Central and Southern Coastal California and the Inland Empire

In this section, I'll cover the part of California that lies along or near the coast, south of Big Sur, excluding Santa Barbara, which has its own section, and the Inland Empire, which lies east of LA and Orange County. (The desert regions of the counties in these areas are covered in another section.) This is the most heavily populated part of the state, and politically the most powerful and influential. Climatologically, it's a rainless desert for most of the year and would not be able to support anywhere near its current population without storing and importing water from distant wetter regions. The past political intrigue, some a little shady (as depicted in the movie "Chinatown"), that brought water to this region created hard feelings in other parts of California and the West that persist today. There have been attempts, particularly in the extreme north, to try to legally divide the state in 2 or more pieces. However, there's no way they could overcome the massive voting block in the south, which doesn't want to have its water supply cut off. This may seem irrelevant to visitors, but it explains why you may sense different attitudes and styles in different parts of the state. Also, there's an intense rivalry between the regions, especially between San Franciso and Los Angeles. LA is a dirty word San Francisco. Don't wear a Dodgers hat in San Francisco.

Here are some pictures of the area:

Central Coast Area, North of LA

Morro Bay
Morro Bay and Morro Rock

La Purisima Mission
La Purisima Mission, Lompoc

Ventura Harbor
Ventura Harbor

Mission San Buenaventura, Ventura
Mission San Buenaventura, Ventura

LA Area

Getty Museum, Malibu
J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu

Universal Studios Citywalk
Citywalk at Universal Studios, Hollywood

Travel Town, Griffith Park, LA
Travel Town Museum in LA's Griffith Park

LA County Museum of Art
La County Museum of Art

Redondo Beach Pier
Redondo Beach Pier at King Harbor

Cove at Palos Verdes
Cove at Palos Verdes, south of LA

Pt. Fermin Lighthouse
Pt. Fermin Lighthouse, San Pedro

San Diego Area

Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla
Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla

La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove

UCSD Library
Library at the University of California at San Diego

Balboa Park Tower
Tower at Balboa Park, San Diego

San Diego Aerospace Museum
San Diego Aerospace Museum, Balboa Park

Arboretum, Balboa Park
Arboretum at San Diego's Balboa Park


San Luis Obispo County

Santa Barbara County

Ventura County

Los Angeles County

San Bernardino County

Riverside County

Orange County

San Diego County

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Ron Horii, San Jose
Created 10/7/97. Last update: 11/13/97