A network of highways makes much of the state easy to maneuver. Be sure to know where you are going in advance. Rely on a map rather than hoping to catch an exit sign that seems to be where you want to go. Traffic can be brutal and packed at times. Even if you do spy an exit sign you need, you may be lanes away from accessing it. Beware of driving through the state's northern roadways, especially those that snake through the redwood forest. Turns may be sharp with a sheer cliff or forest drop off mere feet from your vehicle. Speed limits on multi-lane freeways are usually 65 miles per hour, with two-lane highways topped at 55 mph. City streets are generally 35 mph unless it's a heavy pedestrian or residential area. Texting while driving is against the law.
Yes, California is well-known for its sunny climate, but don't think the entire state is a basking zone, even in the summer. Northernmost areas--like Del Norte County--tend to stay foggy and cool even in summer, rarely bumping the thermometer above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Evenings, even in the southern areas, can get cooler along the shore. Summer may also seem like the best time to visit California, but that's what everyone else thinks, too. That's the season of the biggest crowds, lengthiest waits and highest hotel prices. Visiting during an off-season of fall or spring may get you much cheaper prices and better accommodations all around.
Rules and Regulations
California gets pretty stringent when it comes to certain rules and regulations. Texting while driving is against the law; so is smoking with kids in the car. Smoking in public buildings is prohibited throughout the state. Smoking within 20 feet of establishments is prohibited as well. Southern California, especially San Diego County, banned smoking from many public areas, including beaches. Watch for signs that declare regulations for specific locations. Drinking, too, is banned on many public beaches.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.