California Maps and Pictures
By Betsy Malloy, About.com Guide
It's always nice to know what a place looks like before you go, but sometimes online travel photo galleries can be a bit scattered, looking like they're designed more to show off the photographer's skill than to inform the viewer. Instead, our galleries are created starting from the question: "What is this place all about?" Then we go out to find the images that tell the story. Take a look at photos of places you might want to visit, or just take a mental vacation by browsing through a few of our pictures.
- California Beaches
- California Coast
- California Desert
- California Missions
- California Mountain Country
- California from Above: Satellite Views and Aerial Photos
- Natural California: Trees, Flowers, Plants, Animals
- Disneyland and Orange County
- Los Angeles and Hollywood
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Central Valley
- Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur
- Napa and Sonoma Wine Country
- Northern California
- Scenic Highway 395
These days, if you're online reading this, you probably know how to get a map at one of the popular websites, but they're not always created with visitors and travelers in mind. Our specially-created travel maps can help you figure out what's where, how far apart things are and how to get from place to place. Some of them are interactive, so you can see where a place is on the map and click right through to some great travel info. And when you get there, try one of the special walking tour guides to get a personal tour from someone who's been there before.
- Interactive Trip Planner Map
- California Driving Distances
- California Highways
- Northern California Maps
- Southern California Maps
- California State Maps: Visual Index
Photo Tour Guides
These photo galleries aren't just a collection of photos, but they're also step-by-step tours that give you an in-depth view of a place. You can use them to guide your own explorations, too, with take-along guides and specially-created maps designed to guide the visitor, not just show where things are.
- Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
- North Beach, San Francisco
- San Francisco's 49-Mile Drive
- Union Square, San Francisco
- Chinatown, San Francisco
California's Prettiest Places
California is a pretty place to take photos in, and we like to do that as much as we can. The pictures and photo tours below show you our short list for the prettiest places in the state.
- Death Valley
- Most Beautiful Three Miles in California
- Most Beautiful City Walk
- Antelope Valley Poppies
- Big Sur Coast
California by Season
If you don't live in California, the seasons may surprise you. Grass is green in winter and brown in summer, the beach can be cloudy for the entire month of June, tiny fish make a big show on the beach during spawning season and Californians can find a unique way to celebrate every part of the year. Here's a chance to get a look at some of California's best seasonal sights.
- Fall: Golden Aspens at June Lake
- Spring: California Poppies in Antelope Valley
- Spring: Fresno Blossom Trail
Wild, Wacky, Crazy and Just Plain Weird
These are just for fun. Sometimes we just can't resist taking photos of unusual things, and the galleries below have plenty of them. How about a water tower shaped like a carton of milk? A house that's completely underground, gardens and all? A beach with purple sand? Or more food items shaped like Mickey Mouse than you can imagine. We've got it all - and more.