From its famous coastline to its sweeping heartland and granite Sierra peaks, California offers the vacation of a lifetime in the Golden State. In a place so large and diverse, there really is something for everyone—and plenty left to keep you coming back. Sunny beaches and surfers in the waves, dazzling cities full of culture and entertainment, jaw-dropping parkland, and vistas worthy of any bucket list—California has incomparable star quality.
Enjoy a kids’ wish list of iconic theme parks, or indulge in some of the best food and wine experiences in the world. Whether viewed from the balcony of a five-star hotel or through a tent flap, California is truly golden.
Major Airports in California:
Nickname: The Golden State
The Great Outdoors: National Parks California
Nearly 300 state and national parks showcase the spectacular land of California.
With its stunning coastline, dramatic desert, and rugged mountains, California offers wide-open spaces for everything from scenic road trips to adrenaline-fueled adventures.
The parklands, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, include Yosemite National Park and Redwood State and National Parks, a range of activities to enjoy year-round. In spring, cross the Gold Country rivers and take a wildflower hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, or swing a club at the famous golf course. In the summer, “The O.C.” Surf or rent a houseboat on Santa Cruz, or a sparkling lake.
Come fall, photograph the spectacular High Sierra foliage, or indulge in a wine country grape stomp. In winter, ski celebrated slopes, or take a whale-watching cruise from the North Shore.
Make California’s rich, all-around culture a part of your vacation experience.
California’s art and culture extend beyond the walls of its world-class museums. Communities such as Carmel-by-the-Sea, Idlewild, and Laguna Beach showcase their rich artistic heritage. Spanish missions shed light on California’s roots.
Celebrate the state’s music scene at festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival near Palm Springs, the Monterey Jazz Festival on the Central Coast, and San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Experience diverse cultures in San Francisco’s Chinatown, or Mexican-influenced Old Town San Diego.
Step into the state’s iconic surf culture at Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA. Bedazzled by California’s movie-star magic, with top stars living and working in and around Hollywood.
When it comes to big city fun, California’s urban hot spots shine.
California is a country of great urban getaways, with exciting hubs like San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, the dynamic downtown of Los Angeles and the Sunset Strip, and San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Discover buzz-worthy chefs at innovative restaurants, or sample California’s thriving (and delicious) food truck fare. After dark, enjoy a cocktail of mixologists, catch a concert or play, or dance the night away.
Take time to experience iconic urban attractions such as Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, SeaWorld San Diego, and Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as hidden gems ranging from hidden city gardens to sprawling leafy retreats like San Diego’s Balboa Park and the world-famous zoo experience.
California offers a unique array of unexpected “spoil yourself” experiences.
Participate in bliss at a luxurious spa or a serene wellness retreat. Sip top vintages at the elegant winery. Slip into haute couture styles at the boutiques of Beverly Hills, or at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Take a VIP tour of the movie backlot and top attractions. Taste food was created by Michelin-starred chefs, such as Thomas Keller at the French Laundry in Yountville or Wolfgang Puck at Spago in Los Angeles.
Priceless indulgences abound. Watch the world’s best light show – the California sunset – from the cliffs of Mendocino. Watch the mysterious fog roll through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and watch a rainbow of waterfalls sweep across Yosemite National Park.
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