Whatever you think you know about California is absolutely correct, and then some. The constant sunshine that basks the state in a golden glow, the Hollywood glamour, the innovative cities and the uber-healthy lifestyle are a reality that you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from. California is home to some big names – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Yosemite – and, as a result, you’ll find a diverse landscape here that’s entirely intoxicating.
Los Angeles is the most common association, a destination that seems to be high-achieving in almost every category, from looks, landmarks and culture to its sheer size. This vibrant, health-conscious city is a magnet for models, actors and singers; celeb-spotting is practically an activity in itself. But there’s more to LA than just the locals; there’s the food culture, the shopping malls and the beaches.
California’s second major city is San Francisco – a melting pot of a city that makes for a liberal and welcoming environment. A slender region of the northern Californian coast, San Francisco is really beautiful and a slight change from what you’d expect from this state – more cultured, a cooler climate and charming quirks which punctuate the landscape.
Of course, you can’t talk about California without mentioning the topography – there is a rugged side to this destination that will appeal to those in search of outdoor pursuits. Yosemite National Park, the Central Coast and the redwood-lined North Coast all play host to some beautiful natural wonders. Rolling hillsides and jagged mountains intersect the coastline for a really beautiful combination of cityscapes, palm-studded deserts and fertile national parks.
Five reasons to visit California
The diversity of the landscape is a real draw, with a blend of beaches, cities, national parks and iconic attractions to explore.
The weather - it's consistently amazing. California has around 290 days of sunshine each year, so your travelling window is a lot more flexible if it's the classic Californian sunshine you're hoping for during your stay.
There's a great choice in terms of holiday types you could opt for here - why not take part in a beach break, a self-drive holiday or an escorted tour where you can take in the very best sights?
The food - it's varied, fresh and delicious. Californian people really value the local produce that grows around them and that's represented in the diverse selection of cuisines which use organic and local ingredients.
The nightlife is fantastic, particularly in places like Los Angeles, Malibu and San Francisco.