Local traditions and culture in California

  • Local Customs
    by Ewingjr98
  • off Olympic Blvd, Mid-Wilshire area, Los Angeles
    off Olympic Blvd, Mid-Wilshire area, Los...
    by marinarena
  • Santa Ana. California
    Santa Ana. California
    by marinarena

Most Viewed Local Customs in California

  • Krystynn's Profile Photo

    One of the greatest pleasures...

    by Krystynn Written Sep 12, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the greatest pleasures when you visit the United States is to go SHOPPING. Even though their sales tax is over 8% (but below 9%), it's still inexpensive to shop here.

    So, remember to bring along an extra bag in cloth material (like what I normally would do). :-)) If you're coming from Europe, Australia or Asia, buy only the American brand products. They are really, really worth it (read: CHEAP!).

    Brands like Clinique, Prescriptives, Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Anna Sui, Estee Lauder etc. are really good buys.

    I gave Calvin Klein products a miss because there are just too many imitations right now in the market (to say it's being flooded would be an understatement!). Sorry, Calvin... :-((

    I didn't buy MAC products either because it cost the same in Singapore.

    And if you're really SERIOUS about coinciding your holiday with a MAJOR sale, I can't think of a better time than the FANTASTIC 4th of July sale - yes, nation-wide.

    And for those who absolutely MUST know how cheap American products really cost in the U.S.A., here's a rough guide. Let's take the brand Clinique as an example. Their LARGEST bottle of Clarifying Lotion cost only US$15.50 (excl. sales tax) in U.S.A. That same bottle costs:-

    450 French Francs in Paris/ Nice (France).
    US$34 (S$58) in Singapore.

    O.K., I'm sure you're pretty convinced now. :-)) Happy Shopping then!

    Photos Below: Dresses from Donna Karan and Michael Kors 2000 Collection. My favorite designers.

    Was this review helpful?

  • WILDEFLOWER's Profile Photo

    While visiting the Missions,...

    by WILDEFLOWER Updated Sep 7, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While visiting the Missions, please be respectful to the buildings and grounds. Some of the Monks still live or take care of the missions themselves. Don't throw your trash on the grounds. You might want to carry some tissue with you for the restrooms. The buildings take you back in time. You can almost picture what it must of been like on the west coast way back when. It's so peaceful in these places. If you can go really early before the tourists get there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • raviv_ta's Profile Photo

    california has it all. from...

    by raviv_ta Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    california has it all. from movie stars, to farmers. from the universal studios, to cow farms. there is the golden gate bridge, and planty of amusement parks, great beaches, but also just be there is a cultural thing it self.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ..._---_...'s Profile Photo

    If someone walks up to you and...

    by ..._---_... Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If someone walks up to you and calls you 'dude' this is a good thing. Being called dude by someone there means that they like you as a person. Don't be surprised if you here it more than once in the same sentence, we just like to hear the word over and over again--LOL! Also when going to the restaurants, don't forget to tip the server at least 15% of the bill. That is just standard tipping anywhere. In Cali, the government automatically records the tip even when people are too cheap to give one. The food server then has to pay taxes on money that was not made. Also, food servers only make minimum wage-- so they LIVE off their tips(and it isn't cheap to live in Cali!). If you don't tip them, they still have to pay the government for those unearned amounts. Be curtious to all in the restaurant industry and leave a few bucks. And if you are too cheap to tip, then go to a fast food joint where tipping is not mandatory.

    Was this review helpful?

  • la_beba's Profile Photo

    America's physical fitness...

    by la_beba Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    America's physical fitness obsession started in the 1930s. And because California is California, this state is where you'll find two dozen men sweating and groaning as they lift weights in front of mirrored walls, staring at their muscles for signs of growth and working on their pectorals in T-shirts that proclaim: 'Look Better Naked' on a busy week night in a gym :o)

    It's a society that is very appearance-oriented, with Hollywood, movies, and tv shows like Baywatch everybody expects to find the beaches full of babes when they visit Southern California!!!! The idea seems to be: 'If you look perfect, you are perfect.' And worrying about your appearance is not only a woman's thing anymore. Both men and women are never satisfied with the way they look and always want to improve.

    It can be a good thing though, to feel that muscle pain after a work out.... at least to me, gets me going and all pumped up about exercising, it's like a painful reminder to go back to the gym, and also a reminder that you worked the muscle, and you hurt it enough that it will now grow as a defense mechanism, and that's when you get all ripped. I loved that about California.... as long as it's not taken to extremes, caring about your appearance can be a good thing. And this gorgeous state's weather makes it easier too.

    Was this review helpful?

  • photobf's Profile Photo

    Dumb California LawsSunshine...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dumb California Laws
    Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses.
    Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
    Bathhouses are against the law.
    It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
    Women may not drive in a house coat.
    No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
    Many animals are illegal to own as pets, including snails, sloths, ferrets, and elephants.
    In an animal shelter, lizards and snakes are treated under the same guidelines as cats and dogs.
    Arcadia
    Peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways.
    Alhambra
    You cannot leave your car on the street overnight without the proper permit.
    Baldwin Park
    Nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
    Belvedere
    City Council order reads: 'No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.'
    Blythe
    You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.
    Burlingame
    It is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds.
    Carmel
    Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk. (Repealed when Clint Eastwood was mayor)
    Women may not wear high heels while in the city limits.
    Chico
    Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine.
    Downey
    It is illegal to wash your car in the street. (Passed 1995)
    Hollywood
    It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time.
    Lafayette
    You are forbidden to spit on the ground within 5 feet of another person.
    Lodi
    It is illegal to own or sell 'Silly String'.
    Lompoc
    It is illegal to posses, own or raise roosters. This is considered disturbing the peace.
    Long Beach
    Cars are the only item allowed in a garage.
    It is illegal to curse on a mini-golf course.
    Los Angeles
    It is illegal for a man to beat his wife with a strap wider than 2 inches without her consent.
    You cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time.
    You may not hunt moths under a street light.
    It is illegal to cry on the witness stand.
    Toads may not be licked.
    It is a crime for dogs to mate within 500 yards of a church.Breaking this law is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or six months in prison.
    Zoot suits are prohibited.
    Ontario
    Roosters may not crow in the city limits.
    Pacific Grove
    Molesting butterflies can result in a $500 fine.
    Palm Springs
    It is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive between the hours of four and six PM.
    Pasadena
    It is illegal for a secretary to be alone in a room with her boss.
    Prunedale
    Two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house.
    Redlands
    Motor vehicles may not drive on city streets unless a man with a lantern is walking ahead of it.
    Riverside
    One may not carry a lunch down the street between 11 and 1 o'clock.
    San Diego
    It is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar.
    The owners of houses with Christmas lights on them past February second may be fined up to $250.
    San Francisco
    Prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash.
    It is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear.
    Persons classified as 'ugly' may not walk down any street.
    It is illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner.
    San Jose
    It is illegal to have more than two cats or dogs. -Ord. 7.08.595
    Santa Monica
    You may not play percussion instruments on the beach.
    Temecula
    Ducks have the right of way to cross Rancho California St. at all times.

    Was this review helpful?

  • VintageRose's Profile Photo

    Well I haven't been there in a...

    by VintageRose Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well I haven't been there in a long time. Maybe its not even valid anymore, but I think it is!!:)
    Cali is very laid back! Dress comfortably and just enjoy yourself. Northern California is different than Southern California. Remember Hollywood is down south the pace is more frenzied in southern California there are tons of touristy things to do. Amusement parks, movie theaters, restaurants, clubs etc etc.. Northern California is very artistic.. it can be frenzied but just think of sunsets, paint brushes, wineries, biking,bed and breakfasts, farm country, national parks, and quiet time!

    Was this review helpful?

  • b1bob's Profile Photo

    Liberal at the coast, conservative inland

    by b1bob Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With San Francisco, Berkeley, and Hollywood, California gets a reputation for being monolithically liberal. That isn't completely true. Sure, it is plenty liberal along the coast with the notable exceptions of San Diego and Orange County. You go 5 miles (8 km.) inland, you can almost feel it get more conservative. The Central Valley, for example, is culturally closer to small-town Oklahoma or Texas than San Francisco (just beyond the Coast Range).

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo

    If you are interested in nude...

    by Jeannette1 Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are interested in nude bathing you may want to check the Directory of Nude Beaches and Nude Bathing Etiquette...and NO, it does not include nude photos ;)

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo

    You will notice the multiple...

    by Jeannette1 Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will notice the multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds and the diversity of the population. Some see it as a strength and others see it as alarming. It sure makes California a fascinating state. My friend's little girl is the face of a new Californian...a blend of Asian, White, and Mexican backgrounds.

    Was this review helpful?

  • marko727's Profile Photo

    WINE TASTING IN CALIFORNIA IS...

    by marko727 Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    WINE TASTING IN CALIFORNIA IS A RECOMMENDED CULTURAL ACTIVITY. SURE, THEY HAVE WINE TASTING IN OTHER U.S. STATES, BUT CALIFORNIA WINERIES, AND THE TRAVELLING FROM ONE TO THE OTHER, IS AN EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF (WITH WINE TASTING ON LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, A CLOSE SECOND).

    Was this review helpful?

  • Just be yourself and LET...

    by caramba Written Aug 24, 2002

    Just be yourself and LET OTHERS BE THERE OWN. California, especially Los Angeles, is culturally diverse. The people are friendly, for the most part. Just like anywhere else, if you're abusive don't expect to get your hand or anything else, kissed. Despite the media hype, We have more GOOD people here, they just don't seem to draw attention to themselves. The bad elements are usually from out of town anyway.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Don't be surprised if you take...

    by stoat Written Aug 24, 2002

    Don't be surprised if you take a walk on the paved path by the ocean and are yelled at by bicyclist. They generally don't like to share.
    Also, don't be too wierded out by the people who walk by arguing with their hands, wear rags and drive multicolored VW vans, or wear alot of duct tape on their clothes and talk about alien abduction. I've met or seen all of the above and they are virtually harmless. Its just another interesting side to a complex state. Also makes for good people watching!

    Was this review helpful?

  • TheFish's Profile Photo

    'True heroism is...

    by TheFish Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness



    'True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve all others at
    whatever cost.' - Arthur Ashe

    Was this review helpful?

  • DesertRat's Profile Photo

    California is a state of...

    by DesertRat Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    California is a state of considerable contrast. Along the highly-populated coastal strip between San Diego and San Francisco, you'll find some of the world's most liberal and hippest people. On the *other* side of the mountains, however, you'll find some of the most conservative, so conservative, in fact, that most would consider them 'rednecks'. This part of California is 'cowboy country' and is culturally similar to the rest of the so-called 'intermountain west', those states between California and the Great Plains.

    Was this review helpful?

California Hotels

See all 7252 Hotels in California

Top California Hotels

Los Angeles Hotels
4411 Reviews - 8884 Photos
San Francisco Hotels
9131 Reviews - 19421 Photos
Anaheim Hotels
721 Reviews - 1986 Photos
San Diego Hotels
3230 Reviews - 7449 Photos
Palm Springs Hotels
353 Reviews - 772 Photos
Santa Barbara Hotels
656 Reviews - 1213 Photos
Santa Monica Hotels
457 Reviews - 1055 Photos
Yosemite National Park Hotels
1503 Reviews - 3461 Photos
Pismo Beach Hotels
70 Reviews - 186 Photos
Solvang Hotels
270 Reviews - 682 Photos
Monterey Hotels
922 Reviews - 2753 Photos
Marina del Rey Hotels
85 Reviews - 163 Photos
Hollywood Hotels
453 Reviews - 1310 Photos
Santa Cruz Hotels
285 Reviews - 637 Photos
Napa Hotels
441 Reviews - 1237 Photos

Instant Answers: California

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

78 travelers online now

Comments

California Local Customs

Reviews and photos of California local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for California sightseeing.
Map of California

California Members Meetings

Aug 15, 2014 
Celebrate VT's 15th Anniversary
Aug 15, 2014 
VT's 15th Anniversary - The TMZ Hollywood Tour
Aug 15, 2014 
VT 15th Anniversary - First Dinner
Aug 16, 2014 
VT's 15th Anniversary - Downtown Exploration

see all California member meetings