California is far more than LA and the Bay Area, though I will agree with what has already been written about those places. The north coast is absolutely beautiful, the Sierras are magnificent. Some of the most remote wilderness to be found anywhere in the lower 48 is in the northern part of the state.
Some areas are total bung holes to live in as well, with absurdly hot temps, choking air pollution, crime, poverty, etc....
Some areas are just pretty average also. Where I live, in the central valley, cost of living is relatively low, wages are fairly low, and education levels are kind of low. However, the sense of community in our small farming town is tremendous and I've had my fair share of students move on to become doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, etc.... We are two hours from many of the "main attractions" of Northern CA (Monterrey, SF, Yosemite, King's Canyon, Skiing, Surfing, etc.....) Unfortunately, as the joke goes, we're 2 hours from everything, but we're also 2 hours away from anything.
As far as "liberal hell hole" or whatever some other poster put.....we've got a huge budget surplus due to Governor Moonbeam's sound fiscal management.