California plays host to millions of visitors each year, and many Californians are employed in providing services for these tourists. Tourists are drawn to the state’s magnificent scenery and recreational facilities and to such cities as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, which are also popular convention centers. More travelers visit California each year than visit any other U.S. state. Visitors also spend more money each year on lodgings, food, rental cars, and other travelers’ needs in California than they do in any other state.
Trucks, buses, and automobiles play a major role in the economic and social life of California. Automobiles are the most important means of passenger transportation. There are more automobiles in California than in any other state.
The state embarked on freeway construction starting in the late 1940s, and a network of multi-laned freeways is one of California’s more indelible images. But dependence on the freeways has given the state’s metropolitan areas some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation.
Railroads link the cities of California with urban centers in other states to the east. Amtrak provides passenger service, and commuter rail systems also provide transportation for people in the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan regions.
There is widespread use of commercial and private airplanes throughout California. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are served by some of the busiest airports in the country.
The two principal port areas in California are the combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the ports in the San Francisco Bay area. The major ports in the bay area are San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, Richmond, and Redwood City. Other seaports in California include San Diego, which is primarily a naval base, and Crescent City and Eureka, in northern California. The lower Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are the only major inland waterways.
SCalifornia leads the nation in international trade. Computers and electronic products ranked the state’s top export in the mid-2000s. California also led the nation in exports of food products. Other important exports were transportation equipment and machinery. NAFTA countries—Mexico and Canada—were the leading markets for California’s exports. Californian ports are also engaged in an extensive overseas trade. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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