Information About the Four Regions in California

By Ashley Schaeffer; Updated April 25, 2017
San Francisco is one of California's greatest coastal cities.

California is known as the “Golden State” for the wealth that was found below its ground, but its wealth is equally abundant above ground. It is among the most geographically diverse states in the country, encompassing the regions of coast, valley, mountain and desert. Each region has its own distinct climate, geography and tourist spots.

Coast

California's beaches are popular for their beauty and pleasing weather.

California's coast is known for having some of the most desirable weather in the world. While the southern coast is known for its warm summers and mild winters, the northern coast is known for being moderate and breezy throughout the year. California's sandy beaches are popularized on television, but much of the coast is rocky. Some portions of the coast give way to natural harbors, such as the San Francisco Bay. Other landmark cities in this region include San Diego and Los Angeles.

Desert

Cacti and succulents are common desert plant life.

The deserts in California are divided into two basic types -- the Mojave (high desert) and the Colorado (which is low). There is very little rainfall in these regions, making it difficult for the land to sustain most plant life. They are known for extreme climates, with temperatures soaring in the daytime and then dropping to freezing levels in the night. Death Valley and Joshua Tree are two national parks that are found within California's desert region.

Valley

The valley is an especially fertile region of California.

California's valley region, often referred to as the Central Valley, stretches from Bakersfield in the south to Vacaville in the north. The Central Valley is known for being an especially abundant area for agriculture, and produces the majority of the state's produce. The summers tend to be warm and dry, while the winters are cool and wetter. The valley is the location of the state's capital, Sacramento.

Mountain

The beauty of California's mountain region attracts plentiful tourism.

The most popular and well-known spot in California's mountain region is Yosemite, which is known for its forests, rivers and waterfalls. Mammoth, Lake Tahoe and Big Bear are all high enough in elevation that they get the most snowfall in the state, which attracts many skiers and snowboarders. Although the weather is very cold in the winter, the temperatures rise to be quite warm in the summertime.

About the Author

Ashley Schaeffer has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in arts-and-entertainment, health and wellness topics. She has written extensively for "Buzzine Magazine," the culture and entertainment publication of Richard Elfman. Schaeffer holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in comparative literature and Spanish, both from UC Berkeley, and is pursuing a master's degree in counseling psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.