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16 Photos Of What California Looked Like In The 1960s


California Beach in the 1960'sLeroy Grannis

California is famous for its sunshine, celebrities and overall positive, happy vibe. Have you ever thought about what California looked like fifty years ago, when things were more relaxed and people didn’t seem to care as much? Were busy downtown streets as glamorous as they are now? Were the beaches full of surfers and beautiful young people? These are pressing questions I’d like to know the answers to and besides, who can say no to vintage California photos from the ’60s? Reasons why California seems like the coolest place on earth:

  • All the celebrities are there!
  • The beaches, the surfers, and the beautiful people
  • The constant sunshine and great weather

It’s hard to say no to any kind of vintage photo, but when it’s coming from the land of Hollywood, movie stars, sunshine and beaches, it’s hard to resist.

Here are 16 photos of what California looked like in the 1960s. 

1. This picture showing the beautiful streets of San Francisco in the ’60s looks like it was pulled straight from a movie scene.

2. What a historic moment to capture from the 1965 race riots.

3. A classic beach/surfer shot from the era.

California Beach in the 1960'sLeroy Grannis

4. In this picture, policemen patrol the streets of South Central Los Angeles during the 1965 race riots.

5. Now this is what I call a classic ’60s California photo. Taken on Redondo Beach, this picture is the epitome of all that life must have been about for young people growing up in California during the period. 

6. This postcard picture is how I envision what every ’60s California pool party looked like; people bathing by the pool in the hot desert sun. Classic California.

 7. Why is it that any photo from a downtown California city always looks like it was taken straight from a movie?

8. Fishing boats would come right onto the beach back in the day for the Newport Beach Dory Fleet.

Newport Beach Dory Fleet 1960sOrange County Archives

9. The perfect timing of this picture coupled with the iconic ’60s car and the cloudless blue sky just screams classic California.

10. This picture of redwood logs really puts into perspective the hard work  loggers had to put into their jobs in the ’60s.

 11. This classic old school Disneyland photo shows us the famous Mad Tea Party ride. The photo is super vintage and really encompasses how long of a way Disney has really come.

12. This historic picture not only gives us a perfect view of Capitol records, but also of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hollywood 1960sOdy Rivas

13. A classic photo of  a 1960s streetcar passing through the crowded streets of San Francisco. It’s really interesting to see how far back in time these street cars go. All I can think of when I see this photo is the classic Full House theme song, though.

San Francisco 1960sRobert Morris Photography

14. This picture of a group of Brown Berets on a porch shows them standing together in solidarity in the late 1960s.

 15. Another classic photo of a California street which stands near the California-Arizona border.

  1. This photo from 1960s California shows us a side of California we don’t really see – the residential developments.
Residential California in the 1960sRondal Partridge


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