See it all in sunny California
Year-round sun, sprawling scenery and lively cities are just three reasons why California is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Californian holidays offer something for everyone, as the western US state encompasses towns, cities and rural areas from the Mexican border up to the country’s western tip.
Perfectly positioned on the coast, California is a haven for surfers. The shoreline is split into four regions that each offers a host of excellent spots to catch a wave. If you don’t surf there are other ways to make the most of the state’s sandy beaches. Guided horseback riding, wakeboarding, and jet skiing are all possible. The nation loves its golf, especially Californians who are blessed with some beautiful courses. Indian Wells Golf Resort is set against a superb desert backdrop, while Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego boasts impeccable hospitality. Wherever you stay you can escape along routes less travelled and marvel at this spectacular destination. Yosemite National Park is one of the world’s most famous parks, with an expansive landscape of mountains and forests. As its name suggests, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is where you will find giant redwood trees, which can grow to over 350 feet in height.
California is a shopper’s delights no matter which area you visit. Los Angeles County offers something for high-end buyers (see Beverly Hills), as does Union Square in San Francisco. Palm Springs is the place for vintage items and boutique shops as well as one-of-a-kind art pieces. If you are heading to Southern California be sure to stop at Inland Empire to find big-name brands at bargain prices.
The food and drink is yet another highlight of the state. Los Angeles’ glamorous character is shown in its food as its chefs like to make a big impression. Celebrity chefs also have a strong presence in California, to satisfy the tastes of its non-culinary superstars. San Francisco’s eclectic mix of eating establishments includes cool up-and-coming venues alongside famous Michelin-star destinations serving up art on a plate. California’s famous wine isn’t to be overlooked either. The Napa Valley is a renowned wine-making region which you can tour to sample and purchase the varieties they produce. Sonoma County is just as notable for its wineries and isn’t far from the Golden Gate Bridge.
With so many sights to visit and activities to enjoy, California holidays should be planned carefully to maximise your time. A road trip is the ideal way to fit the most into your stay. Route 49 twists through the foothills of Sierra Nevada, past plush green hillsides and through historic mining towns that thrived during the Gold Rush. Highway 1 is 735 miles of beachfront scenery, luxury apartments and even a stretch under the runways of the famous LAX. Take on Highway 374 from Las Vegas toward Death Valley for an alternative view of California’s scorched orange landscape.