The Pacific coastal state of California is the most populous state in the USA. A country in its own right, this region boasts such variety and diversity that it isn’t easily summed up in a few sentences. Take a luxury holiday to California and discover beaches, mountains, vineyards, forests, deserts and some of the world’s most exciting cities.
California’s capital may be Sacramento, but Los Angeles and San Francisco are its most attractive cities. Sun-splashed LA, in Southern California, is known across the world as a creative powerhouse. After all, it’s the heartland of the American film and TV industry, where Hollywood legends are born. Glitzy, glamorous and vibrant, this city is the place to go for designer shopping, five-star hotels, world-class restaurants, celebrity hangouts and a happening beach scene.
In the north, San Francisco is all about breathtaking urban scenery. It’s the home of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, fog-shrouded hills, old-school cable cars and colourful buildings. San Francisco is California’s hub for culture, cuisine and technological innovations. You can voyage to the infamous Alcatraz Island, experience the lively atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf, or relax on sandy beaches.
San Francisco is the ideal place to enjoy California’s laid-back vibe. For the ultimate excursion into the great outdoors, travel inland to the stunning Yosemite National Park. Here, you can explore soaring granite cliffs, thundering waterfalls, stunning lakes, picturesque meadows and – perhaps most famously – experience California’s iconic ancient sequoia trees. Also inland, you’ll find Napa Valley, the destination for wine enthusiasts. This sprawling vineyard region is the ideal place to go if you’re seeking an introduction to California’s world-renowned wines.
With so much to do and see, California is a great luxury holiday destination at any time of year. San Francisco has mild temperatures year-round, with summer months bringing the city’s characteristic fog. Los Angeles has tropical temperatures and rarely sees rain.
July to September is an excellent time of year for an LA beach holiday. If you’re looking to visit California’s southern desert regions, aim to travel during the winter months when the temperatures are colder. Napa Valley is a fantastic destination to visit in autumn or spring.
California is a foodie paradise. In the cities, you can sample cuisine from around the globe as well as southwestern staples such as burgers, tacos and steaks. Favourite dining spots range from local markets to vegan cafés and world-class restaurants serving experimental plates.
In luxury hotels and resorts, you can sample a range of dishes crafted from locally-sourced produce along with plenty of excellent Californian wine. With rooftop lounges, beachfront restaurants and poolside bars to hang out in, you can expect to dine in style.
British nationals typically require an ESTA (rather than a full visa) to enter the USA – to find out more, check the entry requirements at GOV.UK. Carrying identification when travelling overseas is advised.