From its celebrated coastline to its broad heartland and granite Sierra peaks, California offers a lifetime of holidays in one Golden State.
Bathed in sunshine and boasting mountains, beaches, forest and desert – some of the most impressive in the world at that – along with family attractions galore, great food and even greater wine, it’s no wonder that visitors flock to the western state of California in their droves.
Those with a love of film and fantasy will no doubt head to LA’s Hollywood neighbourhood and the ultimate movie-related theme parks, while lovers of the more laid-back way of life can check out the sublime state parks of which there are many.
Food and wine lovers will be in heaven here with the cuisine complemented by numerous notable wine regions and the state is anchored by the two great cities of San Francisco and LA along with a whole host of other destinations ready to welcome travellers eager to taste a slice of Californian life.
If you’re wondering do UK citizens need a visa for USA travel, you’ll be pleased to know that a simple ESTA application, which can be completed online in moments, is all it takes for you to travel freely in the country for up to 90 days. So, if a trip to The Golden State is on the cards for you, then read on for five of our favourite things to do here, what are you waiting for?
A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its steep rolling hills and eclectic mix of architecture across varied neighborhoods
Take some great road trips
Adventure awaits on the road, so get ready to explore some of the state’s most amazing sights from the comfort of your luxury hire car. A road trip offers you the chance to experience the best of all worlds, while hopping from one great place to another and staying at some top-notch hotels along the way. Taking in stunning scenery from the coast to forest to desert and enjoy a winning mix of exciting stops and peaceful drives, tailoring your trip to your specific interests will leave you with the best memories to cherish.
Stay in some sublime hotels
Make sure to book into a selection of opulent hotels during your stay in California to really top off your trip. All of your down time will be well spent in the hotel’s spas, restaurants and pools no doubt, and there is a great selection to check out on your travels here. From Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford to Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito to Ritz-Carltons pretty much located in every great spot, along with the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, you’ll never be short of somewhere fabulous to stay.
California is America’s top wine producer and makes up over 80 per cent of the country’s wine sales
Immerse yourself in the wine culture
California is America’s top wine producer and makes up over 80 per cent of the country’s wine sales. In addition to this it’s also the world’s fourth largest wine producer and anyone with a love of the nectar, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and light Pinot Noirs will know just how fresh and sumptuous these wines can be. Head to Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley to seek out some of the best and enjoy vineyard tours and tastings in beautiful settings.
Be at one with nature
Whether it’s surfing at some of the best beaches in the state (Huntington Beach, Santa Cruz, Malibu – we’re looking at you) or heading off to explore some of the 280 state parks, there are plenty of ways to get in touch with the natural surroundings. Tree lovers should head to Big Basin Redwood State Park, the oldest state park featuring some incredible plants, while stargazers will want to check out Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
The Hollywood Sign is one of the most recognisable images of Los Angeles and California. Image credit: SeanPavonePhoto/Bigstock.com
Enjoy city life
Two of the more well-known cities in California are San Francisco and L.A and though there are others worth visiting too, these cities are not to be missed. From the Hollywood sign to Universal Studios, the Walk of Fame to celebrities’ hand and footprints display outside the TCL Chinese Theatre, and the Warner Bros Studio tour to Disneyland, fans of the silver screen will be thoroughly spoiled in L.A.
Head up the magnificent coastal highway to San Francisco where you’ll find a more small-town feel compared to the bright lights of L.A. Check out the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, those steep streets and interesting architecture and immerse yourself in the culture and the wonderful array of cuisines from around the world that you can dine on here.