Here's a great trip-planning tool that's free for the asking: California Vacation Guide 2015. It carves the state up into regions and serves up best places to go, things to see in an easy-to-use format -- online and in print.
The deal: The free California Vacation Guide 2015 by VisitCalifornia comes out every year with fresh itineraries, a map of the state, lists of hotels, restaurants, natural areas and more. The state's official tourism guide has 187 pages and 12 feature stories along with urban and outdoor itineraries.
This year's featured stories include the quirky "14 Wonders of the World" -- all in California. You can use this as a must-see bucket list of natural places such as the compressed rock at Devils Postpile National Monument in the Sierra Nevada or the crags of Pinnacles National Park in Central California.
And there may be "Hidden Treasures" you've never heard of, such as the the 20 cabins on the edge of Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park and lava tubes at Lassen National Forest.
There's also a movie-making timeline that starts in 1898. (I didn't know Thomas Edison had a crew filming San Diego's streetcars and the Hotel del Coronado) and features places that figure prominently in film history.
The listings by region feature "must-sees" and "surprising" activities and landmarks -- helpful for trip-planning.
For those who are wondering: The cover features Chappellet Winery in Saint Helena, shot by photographer Erik Almas.
When: The visitor guide is available indefinitely.
Details: You may request a printed copy by filling out a form on the VisitCalifornia website. Or you can browse the guide online in a Nxtbook format that can be as big (home computer) or as small (mobile device) as you like.
Or you can go to any visitor center statewide and pick up a copy while you're on the road.