The most populous State in the USA, California can be divided into 12 tourist regions: the Central Coast, Los Angeles County, Orange County, the North Coast, San Diego County, the San Francisco Bay Area, Shasta Cascade, Gold Country, the Central Valley, the High Sierra, the Deserts and the Inland Empire. From the coast to the Sierra, from its lush northern forests to its sun-drenched south, California offers a rich array of vacation possibilities.
You can spend all your time in densely populated cities, or travel to places where the population is less than the elevation. From south to north, as you travel to California, it becomes greener and wilder, from west to east it becomes higher and drier.Known as ‘the Middle Kingdom’, the Central Coast extends from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County, along the Pacific coast and to the vineyards of the valleys around Santa Barbara.
A trip to California is not complete without a visit to the second-biggest city in the USA: Los Angeles, the ‘City of Angels’. Orange County is home to one of the world’s most famous attractions, Disneyland. As well as the theme parks, resorts and shopping, the county offers 67 km (42 miles) of beaches and charming rural communities of the Santa Ana Mountains.
Visit the cosmopolitan city of San Francisco, whose cable cars and Golden Gate Bridge are instantly recognisable or travel. Or visit the Deserts region, in the southeast, with its expansive landscapes, brilliant skies, traces of pioneer history and glittering resort cities. Most visitors to the region explore one of the rustic ghost towns or drive along historic Route 66. The Inland Empire, centred around the cities of San Bernardino and Riverside, is the fastest-growing metropolitan region in the USA. Only an hour from Los Angeles, its varied landscape – from snow-capped mountains to sand dunes and farmlands – makes it an ideal film location, and the region is known as ‘Hollywood’s largest back lot’.
Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for visa, passport, and health requirements.
You must complete customs and immigration formalities at the first point of arrival in the U.S, whether or not it’s your final destination.
Driving in California
Required Documents: You must carry a valid driver’s license from your home state or country. The minimum age for drivers is 16 with training, 18 without, but car rental companies will normally be a minimum of 21 or 23 in some states, with a maximum of 75 to 80. Car rental is available from major airports and cities, check out our great California Car Hire prices online.
Public telephones in cities at any rate can be found everywhere – on street corners, in train and bus stations, hotel lobbies, bars and restaurants. They take 25¢, 10¢ and 5¢ coins. The cost of a local call from a public phone is usually 25¢. Directory assistance – For local numbers, dial 411; long-distance, 1 plus area code plus 555-1212; toll-free, (800) 555-1212
You can call 911 toll free from any public telephone to obtain police, fire, or medical assistance.