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Guides to California

California is two states, really. Most residents agree that the northern half of the state -- cradling Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay area, and beyond-bears little resemblance, either culturally or topographically, to the southern half, which is dominated by greater Los Angeles and (just across the border from scenic Tijuana) San Diego. Up north it's chips, bytes, grapes, and Haight-Ashbury; down south it's stars, celluloid, surfing, and the U.S. Marine Corps. They're all equally appealing, depending on your point of view.
California State Flag California State Bird The Location of California


Ever since the days of the Gold Rush, California has been this wide-open sort of American promised land -- a place where quick fortune and worldwide fame seemed within reach of anyone who wanted it badly enough, and once secured, a hillside mansion or beachfront hideaway was yours for the building.

Times have changed, and though California's economy has been hit hard in recent years, its residents remain undaunted, devoted as they ever were to the myth and mystique that brought many of them here in the first place (remember, this is the state that sent Sonny Bono to Congress). And they're still coming. With so much diversity and creativity about, who can blame them?

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