Get Inspired / Mainland USA California Dreaming Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Mainland USA California Dreaming story by: Inspire USA In many ways, California is the American dream – warm, sunny and supremely positive, an ideal destination for many travellers. Foodies will love the state’s restaurateurs’ emphasis on organic cuisine, while culture vultures will enjoy discovering the pockets of history dotted around its towns and cities. Head to the desert or one of the state’s many national parks for an excellent showcase of some of the country’s greatest landscapes. A COASTAL PARADISE Sun worshippers will find themselves right at home in California, with the sun-drenched coastline stretching out for miles like something out of a movie. In fact, you’ll probably recognise the iconic piers at Huntington and Pismo Beach, both of which have been featured in a bunch of films and TV shows. Other popular seaside towns include Laguna Beach and Bodega Beach. Whichever beach you decide to catch some rays at, you’ll be sure to come across a selection of fresh crab and seafood restaurants, particularly along the Pacific Coast Highway. ART AND CULTURE AWAIT Chilled-out and inviting, California’s towns and cities are like mini representations of the state itself. Stay in Santa Barbara, famous for its outdoor and water sports, the hip and happening art scene of Sacramento or soak up the bohemian vibes in Santa Cruz. The coastal town of Carmel is home to one of the state’s most stunning missions, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission. Surrounded by lush flowering gardens, the Spanish architecture of the buildings is quite unlike anything else you’ll see in California. SURRENDER TO THE DESERT California’s deserts are an assault on the senses. Death Valley, the hottest place on the planet, holds the record of the highest air temperature on earth at 57˚C. In Joshua Tree National Park you’ll find a bizarre mix of desert terrain, huge boulders and surreal-looking yucca plants. Add some colour to your holiday’s palette with a trip to California’s largest state park, Anza-Borrego, where wildflowers bloom in the springtime. Palm Springs – with its chic architecture and diverse crowds – might seem like a desert mirage, but it’s very much real. Here you’ll find a playground of golf courses and resorts, not to mention the sensational annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival. A NATURAL PLAYGROUND The outdoor adventure continues in California’s vast and mesmerising national parks. Brave the 23 km Yosemite National Park hike and bask in the Earth’s glory as the sun sets over Half Dome. Sequioa and Kings Canyon National Park, known as the Land of Giants, has towering trees and enormous canyons to explore, while the beautiful Mammoth Lakes offer world-class skiing in the winter and a beguiling network of hikes and mountain biking trails in the summer. Jump on board the soul train! Give us a call on 0800 838 747, visit houseoftravel.co.nz or come instore today. Click here for HOT USA deals. Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? 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