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Southern California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"SoCal" and "Socal" redirect here. For other uses, see SoCal (disambiguation).

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Southern California

Southern California

Images top from bottom, left to right: San Diego Skyline, Downtown Los Angeles, Village of La Jolla, Santa Monica Pier, Surfer at Black's Beach, Hollywood Sign, Disneyland,Hermosa Beach Pier

Red: The eight traditionally included counties.

Light red: San Luis Obispo and Kern counties in the expanded ten county definition.


United States



Counties Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles,Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

Largest city

Los Angeles

Population(2010) 22,680,010

Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost 10 counties.[1][2]Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego.

Southern California is traditionally described as "eight counties", based on demographics and economic ties: Santa Barbara,Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and Imperial.[3] The heavily built-up urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura, through the Greater Los Angeles Area, the Inland Empire and down to San Diego. Southern California is a major economic center for the state of California and the United States.

Another definition based on historical political divisions involves 10 counties from San Luis Obispo County to the Mexican borderand from the Pacific Ocean inland to Nevada and Arizona. The 8- and 10-county definitions are not used for the greater Southern California Megaregion, one of the 11 megaregions of the United States. The megaregion's area is more expansive, extending east into Las Vegas, Nevada, and south across the Mexican border into Tijuana.[4]

Southern California's population encompasses eight metropolitan areas, or MSAs: the Los Angeles metropolitan area, consisting of Los Angeles and Orange counties; the Inland Empire, consisting of Riverside and San Bernardino counties; the San Diego metropolitan area; the Bakersfield metropolitan area; the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura metropolitan area; the Santa Barbarametro area; the San Luis Obispo metropolitan area; and the El Centro area. Out of these, three are heavy populated areas: the Los Angeles area with over 12 million inhabitants, the Riverside-San Bernardino area with over four million inhabitants, and the San Diego area with over 3 million inhabitants. For CSA metropolitan purposes, the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura are all combined to make up the Greater Los Angeles Area with over 17.5 million people. With over 22 million people, southern California contains roughly 60% of California's population.

To the east of southern California are the Colorado Desert and the Colorado River at the border with the state of Arizona and theMojave Desert at the border with the state of Nevada. To the south lies the international border with Mexico, and to the west lies the Pacific Ocean.

Contents [hide]


2Northern boundary of southern California

3Urban landscape

4Natural landscape


5.1Geographic features










8.2Major central business districts

8.3Theme parks and waterparks

8.4Vinyard-Winery AVA districts



9.2Freeways and highways

9.3Public transportation


10.1Telephone area codes

11Colleges and universities

12Parks and recreation areas


14See also


16External links


San Diego Marina district

Sunset in Venice, a district in Los Angeles

Within southern California are two major cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as three of the country's largest metropolitan areas.[5] With a population of 3,792,621, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. To the south and with a population of 1,307,402 is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation.

Three Arch Bay in Laguna

Its counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside are the five most populous in the state and all are in the top 15 most populous counties in the United States.[6]

Universal Studios at Hollywood

The motion picture, television, and music industry is centered on the Los Angeles in southern California.Hollywood, a district within Los Angeles, is also a name associated with the motion picture industry. Headquartered in southern California are The Walt Disney Company (which also owns ABC), Sony Pictures, Universal, MGM, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers. Universal, Warner Brothers, and Sony also run major record companies as well.

Southern California is also home to a large home grown surf and skateboard culture. Companies such as Volcom, Quiksilver, No Fear,RVCA, and Body Glove are all headquartered here. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, professional surfers Rob Machado, Tim Curran, Bobby Martinez, Pat O'Connell, Dane Reynolds, and Chris Ward, and professional snowboarder Shaun White live in southern California. Some of the world's legendary surf spots are in southern California as well, including Trestles, Rincon, The Wedge, Huntington Beach, and Malibu, and it is second only to the island of Oahu in terms of famous surf breaks. Some of the world's biggest extreme sports events, including the X Games,[7] Boost Mobile Pro,[8] and the U.S. Open of Surfing are all in southern California. Southern California is also important to the world of yachting. The annual Transpacific Yacht Race, or Transpac, from Los Angeles to Hawaii, is one of yachting's premier events. The San Diego Yacht Club held the America's Cup, the most prestigious prize in yachting, from 1988 to 1995 and hosted three America's Cup races during that time.

Southern California is home to many sports franchises and sports networks such as Fox Sports Net.

Many locals and tourists frequent the southern California coast for its popular beaches, and the desert city of Palm Springs is popular for its resort feel and nearby open spaces.

Northern boundary of southern California[edit]

California counties below the thirty sixth standard parallel

"Southern California" is not a formal geographic designation, and definitions of what constitutes southern California vary. Geographically, California's north-south midway point lies at exactly 37° 9' 58.23" latitude, around 11 miles (18 km) south of San Jose; however, this does not coincide with popular use of the term. When the state is divided into two areas (northern and southern California), the term "southern California" usually refers to the ten southern-most counties of the state. This definition coincides neatly with the county lines at 35° 47′ 28″ north latitude, which form the northern borders of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino counties. Another definition for southern California uses Point Conception and the Tehachapi Mountainsas the northern boundary.

Topography of the border region

Though there is no official definition for the northern boundary of southern California, such a division has existed from the time when Mexico ruled California, and political disputes raged between the Californios of Monterey in the upper part and Los Angeles in the lower part of Alta California. Following the acquisition of California by the United States, the division continued as part of the attempt by several pro-slavery politicians to arrange the division of Alta California at 36 degrees, 30 minutes, the line of the Missouri Compromise. Instead, the passing of the Compromise of 1850 enabled California to be admitted to the Union as a free state, preventing southern California from becoming its own separate slave state.

Subsequently, Californios (dissatisfied with inequitable taxes and land laws) and pro-slavery southerners in the lightly populated "Cow Counties" of southern California attempted three times in the 1850s to achieve a separate statehood or territorial status separate from Northern California. The last attempt, the Pico Act of 1859, was passed by the California State Legislature and signed by the State governor John B. Weller. It was approved overwhelmingly by nearly 75% of voters in the proposed Territory of Colorado. This territory was to include all the counties up to the then much larger Tulare County (that included what is now Kings, most of Kern, and part of Inyo counties) and San Luis Obispo County. The proposal was sent to Washington, D.C. with a strong advocate in Senator Milton Latham. However, the secession crisis following the election ofAbraham Lincoln in 1860 led to the proposal never coming to a vote.[9][10]

In 1900, the Los Angeles Times defined southern California as including "the seven counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara." In 1999, the Times added a newer county—Imperial—to that list.[11]

The state is most commonly divided and promoted by its regional tourism groups as consisting of northern, central, and southern California regions. The two AAA Auto Clubs of the state, the California State Automobile Association and theAutomobile Club of Southern California, choose to simplify matters by dividing the state along the lines where their jurisdictions for membership apply, as either northern or southern California, in contrast to the three-region point of view. Another influence is the geographical phrase South of the Tehachapis, which would split the southern region off at the crest of that transverse range, but in that definition, the desert portions of north Los Angeles County and eastern Kern and San Bernardino Counties would be included in the southern California region due to their remoteness from the central valley and interior desert landscape.

Population, Land Area & Population Density (07-01-2008 est.)County






/km²Los Angeles County[12] 9,862,049 4,060.87 10,517.61 2,428.56 937.67

San Diego County[13] 3,095,313 4,199.89 10,877.67 714.56 275.89

Orange County[14] 3,010,759 789.40 2,044.54 3,813.98 1,472.59

Riverside County[15] 2,100,516 7,207.37 18,667.00 291.44 112.53

San Bernardino County[16] 2,015,355 20,052.50 51,935.74 100.50 38.80

Kern County[17] 800,458 8,140.96 21,084.99 98.32 37.96

Ventura County[18] 797,740 1,845.30 4,779.31 432.31 166.92

Santa Barbara County[19] 405,396 2,737.01 7,088.82 148.12 57.19

San Luis Obispo County[20] 265,297 3,304.32 8,558.15 80.29 31.00

Imperial County[21] 163,972 4,174.73 10,812.50 39.28 15.17

Southern California 22,422,614 56,512.35 146,366.31 396.77 153.19

California 36,756,666 155,959.34 403,932.84 235.68 91.00

Urban landscape[edit]

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Southern California consists of a heavily developed urban environment, home to some of the largest urban areas in the state, along with vast areas that have been left undeveloped. It is the third most populated megalopolis in the United States, after the Great Lakes Megalopolis and the Northeastern megalopolis. Much of southern California is famous for its large, spread-out, suburban communities and use of automobiles and highways. The dominant areas are Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Riverside-San Bernardino, each of which is the center of its respective metropolitan area, composed of numerous smaller cities and communities. The urban area is also host to an international metropolitan region in the form of San Diego–Tijuana, created by the urban area spilling over into Baja California.

Traveling south on Interstate 5, the main gap to continued urbanization is Camp Pendleton. The cities and communities along Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 are so inter-related that Temecula and Murrieta have as much connection with the San Diego metropolitan area as they do with the Inland Empire. To the east, the United States Census Bureauconsiders the San Bernardino and Riverside County areas, Riverside-San Bernardino area as a separate metropolitan area from Los Angeles County. While many commute to L.A. and Orange Counties, there are some differences in development, as most of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (the non-desert portions) were developed in the 1980s and 1990s. Newly developed exurbs formed in the Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles, the Victor Valley and the Coachella Valley with the Imperial Valley. Also, population growth was high in the Bakersfield-Kern County, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo areas.

The Downtown Los Angeles skyline seen at sunset on an October day. At 1,018 feet (310 m), 73 floors, the U.S. Bank Tower stands as the West Coast's tallest building since 1989.

Natural landscape[edit]

Proctor Valley in Chula Vista

Autumn in southern California.

Main article: Geography of Southern California

Southern California consists of one of the more varied collections of geologic, topographic, and natural ecosystem landscapes in a diversity outnumbering other major regions in the state and country. The region spans from Pacific Ocean islands, shorelines, beaches, and coastal plains, through the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges with their peaks, into the large and small interior valleys, to the vastdeserts of California.Introductory categories include:

Category: Beaches of southern California

Category: Mountain ranges of Southern California

Category: Rivers of Southern California

Category: Deserts of California

Category: Parks in Southern California


Satellite view of southern California, including the Channel Islands

Southern California is also divided into:

the Coastal Region. densely populated with more affluence than inland areas. This region includes the coastal interior valleys west of the coastal mountains with all of Orange County and portions of San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties

A related floristic province term is the Cismontane Region on the coastal side of the Transverse and Peninsular mountain ranges, with the term "southern California" popularly referring to this more populated and visited zone.

the Desert Region, larger and sparsely populated, with portions of Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego counties. The division between the Coastal Region and the Inland Empire/Imperial Valley winds along the backs of the coastal mountain ranges such as the Santa Ana Mountains.

A related floristic province term is the Transmontane Region on the rain shadow side of the same mountain ranges, with the term "southern California" including this zone geographically and when distinguishing all the 'southland' from northern California.

Geographic features[edit]

View from La Jolla Cove inSan Diego.

Peaks in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino County.

Yucca Valley after a winter storm in the Morongo Basin.

Ocean Beach Sunset in San Diego.

Angeles National Forest (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, & Ventura Counties)

Antelope Hills (Kern County)

Antelope Valley (Los Angeles and Kern Counties)

Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County)

Bacon Hills (Kern County)

Baldwin Hills (Los Angeles County)

Ballona Wetlands (Los Angeles County)

Big Bear Lake (San Bernardino County)

Bissell Hills (Kern County)

Black Hills (Kern County)

Bolsa Chica Estuary (Orange County)

Buena Vista Hills (Kern County)

Buena Vista Lake (Kern County)

Cajon Pass (San Bernardino County)

Calico Mountains (San Bernardino County)

Channel Islands (Santa Barbara, Ventura & Los Angeles Counties)

Chino Hills (Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties)

Coachella Valley (Riverside County)

Colorado Desert (San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego Counties)

Colorado River (San Bernardino, Riverside & Imperial Counties, Baja California & Sonora)

Conejo Valley (Ventura County)

Cucamonga Valley (San Bernardino County)

Cuyamaca Mountains (San Diego County)

Death Valley (San Bernardino and Inyo Counties)

Diablo Range (Kern County)

Elk Hills (Kern County)

Elkhorn Hills (San Luis Obispo County)

El Paso Mountains (Kern County)

Greenhorn Mountains (Kern County)

High Desert (Los Angeles, Kern, Inyo, & San Bernardino Counties)

Horned Toad Hills (Kern County)

Imperial Valley (Imperial County)

Irish Hills (San Luis Obispo County)

In-Ko-Pah Mountains (San Diego County)

Inland Empire (Riverside, San Bernardino Counties)

Jacumba Mountains (San Diego County)

Jawbone Canyon (Kern County)

Kern River (Kern County)

La Jolla Cove (San Diego County)

Laguna Mountains (San Diego County)

Lake Arrowhead (San Bernardino County)

Lake Casitas (Ventura County)

Lake Castaic (Los Angeles County)

Lake Elsinore (Riverside County)

Lake Isabella (Kern County)

Lake Piru (Ventura County)

Lakeview Mountains (Riverside County)

Lake Webb (Kern County)

Little San Bernardino Mountains (Riverside & San Bernardino Counties)

Little Signal Hills (Kern County)

Los Angeles Basin (Los Angeles County)

Los Angeles River (Los Angeles County)

Los Padres National Forest (Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, & Ventura Counties)

Lost Hills (Kern County)

Low Desert (Imperial, San Diego, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties)

Mojave Desert (Los Angeles, Kern & San Bernardino Counties)

Mojave River (San Bernardino County)

Mount San Antonio (Los Angeles County)

New River (Imperial County, Mexicali Municipality)

Nine Sisters (San Luis Obispo County)

Ojai Valley (Ventura County)

Orange Coast (Orange County)

Oxnard Plain (Ventura County)

Palomar Mountain (San Diego County)

Palo Verde Valley (Riverside and Imperial Counties)

Palos Verdes Peninsula (Los Angeles County)

Panamint Range (Inyo County)

Peninsular Ranges (San Diego, Riverside, & Orange Counties)

Pleito Hills (Kern County)

Point Loma (San Diego County)

Point Mugu (Ventura County)

Point of Rocks (Kern County)

Pomona Valley (Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties)

Providence Mountains (San Bernardino County)

Puente Hills (Los Angeles County)

Pyramid Lake (Los Angeles County)

Rand Mountains (Kern County)

Rio Hondo (Los Angeles County)

Rosamond Hills (Kern County)

Saddleback Valley (Orange County)

Salton Sea (Imperial & Riverside Counties)

San Andreas Fault (All Counties)

San Bernardino Mountains (San Bernardino County)

San Bernardino National Forest (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties)

San Bernardino Valley (San Bernardino County)

San Diego Bay (San Diego County)

San Diego River (San Diego County)

San Emigdio Mountains (Los Angeles, Ventura, & Kern Counties)

San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County)

San Gabriel Mountains (Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties)

San Gabriel River (Los Angeles County)

San Gabriel Valley (Los Angeles County)

San Jacinto Mountains (Riverside County)

San Jacinto River (Riverside County)

San Joaquin Valley (Kern County)

San Luis Rey River (San Diego County)

San Pedro Bay (Los Angeles County)

San Rafael Mountains (Santa Barbara County)

Santa Ana Mountains (Orange & Riverside Counties)

Santa Ana River (San Bernardino, Los Angeles & Orange County)

Santa Ana Valley (Orange County)

Santa Catalina Island (Los Angeles County)

Santa Clara River (Ventura County)

Santa Clara River Valley (Ventura County)

Santa Clarita Valley (Los Angeles County)

Santa Margarita River (Riverside, Orange & San Diego Counties)

Santa Monica Bay (Los Angeles County)

Santa Monica Mountains (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties)

Santa Rosa Mountains (Riverside, Orange & San Diego Counties)

Santa Susana Mountains (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties)

Santa Ynez Mountains (Santa Barbara County)

Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara County)

Scodie Mountains (Kern County)

Sequoia National Forest (Kern County)

Shale Hills (Kern County)

Sierra Nevada (Kern County)

Sierra Pelona Mountains (Los Angeles and Kern Counties)

Simi Hills (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties)

Simi Valley (Ventura County)

Sweetwater River (San Diego County)

Tehachapi Mountains (Kern and Los Angeles Counties)

Tejon Hills (Kern County)

Temescal Mountains (Riverside County)

Telephone Hills (Kern County)

Temblor Range (Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties)

Tijuana River (San Diego County)

Topatopa Mountains (Ventura County)

Turtle Mountains (San Bernardino County)

Ventura River (Ventura County)

Verdugo Mountains (Los Angeles County)

Victor Valley (San Bernardino County)



Northridge earthquake shake map

Each year, the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Nearly all of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15–20 are greater than magnitude 4.0.[22] The magnitude 6.7 1994 Northridge earthquake was particularly destructive, causing a substantial number of deaths, injuries, and structural collapses. It caused the most property damage of any earthquake in U.S. history, estimated at over $20 billion.[23]

Many faults are able to produce a magnitude 6.7+ earthquake, such as the San Andreas Fault, which can produce a magnitude 8.0 event. Other faults include the San Jacinto Fault, the Puente Hills Fault, and the Elsinore Fault Zone. The USGS has released a California Earthquake forecast[24] which models Earthquake occurrence in California.



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Salton Sea in the Coachella Valley.

The Oceanside Pier on theSan Diego County coast.

Southern California is divided culturally, politically, and economically into distinctive regions, each containing its own culture and atmosphere, anchored usually by a city with both national and sometimes global recognition, which are often the hub of economic activity for its respective region and being home to many tourist destinations. Each region is further divided into many culturally distinct areas but as a whole combine to create the southern California atmosphere.

Coastal southern California

Southern Central Coast

Ventura County

Oxnard Plain

Los Angeles Basin

Orange County

San Diego County

Inland southern California

Kern County

Imperial Valley

Inland Empire

San Bernardino County

High Desert (Section)*

Morongo Basin*

San Bernardino Valley

Riverside County

Coachella Valley*

Low Desert (Section)*

Deserts of California

High Desert*

Antelope Valley

Morongo Basin*

eastern Kern County

Low Desert*

Coachella Valley*

Lower Colorado River Valley

Imperial County

Imperial Valley

Palo Verde Valley

*Part of multiple regions


Downtown San Bernardino

As of the 2010 United States Census, southern California has a population of 22,680,010. Despite a reputation for high growth rates, southern California's rate grew less than the state average of 10.0% in the 2000s as California's growth became concentrated in the northern part of the state due to a stronger, tech-oriented economy in the Bay Area and an emerging Greater Sacramento region.

Southern California consists of one Combined Statistical Area, eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas, one international metropolitan area, and multiple metropolitan divisions. The region is home to two extended metropolitan areas that exceed five million in population. These are the Greater Los Angeles Area at 17,786,419, and San Diego–Tijuana at 5,105,768.[25][26] Of these metropolitan areas, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area form Greater Los Angeles;[27] while the El Centro metropolitan area and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan area form the Southern Border Region.[28][29] North of Greater Los Angeles are the Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Bakersfield metropolitan areas.


See also: Largest cities in Southern California

Los Angeles (at 3.7 million people) and San Diego (at 1.3 million people), both in southern California, are the two largest cities in all of California (and two of the eight largest cities in the United States). In southern California there are also twelve cities with more than 200,000 residents and 34 cities over 100,000 in population. Many of southern California's most developed cities lie along or in close proximity to the coast, with the exception of San Bernardino and Riverside.




Los Angeles



San Bernardino

San Diego

San Luis Obispo

Santa Barbara




Southern California's economy is diverse and one of the largest in the United States. It is dominated and heavily dependent upon abundance of petroleum, as opposed to other regions where automobiles not nearly as dominant, the vast majority of transport runs on this fuel. Southern California is famous for tourism and Hollywood (film, television, and music). Other industries include software, automotive, ports, finance, tourism, biomedical, and regional logistics. The region was a leader in the housing bubble 2001–2007, and has been heavily impacted by the housing crash.

Since the 1920s, motion pictures, petroleum and aircraft manufacturing have been major industries. In one of the richest agricultural regions in the U.S., cattle and citrus were major industries until farmlands was turned into suburbs. Although military spending cutbacks have had an impact, aerospace continues to be a major factor.[30]

Major central business districts[edit]

Irvine Taco Bell Headquarters

Southern California is home to many major business districts. Central business districts (CBD) include Downtown Los Angeles, Downtown San Diego, Downtown San Bernardino, Downtown Bakersfield, South Coast Metro and Downtown Riverside.

Within the Los Angeles Area are the major business districts of Downtown Burbank, Downtown Santa Monica, Downtown Glendale andDowntown Long Beach. Los Angeles itself has many business districts including the Downtown Los Angeles central business district as well as those lining the Wilshire Boulevard Miracle Mile including Century City, Westwood and Warner Center in the San Fernando Valley.

The San Bernardino-Riverside area maintains the business districts of Downtown San Bernardino, Hospitality Business/Financial Centre,University Town which are in San Bernardino and Downtown Riverside.

Orange County is a rapidly developing business center that includes Downtown Santa Ana, the South Coast Metro and Newport Centerdistricts; as well as the Irvine business centers of The Irvine Spectrum, West Irvine, and international corporations headquartered at theUniversity of California, Irvine. West Irvine includes the Irvine Tech Center and Jamboree Business Parks.

Downtown San Diego is the central business district of San Diego, though the city is filled with business districts. These include Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, Mission Valley,Rancho Bernardo, Sorrento Mesa, and University City. Most of these districts are located in Northern San Diego and some within North County regions.

Theme parks and waterparks[edit]

Disneyland in Anaheim.

Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Raging Waters San Dimas

Pacific Park

Dry Town Water Park

Orange County


Disney California Adventure

Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Soak City

Riverside & San Bernardino

Castle Park

Wet'n'Wild Palm Springs

Splash Kingdom Waterpark


San Diego

Legoland California

SeaWorld San Diego

Belmont Park

Aquatica San Diego

Legoland Waterpark

San Diego Zoo

Vinyard-Winery AVA districts[edit]California wine AVA-American Viticultural Areas in southern California:

South Coast AVA

Cucamonga Valley AVA

Malibu-Newton Canyon AVA

Ramona Valley AVA

Saddle Rock-Malibu AVA

Temecula Valley AVA

Leona Valley AVA

Central Coast AVA

Arroyo Grande Valley AVA

Edna Valley AVA

San Pasqual Valley AVA

Santa Maria Valley AVA

Santa Ynez Valley AVA

Sta. Rita Hills AVA

York Mountain AVA

Transportation[edit]See: Category: Transportation in Southern California

Southern California's freeway system is the world's busiest.

Southern California is home to Los Angeles International Airport, the second-busiest airport in the United States by passenger volume (see World's busiest airports by passenger traffic) and the third by international passenger volume (see Busiest airports in the United States by international passenger traffic); San Diego International Airport the busiest single runway airport in the world; Van Nuys Airport, the world's busiest general aviation airport; major commercial airports at Orange County, Bakersfield, Ontario, Burbank andLong Beach; and numerous smaller commercial and general aviation airports.

Six of the seven lines of the commuter rail system, Metrolink, run out of Downtown Los Angeles, connecting Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego counties with the other line connecting San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties directly.

Southern California is also home to the Port of Los Angeles, the United States' busiest commercial port; the adjacent Port of Long Beach, the United States' second busiest container port; and the Port of San Diego.


The following table shows all airports listed by the FAA as a hub airport:[31]


(Metro area)CategoryEnplanements

(2011) (mil)Los Angeles International Airport LAX Los Angeles Large Hub 30.5m

San Diego International Airport SAN San Diego Large Hub 8.5m

John Wayne Airport SNA Orange County Medium Hub 4.2m

LA/Ontario International Airport ONT Los Angeles Medium hub 2.3m

Bob Hope Airport BUR Burbank (LA) Medium Hub 2.1m

Long Beach Airport LGB Long Beach (LA) Smalll Hub 1.5m

Palm Springs International Airport PSP Palm Springs Small Hub 0.8m

Santa Maria Public Airport SBA Santa Barbara Small Hub 0.4m

Sign at the Century Blvd. entrance to Los Angeles International Airport greets visitors

I-10, 215 Interchange traffic,downtown San Bernardino.

Freeways and highways[edit]

Main article: Southern California freeways

Interstate HighwaysSignFreeways and Interstate

Golden State Freeway

Santa Ana Freeway

San Diego Freeway

Montgomery Freeway Interstate 5

Ocean Beach Freeway

Mission Valley Freeway Interstate 8

Santa Monica (Rosa Parks) Freeway

Golden State Freeway

San Bernardino Freeway

Indio (Dr. June McCarroll) Freeway

Blythe Freeway Interstate 10

Mojave Freeway

Barstow Freeway

Ontario Freeway

Corona Freeway

Temecula Valley Freeway

Escondido Freeway Interstate 15

Century (Glenn Anderson) Freeway Interstate 105

Harbor Freeway Interstate 110

Foothill Freeway Interstate 210

Barstow Freeway

San Bernardino Freeway

Moreno Valley Freeway

Escondido Freeway Interstate 215

San Diego Freeway Interstate 405

San Gabriel River Freeway Interstate 605

Long Beach Freeway Interstate 710

Jacob Dekema Freeway Interstate 805

Future Interstate 905 Interstate 905

U.S. Highway systemSignFreeways and US Route

U.S. Route 6

U.S. Route 95

Ventura Freeway

Hollywood Freeway

Santa Ana Freeway

El Camino Real U.S. Route 101

U.S. Route 395

Public transportation[edit]

Union Station is southern California's busiest rail station.See: Category: Public transportation in Southern California

Antelope Valley Transit Authority


Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

San Diego trolley and San Diego County MTS

Orange County Transportation Authority

Omnitrans (southwestern San Bernardino County)

Golden Empire Transit (Bakersfield)

Santa Barbara MTD

San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority

Gold Coast Transit (Ventura County)

North County Transit District (northern San Diego County)

San Diego Coaster (Oceanside to San Diego)

Big Blue Bus (Santa Monica)

Riverside Transit Agency (western Riverside County)


Map of some major area codes in Greater Los Angeles

Telephone area codes[edit]

213 – Downtown Los Angeles

323 – Doughnut-shaped area surrounding downtown, including Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, East Los Angeles and South Los Angeles

310 – West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Inglewood, South Bayand Catalina Island

424 – Overlay with 310

442 – Overlay with 760

562 – Long Beach and the Gateway Cities

619 – San Diego including downtown, East County San Diego and the South Bay

626 – Pasadena, San Gabriel Valley and Covina Valley

657 – Overlay with 714

661 – Bakersfield, Santa Clarita, Antelope Valley and California City

714 – Santa Ana, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and northernOrange County

760 – Oceanside, Escondido, Palm Springs, El Centro,Victorville, Barstow, Ridgecrest, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Blythe,Adelanto and Indio

805 – Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties

818 – San Fernando Valley, Glendale and Burbank.

858 – Northern San Diego (including La Jolla) and its suburbs (including Del Mar and Poway)

909 – Southwestern San Bernardino County, eastern Los Angeles County, and very small portions of northwesternRiverside County

949 – Southern Orange County (Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel & San Clemente)

951 – Riverside, Temecula and western Riverside County

Colleges and universities[edit]

Main article: List of colleges and universities in Southern California

University of California, Santa Barbara

The Tech Coast is a moniker that has gained use as a descriptor for the region's diversified technology and industrial base as well as its multitude of prestigious and world-renowned research universities and other public and private institutions. Amongst these include 5University of California campuses (Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and San Diego); 12 California State University campuses (Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Northridge, Pomona, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Marcos, and San Luis Obispo); and private institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, Chapman University, the Claremont Colleges (Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, and Scripps College), Loma Linda University,Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, Pepperdine University, University of Redlands, University of San Diego, and the University of Southern California.

Parks and recreation areas[edit]

Numerous parks provide recreation and open-space, some locations include:

National Park Service

Channel Islands National Park

Death Valley National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Mojave National Preserve

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Major State Parks – including:

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Chino Hills State Park

Fort Tejon State Historic Park

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

Mount San Jacinto State Park

Malibu Creek State Park

Red Rock Canyon State Park (California)

Topanga State Park

Major State Historic Parks – including:

California Citrus State Historic Park

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

La Purísima Mission State Historic Park

Los Encinos State Historic Park

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Rancho Los Encinos

Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park

Tule Elk State Natural Reserve

Watts Towers

Will Rogers State Historic Park


See also: Freeway Series, Lakers–Clippers rivalry and Sports in California § Northern California–Southern California rivalry

Professional sports teams in Southern California include teams from the NBA (Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers; MLB (Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, San Diego Padres); NHL (Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks); MLS (Los Angeles Galaxy); and NFL (San Diego Chargers). However, Los Angeles, the second largest metropolitan area in the United States, does not have an NFL team. Southern California also is home to a number of popular NCAA sports programs such as the UCLA Bruins, the USC Trojans, and the San Diego State Aztecs.

Major league sports teams in SoCalTeamSportLeagueVenue

Los Angeles Angels Baseball Major League Baseball Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium

San Diego Padres PETCO Park

Los Angeles Clippers Basketball National Basketball Association Staples Center

Los Angeles Lakers

San Diego Chargers Football National Football League Qualcomm Stadium

Anaheim Ducks Ice hockey National Hockey League Honda Center

Los Angeles Kings Staples Center

Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Major League Soccer StubHub Center

Los Angeles is the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a National Football League team.[32] From 2005 to 2014, there were two Major League Soccer teams in Los Angeles — the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA — that both played at the StubHub Center and were local rivals. However, Chivas were suspended following the 2014 MLS season, with a second MLS team scheduled to return in 2017.

College sports are also popular in southern California. The UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans both field teams in NCAA Division I in the Pac-12 conference, and there is a longtime rivalry between the schools.

Rugby is also a growing sport in southern California, particularly at the high school level, with increasing numbers of schools adding rugby as an official school sport.[33]

See also[edit]

California portal

Category: History of Southern California

Category: California ranchos – Southern California Counties categories

Category: Public transportation in Southern California

Geography of Southern California

Largest cities in Southern California

Southern California Association of Governments

South Coast

California earthquake forecast

California megapolitan areas


Megaregions of the United States

Megalopolis (city type)

San Angeles

Other California regions

Northern California

Eastern California

Central Valley (California)