California Travel Guide
California, or the Golden State, is a favorite tourist destination in the United States among domestic and international travelers alike. Known for beaches, movie stars, and state parks, tourists travel from far and wide to visit California where it’s easy to experience a little bit of everything. Vibrant cities, natural hiking, beaches, and world-class shopping entice travelers of all kinds to visit.
California stretches from the border of Mexico and up the Pacific for almost 900 miles. The terrain varies greatly and includes 110 state parks, 19 national forests, 31 national wildlife refuges, and many more natural parks and wildlife areas. The cliff-lined beaches, redwood forest, mountains, farmlands, and deserts of California are as awe-inspiring as they are diverse.
For those who enjoy city life, California has lots to offer. Los Angeles offers a variety of sights and activities. Disneyland and Hollywood are just a few of the sights to take in while visiting. LA also offers upscale shopping on Rodeo Drive, major sporting events like the Rose Bowl and Dodger’s games, and cultural experiences like art museums and exotic restaurants.
San Francisco is another must-see city in California. Known for its hilly roads and architecture like the Painted Ladies, the heart of San Francisco’s is filled with parks, dining, and historical sights. Pier 39 is a popular attraction with restaurants, an arcade, and even sea lions. San Francisco is also home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
San Diego is one of the top destinations to visit in California for families. Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is home to over 3,700 animals on almost 100 acres of land. SeaWorld San Diego is the top destination for animal experiences and performances while LEGOLAND California is filled with over 60 rides, shows, and attractions.
Getting around California
If you will be traveling from place to place and city to city and are planning to do a lot of sightseeing, renting a car is one of the best ways of getting around the state of California. Although there are airports and train services in most areas of the state, you will need to make sure that these go where you want at the time that is convenient for you.
For an easy way to travel around California’s larger cities and communities, hitch a ride on one of the many public transportation options. Traveling in the city or for short distances is easy to do with a variety of options: bus, train, and even by ferry. The BART, CALTRAIN, and other regional and city transportation services make commuting around easy.
What’s the weather like in California?
From sunny beach days to crisp skiing conditions, California is a state that's filled with different climates making it a great year-round destination. The best time to visit California depends on what you want to see and do.
Most travelers head to California during June through August, the peak summer months, to enjoy warm summer days. The beautiful weather means big crowds at the top attractions and higher prices on hotel rooms.
Springtime is one of California’s most beautiful times of the year. March through early May sees temperatures that are comfortable throughout much of the state. Spring is also when the state is covered in wildflowers and lush vegetation.
The fall season, September through November, has mild temperatures. The fall is grape harvest time and is a great time to visit the wine regions California. Some areas of California, like the High Sierra, see colorful foliage this time of year as well.
For skiers, November to March is the best time to visit. Snow usually coats the mountains throughout California in the winter.
When is the best time to visit California?
Traveling to California is great year-round. The summer months are peak season for California travel. During this time you will see an increase in the number of travelers and prices for both airfare and hotel accommodations will rise.
During the spring months, there are shorter lines and better deals. Many of the most popular attractions are still open and hotels often charge less.
For those who do not have any travel constraints, it is much cheap to visit California during the fall and winter seasons. During these times the weather is still enjoyable and there are a lot of activities to do. You may be able to find special offers and cheaper rates, too.
When is the best time to book a flight to California?
Be prepared to book a flight at least 3 months in advance of traveling to California. It helps to be flexible with your travel dates and even airport options. Remember to always look out for special promotions and deals when shopping for airfare.
Once you decide on a destination, you can research the cheapest months to travel to California. It is worth researching when school holidays, spring break, and other big events are happening in the state if you are flexible with your travel dates. Try to travel during off-peak times as there will be fewer crowds and better deals.
Popular flights to California Prices shown were found by travelers like you over the past 30 days
Non-Stop Flight Schedule Summary
|Los Angeles, California||Alaska||12||13||13||14||15||13||13|
|Santa Ana, California||Alaska||9||9||9||9||9||9||8|
|San Jose, California||Alaska||9||9||9||9||9||7||9|
|Los Angeles, California||Major Airlines||8||8||8||8||8||5||7|
|San Francisco||Major Airlines||6||6||6||6||6||4||4|
|Los Angeles, California||American||5||3||4||5||5||5||5|
|San Diego||Major Airlines||4||4||4||4||4||3||4|
|San Jose, California||Major Airlines||4||4||4||4||4||3||3|
|Santa Ana, California||Major Airlines||4||4||4||4||4||2||3|
|Los Angeles, California||United||2||2||2||2||2||2||3|
|Santa Rosa, California||Alaska||1||1||1||1||1||1||2|
|Palm Springs||Major Airlines||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|San Luis Obispo||Alaska||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|