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California. It’s all wannabe starlets and cosmetic surgery, right? Wrong. For every fledgling (or failing) superstar there’s a corner of California that will surprise and delight. With sun-kissed vineyards stretching from Napa to Sonoma, and the dazzling beaches of San Diego, there are golden bridges and golden shorelines, Anaheim attractions and sexy cities with a cult-like following - who knew this little diva could be so diverse?
With oceans, canyons, balmy nights and barmy people (shout out to the locals of Venice Beach) you’ll want to commandeer a Cadillac and drive off into the sunset. You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. This is the land of road trips and grand slammin’ good times, and when it comes to a mile-a-minute holiday, you just hit the US jackpot.
Other California Destinations you may like:
> LOS ANGELES > ANAHEIM > SAN FRANCISCO
Just three and a half hours drive from San Francisco you’ll find Yosemite National Park with its dramatic waterfalls, giant sequoias, abundant wildlife and awe-inspiring cliffs. Whether you’re looking for adventure or want to immerse yourself in nature, you’ll find your place in Yosemite.
Sonoma Wine Country - Just 45 minutes north of San Francisco you’ll find a genuine and adventurous California wine country experience. With more than 400 friendly wineries, 40 plus spas, farm-to-table restaurants and hiking and biking trails, Sonoma Wine Country beckons the adventurous, the curious, and the lovers of the laid-back Northern California lifestyle.
Come and experience the legendary Napa Valley – where more than 400 world-class wineries, friendly faces, historic surroundings, miles of nature reserves and a spirit of wellness set a slower pace, inviting you to relax, savour and restore.
California’s second largest city still manages to retain the feel of a seaside resort town. Spend your days at world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and Gaslamp Quarter. For an authentic Mexican experience head for Old Town San Diego. Add beautiful beaches like Mission Beach, great museums and fabulous shopping, and you’ve got a destination that’s muy caliente!.
With over 350 days of sunshine a year, Palm Springs has the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and casual relaxation. With everything from old Hollywood history, Native American heritage to a stellar collection of mid-century modern architecture you’ll find things are a bit different here.
Drive the Pacific Coast Highway - Stretching from Seattle to Los Angeles, this drive gives you a taste of the forest, ocean and city. Drive over iconic Bixby Bridge, along Big Sur, see Hearst Castle and visit the Danish town of Solvang. Discover the beaches of Santa Barbara, Malibu and Santa Monica before reaching the land of glitz and glamour, Hollywood in L.A.
Just south of San Francisco you’ll find the lovely coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel. Take a drive along the scenic 17 Mile Drive and the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course in Carmel. Explore the Aquarium in Monterey and take a stroll along Cannery Row and watch the sea otters play.
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine Lake in North America; deep and wide, bluer than blue and surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Enjoy a winter wonderland during the winter months and then a gorgeous mountain spring, summer, and autumn. Go hiking, biking or skiing in the mountains or get out on the water for a multitude of water sports.
The 1200 beautiful and lushly planted acres in the downtown area is home to; more than 17 museums, many performing arts venues, lovely gardens, trails, and the San Diego Zoo.
An urban paradise for all ages with more than 4000 rare and fascinating animals. See giant pandas, gorillas, tigers, flamingos, polar bears, koalas, and many more. The perfect place for family fun!
This annual music and arts festival is held every April over two weekends and attracts some of the biggest names in music.
Palm Springs has one of the largest concentrations of mid-century modern architecture in the country. Learn about the masters of modern architecture and take a tour of the desert’s most notable architecture in downtown Palm Springs.
Explore Petaluma home to craft breweries, port distillers and antique shops in Sonoma Wine Country.
Take a tour of the wineries in the Napa area by train or for something special enjoy a three hour dining excursion.
If you have a passion for food and wine and a craving to learn, you can’t miss a stop at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. They have cooking and wine classes, demonstrations, tastings, an award-winning restaurant and tours.
Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and resorts in California.
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Are you planning your next trip to California? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on California.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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