One Thing To Consider When Visiting Multiple Cities On Your Trip To California

People often don't realize just how large of a state California is. It stretches on for about 840 miles (the number varies depending on how you measure the length) and harbors a population of over 39 million. Unlike those on the East Coast, cities are more spread out, meaning it typically takes longer to travel amongst them by car. You have a variety of landscapes as well, ranging from coastline with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean, deserts, and valleys, to mountains complete with ski resorts. In all of the varying locations, you also have different climates that should determine how you dress.

When packing for California, it's essential to determine which cities you'll be visiting and pay attention to the weather. Not everywhere has the warm, sunny climate of Southern California. Some places will have you reaching for a jacket and wishing you had worn jeans, while others will have you sweating if you put on too many layers. Understanding regional weather will help you determine what to pack for each destination.

What to wear in Northern California

We'll start at the top with Northern California. Here, you'll find an annual average temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the time of year you go, you'll find plenty of rainfall. It's hot and dry in the summers and cool and wet in the winters — but not freezing, low temperatures are usually in the upper 40s. If you're visiting Lake Tahoe or its surrounding region in the winter, bundle up. Temperatures here are lower and the area often gets snow. As with most of the state, temperatures are warmer closer to the coast, and get cooler as you get further away. For example, you'll find snow in Lake Tahoe but not in Sacramento where the weather rarely reaches freezing. Another thing to note is that along the coast, you can expect to see fog, especially in San Francisco.

When you pack, layers are key. In the winter, long sleeves, long pants, and coats are ideal. In the summer, temperatures can get hot, so tank tops and short sleeves are appropriate, but still bring a jacket, you never know when the AC will be blasting indoors. Also, consider what you'll be doing. If you're visiting one of California's many national parks, you'll need different gear than if you're in the city.

How to dress for Southern California

Southern California is the most popular part of the state with 23 million people living there. Los Angeles is the most visited city as well as the largest city in the entire state. Here, the temperatures are milder in the north and the winters are much warmer and not as rainy. One thing to note for those planning to check out the beaches on the coast is how the water is cold. It's not the warm water temperatures cities like Miami are known for, the Pacific Ocean is typically much colder. So if you're planning to take a dip in the waters, expect it to be chilly.

As far as what to pack for a Southern California adventure, layers, once again, are the way to go. You're more likely to get away with short sleeves and tank tops here, especially during the day. A jacket or shawl is perfect for evenings since the temperature tends to drop once the sun goes down.

So, as you're planning for your next drive through California to see some of the most beautiful places, plan according to the weather to ensure that you're comfortable throughout the entire trip.