A California vacation offers unparalleled diversity. Whether traveling to Southern California or Northern California, the diversity of culture, scenic beauty and things to do makes travel in California unlike any other place in the world.
San Francisco is considered one of the greatest cities in the world for many things, including five-star dining, a happening theater scene, and gay and lesbian culture. And, beyond the fifty-square-mile city, in the surrounding Bay Area, thereĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s so much more to explore, including Silicon ValleyĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s innovations, MarinĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Headlands, NapaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s vineyards, and BerkeleyĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s free spirit.
Find the perfect balance between urban and rural on CaliforniaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Central Coast. Artist enclaves in Carmel and Big Sur, celebrity residents, world-class resorts, an emerging wine region and a castle are part of the attraction, yet the atmosphere is relaxed and casual as you make your way along scenic Highway One from Monterey to Santa Barbara. Wildlife refuges, state parks and beaches inspire rambling hikes along the way.
Drive through the Central Valley, and youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll see evidence of how life here has historically revolved around agriculture. YouĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll find incredible farmerĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s markets, roadside produce stands, and festivals that celebrate local specialties: wine, tomatoes, artichokes and more. The regionĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s major cities, including Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton, offer many attractions including museums, concerts, racing, country music and unique gardens
The warm air may draw you here, but any number of other attractions will keep you coming back. It could be the innovative spas in Desert Hot Springs, the outdoor adventures in the desert, art galleries in Palm Desert, hot air ballooning over Joshua Tree, or the hundreds of birds at the Salton Sea. Then again, it could be the simple act of lounging by a turquoise pool in Palm Springs thatĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s reason enough for a repeat visit.
You may have missed your opportunity to strike it rich during the California Gold Rush, but local landmarks, annual celebrations, and history museums in Auburn, Nevada City, and AngelĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Camp will take you back. You can still pan for gold on the rivers that run throughout this region, though fishing, rafting and kayaking are more popular nowadays. Enjoy urban diversions in state capital Sacramento. Escape to the Sierra foothills for outdoor recreation year round.
The hard part, when thinking about CaliforniaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s High Sierra, is deciding what to do during your visit. The options include Yosemite, KingĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks at where John Muir was inspired by breathtaking scenery, now famous mountains, and the majestic sequoias, the oldest trees on earth. Farther north on the Nevada border is Lake Tahoe, surrounded by world-famous ski resorts with legendary snow in winter, and arts, music, and festivals in summer. The options for outdoor activity are endless.
The question in Los Angeles is never what to do, but where to begin. The county is home to many famous attractions in a relatively concentrated space. Your choices include amusement parks, architectural landmarks, art museums and galleries, beaches, parks, hiking and shopping, to name a few. After the sun goes down, youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll find thereĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s an abundance of nightlife options, including movies (of course!), as well as live music and comedy provided by performers both legendary and yet-to-be-discovered.
Find yourself amid the nature preserves, forests and rugged trails of CaliforniaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s North Coast, and youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll also discover artist enclaves, fine dining and music festivals. The giant tree your can drive through near Redwoods State Park is one of the areaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s most famous landmarks, as are the wineries of Sonoma county.
The orange orchards of Orange County are a little harder to find these days, but not so the ideal citrus-growing climate. Theme parks, outdoor shopping complexes, and fine restaurants in Anaheim, Costa Mesa and quintessential beach towns along the coast take advantage of the great weather.
As if San Diego's 70 miles of coastline and reliably sunny weather weren't enough, the city is also home to museums, a world-renowned zoo, theme parks, famous golf courses, and a lively theater scene, as well as great food, shopping and nightlife in the historic downtown quarter.
If you're looking to escape the crowds of California's better-known parks, the Shasta Cascade region is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise year round, where every kind of recreation on Mounts Shasta and Lassen, without the crowds and with no need for advance permits. Here, youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll also find California's best fly-fishing, arts, music, museums, and other urban amenities.