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Hit the road with the free 'California Road Trips 2009' guide

Posted: April 24, 2009 9:30 a.m.
Updated: April 24, 2009 10:11 a.m.
 

The 'California Road Trips 2009' guide, produced by the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) and Sunset Custom Media Solutions, continues to provide detailed driving maps that take readers to some of the best insider spots in California.

But consumers will find a difference this year - an emphasis on getting out of the car to enjoy those unique locales.

Readers are encouraged to stretch their legs and wander Calico Ghost Town, a former silver-mining boomtown, where authenticity mixes with a little kitsch in the Deserts Region.

In the Inland Empire Region, biking the scenic trails surrounding the pine-fringed Lake Arrowhead is a must-do in the warmer months.

In the San Diego County Region, travelers can snorkel, getting up close and personal with harmless leopard sharks in La Jolla, while in Santa Barbara, part of the Central Coast Region, they can walk the gardens at Old Mission Santa Barbara, which offer peace and tranquility during a busy vacation.

The High Sierra Region encourages travelers to take a watery tour by renting a kayak to discover the tufa towers bordering Mono Lake.

In keeping with its new sustainable theme, California Road Trips 2009 also recommends riding the green trains at Disneyland, which now run on biodiesel, or cutting down on emissions by touring Huntington Beach by foot-power (your cab driver's) with Blue Water Pedicab in the Orange County Region.

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, in the San Francisco Bay Area Region, offers up a one-of-a-kind experience and is the "greenest" museum in the world.

Visitors who have come to shop can also do their part and slip into stylish, eco-friendly shoes made with recycled materials and natural dyes at Santa Monica's El Naturalista's, located in the Los Angeles County Region.

Another new feature to the guide is the "3 Free & Easy" box located in each of the 12 regional California driving itineraries. In the Central Valley Region, travelers are encouraged to check out the Fresno Art Museum - free admission every Sunday.

The Gold Country Region's drive recommends Columbia State Historic Park, where the town's shopkeepers still dress like it's 1849.

Where's the best spot to view the Pacific Ocean? In the North Coast Region, it's the northernmost Sea Ranch access, providing panoramic views from the bluffs. And what better way to end the day than gazing from the Shasta Cascade Region's Sundial Bridge as the sun sets over Redding and the Sacramento River?

California Road Trips 2009 is available in the June edition of Sunset magazine. You can also get a copy by calling (877) TOP-DRIVES or download it for free via the CTTC Web site at www.visitcalifornia.com/visitorsguide.

The CTTC is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state's travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination.

According to the CTTC, travel and tourism expenditures total $96.7 billion annually in California, support jobs for 924,100 Californians and generate $5.8 billion in state and local tax revenues.

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