Exploring California


Fodor's Exploring Guides are the most up-to-date, full-color guidebooks available. Covering destinations around the world, these guides are loaded with photos, essays on culture and history, descriptions of sights, and practical information. Full-color photos make this a great guide to buy if you're still planning your itinerary (let the ...

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Fodor's Exploring Guides are the most up-to-date, full-color guidebooks available. Covering destinations around the world, these guides are loaded with photos, essays on culture and history, descriptions of sights, and practical information. Full-color photos make this a great guide to buy if you're still planning your itinerary (let the photos help you choose!) and it's a perfect companion to a general guidebook, like a Fodor's Gold Guide.

All the great sights plus the history and anecdotes that bring them to life

• Extraordinary coverage of history and culture

• Itineraries, walks and excursions, on and off the beaten path

• Architecture and art

Practical tips and full-color maps and photos

• Getting there and getting around

• When to go and what to pack

• Quick tips on where to sleep in every price range

• Savvy restaurant picks for all budgets

Praise for Fodor's Exploring Guides

"Most travel guides are either beautiful or practical. This one is both." — New York Daily News

"Beautiful...and the depth of text is impressive." — San Diego Union Tribune

"Authoritatively written and superbly presented...worthy reading before, during, or after a trip." — Philadelphia Inquirer

"Concise, comprehensive, and colorful." — Washington Post

"Absolutely gorgeous. Fun, colorful, and sophisticated." — Chicago Tribune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679032021
  • Publisher: Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/29/1996
  • Series: Fodor's Exploring Guides Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.61 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Read an Excerpt

California Is ...The Golden StateRarely has a region captured the imagination for as long or as strongly as California. Spanish explorers, the forty-niners, would be film stars, and millions of tourists have all arrived in anticipation of finding America's promised land. Few of them have been disappointed, although California is never quite what people expect it to be.California is a land of golden beaches only along the most southerly quarter of its 1,264-mile coastline; the rest is typified by bracing, pristine bluffs lashed by crashing ocean waves.Inland California embraces parched deserts and snow-capped mountains, but also finds room for the lush valleys of the wine country and the lava landscapes of the far north.The state's two major cities are poles apart. San Francisco is small and visually attractive, and it exudes a warm, cultured atmosphere. By contrast, brash Los Angeles, while never dull, struggles to justify its glamorous image and gives new meaning to the word "sprawl."California is far too diverse and complex -- socially, geographically, and politically -- to be defined by a single, simple image. Of 34 million Californians, surprisingly few were born in the state and barely half fit the traditional Anglo-American stereotype.A flourishing New Age movement strengthens California's anything-goes reputation, while increased environmental protection is a product of many years of legislation. Yet California has plenty of conservatives, and Ronald Reagan's eight-year reign as state governor was far from unrepresentative of the state's political mind.California Is ...SportsJogging, rollerblading, and skateboarding are wildly popularthroughout the state, often in specially designated areas. So are cycling (including mountain biking), hiking and river rafting; toning one's physique in a health club or fitness center is a state ritual. The ocean and winter's snow-covered mountain slopes are other playing fields for this health and fitness oriented culture.Ocean SportsAlthough it may seem the most Californian of all the state's participant sports, surfing arrived from Hawaii in 1907 and did not capture the Californian imagination until the invention of lightweight surfboards in the 1950s.Subsequently mythologized by the songs of the Beach Boys and the beach-blanket films of the early 1960s, surfing became a lasting symbol of the sun-kissed Californian beach life.From the masses gathered at San Diego's Mission Beach to the hardy loners spotted off the rocky Central Coast, surfing has evolved into a subculture with its own barely penetrable language and customs. In some areas, local surfers actively deter outsiders from enroaching on the breakers they consider their own.Scuba diving and snorkeling are pursued in numerous locations, especially along the central coast where the beaches are not crowded.Beach SportsBack on the sand, volleyball nets line many California beaches and anyone-can-join "pickup" games are common. If you play, don't expect mild exertion -- sand is brutal on the leg muscles. You will soon appreciate the stamina of Californians who play beach volleyball professionally -- they are the big-earning stars of televised tournaments held each summer.Winter SportsDuring the winter, many coast-dwelling Californians head inland. The 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley (near Lake Tahoe) gave many residents a sense of the magnificence of their own state's skiing. The winter resorts of Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes are now major destinations for skiers and snowboarders, who are present in rapidly swelling numbers and who dazzle two-footed snow lovers with swooping downhill descents on their four-foot-long boards.

Copyright 2001 by Fodors
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Table of Contents

How to use this book 4
Contents 5
My California 8
California is 10
The golden state 10
Economy 12
Sports 13
Ecology 14
Communities 16
Cults 18
Alternatives 19
California was 20
Prehistory 20
Native Americans 22
European discovery 23
Disputed 24
The Gold Rush 26
The boom years 28
Hollywood 30
The radical years 32
San Francisco 34
Focus On
Gay life 45
Chinatown 46
The financial district 47
Golden Gate Promenade 47
North Beach 50
The Bay Area 74
Focus On
Cuisine 78
Alcatraz 80
Bay Area ecology 82
Politics 84
Theme parks 87
Recreational parks 89
Marin County, the North Bay and the East Bay 79
Central Coast North 90
Focus On
Writers and poets 94
Inland parks 97
Monterey 99
Coastal parks 101
The Monterey area 98
Central Coast South 102
Focus On
Beaches 106
Hearst Castle 109
Missions 110
The Santa Ynez Valley 114
Santa Barbara 112
Los Angeles 116
Focus On
L.A. communities 119
El Pueblo 120
Architecture 122
Spectator sports 125
Exposition Park 127
Music 132
A tour around Griffith Park 126
Coastal route from Marina del Rey to San Pedro 134
Los Angeles downtown 121
Long Beach 130
Around Los Angeles 150
Focus On
Art 154
Disney & Co. 160
Forest Lawn 165
The San Gabriel Valley 159
Pasadena 159
San Diego 166
Focus On
Buildings 170
Sea and sand 174
La Jolla 179
Highways 76 and 78 177
The Deserts 182
Focus On
Death Valley 187
Deserts 194
"The Rim of the World" 186
Around Palm Springs 191
Sierra Nevada 196
Focus On
Adventure sports 199
Geology 202
Lake Tahoe 205
Walks and lakes 207
Yosemite 208
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 201
Mammoth Lakes 206
Gold Country and Far North 210
Focus On
Gold Mining 216
Sacramento 221
Hiking trails 226
Jamestown to Placerville 214
Sacramento 222
The North Coast 228
Focus On
The redwoods 232
San Andreas fault 239
Redwood National Park 243
The Lost Coast 237
The Wine Country 244
Focus On
Spas and springs 247
Wine 250
Parks 253
Calistoga-Clear Lake Loop 248
Travel Facts 256
Accommodations and Restaurants 266
Index 282
Acknowledgments 288
California IFC
California 10
California in 1851 20
San Francisco 34
San Francisco Walks 47
The Bay Area 74
Central Coast North 90
Central Coast South 102
Santa Barbara Walk 112
Los Angeles 116
Los Angeles Walks 121
Los Angeles Drives 126
Around Los Angeles 150
San Gabriel Valley Drive 159
San Diego 166
The Deserts 182
Desert Drives 186
Sierra Nevada 196
Sierra Nevada Drives 201
Gold Country and Far North 210
Sacramento Walk 222
North Coast 228
Lost Coast Drive 237
Wine Country 244
The Bay Area IBC
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