Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A 183 B Y L E N O R E G R E I N E R W ithin the Inland Empire's vast 5,000 square miles, the scenery and historic sites deftly capture quintessential California, from Spanish and Native American history to the era of stagecoaches and silver strikes to the Golden Age of traveling Route 66. The diverse land- scape reflects Golden State extremes: snow-capped granite peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains to the north and the San Jacinto range to the east fast descend into arid high deserts and, finally, to verdant vineyards and groves. There's tranquil, scenic beauty to savor along the hiking paths or ski runs. Or partake in distinctly Californian pursuits: wine tasting, escaping to a quiet golf resort, or soaking in steamy hot springs. And with fewer crowds and lower prices than Lake Tahoe and Napa Valley, the Inland Empire offers the same thrills and diversions with less fuss. The Great Outdoors In the fresh alpine air of the San Bernardino Mountains, vacationers head to two popular lakes. At Big Bear Lake, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy year-round recreation, from summer watersports to winter's alpine sports at Big Bear Mountain and Snow Summit for excellent skiing and snowboarding. Summer- time watersports lovers will find abundant fishing, boating, kayaking and even parasailing on Big Bear Lake. Lake Arrowhead offers hiking, horseback riding, biking and stream fishing. Or wander in the natural beauty of the Swiss Chalet- style alpine village of Lake Arrowhead with charming shops and year-round ice skating. Or simply stargaze, watch the autumn leaves turn or the falling snowflakes in winter. INLAND EMPIRE TOP CITIES Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Temecula, Ontario, San Bernardino, Riverside INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Ontario International Airport (ONT), 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, 23 miles (37 km) west of San Bernardino, 16 miles (26 km) west of Riverside TOURISM WEBSITES POPULATION 4.2 million INLAND EMPIRE This often-overlooked region offers the best of California, from high deserts to soaring mountain ranges and abundant vineyards and orchards

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