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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

January 22, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Flashy and diverse new website promotes California tourism

"5 surfing hot spots" is among the many pages of lushly illustrated information on the new Visit California website. (image from visitcalifornia.com)

“5 surfing hot spots” is among the many pages on the new Visit California website. (Screen-capture from visitcalifornia.com)

OK, so California has pretty much always been the Cool Kid among U.S. states. Now it’s re-staking that claim with a flashy, colorful new state tourism website, launched this week.

If a trip south is in your sights, log on to visitcalifornia.com and get your sunglasses and flip flops ready. The photography and video takes you right there. The many interactive paths and in-your-face visuals are much more than you expect from a tourism site. This raises the bar.

“Dream big” is the site’s theme. Producers went to people such as a pro skateboarder and asked him to dream big, and it resulted in building a floating skateboard ramp that he launched in blue, blue Lake Tahoe, with video to document it all. It’s the kind of stuff that’s fun to watch when your boss isn’t looking (you can always say “Harumph, harrumph, I was just getting some information for that business trip to Sacramento”).

But there are also plenty of useful ideas and itineraries for planning a trip. The website offers an impressively in-depth and diverse look at the state, with a pull-down menu that covers culinary experiences, outdoor experiences, cultural experiences, family experiences, and — pure California — “indulgent experiences,” from golfing at Pebble Beach to “glamping” in a yurt on a Big Sur bluff.

Representing the California tourism organization’s first major website strategy shift in about 10 years, the new site was more than a year in the making, designed in collaboration with creative agency Code and Theory.

Comments | More in California tourism | Topics: California tourism, California trip planner, California visitor info

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