The 12 Geographical Regions of California


For Tourism and Travel Purposes, the State of California is divided into 12 regions that conveniently represent geographic bounds of either counties or natural features such as deserts, mountains and bays. Pictured below is the California Regions Map. Included are the regions: North Coast with Counties Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake; San Francisco Bay Area with counties San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara; Central Coast with counties Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito; Los Angeles County; Orange County; Inland Empire with portions of counties Riverside, San Bernardino; San Diego County; Shasta Cascade with portions of counties Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Plumas, Butte, Glenn, Trinity; Gold Country with portions of counties Sierra, Nevada, Placer, Yuba, El Dorado, Sacramento, Fresno, Mariposa, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Amador, Placer, Sutter; Central Valley with portions of counties Glenn, Colusa, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera; High Sierra with portions of Inyo, Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Yuba, Alpine, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Alpine; Deserts with portions of counties Imperial, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo.

 

County
Cities
 
   
Alameda
Alameda
Albany
Berkeley
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Livermore
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
San Leandro
Union City

Alpine
No Cities

Amador
Amador
Ione
Jackson
Plymouth
Sutter Creek

Butte
Biggs
Chico
Gridley
Oroville
Paradise

Calaveras
Angels Camp

Colusa
Colusa
Williams

Contra Costa
Antioch
Brentwood
Clayton
Concord
Danville
El Cerrito
Hercules
Lafayette
Martinez
Moraga
Oakley
Orinda
Pinole
Pittsburg
Pleasant Hill
Richmond
San Pablo
San Ramon
Walnut Creek

Del Norte
Crescent City

El Dorado
Placerville
South Lake Tahoe

Fresno
Clovis
Coalinga
Firebaugh
Fowler
Fresno
Huron
Kerman
Kingsburg
Mendota
Orange Cove
Parlier
Reedley
Sanger
San Joaquin
Selma

Glenn
Orland
Willows

Humboldt
Arcata
Blue Lake
Eureka
Ferndale
Fortuna
Rio Dell
Trinidad

Imperial
Brawley
Calexico
Calipatria
El Centro
Holtville
Imperial
Westmorland

Inyo
Bishop

Kern
Arvin
Bakersfield
California City
Delano
Maricopa
Mcfarland
Ridgecrest
Shafter
Taft
Tehachapi
Wasco

Kings
Avenal
Corcoran
Hanford
Lemoore

Lake
Clearlake
Lakeport

Lassen
Susanville

Los Angeles
Agoura Hills
Alhambra
Arcadia
Artesia
Avalon
Azusa
Baldwin Park
Bell
Bellflower
Bell Gardens
Beverly Hills
Bradbury
Burbank
Calabasas
Carson
Cerritos
Claremont
Commerce
Compton
Covina
Cudahy
Culver City
Diamond Bar
Downey
Duarte
El Monte
El Segundo
Gardena
Glendale
Glendora
Hawaiian Gardens
Hawthorne
Hermosa Beach
Hidden Hills
Huntington Park
Industry
Inglewood
Irwindale
La Canada Flintridge
La Habra Heights
Lakewood
La Mirada
Lancaster
La Puente
La Verne
Lawndale
Lomita
Long Beach
Los Angeles
Lynwood
Malibu
Manhattan Beach
Maywood
Monrovia
Montebello
Monterey Park
Norwalk
Palmdale
Palos Verdes Estates
Paramount
Pasadena
Pico Rivera
Pomona
Rancho Palos Verdes
Redondo Beach
Rolling Hills

Los Angeles (continued)
Rolling Hills Estates
Rosemead
San Dimas
San Fernando
San Gabriel
San Marino
Santa Clarita
Santa Fe Springs
Santa Monica
Sierra Madre
Signal Hill
South El Monte
South Gate
South Pasadena
Temple City
Torrance
Vernon
Walnut
West Covina
West Hollywood
Westlake Village
Whittier

Madera
Chowchilla
Madera

Marin
Belvedere
Corte Madera
Fairfax
Larkspur
Mill Valley
Novato
Ross
San Anselmo
San Rafael
Sausalito 
Tiburon

Mariposa
No Cities

Mendocino
Fort Bragg
Point Arena
Ukiah
Willits

Merced
Atwater
Dos Palos
Gustine
Livingston
Los Banos
Merced

Modoc
Alturas

Mono
Mammoth Lakes

Monterey
Carmel-by-the-Sea
Del Rey Oaks
Gonzales
Greenfield
King City
Marina
Monterey
Pacific Grove
Salinas
Sand City
Seaside
Soledad

Napa
American Canyon
Calistoga
Napa
St Helena
Yountville

Nevada
Grass Valley
Nevada City
Truckee

Orange
Aliso Viejo
Anaheim
Brea
Buena Park
Costa Mesa
Cypress
Dana Point
Fountain Valley
Fullerton
Garden Grove
Huntington Beach
Irvine
Laguna Beach
Laguna Hills
Laguna Niguel
Laguna Woods
La Habra
Lake Forest
La Palma
Los Alamitos
Mission Viejo
Newport Beach
Orange
Placentia
Rancho Santa Margarita
San Clemente
San Juan Capistrano
Santa Ana
Seal Beach
Stanton
Tustin
Villa Park
Westminster
Yorba Linda

Placer
Auburn
Colfax
Lincoln
Loomis
Rocklin
Roseville

Plumas
Portola

Riverside
Banning
Beaumont
Blythe
Calimesa
Canyon Lake
Cathedral City
Coachella
Corona
Desert Hot Springs
Hemet
Indian Wells
Indio
Lake Elsinore
La Quinta
Moreno Valley
Murrieta
Norco
Palm Desert
Palm Springs
Perris
Rancho Mirage
Riverside
San Jacinto
Temecula

Sacramento
Citrus Heights
Elk Grove
Folsom
Galt
Isleton
Rancho Cordova
Sacramento

San Benito
Hollister
San Juan Bautista

San Bernardino
Adelanto
Apple Valley
Barstow

Big Bear Lake
Chino
Chino Hills
Colton
Fontana
Grand Terrace
Hesperia
Highland
Loma Linda
Montclair
Needles
Ontario
Rancho Cucamonga
Redlands
Rialto
San Bernardino
Twentynine Palms
Upland
Victorville
Yucaipa
Yucca Valley
 

San Diego
Carlsbad
Chula Vista
Coronado
Del Mar
El Cajon
Encinitas
Escondido
Imperial Beach
La Mesa
Lemon Grove
National City
Oceanside
Poway
San Diego
San Marcos
Santee
Solana Beach

San Francisco
San Francisco

San Joaquin
Escalon
Lathrop
Lodi
Manteca
Ripon
Stockton
Tracy

San Luis Obispo
Arroyo Grande
Atascadero
Paso Robles
Grover Beach
Morro Bay
Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo

San Mateo
Atherton
Belmont
Brisbane
Burlingame
Colma
Daly City
East Palo Alto
Foster City
Half Moon Bay
Hillsborough
Menlo Park
Millbrae
Pacifica
Portola Valley
Redwood City
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Mateo
South San Francisco
Woodside

Santa Barbara
Buellton
Carpinteria
Goleta
Guadalupe
Lompoc
Santa Barbara
Santa Maria
Solvang

Santa Clara
Campbell
Cupertino
Gilroy
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Milpitas
Monte Sereno
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Palo Alto
San Jose
Santa Clara
Saratoga
Sunnyvale

Santa Cruz
Capitola
Santa Cruz
Scotts Valley
Watsonville

Shasta
Anderson
Redding
Shasta Lake

Sierra
Loyalton

Siskiyou
Dorris
Dunsmuir
Etna
Fort Jones
Montague
Mount Shasta
Tulelake
Weed
Yreka

Solano
Benicia
Dixon
Fairfield
Rio Vista
Suisun City
Vacaville
Vallejo

Sonoma
Cloverdale
Cotati
Healdsburg
Petaluma
Rohnert Park
Santa Rosa
Sebastopol
Sonoma
Windsor

Stanislaus
Ceres
Hughson
Modesto
Newman
Oakdale
Patterson
Riverbank
Turlock
Waterford

Sutter
Live Oak
Yuba City

Tehama
Corning
Red Bluff
Tehama

Trinity
No Cities

Tulare
Dinuba
Exeter
Farmersville
Lindsay
Porterville
Tulare
Visalia
Woodlake

Tuolumne
Sonora

Ventura
Camarillo
Fillmore
Moorpark
Ojai
Oxnard
Port Hueneme
San Buenaventura
Santa Paula
Simi Valley
Thousand Oaks
Ventura

Yolo
Davis
West Sacramento
Winters
Woodland

Yuba
Marysville
Wheatland



What is a County

The provisions for the government of California counties are contained in the California Constitution and the California Government Code. A county is the largest political subdivision of the state having corporate powers. It is vested by the Legislature with the powers necessary to provide for the health and welfare of the people within its borders. The specific organizational structure of a county in California varies from county to county.


County as Distinguished from a City

Counties lack broad powers of self-government that California cities have (e.g., cities have broad revenue generating authority and counties do not). In addition, legislative control over counties is more complete than it is over cities. Unless restricted by a specific provision of the state Constitution, the Legislature may delegate to the counties any of the functions which belong to the state itself. Conversely, the state may take back to itself and resume the functions which it has delegated to counties (e.g., state funding of trial courts).


Types of Counties

The California Constitution recognizes two types of counties: general law counties and charter counties. General law counties adhere to state law as to the number and duties of county elected officials. Charter counties, on the other hand, have a limited degree of "home rule" authority that may provide for the election, compensation, terms, removal, and salary of the governing board; for the election or appointment (except the sheriff, district attorney, and assessor who must be elected), compensation, terms, and removal of all county officers; for the powers and duties of all officers; and for consolidation and segregation of county offices. A charter does not give county officials extra authority over local regulations, revenue-raising abilities, budgetary decisions, or intergovernmental relations.

A county may adopt, amend, or repeal a charter with majority vote approval. A new charter or the amendment or repeal of an existing charter may be proposed by the Board of Supervisors, a charter commission, or an initiative petition. The provisions of a charter are the law of the state and have the force and effect of legislative enactments. There are currently 45 general law counties and 13 charter counties. They are as follows:


General Law Counties: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba


Charter Counties: Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tehama



County Powers

The California Constitution authorizes a county to make and enforce local ordinances that do not conflict with general laws. A county also has the power to sue and be sued, purchase and hold land, manage or dispose of its properties, and levy and collect taxes authorized by law. Many additional powers have been granted to counties by the Legislature. The powers of a county can only be exercised by the Board of Supervisors or through officers acting under the authority of the Board or authority conferred by law. In addition, the Board must follow the procedural requirements in the statutes or its actions will not be valid. For example, if the Legislature has provided a method by which a county may abandon a road, that method must be followed. Also, where state law requires land use zoning by an ordinance, this statutorily prescribed method is binding on the county. On the other hand, where the law does not specifically prescribe a method for accomplishing a task, the county may adopt any reasonably suitable means.

Source: California State Association of Counties

California's Original 27 Counties in 1850 were: Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

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california geographic regions


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