Travel Planning
U.S. West Coast
Travel Planning
U.S. West Coast

U.S. West Coast at a Glance

The western edge of the United States is dominated by California, and as much as it’s a state of the union, it’s also a state of mind. Travelers and adventurers of all stripes have felt the magnetic pull of California, whether they set out in search of gold, stardom, a Silicon Valley tech fortune or just a really good drive along the ocean.

Practically synonymous with laidback, casual cool, California is a state that doesn’t have to try hard – it just simply has the stuff that dreams are made of, from its towering redwood forests and monumental national parks to its movie studios and prized wine country. So go West, young man (or woman) and you won’t be disappointed.

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Getting There
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Passport / Visa Requirements

All travelers to the United States are required to hold a valid passport; the passport should be valid for six months beyond your departure from the U.S. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel within the United States without a visa for 90 days; travelers must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, return travel tickets and a passport with a photo and an electronic chip. Visitors not eligible for VWP must apply for a non-immigrant visa. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department's travel website.

Need to Know

Severe Weather Wildfires are a concern in the southern part of the state during summer, but they can occur throughout California.

Safety Concerns Crime rates vary widely. Taking general safety precautions is wise, e.g. avoiding dimly lit streets and areas not frequented by travelers, wearing inconspicuous or no jewelry and carrying small amounts of cash.

Health Concerns Drinking water is safe throughout California. Health concerns are more likely to come into play during hiking, trekking or other outdoor exploration, during which insect-borne diseases (lyme disease, West Nile virus, etc.) and wildlife encounters can be an issue.

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