Travel Planning
Southern California
Travel Planning
Southern California

Southern California at a Glance

From the salt pans of Death Valley National Park to the sandy beaches of Orange County, Southern California offers warm temperatures and a variety of adventures.

For pioneers traveling from eastern regions, treacherous Death Valley was what lay between them and the Pacific Coast. Today, Death Valley National Park can be more safely enjoyed and is a fascinating collection of landscapes and spring flowers. Further west, the focus is on California's famous beaches. Big waves and warm waters make southern California a surfing destination. For travelers who are entertainment oriented, Los Angeles can't be beat as the location of Hollywood and the home city of many famous actors and actresses. The outlying city of Anaheim is home to Disneyland as well as a world class convention center. Whatever your favorite vacation style, southern California can fit the bill.

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Popular Places
  • Los Angeles Los Angeles
  • Malibu Malibu
  • San Diego San Diego
  • Anaheim Anaheim
  • Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree National Park
  • Death Valley National Park Death Valley National Park
  • Palm Springs (CA) Palm Springs (CA)
  • Catalina Island Catalina Island
  • Santa Barbara Santa Barbara
  • Beverly Hills Beverly Hills
Getting There
Major Airports
  • Major Airport Los Angeles International Airport
  • Major Airport San Diego International Airport

Passport / Visa Requirements

All travelers to the United States are required to hold a valid passport; the passport should be valid for six months beyond your departure from the U.S. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel within the United States without a visa for 90 days; travelers must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, return travel tickets and a passport with a photo and an electronic chip. Visitors not eligible for VWP must apply for a non-immigrant visa. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department's travel website.

Need to Know

Severe Weather The desert region of Death Valley is home to the hottest temperatures in the United States. Travelers need to have access to water at all times of year. Closer to the coast, the weather is more hospitable, but still warm. Keep an eye out for heat related illnesses in the summer. 

Safety Concerns: Southern California's crime rate varies by region. Keep valuables out of sight and be mindful of your area no matter where you are.

Health Concerns Southern California has good water and communicable disease rates are low. Avoid common colds and flu by washing your hands frequently.

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