The third largest state in the United States, California covers an area of 160,000 square miles (414,398 sq km), stretching from the Oregon state border in the north to the Mexican border in the south. By comparison, it's slightly bigger than Germany, but smaller than France.

California possesses a spectacular array of landscapes, from the moody, foggy redwood forests of the North Coast, to the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, to the surreal desert landscapes of Southern California. Each of the state's 12 regions has its own character, and to travel from one to another can give you the impression you've traveled into a different country entirely. That's the beauty of California, and the diversity is what gives it appeal as an ideal vacation destination. In California, you can ski in the morning and shop, visit a theme park, golf or even surf in the afternoon. Incredible sights and attractions in close proximity make it possible for travelers to experience a lot in one trip.

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