California Local Customs

  • 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

California Local Customs

  • S.F. Nicknames / Pride

    San Francisco Local Customs

    When you refer to San Francisco as Frisco or San Fran, you're marking yourself as an outsider. No one here calls it that, and those abbreviations grate on our ears. We say San Francisco or The City. And while we're on the subject, the name of our state is California. Absolutely no one calls it Cali, and Cal refers to the University of...

    more
  • What to Wear - Packing

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    I am obliged to a gal who cuts hair on the other side of town. She is "rad". However, when she was outta town, I got my mop cropped at "Rudy's", a cool spot in Los Feliz. Rudy's is a stylin' space - a re-worked auto shop that sells magazines and CDs while you wait. Cuts cost, I think $18, which is cheap for Los Angeles. Ask for "Dale". She knew...

    more
  • Dress Code

    San Diego Local Customs

    San Diego is quite the beach culture. These peops are raised on the wet sand and they're not so friendly to outsiders. You stick out like a sore thumb if you're wearing elastic trunks while drinking and chillin on the beach. Before you go, invest in some board shorts. Don't get them in San Diego because you'll be paying way too much. Otherwise,...

    more
  • Yosemite History

    Yosemite National Park Local Customs

    Inspired by the scenic beauty of Yosemite and spurred on by the specter of private exploitation of Yosemite's natural wonders, conservationists appealed to Senator John Conness of California. On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to the State of California as an...

    more
  • Disneyland

    Anaheim Local Customs

    One of the most celebrated and hated things about Disneyland is the evening fireworks show that does on many nights of the week- 3-6 days a week. Locals living within a mile to about 5 mile radius can see and hear the 10-15 min big bang show very well. However this does not sit so well with some who find the elaborate show quite bothersome. Just...

    more
  • Salt Creek

    Death Valley National Park Local Customs

    At Salt Creek, there is an interpretive trail along a boardwalk built by the park service, in somewhat vain hopes that they will keep the public from trampling around a particularly sensitive area of the desert

    more
  • Beach Culture

    Santa Monica Local Customs

    Here I am in my bohemeian attire at the Promenade, by the dinosaur-cut tree sculptures. Santa Monica is a fashion capital within the greater L.A. area. Many clothing boutiques line the streets within and around the main Promenade area. Get some ideas at these places and buy some outfits (if you can afford to, that is!

    more
  • People / Oddities

    Hollywood Local Customs

    popular oscar award replicas are widely available at the grauman chinese theater souvenir shops and around hollywood boulevard area shops and they cost $ 9.95 for the small oscar trophy and you can even have your name engraved on it. truly an oddity and a tacky souvenir of hollywood hehehe.

    more
  • Information / Sources

    Long Beach Local Customs

    Most people, even people who live in Long Beach, do not know what the little islands in the harbor are. They are man made islands that are actually oil drilling platforms. There was a consortium of companies that wanted to drill. They were Texaco, Humble, Union, Mobil, and Shell. They were told by the city fathers that they could not place any ugly...

    more
  • People

    Sacramento Local Customs

    They have all kinds of memorials that have been created over the years. The statue comemmorating Spanish War Veterans stood near a little pond with fountain. It was near the Civil War Memorial Grove. I decided the people of Sacramento must be very civic-minded.

    more
  • Flags Flying

    Coronado Local Customs

    It was 1911 when U.S. Naval Aviation came into being, right here at the north end of Coronado. This year, 2011, is the centennial year and a board member of the Coronado Historical Association came up with the idea of honoring past and present U.S. Naval Aviators who lived here on the Island. It was dubbed, "Project Home Front," and the research...

    more
  • Car Culture

    Oceanside Local Customs

    Hmm... I didn't know exactly what the English word YIELD meant when I arrived to the USA - something like to give up, I thought. In American English to yield to traffic coming from another direction is to wait and allow it to go first. So, there were yield writings on the highway surface. Drivind around a few communities and cities in Southern...

    more
  • Arts / Science

    La Jolla Local Customs

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography's main campus consists of 180 acres in La Jolla. Before moving to its present location in 1910, Scripps had been housed first in the boathouse of the Hotel Del Coronado (1903-04), which you can see on my Coronado Restaurants page and then in a small laboratory building near La Jolla Cove (1905-1909.) Scripps...

    more
  • Cars, Parking and Driving

    Chula Vista Local Customs

    It seems that they sign routes for trucks quite different than in most European countries. Enlarge my picture: they just put a sign with TRUCK ROUTE written. In most of Europe (I think) we write: TRANSIT + eventually put a small truck picture by it (depends on a country). Generally they often write warnings surely in English on their traffic...

    more
  • Diverse Population

    California Local Customs

    This photo is supposed to be funny, just a joke to give us a laugh, however, the various reactions it evokes is an example of how Californians are perceived by outsiders. Though the Hollywood Scene and the Movie Making Industry is only a small part of California's life and economy, it seems that because of the popularity of Actors, people tend to...

    more
  • S.F. Diversity

    San Francisco Local Customs

    Everyone knows that one of the best ways to make new friends is to make 'em laugh. The folks in the Castro are very good at poking a little fun at themselves - as evidenced by some of the signage along the main drag. It's perfectly OK to giggle. (Yes, I have two puns in this thing)

    more
  • Restaurant Etiquette

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    ips are designed to let you share your insights about any cultural differences a traveler to this destination might encounter. For example, local customs like tipping in restaurants, how to greet people, appropriate gifts, or any other common situation a traveler might encounter. Tips are rated by your fellow travelers on the basis of helpfulness...

    more
  • Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter

    San Diego Local Customs

    Barrio Logan is an impoverished neighborhood in San Diego. It is one of the earliest to develop, as dockworkers were recruited and this bit of land near the Bay became home to the families of the workers. As happens in most towns where poverty flourishes, crime and a bad reputation seeps in and the city, in general discounts the value of the people...

    more
  • Desert Views

    Death Valley National Park Local Customs

    Well, as the Ranger information states "Don't feed the animals". I am not sure of what qualifies as a local custom in Death Valley but I am sure that this place deserves a visit and your respect.

    more
  • Food / Drink

    Long Beach Local Customs

    If you can afford to travel and eat out, start at 20% and work your way Up or Down... By ALL MEANS ask your server for local resources and hot spots... In LONG BEACH, we are heavily populated by Hispanics, Cambodians, African Americans, and Pilipinos (or Filipinos, Tagalog dialect) as well as Japanese and other cultures. If you need translation...

    more
  • Information / Sources

    Sacramento Local Customs

    California statewide sales tax is 7.75% on all goods except food items. It is not included in the prices listed on merchandise but will be added at the cash register. Tips in restaurants are not included and you are free to leave whatever you want. Usually you leave between 12 and 15%. In a more expensive restaurant or if the service is exceptional...

    more
  • Flora / Fauna

    Coronado Local Customs

    I don't know. Nobody fed them on Coronado Beach when I was there (too luxury place or what? hehe). But I am sure they will always appreciate a little bit of bread being tossed their way!

    more
  • Summers / Beach Activities

    Oceanside Local Customs

    Oceanside is a very popular surf site and since my surfing ability is limited to the few lessons I have taken I must rely on other sources to say whether it is good surfing. I assume it must be good because they arrive before 6am even in the winter, 50 or so bobbing heads waiting for a wave, and surely freezing their tails off.

    more
  • Shopping

    Chula Vista Local Customs

    Look at my picture. Shopping carts look quite the same as I used to see around Europe (with a place for your kid - if you have a small one :-). But there is one difference at least with my homecountry: American carts don't have locks and I liked it much :-))). In my homecountry all shopping carts by supermarkets are locked: you must put a small...

    more
  • Contrasts

    California Local Customs

    When visiting and experiencing California, don't get so fixed on the dreamy, Hollywood-like image that California seems to always be link to despite her great diversity. Even in Hollywood, you will find quite ordinary life of everyday people. There are many attractions that the famous cities offer but stray away for a few days and visit a small...

    more
  • Tipping

    San Francisco Local Customs

    Taxis: Driver - 15-20% of fare; generally a minimum of $1 Airport: Skycap - $1-2 per bag Personal Care: Barber - 15% of the cost; generally a minimum of $1 Hairdresser - 15% of bill for one operator; if several operators, 10% of bill to haircutter/colorist/stylist, 10% divided among others Manicurist - $3-$5 (more if manicure runs more than about...

    more
  • Police and Law Enforcement

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    You might not think of california as a place to cycle, but they actually have cycling police there. Especially in the beach areas where you can get around easier and faster than by car. I really like to see that as i am used to danish police who are mostly obese crooners sitting in a car, yelling at the world.

    more
  • People

    San Diego Local Customs

    When I moved to San Diego I spent an entire month trying to figure out where to live. In the process I stopped (as in stopped them on the streets) over 40 people to ask about their neighborhood and EVERY ONE of them took at least 20 minutes out of their day to talk to me. Most even wrote notes for me. Gotta love the people of San Diego

    more
  • People

    Long Beach Local Customs

    People in Long Beach are MUCH more casual and laid back than people in LA and Hollywood. People are not as pretentious and flash their money around (as much). Most people are into the casual and comfortable look with jeans and a nice shirt. Pretty much anything and everything goes in Long Beach. The yuppies hang out in Belmont Shore. The corporate...

    more
  • Elegance

    Coronado Local Customs

    I noticed that there is a little different dress code in Coronado at least inside and around Hotel del Coronado : more elegant, stylish, fashionable I could say. Surely there are people just in jeans and T-shirt but... enlarge my picture :-).

    more
  • For the Sports Minded

    California Local Customs

    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...

    more
  • Local Events

    San Francisco Local Customs

    Every year on the first weekend in October the Fleet comes in and San Francisco is filled with sailors. On Saturday and Sunday the city celebrates with a huge air show. SF Bay has to be one of the best venues in the world for the Blue Angels dramatic air show. People line every available edge of bay and watch the pilots do their amazing stunts....

    more
  • Filming and Movies

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    One thing they don't mention on the studio tours is that a lot of what ends up in a movie or tv show isn't shot at a studio. Southern California is full of on location filming and if you want to try to catch some while you're visiting, here are some tips. A lot of productions use bright yellowish-orange signs to lead cast and crew to the filming...

    more
  • Restaurants / Tipping

    San Diego Local Customs

    I saw it only once in Gaslamp Quarter - a man inviting people to a restaurant, he just stand on a walkway with some food to taste. Is it the way for free eating? = low budget travel. I don't think so. Although I saw one local bum who tried it, succesfully :-).

    more
  • Art / Music / Shopping

    Long Beach Local Customs

    SHOPPING: Remember to bring along an extra bag in cloth material (like what I always do). :-)) If you're coming from Europe or Asia, buy only the American brand products. They are really, really worth it (read: cheap). Brands like Clinique, Prescriptives, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Anne Klein, Donna Karan, Anna Sui, Estee Lauder etc. are...

    more
  • Beach

    Coronado Local Customs

    Not all beaches I visited along USA Pacific Coast were clean out of the season that is in April/May. But Coronado Beach was very clean (at least close to the Hotel Del Coronado) - do they clean it all the year round? There were numerous trashes along the beach although there were few people. Generally, the whole Coronado seems to be a very clean...

    more
  • Tourist Places / Tourist Etiquette

    California Local Customs

    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...

    more
  • S.F. Sights

    San Francisco Local Customs

    the philippine community is located at the south of market area of san francisco (SOMA) and is just beneath the Moscone Convention Center and they even have street named after rizal, mabini, bonifacio, tandang sora and there was even a jollibee nearby but it is now closed. Most of the Philippine residents are veterans of World War two and there are...

    more
  • Driving

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    The interstate/highway system in Southern California can be a puzzle to folks from out of town. Here are a few tips for the visitor that I hope will make your visit much more pleasant. We all know it wil be crazy enough with the traffic you're likely to encounter. 1. All interstates and those state highways that are not surface streets are...

    more
  • Information / Sources

    San Diego Local Customs

    On 1 December 1995 The University of California at San Diego, (UCSD) renamed their University Library Building, "The Geisel Library," in honor of Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel, (Dr. Seuss,) for their generous contributions to the library and their life long efforts to improve literacy. Theodor Geisel lived his last years in San Diego, and through...

    more
  • The Laws

    California Local Customs

    Some localities in California has some of the most stringent anti-smoking laws in the USA. I'm sure the city of Los Angeles has a smoking ban in all restaurants, including bars. I'm not sure if the ban extends to the whole of L.A. county. On top of that, some beaches have even banned smoking on them (enforced by a hefty fine). I don't smoke, but...

    more
  • Transportation Options / Issues

    San Francisco Local Customs

    All of the Bay Area bridges are toll bridges: $5 to go southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge (www.goldengate.org), and $4 to go westbound on the Bay Bridge (www.oaklandbridge.com), San Mateo, Dumbarton and San Rafael bridges. If you're a regular commuter, you can buy commuter books to get a volume discount. Ask at the toll plaza. All Bay Area toll...

    more
  • Tipping

    Los Angeles Local Customs

    There's usually a lot of grumblings from foreigners on service tipping, particularly in restaurants. Regardless of whether your agree with the custom, it's customary to tip. Furthermore, wait staff wages are suppressed to begin with, so tipping contributes to their actual income. It's customary to tip between 15% to 20%. I usually look at the tax...

    more
  • Flora / Fauna

    San Diego Local Customs

    We don't get a lot of rain here in San Diego and are very into the environment so we have adapted to our conditions instead of fighting against it. You will see a WONDERFUL WIDE variety of different succulents and low water plants. I think they are beautiful and chances are you will see a ton of things you have never seen before. Enjoy.

    more
  • Money Issues

    California Local Customs

    Sales Tax : The tax in California is applied to almost everything with the exception of some items of food. There is an across the state tax as well as supplementary taxes which varies from county to county and from city to city within each county.

    more

California Hotels

See all 7252 Hotels in California

Top California Hotels

Los Angeles Hotels
4413 Reviews - 8887 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
Santa Cruz Hotels
285 Reviews - 637 Photos
Hollywood Hotels
453 Reviews - 1310 Photos
Marina del Rey Hotels
85 Reviews - 163 Photos
Napa Hotels
441 Reviews - 1237 Photos

Instant Answers: California

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

96 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