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The Ultimate Guide to California Cities

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California is a huge state – it’s bigger than Germany and Switzerland put together. It also has a wide variety of cultures that are great for exploring. Here, our EWR Airport parking members help break down the areas so you can decide where you want to visit on your next California trip.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the city for dreamers, doers, and go-getters. The county is the largest in the country, with nearly 10 million residents and encompasses other major areas like Hollywood, Venice, and Beverly Hills. Throughout the city you’ll find upscale shopping, eating, famous landmarks, and overall glamour. Stroll Sunset Boulevard, catch a Lakers basketball game, or head to the shops on Rodeo Drive – there’s a good chance you’ll spot a few celebrities while you’re there.

San Jose

Near the Santa Cruz mountains, San Jose was once known for its farms and ranches, but since the mid-20th century, it and the surrounding area has become the hub for emerging technology and startups (otherwise known as Silicon Valley). San Jose is always alive when it comes to nightlife and boasts loads of beautiful Victorian architecture. In addition to parks, vineyards, and festivals, travelers can enjoy Mediterranean temperatures all year long.

San Diego

If you’re a beach lover, San Diego is one of the go-to spots in California. You’ll find a culture of life-loving locals among the city’s many hip neighborhoods, and can enjoy a wide variety of attractions and activities. In the Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll find classy restaurants and nightclubs. In the East Village, there’s an array of boutiques and cafes. For more of a nightlife, you can head downtown and bar-hop your way through the area. And for those who love the outdoors, check out one of the many parks, miles of beach, and golf resorts.


As the oldest city in California, Sacramento has a lot of history to offer to its visitors. You’ll find a slightly slower pace of life in this city, with warm and friendly people to show you around. Check out the culture of Old Sacramento, head to one of the many museums, take a ride past the state capitol, or enjoy one of the city’s many parks or unique eateries. If you’re looking for a lively nightlife, check out the downtown or midtown bars and clubs.

San Francisco

San Francisco is home to the Golden Gate Bridge, a free-spirited culture, and lots of healthy and creative food. Here’s where you’ll also find the iconic trolley cars that run throughout the steep hills of the city. Cross the bridge and you’ll find Sonoma County and Napa County, both known for their vineyards and wineries. San Francisco is also a great walking city and boasts Mediterranean temperatures all year.

Northern California

Northern California is a much different culture than southern California. With temperatures that can reach the mid-30s, northern California offers skiing, many national forests, and a more private, nature-packed experience. Head to the beautiful Redwood National Park, just north of Eureka, and take in the giant redwood trees – one of the oldest living things on earth. Or enjoy the Victorian-style towns that boast cafes, boutiques, and a quieter way of life.

Santa Barbara

Just two hours north of Los Angeles, the city of Santa Barbara offers beautiful beaches, a backdrop of mountains, and a laid-back culture. You’ll also find a few upscale neighborhoods in the area that boast large, luxurious houses and a fashionable lifestyle. With miles of beaches, loads of Spanish architecture, annual festivals, and many seafood restaurants, Santa Barbara is a popular spot.

*Photo courtesy of tripsavvy.com