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New to the CA Board? Please read this first.

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Are you new to Chowhound? Or just to the California board? Perhaps visiting from out of state? We've got some tips to help you get started.

1. If you're brand new to the site, you should read our Site Etiquette (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605) so you don't break any rules or step on any toes.

This board is the place to discuss chow in California outside of the Los Angeles Area and San Francisco Bay Area. LA, Orange and Ventura Counties and Southwestern San Bernardino County are covered on the Los Angeles Board, and all counties surrounding San Francisco Bay are covered on the San Francisco board, including the Napa/Sonoma wine country. Commonly discussed areas on this board include San Diego, Sacramento, the Central Valley, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara wine country, Monterey/Carmel, and the Mendocino Coast. For a complete list of boards available, click on the down arrow next to the word 'Boards' in the navigation bar.

HAVE A HOT TIP?
If you've got a great tip or a recommendation for someone, dive right in and post it. It's great if you can include some details of why you like a place, but even those short tips on where to find a great taco or donut are appreciated. Because this board covers so many areas, please be sure to specify the city or location you are referring to. If you need help starting a new thread, check out the FAQ: http://www.chowhound.com/faq#topic

HAVE A QUESTION?
The California board is a pretty active place, and a lot of questions have been covered recently--the Chowhound archives are a great resource.

Start your quest for an answer with a search of all the great info that's already out there. There's a 'SEARCH THIS BOARD' link at the top of each board and thread -- it's next to the name of the board. 'Search this board' is a quick way to search the last year worth of posts on your current board to find recent mentions of your subject. Just add your keywords and go. On the search results page, you can change your search criteria to add more keywords, or change your sort order or the dates you're interested in.
Here are just a few of the subjects that are common on the California boards, and some suggestions on how to find that information. Since the California Board covers a wide range of areas, it’s important to specify the city and/or neighborhood you’re looking for when you search.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE CALIFORNIA BOARD:
- We’re coming to San Diego and staying in the Gaslamp/near the Convention Center/beach/La Jolla/Coronado where should we eat?
- I’m driving from Los Angeles to Big Sur/San Francisco to Mendocino/San Diego to Santa Barbara/San Diego to Fresno where should I eat?
- Where can I find good food and a nice view in Santa Barbara/San Diego/Monterey/Big Sur?

Search terms to try: city/neighborhood name - as specific as you can be - (La Jolla, Santa Barbara, Gaslamp, Monterey, Sacramento, Big Sur, etc) or the name of the attraction you want to eat near (San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Monterey Aquarium, etc), along with the meal or type of food you are looking for.

Where's the best brunch/sushi/burger/fish taco etc?
Search for the city/neighborhood you will be in, best, and the name of the food you're looking for.

Where should we go for our special occasion?
Search terms to try: anniversary, "special occasion", proposal, romantic, birthday, in addition to the city/neighborhood. If you’re looking for a nice view, add view to your search as well.

Where should I plan my group dinner?
Search terms to try: the city or neighborhood name, and "private room", "buy out", corporate, group, "holiday party", "large group", “business dinner.”
For information on more advanced search options, see the Search FAQ:
http://www.chowhound.com/faq#find

STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
CA Chowhounds are a great resource, but help them help you by including some important details. Tell them:
- What part of what city you'll be in.
- How far or how long you're willing to travel and whether you will have a car.
- What your budget is. Descriptions such as 'expensive', 'moderate' and 'cheap' mean different things to different people, so use dollar values.
- What types of cuisines you're interested in.
- Any other special circumstances (traveling with kids? vegetarians? non-chowhounds?) that will help

If you've done some of your own research, mention what you found so hounds can help fill in the gaps, rather than rehashing what you already know.

AFTER YOUR MEAL
Most importantly, after your trip or your meal, thank the CA hounds for their help by reporting back. Tell people which suggestions you used and how the meals turned out, plus add tips about any great places you discovered on your own. This helps maks the board more useful for everyone who visits after you.

CA CHOWHOUND MEETUPS
Hounds love to eat, and they love to eat together. Anyone can plan a chowdown and announce it on the board, (see the Etiquette for more: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36760... ) San Diego has an established group of hounds who get together, so if you’re in that area, you can get on the mailing list by emailing: sdchow@yahoogroups.com

FEEDBACK
If there's something you think is vitally important for new members of the board to know that we've missed, please comment on this Site Talk thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/458604

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  1. I wasn't sure where to put this, so I just posted it here so you all would see it - as the tourist season approaches and the same posts/requests are starting to appear on the CA Board, I thought it might be helpful to have this as a sticky topic at the top of the CA board. I drafted it using the one on the LA Board as a template. Hope you like it! ;-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alice Q

      Wow -- awesome, thanks. I would have got to California eventually. I'll take a quick look through when I get a chance, but if everything looks okay, I'll pop that on the California board in the next day or so.

      1. re: Jacquilynne

        Great - thanks! (and you're welcome! ;-)