There are also differences between coastal regions and inland (mountains, valleys and deserts). At the time of writing, mid-October, the current temperatures midnight-midday are:
- Lake Tahoe 34F - 66F (1C - 19C)
- San Francisco 49F - 63F (9C - 17C)
- Sacramento 55F - 81F (13C - 27C)
- Santa Barbara 52F - 67F (11C - 19C)
- Los Angeles 62F - 66F (17C - 19C)
- Palm Springs 69F - 91F (21C - 33C)
We flew into LAX one December and spent two weeks in California which included driving to Mammoth mountain for a few days skiing, back to LA (staying near Disneyland at Anaheim to visit some of the many theme parks) plus a couple of days visiting Palm Springs. The weather was perfect in all three resorts - sunny and warm.
Another time, we flew to San Francisco in May/June and, after a couple of days there, spent a couple of weeks touring along the Pacific Coast highway to San Diego, via Carmel, St Louis Obispo, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Long Beach plus a detour to Las Vegas.
We've been to California a few times and experienced a perfect climate on each visit until this year. Based at Long Beach in February, there was a chill wind along the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Away from the coast, in the Hollywood Hills (and shopping malls) it was climatically pleasant for walking around in shirt-sleeves or a light-weight jacket.
This year's trip was a film-focused week. Apart from the Universal Backlot Tour, we were escorted in a small group around Warner Brothers Studios and Lot, visiting the sets of The Big Bang Theory and The Mentalist, amongst others. We also spent a day in Hollywood amongst the preparations for the Oscars - also taking in the Chinese Theatre and Walk of Fame stars. And while visiting Malibu Beach, we wandered along the pier during a film shoot for TV series Franklin & Bash with Malcolm McDowall. Oops!
Have fun planning your own California highlights trip.