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Cheap flights to California

The famous Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, Disneyland, the Golden Gate Bridge – these are just some of the most iconic landmarks that add to the already interesting and well-known state of California, the largest US state by population, and third largest by area. It is located on the West Coast, bordered by Oregon to the north, Arizona to the southeast, Nevada to the east, and the Mexican State of Baja California to the south. The state’s diverse geography varies from the northern coastal regions and Redwood–Douglas fir forests of the northwest to the south-eastern Mojave Desert areas; from the Pacific Coast in the west to the rugged Sierra Nevada in the east. At the centre is Central Valley, a massive agriculture area. Its regions are Southern California (home to Los Angeles, San Diego, Disneyland in Anaheim, and famous beaches), Central Coast (mountains and rugged coastline), Desert, Sacramento Valley (home of the state capital, Sacramento), Bay Area (home to San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose/Silicon Valley), San Joaquin Valley (home to a large percentage of fruit and vegetable supply to the country), Sierra Nevada (the alpine and skiing region), Gold Country (foothills to the Sierras), Shasta Cascades, and North Coast (home to the tallest trees in the world).

Known as the Golden State, California is famous for its numerous depictions in media – TV shows, movies, books, etc. – but there’s nothing quite close to when you’re actually in it. Starting with its most famous landmarks, there’s the entire city of Los Angeles, home to the Hollywood sign, Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, the Graumann's Chinese Theater, and of course, its own miles-long stretch of beaches. Meanwhile, there’s the famous Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and several hills in San Francisco. In San Diego you’ll find a popular zoo, a safari park, and the Sea World marine theme park; Anaheim, of course, is home to the original Disneyland. The city of Santa Barbara, which faces the coast from the south is known as “the American Riviera.” You can’t fully experience what California has to offer when it comes to parks until you visit Yosemite, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known as the third-oldest national park, revered because of its natural beauty as displayed by the Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Wawona, among others. The counties of Napa and Sonoma boast around 600 wineries, producing some of the finest wines in the world. Not to mention, Napa is an outpost of San Francisco's top-notch culinary scene while Sonoma is a bountiful and diverse source of agricultural products. As if these aren’t enough, the landscape makes you feel as if you’re in one of those period movies that depict the US in the earlier centuries – with ancient oaks, redwood forests, and plenty of vineyards around. Although the name is rather not inviting, Death Valley reveals quite the opposite. Its vivid scenery is filled with spectacular sand dunes, boulders across the desert floor, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters, palm-shaded oases, and even endemic wildlife. Visit the massive, world-class Getty Center which houses a magnificent art collection, the cutting-edge architecture of Richard Meier, and its gardens.

How to get around within California

There are plenty of ways to navigate around the state of California. Flying is a preferable and is often the fastest way, especially if you are crossing states. The primary commercial airports that serve the Los Angeles area are Los Angeles International Airport, Burbank Bob Hope, Orange County John Wayne, Ontario, and a small airport at Long Beach; San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and Mineta San José International Airport in San Francisco Bay area; San Diego International Airport; Sacramento International Airport; Reno-Tahoe International Airport which serves the Lake Tahoe area; and Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Second-tier airports are Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. Airlines that operate intra-state services are American Eagle, Alaska, United & United Express, Jetblue, Virgin America, Delta Connection, and Southwest. A cheap and relatively comfortable way to get around the state is by rail. Amtrak operates a number of long-distance routes through and out of California via three routes: Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquins, and Capitol Corridor, while the Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach (buses) link between ends of the train routes. Several commuter and regional services are also available in metro areas in the state. There’s CalTrain, Altamont Commuter Express, BART, Metrolink, and COASTER, to name a few. Another cheap (can be cheaper than train) option is by bus. Greyhound Lines serves nearly 100 locations statewide, serving the same routes that Amtrak does. There are also numerous bus companies to choose from. You can visit ie511.org for a trip planner program and for links to different public transport providers in the greater Los Angeles metroplex. If you are planning to get around by car, you’ll find that California has one of the widest and most extensive state highway systems in the country, besides interstates and US highways.

How to get there

There are agricultural inspection stations situated in all major road entrances, including entrances from other U.S. States, throughout California to ensure that fruits and vegetable that may have come in contact with the farms in Central Valley will not cross into other regions. Aside from these inspection stations, travellers are often subject to border inspection (stricter for domestic travel).   

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