Last updated: November 22nd, 2023
As a born-and-raised Californian, I know the Golden State inside and out (there’s a reason I run a California travel website!). I put a lot of thought into this guide to really capture our state’s iconic spirit with handpicked keepsakes–from California-themed souvenirs to unique gifts made in California.
Below, you’ll discover fun local gift ideas, including foods and wines to share, as well as nostalgic California mementos to spark or reignite a love for the state.
So, whether you left your heart in San Francisco, you’re currently California dreamin’, or remembering that time you went surfin’ USA, I’ve got you covered with this gift guide.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Need gift ideas for your Californian friend or family member who’s missing home? A California Homesick Candle is one of the best California-themed gifts for nostalgic California lovers.
These hand-poured candles come in unique California scents to remind Californians of home.
There are multiple California scents, but two of my favorites are Northern California, with pear, vanilla, amber, musk, clove, and apple notes; and Southern California, with floral, fruity, and vanilla notes.
California Cutting Board
This California Cutting Board has a detailed map of California with a simple, attractive design, so your giftee can find their favorite California cities while chopping (e.g. San Francisco or San Diego). It’s small, lightweight, and made of eco-friendly bamboo.
If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, this alternative cutting board is actually shaped like California.
Its design is similar, but it’s shaped like the actual state–a fun design if you’re looking for unique California gift ideas.
Finally, this cutting board is also shaped like California but in a solid color, making it the best California gift choice for anyone with a minimalist kitchen design.
California Poppy Flower Seed Growth Kit
The sunny California poppy is the official California state flower and grows wild in state parks and along the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
If the California lover in your life has a green thumb, this simple poppy seed growth kit is a great gift idea.
It’s one of the many California-themed gifts on this list that offers Californians a little piece of their home state.
It could also be a lovely addition to a unique California-themed gift basket.
California Bear Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Looking for good souvenirs from California? Try something practical like a stainless steel water bottle.
This water bottle features vintage California Bear artwork. It’s eco-friendly, convenient, super durable, and can hold up to 17 ounces.
I had to include a pair of funky socks on this list of California gifts.
Whether you’re shopping for locals who love California or someone who recently moved away, socks are an inexpensive but thoughtful gift.
These California-themed socks have a simple, charming design–perfect for California lovers.
Looking for some California-themed gifts to brighten up someone’s California home?
This pillowcase features the iconic California bear and state flag pattern, perfectly suited for California taste.
Keep in mind that this only includes the cotton linen pillowcase, so you’ll also want to purchase a separate 18″ x 18″ pillow.
California Bear Hug Mug
Looking for California gifts for coffee or tea lovers? This charming ceramic mug features the California bear on one side and “I Love You California” on the other.
It can hold 16 ounces, and it’s also microwave and dishwasher-safe. Overall, this is a simple yet convenient California souvenir idea for California lovers.
Taste Of California Seasoning
Want to share a taste of California with your loved ones? If you have a friend or family member who loves to cook, this “Taste of California” seasoning is one of the best California gift ideas.
This all-natural seasoning has zero filler, allowing its unique flavors of strawberry, thyme, lemon peel, and cilantro to shine through.
The small magnetic container makes it a fantastic California gift to send in the mail, or it could complement a California wine gift basket.
This holiday season, why not give your loved ones some California Christmas gifts?
This California-state-shaped, colorful glass ornament has plenty of easily recognizable symbols and state landmarks. It would make a great stocking stuffer!
Highway 1 Sign
This handmade Highway 1 sign is one of the best California-themed gifts for anyone wanting a California-themed aesthetic in their home.
It comes in two different sizes: 8″x12″ and 12″x18″. This Highway 1 sign is also very light and easy to hang without using nails.
California Snow Globe
This festive snow globe is a lovely Christmas gift for California lovers. It’s also great year-round as a general California souvenir!
With its neutral colors and small size, it’s a piece of one-of-a-kind home decor that your friends can show off in any season.
California Baby Romper
Looking for California gifts for a friend or family member’s new baby? This 100% cotton romper will look adorable on pint-sized California lovers. The comfy material makes it a perfect everyday onesie.
Available sizes range from newborn up to 12 months.
California Box Sign
This California Box Sign is one of the more charming and unique California-themed gifts.
The sign is 13.5 x 15.5 x 1.75 inches and relatively lightweight at 1.8 pounds. It also has an adhesive red heart that you can move around to reflect your giftee’s hometown!
California Map Necklace
If you’ve come to this gift guide looking for unique gifts, this shiny California map necklace is one of the more thoughtful California gifts for California lovers who want to show their state pride.
The California-shaped rose gold pendant has a small cutout heart in the middle. And since it’s rose gold, it’s a fitting way to honor the Golden State.
Looking for some California gifts for him in this gift guide?
This comfy men’s hoodie will help your family member show off his state pride, all while keeping warm. Its simple design matches just about any outfit.
And if your loved one is more into t-shirts than hoodies, you can grab one in the same design.
Whether their favorite part of California is Lake Tahoe or Joshua Tree, Napa Valley, or Venice Beach, this sweatshirt works for all people who love California.
California License Plate Map
One of the more “extra” California-themed gifts, this California License Plate Map is perfect for a garage, den, or office.
Made in the USA, this map combines multiple California license plates into the shape of California. It comes in three different sizes, so you can easily find a version that fits into your giftee’s decor.
If this map is too big, I also love this cute California license keychain, which would be the perfect stocking stuffer.
California Olive Oil
California wine isn’t the state’s only culinary delicacy. If you have a friend who likes to cook, this olive oil is a delicious made-in-California gift that can add some flavor to their dishes.
This rich, nutritious olive oil could also nicely round out a California wine gift box.
A high-quality California flag is one of the best California gifts for anyone wanting to show their state pride.
Whether they hang it in their home or their yard, its durable polyester fabric and fade-proof dye can last for years.
California Photography Prints
If you’re looking for unique gifts for Californians who love to travel, this set of photos is a perfect choice.
These prints feature notable landmarks and scenery, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, redwood forests, and the Big Sur coastline.
Keep in mind that you can only purchase the photos to download and print out yourself; you can’t purchase a physical copy.
California Poppy Print
This poppy print is one of my favorite California gifts for a loved one looking for art to brighten up their home.
The California poppy is a well-known state symbol, and this colorful print features the famous flower on a blue background.
It’s a beautiful gift for California lovers from the East Coast to the West Coast.
California Map Print
As a map nerd, this print is another one of my favorite California gifts in this gift guide.
This simple and appealing map print is a thoughtful gift that could make a beautiful addition to your loved one’s home. It features a black-and-white roadmap of California.
If you want it right away, you can purchase a less-detailed downloadable version to print it out yourself. Alternatively, you can send a print directly to you or your loved one.
If you’re looking for fun California gifts for the wine enthusiast in your life, grab a bottle or two of California wine!
The California wine scene has a worldwide reputation, and there are multiple wine regions, particularly in Northern California, where you can buy high-quality gifts for wine lovers.
Some Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley in Northern California is an ideal gift for California wine enthusiasts, especially if they’re unable to make it to the Napa Valley themselves.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares
You really can’t go wrong with chocolate as a gift. And this San Francisco-based brand offers some of the best chocolate in Northern California, with plenty of flavors to choose from.
You can purchase their chocolate on Amazon or at just about any California grocery store.
One of the best California gifts for the chocolate lover in your life, this would be a delicious addition to a general San Francisco or California-themed gift box or a chocolate-focused gift basket for California lovers.
In-N-Out Gift Card
In-N-Out is a popular California burger chain and an essential stop on road trips for both Californians and those who love California.
Therefore, an In-N-Out gift card is one of the best thoughtful and practical California gift ideas.
Keep in mind that In-N-Out Burger only exists on the West Coast, so this might not be a great gift for someone who has moved away.
Real avocados spoil fast, but this plush avocado will last for years.
If you’re looking for unique California-themed gifts, this adorable fuzzy avocado from Jellycat is a great gift for kids (or adults!).
The smallest size is best for traveling, but the biggest makes an excellent avocado pillow.
Not only is this puzzle fun, but it’s also educational, too!
This is a great California gift for the problem solver in your life to teach them about California’s geography and landmarks, such as Joshua Tree, wine country, the state capital, Lake Tahoe, and more.
With 1,000 pieces, it’s best for older kids or adults.
Annual Park Passes
California has many local, state, and national parks. If your loved one is an outdoor enthusiast, national and California state parks passes can make the best California-themed gifts.
You could also give them a regional park pass. The Bay Area has a few regional parks and annual passes. There’s an East Bay Regional Pass, one for Sonoma County, and a Santa Clara County Regional Park Pass.
Looking for more park-inspired gift ideas? Read our guide to the best national park gifts.
Books About California
If you’re looking for California-themed gifts for a bookworm, there are plenty of intriguing books about California or that have Californian authors.
For instance, my California E-Book is an excellent guide for people who want to road trip through California.
You could also get them Where I Was From, a nonfiction novel by native Californian Joan Didion.
East Of Eden, a novel by John Steinbeck, takes place in the Salinas Valley, making it a fitting California gift.
The Joy Luck Club is a New York Times best-selling novel by Amy Tan and takes place in San Francisco. It’s a novel about tradition and how it can foster lifelong relationships.
Finally, for any giftees who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the Malibu Farm Cookbook is an excellent gift idea. It features over 100 delicious recipes from the coast of California.
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