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California's nickname "The Golden State" hails back to the 1849 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, just outside of what is now the state capital of Sacramento. The moniker, though, could just as easily refer to the colour of the sun beating down on California's glorious beaches or the colour of the Oscars given out in Los Angeles every year in a televised ceremony watched by a billion people around the globe.
To people who know and love it, California isn't one state but almost two: Northern California and Southern California. Finding the best California hotel deals in each takes some legwork.
The misty groves of Northern California are home to the giant Sequoia redwoods, the oldest and tallest living creatures on earth. Napa Valley is one of the premiere wine-making regions in the world.
Monarch butterflies migrate by the tens of thousands every year at Santa Cruz's Natural Bridges State. John Steinbeck's favourite city, Monterey, features a world-class aquarium, playful otters swimming in the harbour, and Ed (Doc) Ricketts' original laboratory.
Iconic San Francisco tourist destinations like Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Embarcadero, and Fisherman's Wharf are thrilling to behold. Explore the twisting paths, arboretums, and flowers of the city's Golden Gate Park, or ride a cable car to view Alcatraz Island from the top of Nob Hill.
Southern California is known for its gorgeous weather, its white-sand beaches, and Los Angeles. LA has first-class museums like the Getty Center, the California Science Center, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
LA is first and foremost a film industry town. Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, and Universal all host studio tours where you can view the sound stages where your favourite TV shows are filmed, and maybe even get to talk to a star!
Closer to the shared border with Mexico, San Diego has a world-class zoo with giant pandas, the SeaWorld theme park, and LEGOLAND for your little engineers.
How will you fit everything California has to offer into one trip? The secret is to narrow down the must-do attractions and select nearby California hotels. Expedia can help you find California hotel packages and other cheap hotel deals in California close to the centres of action. Go online, enter your criteria, find comfortable rooms at special discount rates and prices, and book your reservations. Whether you're looking for a cheap California hotel deal or a lavish resort where the sky is the limit, Expedia has hotels in California you'll want to stay in.