With its mind-blowing diversity of scenery, activities and experiences, California sure is dreaming. Discover hidden jewels and magnificent contrasts in the Golden State.
If you're in search of culture, savour wonderful Californian cuisine in the melting-pot neighbourhood communities of San Francisco or the Spanish mission town of Santa Barbara. Enjoy sipping stunning biodynamic wines in the sun-drenched, picturesque wineries of Napa and Sonoma. Or head to Beverly Hills to shop with Tinseltown's finest on Rodeo drive.
If the great outdoors is what you're after, explore the vibrant golden beaches of Santa Monica and Laguna Beach. Get close to nature in the forests of giant redwoods and sequoias. Relax by hot springs in fabulous desert resorts. With all this and more on offer, California really is a smorgasbord for everyone at any time of the year.
Things to do
Popular California holiday ideas
The Beverly Garland is a stylish boutique hotel with a relaxed, tropical feel just minutes from the bustle of Los Angeles and its many attractions.
Top tips for visiting California
Top Tip 1
• California is a vast state—nearly 800 miles from north to south, making it larger than some European countries. Seeing all of it entails some travel time, which you should factor in if you want to see the whole state. Traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco takes 6 to 8 hours by car.
Top Tip 2
• Before embarking on a roadtrip, decide which area of California you’d like to explore. Northern California offers wineries, rugged coastline, majestic Redwood forests and the historic cities of San Francisco, Eureka and Santa Cruz. Central California is home to the upscale, coastal Monterey; the cowboy town of Bakersfield; the former Gold Rush settlement of Kernville, and the Fresno-San Joaquin Valley, also known as California wine country. In the southern part of the state you’ll find the quaint, immaculate ocean-side town of Santa Barbara, as well as Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego.
Top Tip 3
• Determine how long you’d like to be on the road. A trip up the coast can be completed in as little as a day, but you won’t get to stop and see much. Plan on at least three to four days if you’d like to stop and explore; more if you’d like to stop and relax. If you’re traveling the state from south to north, you can zip up Interstate 5, which runs from San Diego to the California-Oregon border and winds through fruit orchards and rolling farmland. Or, you can take the more leisurely 101 Freeway which hugs the coast and offers stunning ocean and mountain scenery.
Top Tip 4
• On the coast, average yearly temperatures range between the low 40s°F (4.4°C) and in the high 70s°F (21.1°C) and 80s°F (26.7°C). Farther inland, summers are hot and dry, and at higher altitudes the weather is more typical of a four-season cycle with cold, snowy winters. The contrast is clear in the state’s two largest cities, where you’ll find very different weather patterns. San Francisco is famous for its fog — especially in the summer, and Los Angeles is known for its consistently sunny, coastal climate.
Top Tip 5
• California Restaurant Month in January is an ideal opportunity to sample the very best California produce prepared by world-renowned chefs and local family run restaurants across the State, and all at affordable prices.