From Eureka to San Diego, California is beautiful!
There are several excellent guidebooks to California that are updated annually so you can maximize your experience while here. Below are a few recommendations to look for at a bookstore:
*Eyewitness Travel Guides: California (ISBN: 0789494299)
*Thomas Guide California Road Atlas and Driver's Guide (ISBN: 0528997904)
*Frommer's California 2004 (ISBN: 0764538713)
California is one of the most dynamic places in the world. In addition to our more famous cities, California boasts some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the world. However, California is a rather large state. A typical long distance drive can be 400 miles (~600+ kilometers), so you should consider your mode of transportation carefully.
Most students rent a car to travel long distances. But please note that California State Law requires you to have insurance whenever you drive. If you are not a US licensed driver, you will pay more for auto insurance. UCLA does not offer any kind of insurance for students. Alternatively, there are bus, metro and train lines that may take you where you need to go.
California Tourism - Official State web site
Kings Canyon, Sequoia - In the Sierra Nevada, pristine forests and deep canyon lands
Joshua Tree - Arid desert with acres of Californian flora
Mojave Desert - 1.6 million acres of desert mountains, rocks and dry lakes
Yosemite - Preserved forest with the tallest trees in the world, waterfalls, wildlife, and gorges
Death Valley - Lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, desert salt lands and one of the hottest places in the world