Venice Beach is the city beach of Los Angeles. There are shops, restaurants and lots of freaks. At the "Oceanfront Walk" you can see the future "Miss California" and all those who want to become the new "Schwarzenegger".
The "San Gorgonio Peak" is with 3.505 m/10.515 feet the highest peak of the San Bernardino National Forest. The snow-capped mountains border directly to the hot desert below, the "Big Bear Lake" freezes in winter. The mountains are a destination for hiking.
The name "Joshuatree" for the Palm tree originated from the Mormons who named it after Joshua, the successor of Moses. The arms of the tree have pointed the way to the promised land (Utah). Officially the plant is named "Yucca brevivolia" and belongs to the genus of asparagus plants. The main entrance of the "Joshuatree National Park" is located at "Twentynine Palms", approximately 230 km/144 miles east of Los Angeles. In the park there are two different desert regions, the "Mojave Desert" with the "Joshuatrees" and the "Colorado Desert" with the Cholla cactus.
There are countless small coves along the pacific coastal line, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This is wherer you can spot sea lions and seals. Most of the time they lay around lazy on the beach, but somtimes you can watch them playing in the water. Just north of San Simeon, there is a good spot to watch Elephant Seals.
The Spaniards called the coastal strip south of Monterrey "El pais grande del sur", the great country of the South. The Americans just called it "Big Sur", one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world.
National Parks in southern California
The south of California offers very different landscapes. From sandy beaches along the Pacific coast to snow-capped mountains and glowing hot deserts. The lyrics of Albert Hammond: "Seems it never rains in southern California" is not quite true. Who travels in spring time, can get wet even in southern California. But in spring there is a wonderful smell of flowers in the air and it is not as dry and hot as in the summer.