The Golden State gets its name for a reason. California’s diverse cultural and geographical offerings, vibrant cities and critically acclaimed culinary scenes are truly the gold standard for travellers. Whether you’re hiking the trails of one of the state’s many scenic parks, sampling some bubbly in the northern valleys, kicking back on sunny, southern shorelines or walking where stars once stood, California is truly a sight to behold. San Francisco brims with life everywhere you go. Whether it’s zipping around on a cable car, exploring one of the city’s many culturally eclectic neighborhoods,
admiring towering redwoods near the Golden Gate Bridge or diving fork first into its world-renowned foodie scene, the city’s energy is downright electric, no matter what time of year you visit. San Diego is Southern California at its finest. Think warm weather year-round, endless stretches of surf-friendly shorelines and some of the best Mexican food in the USA. Recent visitors also thoroughly enjoyed attractions such as Balboa Park, the USS Midway Museum, housed in an aircraft carrier, and the San Diego Zoo, widely considered to be one of the best zoos in the country.
Lake Tahoe is one of those destinations where you can enjoy the outdoors no matter what season you visit. During the winter, Tahoe becomes a popular ski spot, and when summer hits, locals rent boats in droves as a way to unwind on the lake. Even if your motivation is to simply relax, don’t leave without a light stroll around the beautiful Emerald Bay State Park or D.L. Bliss State Park. Big Sur’s dramatic position at the edge of the ocean is so spellbindingly beautiful, it has the habit of putting travellers into a trance. This 90-mile stretch of rugged coastline offers plenty of hiking trails that weave in and out of surrounding mountains and valleys, as well as pathways leading to wild, seemingly untouched beaches.
Don’t know where to start? Turn to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, a go-to for many first-time travellers. Situated 15 miles west of downtown LA, Santa Monica Beach easily stands alone as its own destination. This beachfront neighborhood is equipped with ample hotels, dining and shopping options in addition to its star attraction: the Pacific Park Pier and beach. After a day of fun in the sand or at the popular Third Street Promenade, visit Palisades Park for an unforgettable southern Californian sunset.