Virtual Travel – California

Today we make our way to the Golden State – California. As most people know California is known for, among other things, their car culture. That culture apparently never translated to CalTrans, who never seem to have published maps.

Instead most Californians have relied on the auto club for their travel tools. The state has two major auto clubs – The Auto Club of Southern California and the California State Automobile Association, which covers Northern California.

The auto club maps rarely featured photos, mostly just graphically interesting maps.

For this posting we will mix together vintage Auto Club maps with photos from various years of the highlights of the state.

 

The map below dates from the 1950s and covers the entire state.

Auto Club California State Auto Association California 1940.jpg

 

 

 

A view of the map itself shows the famed freeways of the state still a few years away. This view has the area from the coast around San Francisco to the mountains and Yosemite National Park, going south as far as Santa Barbara.

Auto Club California State Auto Association California 1940 4.jpg

 

 

Our tour will start in San Francisco….

Auto Club SoCal San Francisco 1997

 

 

The view back toward downtown from Twin Peaks on a cloudy day.

2016 05 21 19 San Francisco.jpg

 

 

While most of San Francisco streets are in a grid system, the area directly around Twin Peaks have streets with curves resulting in a haphazard look to the houses.

2016 05 21 20 San Francisco.jpg

 

 

The Golden Gate bridge with the tops of the towers obscured by the low clouds.

2016 05 21 26 San Francisco.jpg

 

 

The cool, weirdness of Haight Asbury.

2016 05 21 58 San Francisco.jpg

 

 

Isotope Comic Book Shop and their artistic toilet lids.

2016 05 21 72 San Francisco.jpg

 

 

San Francisco from Angel Island.

2016 05 21 142 San Francisco.jpg

 

 

 

An evening at the Santa Cruz Beach.

2016 05 21 167 Santa Cruz.jpg

 

 

San Luis Reservoir as we head towards the central valley.

2016 05 22 14 Central California.jpg

 

 

 

Yosemite! One of the best National Parks.

2016 05 22 45 Yosemite.jpg

 

2016 05 22 71 Yosemite.jpg

 

2016 05 23 6 Yosemite.jpg

 

 

 

The Central Valley is the produce capital of the country.

2016 05 23 33 Fresno Area.jpg

 

2016 05 24 5 Tulare County.jpg

 

 

Sequoia National Park.

2016 05 23 41 Sequoia Kings Canyon.jpg

 

 

2016 05 23 122 Sequoia Kings Canyon.jpg

 

 

Kings Canyon National Park.

2016 05 23 105 Sequoia Kings Canyon.jpg

 

2016 05 23 116 Sequoia Kings Canyon.jpg

 

 

 

 

Let’s move on to Northeastern California.

Auto Club California State Auto Association Northeastern California 1991.jpg

 

 

Lassen National Park

2016 05 29 20 Lassen National Park.jpg

 

 

 

Lava Tubes

2016 05 29 41 Lava Beds National Monument.jpg

 

 

2016 05 29 51 Lava Beds National Monument.jpg

 

 

 

Hieroglyphs in far northern California

2016 05 29 88 Lava Beds National Monument.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Northwestern California is home to some amazing coastlines and forests.

Auto Club California State Auto Association Northwestern California 1987

 

 

Our tour of Northwest California starts out with the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geysersville.

2016 05 26 4 Geyserville CA Coppolla Winery.jpg

 

 

Lake Sonoma.

2016 05 26 37 Sonoma County.jpg

 

 

The Mendocino County coast.

2016 05 26 47 Mendocino County.jpg

 

2016 05 26 68 Mendocino County.jpg

 

2016 05 26 84 Mendocino County.jpg

 

 

Fort Bragg, California (not to be confused with the actual U.S. Army Fort Bragg in North Carolina).

2016 05 26 102 Mendocino County.jpg

 

 

2016 05 27 8 Mendocino County.jpg

 

 

 

One of the ultimate tourist traps – the Drive Thru Tree in Leggett, California.

2016 05 27 29 Mendocino County.jpg

 

 

 

Redwood Forest.

2016 05 27 78 Humboldt County.jpg

 

 

 

Eureka, California

2016 05 27 113 Humboldt County.jpg

 

 

We were  lucky enough to be in Arcata, California for one of the coolest festivals we ever saw – the Kinetics Festival.

2016 05 28 169 Arcata CA Kinetics Festival.jpg

 

2016 05 28 173 Arcata CA Kinetics Festival.jpg

 

 

Trinity Lake

2016 05 28 194 Shasta County.jpg

 

 

Shasta Dam and lake with Mount Shasta in the background.

2016 05 28 225 Shasta County.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

This 1927 map  is the Circle Tour of Southern California. Leaving downtown Los Angeles it takes you east past San Bernardino to Palm Springs, before heading south through the desert, finally returning to the coast at San Diego.

Auto Club SoCal Circle Tour 1927.jpg

 

 

 

Auto Club SoCal Circle Tour 1927 2.jpg

 

We will recreate the highlights of this tour 90 years later…

The Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles was there when this map was published.

2009 08 22 7 Los Angeles.jpg

 

 

Driving through the desert to Palm Springs.

2009 08 24 44 IAMMMMW Road.jpg

 

Palm Springs from high up on Mount San Jacinto.

2009 08 24 78 Mt San Jacinto and Palm Springs Tram.jpg

 

 

San Diego – This late 1940s map shows a San Diego that was just becoming a major city.

Auto Club SoCal San Diego County 1948

Auto Club SoCal San Diego County 1952 3

 

By 2012 it was a beautiful city by the bay.

2009 08 23 27 San Diego.jpg

 

Petco Park – Home of the San Diego Padres (trivia time – the Padres are the only major league sports team whose name is entirely in non English)

2009 08 23 70 San Diego Petco Field.jpg

 

 

And finally back in Los Angeles – although this 1920s map is missing LAX (among other things).

Auto Club SoCal Los Angeles Central Section 1940 2.jpg

 

 

2012 03 10 153 Los Angeles Scenes.jpg

 

 

2012 03 10 148 Los Angeles Griffith Park.jpg

 

 

2012 03 10 133 Los Angeles Griffith Park.jpg

 

2006 11 07 9 Downtown Los Angeles.jpg

 

 

 

2012 03 10 144 Los Angeles Griffith Park.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s