Guide: California, USA

Coastal roads, palm-fringed beaches, wilderness and wineries all mark out California as a fabulous road trip destination

By TTM on 23 July 2008 in Destination Guides

Name: State of California aka The Golden State.

Location: On the west coast of the United States

Capital: Sacremento - located in the central part of the state 

Language Spoken: English

Cities: San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Malibu  and Oakland.

International dialling code: 001

Time Zone: GMT -8
The USA changes its clocks on different dates to the UK, so for a short time each year California is UK - 7.

Entry: Most British visitors do not need a visa for a holiday of 90 days or less.

Airports: LA International and San Francisco

When to go: The Californian climate varies. The peak season (from Memorial Day in May to Labor Day in September) can be crowded, and away from the coast is also very hot.

Flight time: From the UK, around 10 hours.



In 1849 the gold rush took place and this event gave California its nickname as the Golden State. Today it is probably one of the most visited places on earth.

Los Angeles is the most populous of all Californian cities. This is where star struck Hollywoodand the political power of the state is based.

San Francisco, known for its liberal ways and its beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and for being home to the former prison on Alcatraz Island. This is also Silicon Valley, where high tech companies flourish.

In the southern end of the state is where San Diego with its fine beaches is located. 

Southern California is also home to Disneyland, California Adventure, Knott's Bery Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios theme parks.

Skiers and hikers would love Lake TAhoe, Mono Lake and Yosemite in the High Sierra. For those who don't mind the heat, Calinfornia also offers deserts such as Death Valley. Conversely on the North coast there are the redwood forests. 


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