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Investment Property Research, Inc

9431 Haven Avenue

Rancho Cucamuga, California, 91730

Phone 951 313 0162

Fax     877 554 1045


Mailing Address:

19745 E Colima Rd. # 1-537

Rowland Heights, CA 91748


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Central California

Central California, sometimes referenced as Mid-State, is an area of California south of the San Francisco Bay Area and north of Southern California. It includes the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley south of the San Joaquin River Delta, the Central Coast and central hills of the California Coast Ranges, and the foothills and mountain areas of the central Sierra Nevada.

Central California is generally considered a sub-region within Northern California. Both have their southern boundary where they meet Southern California at either the Tehachapi Mountains or the county lines which cross the state west to east below Monterey, Kings and Tulare Counties. Central California is considered to be west of the crest of the Sierra Nevada. (East of the Sierras is Eastern California.)

The largest cities (over 50,000 population) in the region are Fresno, Modesto, Visalia, Salinas, Merced, Turlock, Madera, Hanford, and Porterville.

Merced River from Yosemite


  • 1 Geography
    • 1.1 Counties
    • 1.2 Cities
    • 1.3 Sub-regions
  • 2 Education
  • 3 Transportation
    • 3.1 Major highways
    • 3.2 Rail
    • 3.3 Air
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Central California can have widely varying definitions depending on the context. Some divide the state by lines of latitude making northern, central and southern sections. Others divide by county lines or watershed boundaries. Some definitions include more of the San Joaquin Valley and even larger portions of the Central Valley. Some have less or none of Central Coast.

Generally the widest definition of Central California is the middle third of the state by latitude. The southern boundary of that area would be 35° 41', which nearly coincides with the county lines already used for the southern boundary that cross the state west-to-east below Monterey, Kings and Tulare Counties. The northern boundary of that area at 38° 51' crosses just north of the Sacramento metro area. However, the San Francisco Bay, Sacramento and Stockton metro areas are traditionally considered parts of Northern California, intuitively grouped together as the northern urban center within the state. That leaves the most accepted definitions of Central California to the areas south of there.

Big Sur Coast

[ Counties

Central California as defined above includes the following 11 counties:

  • Fresno
  • Kings
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • Monterey
  • San Benito
  • Stanislaus
  • Tulare
  • Tuolumne


Area cities and towns listed below are major regional centers or county seats.

  • Fresno
  • Hanford
  • Hollister
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Modesto
  • Merced
  • Monterey
  • Salinas
  • Sonora
  • Turlock
  • Visalia
  • Porterville
Salinas Valley


The following regions are entirely contained within Central California:

  • Big Sur
  • Kings Canyon National Park
  • Metropolitan Fresno
  • Pinnacles National Monument
  • Salinas Valley
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Yosemite National Park

The following regions are partly contained within Central California:

  • California Coast Ranges
  • Central Coast
  • Diablo Range
  • Gold Country
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • San Joaquin Valley
  • Sierra Nevada Mountains