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Reviewed on 3 Jul 2020
In California you’ll find some of the world’s most awe-inspiring scenery, from the legendary Pacific Coast Highway to the stunning panoramas of Yosemite National Park. Book a hotel in the Golden State and you can taste some of the finest wines, see the storied mansions of movie stars and rollerblade along Venice Beach in your swimsuit. In Los Angeles and San Francisco the Golden State has two of the most-visited cities in the United States, and amid its breathtaking landscapes you’ll discover an abundant range of activities, whether your tastes lie in winter sports or lounging on a picture-perfect beach, riding rollercoasters or getting back to nature. In a state where a bodybuilder and action-movie star can become Governor, anything is possible.
Napa Valley - Its vineyards rival those of France in prestige, making the Napa Valley a premier destination for wine-lovers. Volcanic soils and ocean breezes produce world-class varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Book a seat on the Wine Train that coasts past many of the region’s best-known vineyards, so you can enjoy a few glasses with your lunch.
Los Angeles - From a hotel in the City of Angels, you can rub shoulders with celebrities, or their lookalikes anyway, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, browse the flagship stores of iconic brands in Beverly Hills, catch some rays on the beach in Malibu and take it all in from the Griffith Observatory.
Pacific Coast Highway - Take a classic American road trip that runs along over 600 miles of glorious scenery. The stretch from San Luis Obispo to Carmel, taking you past Big Sur, is not to be missed.
Yosemite National Park - Even at its most-crowded during the summer months, you can find room to breathe in the wilderness of Yosemite National Park. Endless miles of hiking trails take you past towering waterfalls, dense forest and spectacular mountain peaks. Keep your eyes peeled for bears.
Some of the most memorable landmarks in the United States are to be found in California, from the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island of San Francisco to the Hollywood sign in the hills above Los Angeles. Halfway between the two cities, and looking out over the Pacific, can be found Hearst Castle, inspiration for Citizen Kane’s “Xanadu”, and a fairy-tale mansion to be explored. The natural world in all its finery is on display in Yosemite, while there are more beautiful views than you can shake a ski pole at in the resorts and hotels dotted around Lake Tahoe.
You’ve put your palate through its paces in the Napa Valley; you’ve watched the sun set over Big Sur, and seen someone you think was Jack Nicholson picking up his newspaper from the lawn on a Hollywood tour, so what’s next? In California you can slice through fresh powder in the mountains, meet your favourite characters at Disneyland, or take a bumpy but memorable ride on the trolley car in San Francisco. Whatever you end up doing though, expect to catch a suntan.