullest and not letting any obstacles stand in the way, the song encourages its listeners to take chances and never give up. The chorus is powerful and haunting, truly reflecting the title, but also acting as an inspiring reminder that life is short and should be lived to the fullest. With its upbeat sound and inspiring lyrics, Die in California is sure to get stuck in your head.

17. Lil Peep, Nedarb, Craig Xen - california world (2016)

Artist: Lil Peep, Nedarb, Craig Xen
Track name: california world
Release year: 2016

California World is a melodic and dreamy 2016 rap song from Lil Peep, Nedarb, and Craig Xen. The song is about living life for the moment and taking every opportunity that presents itself in the beautiful state of California. The song starts off dreamy and mellow, with slow lyrics layered with synth-like sounds. As the song progresses, the beat picks up and becomes more intense, but the dreamy and mellow vibes remain. The meaningful lyrics speak of how hard work is required to achieve success and avoid pitfalls to make the most of life in California. California World is a heartfelt reminder to living life for the moment and be the best version of yourself.

18. Billy Bragg, Wilco - California Stars (1998)

Artist: Billy Bragg, Wilco
Track name: California Stars
Album: Mermaid Avenue
Release year: 1998

California Stars, by Billy Bragg and Wilco, is a dreamy folk-rock song released in 1998. Lively strummed guitars and clean electric riffs drive the music along, complemented by melodic harmonies and gentle percussion. Its lyrics evoke a longing for the untouchable nature of a far-off place with a simple, heart-warming message; 'We'll dream our dreams together/Underneath California stars'. A sublime blend of music and thoughtful poetry, this song speaks to the soul, evoking a feeling of freedom and tranquillity, with a hint of nostalgia.

19. NoMBe, Sonny Alven - California Girls (NoMBe vs Sonny Alven) - Remix (2016)

Artist: NoMBe, Sonny Alven
Track name: California Girls (NoMBe vs Sonny Alven) - Remix
Album: California Girls (NoMBe vs Sonny Alven)
Release year: 2016

California Girls (NoMBe vs Sonny Alven) - Remix by NoMBe and Sonny Alven is an upbeat, joyful tune with a lighthearted spirit. The track's vibrant production creates an uplifting atmosphere consisting of bouncy bass lines and bright, poppy synths. NoMBe's vocals are just as uplifting as its production, singing words of love and appreciation for his female companion. The song's carefree nature evokes the feeling of being a carefree teen on the beach, something that many of us can certainly relate to. The song's meaning is simple: life is short, enjoy it while you can and always appreciate the ones you love. All things considered, the

20. Chris Lorenzo, Vintage Culture, High Jinx - California Dreamin' (feat. High Jinx) (Vintage Culture Remix) (2021)

Artist: Chris Lorenzo, Vintage Culture, High Jinx
Track name: California Dreamin' (feat. High Jinx) (Vintage Culture Remix)
Album: California Dreamin'™ (feat. High Jinx) (Vintage Culture Remix)
Release year: 2021

California Dreamin' (feat. High Jinx) (Vintage Culture Remix) by Chris Lorenzo, Vintage Culture, and High Jinx is a captivating pandemic anthem that is perfect for any situation. Its lyrics evoke a dreamy yet determined attitude to keep pressing on despite any obstacles. The chilled refrain pairs with a driving beat to create a feeling of enthusiasm in the face of difficulty. Its captivating melody and synth lines give a sense of daydreaming, while its subtle yet bold drumbeat adds an empowering pulse. The inspiring message of the song is of hope, reminding us that there are always better days ahead. The combination of its captivating melody, positive lyrics, and heartfelt meaning create a timeless and uplifting track that

John Godfrey

John Godfrey is a music fanatic, as well as the owner of Songpier.com which provides music guides. In high school, he learned how to play the drums which inspired him to learn about rock music. He began to write articles for various music magazines and during this period he realized he had a passion for writing music descriptions. He has a Master's degree in music education from the University of Redlands.