California

Destination Description

California shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California to the south and the Pacific Ocean is on the state's western coastline. The state capital is Sacramento, which is located in the northern part of the state.

Start in one of California’s sunniest destinations, San Diego, not just in terms of the weather, but also in attitude.

California's mountains produce rain shadows on the eastern side, creating extensive deserts. The higher elevation deserts of eastern California have hot summers and cold winters, while the low deserts east of the Southern California mountains have hot summers and nearly frostless mild winters. Death Valley, a desert with large expanses below sea level, is considered the hottest location in the world; the highest temperature in the world, 134 °F (56.7 °C), was recorded there on July 10, 1913.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the 6th busiest airport in the world, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the 21st busiest airport in the world, are major hubs for trans- Pacific and transcontinental traffic. There are about a dozen important commercial airports and many more general aviation airports throughout the state.

California is considered generally liberal in its policies regarding the LGBT community, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have received greater recognition since 1960 at both the state and municipal level. California is home to a number of gay villages such as the Castro District in San Francisco, Hillcrest in San Diego, and West Hollywood.

California is one of a few states that currently allow intended parents to establish legal parentage rights before the birth of their child (or children) without having to go through adoption proceedings as is necessary in most states.

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