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Welcome to Visit California Online

We're showcasing all that California has to offer right here including accommodations, restaurants and upcoming events. Make this web site your springboard for jumping into the Cities and Lifestyles that make up our paradise!

California is a near-mythical place for many people, a land immortalized by pop songs, movie stars, and images of palm trees and beaches. Every year, millions of people from around the globe travel to the Golden State in search of their own California experience. While not all will find what they were looking for, there are many reasons to make the trip to California.

The natural beauty of the state is undeniable. Where else in the world can one find sandy beaches, harsh deserts and majestic mountains all within a couple hundred miles. In addition, California's numerous man-made attractions give tourists endless options for entertainment.

Yosemite National Park is a must-see for those who appreciate natural wonders. Epic rock formations and magnificent waterfalls form the backdrop here. The views both from the valley floor and spots higher up are truly breathtaking. Hikers will find some of the most beautiful and challenging hikes west of the Rockies in Yosemite. Rock climbers consider the park a virtual nirvana, as the massive granite structures offer innumerable tests of their skills and endurance.

The greater Los Angeles area offers many top-notch theme parks, including Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Magic Mountain and Universal Studios. Disneyland gives kids of all ages the chance to go on thrilling rides, discover a myriad of themed lands, watch professionally enacted shows, and meet their favorite Disney characters. For tourists who really enjoy amusement park rides, Magic Mountain is hard to beat. Some of the most thrilling rides every created reside here. Knott's Berry Farm also offers an abundance of family-friendly rides and thrills, in addition to animal attractions. Universal Studios is as essential experience for any movie buff, with unique rides and exhibits from many popular motion pictures.

In Hollywood, visitors can see the Walk of Stars, featuring tributes to hundreds of celebrities. There is also often the opportunity to participate as an audience member in some of the many television shows that are recorded here. Nearby Ventura Boulevard provides a picturesque drive through the city and into the surrounding hills.

The beaches of Southern California are renowned for their boardwalks and surfing. Whether visitors are looking to relax and get a tan, play some beach volleyball, or ride the waves, opportunities abound. Venice Beach is one of L.A.'s most fashionable spots. Numerous walkers, bikers and roller bladers use its long, paved boardwalk. Many interesting street performers can be found here as well. Hermosa Beach is a long sandy beach that inspired the Beach Boys' famous surf music. Surfing lessons are often available at many of the beaches for those who want to try this exhilarating, yet challenging sport.

Animal lovers will want to travel a couple hours south of Los Angeles to San Diego. This gorgeous city is home to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, as well as the fantastic Sea World. The Zoo is host to an incredible array of animal species, including many endangered ones. Sea World offers visitors a chance to witness sea creatures from all over the planet, as well as trained performances from dolphins, seals and orcas.

Northern California is not as popular for tourists as the southern half, but visitors will find bountiful attractions here as well. The beautiful city of San Francisco is one of the top places to visit. The "City by the Bay" features the famous Golden Gate Bridge, the former prison island of Alcatraz, and a world-class seafood market with many interesting shops to explore. San Francisco is especially nice to visit during the summer, when fresh ocean breezes keep the city much cooler than most of the state.

The Redwood forest north of San Francisco is a collection of some of the largest trees in the world. Towering hundreds of feet above the forest floor, some trees are wide enough to drive a car through. In fact, one particular titan is hollowed out to allow just that. To the far north, the photogenic and volcanic Mt. Shasta offers a popular ski resort during the winter and numerous outdoor activities the rest of the year. For those who enjoy a scenic drive, Highway 101 snakes along the coastal mountains, presenting spectacular ocean views along the way.


California is heavily populated from north to south along the coastline, but they state offers significantly different ecologies. In Northern California, one is much more likely to see signs of the four seasons, get cold temperatures and more historic feel in locations such as San Francisco. Southern California, on the other hand, has an extremely moderate climate with temperatures rarely dipping below 60 degrees even in the winter. Rainfall is also scant with San Diego receiving roughly 11 inches a year. If you are considering moving to California, there are two constants throughout the state.

Traffic

So many people have moved to the state that traffic can be a real issue even on weekends. Los Angles traffic is legendary, but San Francisco and San Diego have their own congestion problems......read more about California >>


Historic San Jose
Before becoming known as the capitol of Silicon Valley, San Jose was an orchard community, the state capitol, and a western outpost. Learn about the Peralta Adobe, the Fallon House, the Ainsley House, and the infamous Winchester Mystery House.......read more about San Jose California >>


San Mateo
San Mateo County is located immediately south of San Francisco and takes up most of the San Francisco Peninsula. It is the area between San Francisco and San Jose and home to the San Francisco International Airport. The county offers two sides of a gorgeous peninsula the Coastside and the Bayside and is chock full of undiscovered treasures and an abundance of scenic and fascinating attractions.

San Mateo County's Coastside can truly vie for the title of one of California's most romantic destinations. The Coastside, with its stunning scenery combining the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, solitary beaches, lush redwood forests, gloriously colored fields of wild flowers and pumpkins, offers cozy bed and breakfast inns, luxury oceanfront hotels, and romantic seaside dining.

A day or weekend spent on the San Mateo coast cannot fail to inspire and rekindle romantic feelings. And if you are not in love, you are sure to be after the breathtakingly romantic adventure that awaits you on the Coastside. ......read more about San Mateo California >>


Mendocino California
Mendocino, perched on a bluff overlooking the California coast, is a small town where the tang of the sea drifts across the rocky headlands, and curlews drift on the wind. In the early spring, the lilies, iris and wildflowers splash the hillsides, and gray whales on their annual migration to the Arctic pass by in stately procession. Hiking trails through forest glades wind past gurgling creeks and inquisitive squirrels. Beyond the pebble-strewn beaches, the Pacific ocean stretches to the horizon of the western sky.

The town itself was once the site of a lumber mill, and the early settlers who hailed from the east coast brought with them the architectural heritage of New England. Even today, visitors strolling past the churches, store fronts and homes of Mendocino, may be forgiven if they fancied themselves in the midst of a little town in Maine or Massachusetts rather than one situated on the California coast.....read more about Mendocino California >>


Santa Barbara
A blanket of fog cloaks the Pacific with a mystical veil and permeates the palms that line the sandy beach-boulevard. As soon as the morning mist dissipates, the distant powder playground will become a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts and bikini-clad sun worshippers. Surfers and sailors will skim the oncoming waves, while fishermen search for habitants beneath. And while volleyballs rally over sugar fine sand, the paralleling pathway will become a thoroughfare for cyclists, in-line skaters, and those out for a casual stroll.

Santa Barbara's scalloped coastline is just one of the many splendid vistas offered from the lookout tower of the city's courthouse. In fact, from this heaven-bound podium I'm privy to a three hundred and sixty degree view that zooms in on the many tourist treasures.

Pearl Chase Park is one of these gems. This luscious green belt is sandwiched between Cabrillo Boulevard and the pounding Pacific, and every Sunday beneath swaying palms the verdant strip becomes a bustling hub for art lovers. Over one hundred artists display their wealth of talents in the form of pottery, paintings, weavings, carvings, and sculptures....read more about Santa Barbara California >>


Del Mar California
Most people associate the beach with summer, and Southern California's coastal gem, Del Mar, is no exception. Summer is when the crowds come: school's out, the Del Mar Fair starts in mid-June and shortly after the fair ends, the horses run at the world-famous Del Mar Racetrack. The thoroughbred horse racing season begins in mid July and goes through early September.

The hotels and motels are sold out, beach rentals are scarce and expensive, the restaurants have one hour-plus waits, and the beach and roads are crowded. There is a bit of a hectic pace during the summer in this normally laid back town, located just north of La Jolla.

However, the locals are patient. They know that after the race track closes, the tourists, students and race fans leave, the town returns to that kicked-back pace. But they also know that some of the best beach weather of the year begins then.

Fall in Del Mar is the perfect time to vacation - whether for a week at a beach rental, or a long, luxurious weekend at one of the many nearby resorts in Del Mar or La Jolla. The days are still long and warm, the water temperature is still in the high low 70's or high 60's, and the they have the beach practically to themselves. ...read more about Del Mar >>


Monterey California
Monterey is a cool place, to say the least. It's surrounded by natural beauty, but it's also a historic old town - the first capital of California, no less. The Spanish settled it sometime in the late 18th century, I believe; there are old buildings and historical markers everywhere, including a customs house by Fisherman's Wharf that's dated 1860. Also here is Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck used to live in Monterey and also in Salinas, which is a few miles inland and which was essentially the setting for the California portion of "The Grapes of Wrath." Today Cannery Row is clean and proper and well-lit and filled with wealthy people on vacations, so of course it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the place Steinbeck wrote about. Even the fish are mostly gone. (Trivia question: what fish was the basis for Monterey's maritime success? Answer: the sardine.) But it's still worth a visit....read more about Monterey California >>


Catalina Island California Catalina is wonderfully unique in that it is the perfect distance away from the mainland. It is close enough that you can get there by a one-hour ferry ride, but also far enough away to feel totally separated from the mainland altogether, giving you the full experience of a tropical resort isolated in the middle of the Pacific.

There is one major resort town, the City of Avalon, where you will arrive by any commercial water route. Once there, the Island has 76 square miles of adventure in every form waiting for you, from mountain climbing to scuba diving, all within easy reach of your luxury accommodations.

Avalon is a city that was literally created for the lone purpose of being an exotic tourist destination. Even now, over a hundred years later, the beautiful city still excels at this vision. There are no office buildings there; no government buildings, no people employed for any reason other than the tourism trade, and the supporting industries (like groceries and utilities) that are needed to support the town. This makes the entire island an ideal paradise retreat for escaping the problems we face in our modern world.....read more about Catalina Island California >>