A California produce field

California Welcome Centers

Anyone who’s travelled to an unfamiliar area with the intention of experiencing as much as possible knows how invaluable the knowledge of a local can be. There is no better resource, and having it can make the difference between a mediocre trip and a truly memorable one.

It’s the mission of each of the 18 (soon-to-be 19) California Welcome Centers scattered throughout the state to enable all visitors to have the best experience possible, and they take that local-is-best approach to heart. Each one is staffed with personal travel concierges, knowledgeable experts who are ready to provide information that will enhance and enrich your visit no matter what your focus is—the arts, local culture, family activities, sports, the great outdoors, shopping or all of the above. They’ll have advice on what and where to eat, where to stay and how to get there. Welcome Centers also offer free maps and brochures on local attractions, state and national parks in the area, and things to see and do.

From the North Coast to the Deserts, California’s Welcome Centers will help you to discover the best the Golden State has to offer. See below for more information on all of them, organised by region.



Shasta Cascade (Anderson)

Gold Country (Auburn, El Dorado Hills)

San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco, Santa Rosa)

High Sierra (Truckee, Mammoth Lakes)



High Sierra (Mammoth Lakes)

Central Valley (Merced)

Central Coast (Gilroy, Pismo Beach, Salinas)



Los Angeles County (Los Angeles)

Orange County (San Clemente)

Deserts (Barstow, Yucca Valley)

San Diego County (Oceanside)

Inland Empire (Ontario)


Coming in 2019:



San Diego County (San Diego Cross Border Express, 2745 Otay Pacific Drive)

California Welcome Centers Anderson_CWC_1280x642_logo_0

California Welcome Center - Anderson

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California Welcome Center - Anderson
Natural wonders, endless fun

Located at the south end of Shasta Outlets, the Anderson California Welcome Centre is operated by the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association. Stop in and discover all the recreational wonders of Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties, the eight eastern counties in northern California that together comprise the Shasta Cascade Region.

Come in for free maps, brochures and sightseeing information for National and State Parks including Lassen Volcanic National Park, McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Lava Beds National Monument, Castle Crags State Park and Whiskeytown National Recreational Area just to name a few. Browse great historic and informational exhibitions, including the geocaching display, view wild trout in the waterfall pond, take a photo with Joe Tourist, the sites friendly mascot or Ed, the life-size bronze grizzly bear. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are available to assist seven days a week, 361 days a year.  

Hours: Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm and Saturday – Sunday from 10am – 4pm

(530) 365-1180
1699 Highway 273
Anderson, CA 96007
California Welcome Centers CWC_Auburn_1280x642_logo

California Welcome Center - Auburn

California Welcome Centers vca_maps_goldcountry
California Welcome Center - Auburn
Gold rush history, outdoor adventures

Placer County is paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs, epicureans and history buffs alike. Though Placer County is famous for its rich Gold Rush history, there is as much “gold” in the modern day activities as the famous American River that flows through the canyons. In Placer County you can hike among pine trees, raft the glorious rivers, mountain bike in the endurance capital of the world and then picnic under live oaks with a bottle of Mediterranean style wine all in one day. If it is a leisurely pace you desire, sip wine at an award-winning winery in the central county communities of Auburn, Newcastle and Loomis, tee up at one of the many pristine golf courses or sail the emerald waters of North Shore Lake Tahoe. And finally, if history is what you are looking for, Placer County is rich with an abundance of museums and historic sites.

Allow our past to catch up with you as you visit the many antique shops and unique museums. Let a drive through the rich agricultural lands that will refresh and revitalise you. Seek the quiet serenity of nature on one of the many wilderness peaks or the thrill of a lifetime as you ski down one of Lake Tahoe's mountains.

Outdoor enthusiasts thrill at the county's abundance of year-round recreational activities while others marvel at the array of galleries, theatres, musical and festival events. Shoppers love the large selection of boutiques, speciality shops and farmer's markets. Everyone enjoys the variety of restaurant choices from fine cuisine to family style dining and the range of lodging and accommodation from the luxurious to quaint and romantic.

Whether you come for lunch or a lifetime, we invite you to visit and discover Placer County for yourself. 

Hours: Monday – Saturday from 9:30am –  4:30pm and Sunday from 11am – 4:30pm. 

(530) 887-2111
1103 High Street, Ste. 150
Auburn, CA 95603
California Welcome Centers Barstow_CWC_1280x642_logo

California Welcome Center - Barstow

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California Welcome Center - Barstow
Museums, shopping, Old West history

The California Welcome Center Barstow is located inside the Outlets at Barstow off of I-15 halfway between Las Vegas & Los Angeles.

The staff at the California Welcome Center can provide you with great trip planning information as you visit our local area where you can shop, museum hop, hike, explore the Mojave Desert and visit the Old West at Calico Ghost Town, or they can provide you with details and ideas for the rest of your stay in the Golden State. Barstow is the perfect place to stay since plenty of day trips are within two hours and we offer a vast array of hotels & motels, some right on historic Route 66.  

Hours: 9AM - 8PM Daily

(760) 253-4782
2796 Tanger Way, Suite 100
Barstow, CA 92311
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California Welcome Center - El Dorado Hills

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California Welcome Center - El Dorado Hills
Outdoor recreation, shopping, and the arts

To grasp California’s true gold, you can escape to the foothills for outdoor recreation. Experience the magic at Lake Tahoe, surrounded by world famous ski-resorts with legendary snow in winter, with arts, music and festivals in summer. Hike to a swimming hole, four wheel on the Rubicon or shop in El Dorado Hills' Town Centre – this region has everything to make your California visit unforgettable.

The California Welcome Center in El Dorado Hills is conveniently located right off of US Highway 50 in the Town Centre. The friendly staff can help you find local restaurants, book hotel rooms near and far and provide your furry friend a respite in its pet friendly location.

Hours: Monday – Friday from 9:30am – 5pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am – 4pm. 

(916) 358-3700
2085 Vine Street
Suite 105
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
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California Welcome Center - Mammoth Lakes

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California Welcome Center - Mammoth Lakes
Year-round fun, majestic beauty

Mammoth Lakes’ motto is, ‘Come as you are. Do what you love.’ This applies to the surrounding area as well. As the gateway to California’s natural wonders located in the Eastern Sierra, Mammoth Lakes is a great base camp and information hot spot for travellers. 

During the summer, the most popular reasons people visit the area is to take in the natural sightseeing, hike, participate in other outdoor sports like fishing and biking, and learn about mining history. The Mammoth Lakes area also has a robust summer festival season. During the winter, Mammoth Mountain is the main the attraction in the area for skiing and snowboarding, along with other outdoor snow activities.

The California Welcome Center located in Mammoth Lakes is unique. This Center is a collaboration of multiple agencies to provide the best possible information to travellers. These partners include: US Forest Service, National Park Service, Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Eastern Sierra Interpretive Center. In addition to information and referrals, this center also issues backcountry permits, sells local and educational based souvenirs and leases bear boxes.

Access is easy. Take the scenic and not so curvy US 395 or fly! The Mammoth Yosemite Airport is only 10 minutes from Mammoth Lakes. Flights are available year round on Alaska Airlines, and during the winter on United Airlines. 

Opening hours: daily 8 AM - 5 PM.

(760) 924-5500
2510 Highway 203br
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
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California Welcome Center - Merced

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California Welcome Center - Merced
Friendly atmosphere, year-round fun

Spend a day, the night or better yet the weekend. Merced is a unique city, filled with warm friendly people that will instantly make visitors feel welcome. Merced offers a wide variety of attractions, historical sites, accommodations and dining opportunities that are sure to please. Merced is the Gateway to Yosemite. Whether winter, spring, summer or autumn, Yosemite is perfect any time you visit Merced.

Try planning your trip around one of the areas great events. Visit the California Welcome Center for information on the Merco Cycling Classic which brings world class riders from around the globe to Merced each spring. Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete is the longest existing Tahitian Dance and Cultural Festival outside of French Polynesia and is held in Merced each March.

Art and culture are thriving is this proud community. From the galleries at the Multicultural Art Center to the live performances at the Playhouse, in Merced there is something for everyone. Come play, stay and experience Merced! 

Hours: Monday – Saturday from 8:30am - 5pm and Sunday from 10am – 4pm.

(209) 724-8104
710 West 16th St., Ste A
Merced, CA 95340
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California Welcome Center - Oceanside

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California Welcome Center - Oceanside
Beautiful weather, laid-back vibe and a spectacular wooden pier

A classic Southern California beach town, Oceanside’s central location offers visitors an ideal place to stay and experience California’s casual spirit. With 3.5 miles of sandy beach, a quaint New England-style harbor, California’s longest wooden pier and a stellar year-round climate, Oceanside is an ideal place for enjoying active pursuits including surfing, kayaking, boating, fishing, bike-riding and more. The city also boasts a number of important cultural attractions including Mission San Luis Rey (The King of Missions), the California Surf Museum and the Oceanside Museum of Art.

(760) 721-1101
928 North Coast Highway
Ste. A
Oceanside, CA 92054
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California Welcome Center - Ontario

California Welcome Center - Ontario
Greater Ontario - the heart of Southern California. Stay here. Go anywhere

The Greater Ontario area hosts some of the very best in extreme sports, quiet retreats and spas, and is home to some of California’s ultimate shopping and dining opportunities.  The city is the gateway to experiencing Southern California gems such lush green vineyards and Prado Regional Park to the South. While a short drive North brings you to historic desert communities and the California Route 66 museum.

Eastern travellers seeking serenity can experience mountain resorts near Big Bear Lake or take on the thrill of NASCAR at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. And a short drive brings visitors to the biggest and the best of entertainment with California’s premier theme parks waiting to be explored.

The California Welcome Center – Ontario is located at the Ontario Mills Premium Mall, and is excited to assist with planning your Southern California holiday with Greater Ontario being your home away from home. We look forward to your visit!

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am - 9 pm, Sunday 10 am - 8 pm

(909) 980-2019
Ontario Mills Mall
One Mills Circle, Suite 1054
Ontario, CA 91764
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California Welcome Center - Oxnard

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California Welcome Center - Oxnard
Let the adventure begin at the California Welcome Center Oxnard!

The California Welcome Center Oxnard is your gateway to California’s Central Coast.

Located in the coastal city of Oxnard, the California Welcome Center Oxnard is about one hour north west of Los Angeles where the world-famous Pacific Coast Highway (Highway One) meets Highway 101, with easy access from either the 101 or the PCH.

Begin your journey through coastal California at this state-of-the-art visitor information centre and enjoy a full array of services and amenities. The well-trained, professional staff and volunteers can answer any question you have and provide a full array of brochures, literature and maps for your assistance. Get a little retail therapy in our boutique which offers a high quality selection of gifts and souvenirs. Sip, savour and discover the award-winning wines of the Ventura County Wine Trail in the California Welcome Center Oxnard’s wine tasting room. Want more? The California Welcome Center Oxnard is located in The Collection at RiverPark, giving you instant access to this beautiful new shopping, dining and entertainment district.

While you are here, discover the many faces of Oxnard: gateway to the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, strawberry capitol of California, home to some of California’s top beaches, championship golf courses at River Ridge Golf Club, wine-tasting, world-class dining, year-round whale watching cruises, hiking, kayaking, biking… The list goes on and on.

Venture further afield and enjoy the seaside playground of the Ventura Harbor Village; visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; hit the dunes in Santa Maria; spend a day wine and beer tasting in Buellton. California’s Central Coast boasts sights, sounds, flavors and cultural experiences that no other region delivers.

Hours: Open seven days a week from 9:30am - 7pm

(805) 988-0717
2786 Seaglass Way
Space 5105
Oxnard, CA 93036
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California Welcome Center - Pismo Beach

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California Welcome Center - Pismo Beach
Miles of beaches, wine and a castle

Pismo Beach California Welcome Center offers Public Telephone, Restrooms, Picnic Area, Internet/E-mail, Refreshments, Travel Information/Brochures, Maps, Hotel Information and Referrals, Nearby Restaurants, RV Parking Handicapped Access and a Lounge.

Shop the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets which offers over 40 brand-name stores for your shopping convenience. Enjoy Hearst Castle, see the Elephant seals, cruise the State Dunes with over 72 miles of beach, watch The Great American Melodrama, browse the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market, eat at the famous Splash Cafe & Hoagies. Stay on the beach at the Sea Venture, the Cliffs, The Best Western Plus Shore Cliff Lodge, Dolphin Bay, Pismo Lighthouse suites, The Spyglass Inn & then enjoy a romantic evening dinning at Lido, Marisol and Guiseppe’s.  

Take a wine tour through our incredible SLO Wine Country visiting Claiborne & Churchill, Sextant, Kelsey, Edna Valley Vineyard wineries. Tour the Paso Robles Wine Country with over 105 wineries rolling through the hills of beautiful Paso Robles. Jump on a wine tour with Breakaway Tours, Silverado Tours, Wine Wrangler and 101 Wine Tours.

(805) 773-7924
Pismo Beach Premium Outlets
333 5 Cities Dr #100
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
California Welcome Centers Salinas_CWC_1280x642_logo

California Welcome Center - Salinas

California Welcome Centers vca_maps_centralcoast
California Welcome Center - Salinas
Steinbeck, agriculture and the gateway to Monterey Bay

Discover beautiful Salinas California, the gateway to the Monterey Bay in Steinbeck Country, where you will find historic sites, unspoiled farmland, world-class wines, a quaint, historic downtown and some of the friendliest people around. Author John Steinbeck was born here, so visit his boyhood home, as well as the National Steinbeck Center, while you are here. Salinas is known as the Salad Bowl of the World for agriculture and its fresh, home-grown produce is available internationally. It has the best year-round climate in the entire North American continent and some of the cleanest air in the USA!

Salinas' hospitality blends yesterday's charm with today's modern conveniences. Visitors can explore the beauty of nearby Monterey Bay beaches, historic missions of San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Carmel and San Antonio de Padus and wineries of South Monterey County, Carmel Valley and Pinnacles National Monument.

Local attractions include more than 50 beaches, 60 plus parks, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Giant Redwoods of Big Sur and Santa Cruz, Gilroy Gardens Amusement Park, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a variety of history and art museums.

The area plays host to numerous festivals, some celebrating agricultural history, such as the Artichoke Festival, Garlic Festival and Strawberry Festival as well as a great many music festivals like the world famous Monterey Jazz Festival, Blues Festival and Bach Festival.

Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 4pm

(831) 757-8687
1213 N Davis Rd
Salinas, CA 93907
California Welcome Centers SF_2_CWC_1280x642_logo

California Welcome Center - San Francisco

California Welcome Centers vca_maps_sfbayarea
California Welcome Center - San Francisco
San Francisco, an Internationally acclaimed city entices all to come

Be captivated by the magnetism of Alcatraz Island while sailing past on a sleek catamaran. Relax on an open top bus across the romantic and alluring Golden Gate Bridge. Hop over to the crooked street of Lombard to gaze at visitors manoeuvring their cars along the switch backs. Turn around and gaze upon the majestic Coit Tower at the top of Telegraph Hill. Then jump on the unique cable car while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Dine and be delighted at PIER 39's restaurants and fun filled shops. Be enchanted by the wild seals as they playfully bask on their pads. The interactive exhibits at the Marine Mammal's Interpretive Center educates young and old.

Explore through crystal clear tunnels at The Aquarium of the Bay to see marine life and don't forget to drop by the Welcome Center for free tourist information.

(415) 981-1280
PIER 39, Building "B", Second Level
San Francisco, CA 94133
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California Welcome Center - Santa Rosa

California Welcome Centers vca_maps_sfbayarea
California Welcome Center - Santa Rosa
World-class food and wine, giant trees, and Peanuts

The California Welcome Center in Santa Rosa is conveniently located just off Highway 101 in the Railroad Square Historical District. It is housed in a beautifully restored 1904 train depot alongside the tracks for Amtrak and the future SMART rail project. The building’s importance to the quaint Railroad Square is that of a focal point for the local railway history and an important resource for visitors and the community. The depot houses the North-western Pacific train museum featuring railway artefacts and interactive displays.

The Center is within walking distance from a variety of fine hotels, as well as dining choices ranging from quirky independent coffee shops to first-class restaurants. There is a multitude of charming retail shops surrounding the depot offering a wide selection of goods.

Open seven days a week, the Center offers an array designer clothes, locally-made gifts and souvenirs, in addition to travel information, maps and brochures.


  • Concierge Services
  • Free maps, guides and brochures
  • Gift Shop – selling local souvenirs
  • Handicapped Access
  • Hotel Bookings
  • Nearby Restaurants
  • Nearby Hotels
  • Public Telephone
  • Public Bathroom 
  • RV Parking/Bus Parking
(800) 404-7673
9 Fourth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Donner Memorial State Park in Nevada County, California
Ryan Salm

California Welcome Center - Truckee

California Welcome Centers vca_maps_highsierra
California Welcome Center - Truckee
Family fun, outdoor adventure

A charming mountain town with a rich history, Truckee is known as a welcoming, family-oriented community that attracts adventurous people with a passion for the outdoors and the environment.

Truckee’s quaint downtown is the heart and soul of this community, with unique restaurants and shops set in authentic historic buildings.

Truckee is your basecamp to adventure. Centrally located within minutes of six world-class ski resorts; epic golf courses; lakes, reservoirs, streams for water sports or fishing; hike and biking trails; mountain bike park and pump track; action sports camps, and more!

Whether you are here in pursuit of adventure, to partake in Truckee’s “foodie” scene, enjoy the multitude of special events that take place all year, or just relax and enjoy the blue skies and amazing smell of the pine trees, Truckee welcomes you.


Hours: Open seven days a week 9am - 5:30pm

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California Welcome Center - Yucca Valley

California Welcome Centers vca_maps_deserts_0
California Welcome Center - Yucca Valley
Natural splendour, year-round fun

Often referred to as the “gateway” to California’s outback, the Morongo Basin is conveniently situated just a short drive to some of Southern California’s great outdoor destinations.  With the majestic Joshua Tree National Park on its southern border, the basin communities play host year-round to visitors and outdoor recreation enthusiasts from all over the world.  The unique natural surroundings of the Joshua Tree National Park have made it a favourite destination for rock climbers, hikers, campers, photographers and natural enthusiasts!! The region’s California Welcome Centre is found on State Route 62 in Yucca Valley and offers information and resources for the California Desert Visitor. From Idyllwild to Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms to Palm Springs and Big Bear, our courteous ambassadors will show you where to eat, stay, and play while you're in Southern California.

Hours: Monday thru Friday from 9 am – 4 pm, Saturday from 9 am - 2 pm and Sunday from 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

(760) 365-5464
56711 Twentynine Palms Highway
Yucca Valley, CA 92284