Plotting out the course of a road trip that'll adhere to an interesting theme?
You might spread out a map of the state and mark every location with a state park.
Or every place where there's a roadside date shake stand.
Or every destination that begins with the letter M. (Hey there, Mariposa, Montecito, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto...)
But if you wanted a truly Golden-State-ian approach to your getaway, you might create a vacation map based upon where all of the California Welcome Centers are located.
Surely you know about these fantastsic repositories of Cali-tastic cred and helpful travel info. They're places where you can pick up loads of booklets, maps, and more, all for free, just by stopping by.
And, indeed: The people running the centers are super-knowledgable about all things California, too.
Want to find new things to do in Los Angeles? The Scene's lifestyle stories have you covered. Here's your go-to source on where the fun is across SoCal and for the weekend.
Here's something you already know, if you're as obsessed with the 18 centers and know where to find them: There's no California Welcome Center in Los Angeles.
For sure, that's right off the 5 Freeway, meaning adventurers on their way down to Disneyland, Orange County, or San Diego, or headed north, or those who just need more LA love in their worlds, can slip by the shopping mall and stock up on magazines, maps, and such.
And if you stop by through March 31, you'll be able to pick up a swag bag, for free.
Yep: It's while supplies last.
And yep again: Not only can you find free in-state travel info at a California Welcome Center, but there are several "off-site ticket purchase options," to area attractions, should you want to line-up your admission to Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm before heading to Anaheim or Buena Park.
There's a lot going on, in short, in these happy hubs o' California information.
And a lot of information there is, too: Both Visit California and the California Office of Tourism are behind these swing-by spots.
So, yeah: You'll definitely be able to California-up your road trip, even if you're just there for a few minutes of brochure browsing.
One extra excellent thing? Starting in April, the Citadel Outlets "... will also feature opportunities to win California destination packages on their Instagram page at @CitadelOutlets."
Hello there and welcome, California Welcome Center. We're sure glad to have you here, in LA, to help us maximum our road trips around the great state o' Golden getaways.