CALIFORNIA TRAVEL GUIDE

CALIFORNIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Navigate the California travel guide:

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WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA!

State of California image
State of California
California State Flag
California State Flag

California – “The Golden State”, is the 3rd largest state in the USA and home to 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and very popular destinations: Redwood National Park and Yosemite National Park. Entered into the USA as the 31st state, California’s capital is Sacramento, and its largest city, is Los Angeles.

Other popular California destinations include Joshua Tree National Park, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, San Diego, Disneyland, Sausalito, Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Lake Tahoe. Yes, there are a lot more.

California is known for its beaches, wine, entertainment and music industries, Apple, Google, Facebook, incredible weather, the gold rush of 1849, the end of Route 66, Haight Ashbury, the San Francisco Giants and 49er’s, the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, the Grateful Dead (there are too many bands to list), all Hollywood stars, the 5th largest economy in the world, the Getty Museum, the Golden Gate Bridge, more national parks and outdoor spaces, and a national leader in culture and environmental policy making California the best state in the USA. Yes, that’s my opinion.

POPULAR CALIFORNIA ACTIVITIES

California’s weather, mountains, lakes, rivers, expansive coastline, agriculture, wineries, museums and entertainment industries and venues offer some of the best hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, fishing, wildlife and marine life watching, surfing, boating, dining, wine tasting, and cultural, sporting and entertainment events in the USA year-round.

CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION

California has all forms of transportation, including Carpoolworld, Uber, Lyft, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also taxis and rental cars, of course.

California also has regional buses and is part of the Amtrak train system.

CALIFORNIA HOLIDAYS

In addition to U.S. holidays, California may observe additional state or local holidays. It may be a good idea to check what state or local holidays they celebrate to see if there are any public service, school, or other closures as this may impact your tourist itinerary, ability to obtain travel or other services, or it could mean more tourists and/or higher prices in your California destination. Take a few moments to see if there are holidays specific to California to better help you plan your trip.

TIPPING IN CALIFORNIA

See tipping guidelines in my USA Travel Guide for tipping in California.

CALIFORNIA TRAVEL BOOKING

CALIFORNIA ECOTOURISM TIPS

There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in California. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.

ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL

Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.

Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION

Try to avoid flying in California by taking a regional bus or the Amtrak train.

When booking a rideshare in California, select the Uber Green option, instead of a traditional rideshare, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in California.

Lime also has electric scooters to rent in California for fast and clean commuting in select cities.

ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS

Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:

Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for USA Green Global members.

Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.

Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.

LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for USA certifications.

Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.

GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.

Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!

ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

California has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.

Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in California. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.

MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS

There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel.  Read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.

CALIFORNIA SAFETY TIPS

HOW TO TRAVEL CALIFORNIA SAFELY

Please see my U.S. travel tips. In addition, if you are planning on going hiking, backpacking or doing any other activity that will take you into remote places, please ensure you research the local travel and weather advisories in advance and respect warnings not to travel; let people know where are you going and provide them your itinerary; and, ensure you have safety and emergency measures provided for in your travel belongings.    

CALIFORNIA BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS

BEST TIME TO VISIT CALIFORNIA

Depending on where you go and when you go will greatly impact how much your California trip will be.  Off season (winter) anywhere should cost less than shoulder (spring and autumn) and high season (summer).  But let’s face it – this is California and it can be expensive.  I suggest doing research and booking well in advance no matter where you go to cut down on travel costs.

PERSONAL STORY

I was born in SoCal and lived in California for 15 years of my adult life, not to mention all of the summers I spent there visiting family. I absolutely love California.  Sorry, but in my humble opinion, California is the best in the U.S.!  It’s on the forefront of all trends and laws. It has amazing weather, great wine tasting, the San Francisco Giants, my friends and family, and TONS of things to do.  If you haven’t been to California, go!

CALIFORNIA PHOTOS

CALIFORNIA BLOG POSTS

One Day in San Francisco

Top Sights in One Day in San Francisco on Foot

Going to San Francisco for a day, or just have a long layover, and want to see as much as you can? For Free? No worries. I live in the Bay Area and have prepared a self-guided walking tour for you to see top sights in one day in San Francisco on foot. Yep, no car required.

Read More »

CALIFORNIA FREELANCE POSTS BY CORR TRAVEL

Long Beach Post

August 26, 2020

Long Beach Post

September 5, 2020

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