In 2011 Visit California released its Misconceptions ad that was meant to be a satirical rendering of the common misconceptions many visitors have prior to their first trip to the Golden State. While many critics declared the 30 second commercial a major flop, there are others who feel the ad did just what it intended to do and that is bring the focus to other areas of the state that don’t often see an abundance of tourists. If you are traveling to California this summer expecting to see the proverbial blonde beach bunnies riding the waves up and down the coast and a movie star on every corner of Beverly Hills, it’s time to revisit the Misconceptions commercial.
The State Is as Diverse as It Is Long
Most people come to California without the foggiest notion that the state has a variety of climates, the demographics vary from region to region and the entire state is not comprised of surfers or celebrities. The south is notoriously liberal while the north is just about as conservative as the Bible belt in the deep South. And while there is a Starbucks on almost every corner, there are also a few mom and pop ethnic cafés that add to the allure of this amazing state.
From those ‘rednecks’ in the north looking to secede from the state forming a whole new state, the State of Jefferson, to the gluten-free ‘health conscious’ perpetual dieters in the south, there is a world of difference in this 840 mile long state. Before flying in to any of the major airports, please take time to read up on the local culture so that you aren’t totally disappointed upon arrival!
The State Has Not Gone Up in Smoke!
Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, California has not gone up in smoke. Marijuana has not been legalized for anything other than medicinal use. There is not a dispensary on every corner just waiting to turn your kids into potheads and if you happen to be a resident of the state with a valid recommendation (prescription) from the doctor, you could look at a marijuana finder should you need your medicine while visiting another region you’ve never been to before. If you are looking for a ‘legal’ state, these would be Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Obamatown, Washington, D.C.
What California Is and Is Not
If you are looking for sunshine year ‘round, that would be most of Florida. California is home to one of the nations favored ski resort towns, Lake Tahoe and there are areas that see more than 10 feet of snow annually. While California does have its share of beaches, some are far too cold to swim at and much of the state is desert or high desert, meaning dry and extremely hot much of the year. California has Silicon Valley, the home of computer technology as we know it today, an assortment of world class hospitals, several universities that always rank within the top 100 globally and a number of amusement parks in the south. Don’t forget that California also has Napa Valley and some of the world’s tastiest wines with tours of the vineyards that are quite enlightening.
The point is, don’t ever let the world of high-powered advertising turn you on or off about a location you’d like to visit. California does have much to offer and it is a wonderful place to take a summer (or winter!) vacation, but it is what you make of it. If you are looking for something unique, the vacation of a lifetime, you will find that here in California.