Northern California is a very special place, with its pristine Pacific coast, primeval groves of redwoods, hundreds of powdery Sierra slopes and one of the most acclaimed wine regions in the world. There are few more delightful areas than the Napa and Sonoma wine country, with its quaint towns, fine restaurants, stylish shops and quilt of manicured vineyards.
In Southern California, the region that sprawls from the Tehachapi Mountains north of Los Angeles to the Mexican border was, not more than a century ago, still largely filled with sage and chaparral. From 1950 to 2000, the population of the area nearly doubled, and today, the 218-mile stretch of coastline from Santa Barbara to San Diego has become a nearly unbroken megalopolis inhabited by a staggeringly diverse population of 15 million. Tourists continue to flock here, and for good reason.
Southern California’s beaches often live up to their Hollywood image. And cosmopolitan Los Angeles has surprising pockets of charm, as well as exceptional restaurants and a vibrant contemporary art scene.