Discovering California

California: San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge, the prison island of Alcatraz, San Diego, Sacramento, and, of course, Los Angeles with Hollywood’s unique landscapes such as Yosemite National Park and Death Valley. The Pacific Coast Highway The state of California has cities, sights, and incredible landscapes that are definitely worth a visit or even a tour.

Figures, data, and facts about the state in the Western USA

Area: 423,970 square kilometers
Population: 39,538,223
Member of the USA since September 9, 1850
Time zone: UTC-8 is PST in summer, UTC-7
Highest point: 4,418 m Mount Whitney
Lowest point: -86 Badwater, Death Valley
Average altitude: 884 m
Capital: Sacramento
Flag: Bear flag
State motto: Eureka!
Nickname: Golden State
Official website:
Languages: English

Climate, weather, and best time to travel

Due to the state’s special location, there are three climate zones: coast, mountains, and desert. The temperatures on the coast are lower than the temperatures inland. In the north, rain falls more frequently in the winter and fog remains more often in the summer. Snow can be found in the Sierra Nevada in the winter. In the mountains, the summers are very hot and sunny with cool nights, and in the desert, the nights are cool to cold, although you have to expect a very hot and dry climate and corresponding temperatures during the day.

Accordingly, when it comes to the perfect travel time, it depends a little on which part of California you want to visit on vacation. If you want to vacation in Southern California, it’s best to choose the months from September to November, when it’s not that hot anymore. In the north (San Francisco), the weather is best from June to August.

Hurricanes can be expected in California from the beginning of June to the end of October. In summer, forest fires often occur due to the extreme heat. You should also keep this in mind when planning a tour, regardless of whether you are only traveling to California or want to include neighboring states like Oregon in your planning. Many of these routes are suitable for a road trip.

Forest fires are also a constant danger; strong forest fires are common in September and October. The cause of the forest fires is the often severe drought in California. In the USA the drought is simply called California Drought.

Population of the State of California

California is the most populous state in the United States and is home to the largest number of white Americans in the United States (22,953,374). Overall, they make up 61.6 percent of the population, Asians make up 14.9 percent and blacks and African Americans make up 7.2 percent.

A quarter of the population in the state on the West Coast is of Mexican descent, which makes Mexico the largest country of origin for Californians and is understandable given the historical background. People of Mexican ancestry also make up the largest group among residents of Hispanic and Latino ancestry.

There are also many people with European roots living in the country. Around ten percent of the population has German roots, followed by residents of Irish, English, or Italian descent, whose ancestors once found a home here after the arduous journey from Europe to the USA.

Most Californians speak English as their first language, about a quarter of the population speak Spanish, followed by Mandarin Chinese. In total, there are over 200 languages ​​represented in California.

California has the most Catholics in the United States and the second most Mormons. The state is also home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the western United States.

California’s 10 largest cities by population

  1. Los Angeles (approx. 3.85 million inhabitants)
  2. San Diego (approx. 1.38 million inhabitants)
  3. San Jose (approx. 980,00 inhabitants)
  4. San Francisco (approx. 815,000 inhabitants)
  5. Fresno (approx. 545,000 inhabitants)
  6. Sacramento (approx. 525,000 inhabitants)
  7. Long Beach (approx. 455,000 inhabitants)
  8. Bakersfield (approx. 410,000 inhabitants)
  9. Anaheim (approx. 345,000 inhabitants)
  10. Irvine (approx. 310,000 inhabitants)

California for tourists

Insanely great beaches, numerous great spots for surfers on the Pacific Ocean, the well-known and lesser-known metropolises of the country such as Fresno, Laguna Beach, Oakland, Santa Clarita, Stockton, Monterey, Palm Desert, Riverside, Santa Ana, or the unique Californian landscapes such as Yosemite National Park with the Merced River and other highlights such as Shasta, the San Francisco Bay Area or a drive across thePacific Coast Highway, in California there are numerous top tourist attractions that are worth a trip and can be discovered, for example, as part of a tour.

California for tourists

Highway 101 is very nice for a tour or road trip next to the Pacific Coast Highway, which can be used to explore not only California but also Oregon during the tour with a rental car. The Pacific Coast Highway not only leads to many well-known places but there are also numerous viewpoints and parks along the route where you can enjoy a little peace and nature before you continue a little further on the Pacific Coast Highway with your rental car.

If you like taking the train, you also have several options in California. Amtrak trains traverse the state, including the Pacific Surfliner, which serves San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, among others. You can visit the various tourist attractions in the cities and then continue by train or take trips into the surrounding area with a rental car.

Some of the most famous attractions in the Golden State

California has a lot to offer its fans and there is always something to discover during a tour. These certainly include the numerous beautiful places such as Palm Springs, and numerous landscapes and beaches in the state, which are always worth a visit. We have put together a small selection for you here.

What’s interesting is that in all of California, only three cities have a population of over one million. Los Angeles is the leader here with a population of almost four million, followed by San Diego and San José.

Cities worth seeing in California

Los Angeles with Hollywood

Los Angeles and Hollywood are inextricably linked. There are more than enough sights here in the big city that you can visit as part of a vacation or even a tour of the western United States. Worth mentioning here is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on which 2,700 stars from radio, TV, cinema, and theater are immortalized, the famous Hollywood sign(accessible via the Wonder View Drive Trail), Beverly Hills, the rodeo Drive(the most expensive street in the world), Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier with its rides and unique flair.

The world-famous Route 66 also ends here. The route once connected Chicago with Santa Monica and can still be partially used as part of a round trip. One of the most beautiful stretches leads through Arizona.

San Francisco

The famous Alcatraz prison and the no less famous Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Painted Ladies, and the well-known Cable Cars. The former hippie stronghold of San Francisco is a very charming city with many sights and very different neighborhoods where you can wonderfully spend time.

San Francisco- California

If you can and want to, you should definitely plan more than one day to visit the city during a tour. This leaves enough time to get to know not only the prison island of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge but also the place itself and the people who live there and their culture.

San Diego

The metropolis of San Diego is the second largest city in California and at the same time the historical cradle of California. The city in Southern California, around 30 kilometers from Tijuana, Mexico, is known for its many historical sights. This definitely includes Balboa Park. Balboa Park is home to many museums, gardens, the Old Globa Theater, and much more. Balboa Park is the largest green space in the city. And if you happen to be here during a tour along the Pacific coast, for example, you can also take excellent trips to Mexico and get to know the culture and people there.

Next to TijuanaHere in Mexico, Puerto Nuevo and Ensenada, for example, are not too many kilometers away and are always worth a visit. Rosarito Beach is also a popular travel destination in Mexico. Here you can not only have fun on the water during your tour but also visit beautiful craft markets.


The Californian capital, which was shaped by the gold rush, has nice restaurants, breweries, and pubs to offer during your vacation and is also a cozy place to get to know people or just have a good time. A special highlight in the capital is the many farm-to-fresh restaurants, where you can enjoy delicious dishes made with ingredients from the capital’s surroundings. But the Victorian houses and the palm-lined streets also contribute significantly to giving the city, home to the seat of the Californian government, its special flair.

Sacramento -


The first settlers to settle in what is now Monterey were Spanish, which can still be seen in various places. Monterey was once the capital of California but lost importance after the gold rush. Today the place is primarily for that Monterey Bay Aquariumwell-known, but is also a dream and popular travel destination for those who love windsurfing. Tip: Be sure to try the fish in one of the many restaurants at Old Fisherman Wharf.

Huntington Beach

Between Los Angeles and San Diego lies Huntington Beach, a beautiful city on California’s Pacific coast that is not without reason nicknamed “Surf City”. Here in “Surf City” visitors can expect not only great waves but also spectacular sunsets. Great restaurants also invite you to linger in this place.

Great lakes

It’s not just the Pacific Ocean that awaits in California. In addition to the ocean, there are also numerous beautiful lakes where you can enjoy water and sandy beaches. Lake Tahoe and Shasta Lake are particularly beautiful.

Lake Tahoe

L.T in the hinterland of Sacramento is best known for its ski areas. But here at Lake Tahoe at an altitude of 1,800 meters, you can also have a lot of fun away from the hustle and bustle of winter sports. While the north of Lake Tahoe is particularly suitable for families, party lovers will get their money’s worth in the south of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe-

Shasta Lake

North of Redding, Shasta Lake is located amidst impressive mountain scenery. If you want, you can go fishing, boating, camping, or water skiing here in the summer. The area around the lake is also ideal for mountaineering and hiking.

Incredible landscapes in the state

Joshua Tree National Park

In the hinterland of Los Angeles, west of Palm Springs, is Joshua Tree National Park. The famous Joshua trees, which are only found in the southwest of the USA, grow here. A special highlight on the West Coast is the blooming of wildflowers in March and April.

Death Valley

Hot, hotter, Death Valley. 390 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles is the famous “Valley of Death”, Death Valley. Things worth seeing here include Artist’s Drive with its colorful rocks and the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin.

Death Valley-California

Mojave National Preserve

In the Mojave National Preserve visitors can expect extremely beautiful nature with impressive gorges, impressive lava flows, sand dunes, and, last but not least, the Joshua trees, which only exist in this part of the USA. Hikes to the 1754 meter high are highly recommended. Teutonia Peak, before continuing with the tour along the West Coast.

Redwood National Park

It is located in northern California on the border with Oregon Redwood National Park with sequoia trees up to 113 meters high.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is without a doubt one of the most famous national parks in the USA and at the same time one of the most beautiful, so many Americans like to visit it regularly. In addition to impressive waterfalls, numerous rivers, and impressive granite rocks, there are also huge sequoia trees and much more. Around 3.7 million people visit the park in the country every year.

Tip: Pay a visit to the Californian city of Fresno if you are visiting the park on vacation.

Yosemite National Park-California

Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park

Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park: The two national parks in the Sierra Nevada are managed jointly by the National Park Service (NPS) and are best known for the impressive giant sequoia trees that tower towards the sky.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta, the dormant volcano in northern California, is a destination for serious mountaineers and skiers who want to test their descent from the glacier. But less ambitious skiers also get their money’s worth here. The smallest ski area in Northern California is located at Mount Shasta.

Mount Whitney

Mount Whitney is part of Sequoia National Park and is the highest mountain in California. If you are good on foot, you can combine a visit to the national park with the climb. The Mountain Whitney Trail, which leads up the mountain, begins in Lone Pine.

Fantastic Californian beaches

The sandy beaches of California are an absolute dream and there are so many of them. The following are definitely worth checking out.

Butterfly Beach

The beach Butterfly Beach in Montecito near Santa Barbara is not called the “American Riviera” for nothing. And rightly so. Because here you can not only relax by the sea but also admire the breathtaking Californian sunset.

Butterfly Beach-California

El Matador Beach

El Matador Beach is located near Malibu and is particularly popular with lovers, as romantic sunsets are the rule rather than the exception. There are also small caves and many birds that you can admire while walking.

La Jolla Cove

It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful bays in the country Jolla Covein San Diego. Here in Southern California, animal lovers in particular will get their money’s worth. From sea lions to pelicans to beautiful fish, numerous animal species have found a home here. The fish can be easily discovered while snorkeling.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Beach is undoubtedly one of the most famous in the country and a popular destination for bodybuilders, swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers. For families with children, there are children’s playgrounds, picnic areas, and of course the world-famous Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. All in all, a very diverse travel destination.

Venice Beach

South of Santa Monica is bustling Venice Beach, which is always worth a visit in Southern California. The “Boardwalk”, not only has many small shops and cafés but also numerous musicians, artists, and artists.

Venice Beach-

Infrastructure and transport of California

California’s infrastructure is traditionally expandable. Public rail transport is not very developed and people are dependent on cars in many places. The San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and Los Angeles are an exception. If you want to travel to other cities by train, you can use the Amtrak trains, which connect Seattle with Los Angeles, among others. There is also a good connection between San Francisco and San Jose. Metros and/or light rail can be found in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento. In San Francisco, of course, there are definitely the famous onesCable carsare worth mentioning. The trip currently costs a flat rate of seven US dollars.

Also Read : California’s Hiking Wonderland: Deserts, Peaks and more

Gateway to California: Airport Options for Your Adventure

If you want to travel to the region and see with your own eyes the remnants of the Spanish, the sandy beaches, the volcanoes, rivers, cities like Palm Springs, and much more, you can choose from various airports in California. International airports through which you can travel to the USA from all over the world are, for example, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose. There are also international airports in Oakland and Sacramento, so you can easily choose the airport in the direction of your desired destination.

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