Top Places to Visit and Live In Within California
The Golden State is really a nation upon itself. Its economy is larger than some countries (as is its deficit). It remains the destination of many and is usually a trendsetter. A fad or other social event occurs here first and permeates across the US.
It is far from perfect. Lots of issues and some of its "allure" has gone. Yet, it remains a good place to live or visit, depending where that is.
There are two California's. Northern and Southern. The distinction between the two is geography. Northern California really begins around San Jose (pronouced San Ho say) and includes the Bay area (San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley (Berk-lee),Walnut Creek, Vallejo (Va-lay-ho), all which are along the water's edge. It extends nortjhwards into the Sonoma and Napa wine country with well over 300 wineries, east to the State's capitol, Sacramento, in the central valley, which includes Fresno, Stockton. The valley produces much of the US vegetables and fruits, is flat surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra (see-air-ah) that rise over 7000 ft to the world's most beautiful lakes, Lake Tahoe (ta-ho), frequented by visitors from across the globe. Further north, are more mountains along the coast and valley, as flat as the eye can see, and forested mountains. The last large urban area north of Santa Rosa (150,000), is Redding (70,000).
Southern California is much less mountainous and contains more rolling, oak studded hills and the central valley expands to even a greater width until the LA basin, ringed by mountains. The basin us huge and home to a large urban mess where one city blends with the other and the only distinction is the road the sign. Air pollution remains, yet very cleaned up when compared to 30 yrs ago. Burbank, Pasadena is along the rim of the San Gabriel Mountains that also contains Big Bear ski resort. The LA basin landmark remains to be palm trees and long, wide sandy beaches that are great during the weekday or if its balmy. However, during a heatwave, they are infested with millions of people and not much fun.
As you move east from LA Basin, you hit flat, dry desert and cities like Riverside and San Bernadino. Moving south from LA, heading towards San Diego (san dee-a-go), the terrain becomes quite hilly and studded with trees. In this area, like in LA, the mountains divide the coastal climes from the desert ones eastwards towards Arizona (Air-ah-zona) State.
Top Places to Live:
- Santa Barbara (1hr north of LA on the coast)
- Santa Monica (just north of LA on coast)
- Santa Rosa\Napa (Northern Calif)
- Sacramento (North. Calif)
- Escondido (north of San Diego)
- La mesa\El Cajon (east of San Diego)
- Redding (North Calif)
- South Lake Tahoe (North Calif)
- Pleasanton (near San Jose)
- Palm Springs (South Calif)
- Lake Tahoe (visit the Alps in Calif)
- Yosemite Park (Yo-sem-it-tee)
- Redondo\Manhatten\Venice beach in LA
- San Francisco area
- Sonoma\Napa Wine Counties
- San Diego
- Mojave (Mo-ha-vee) Desert
- Lassen Volcanic Park (North Calif)