Just about everyone has their own version of the dream California holiday. After years of watching countless TV shows and films set on the west coast of America, it is like we already know the place. Many head out to California to follow their dreams and invariably end up in Los Angeles. But what if I told you that there is more to the Golden State than just LA?
In fact, there is a whole lot more. California is home to over 39 million people and almost covers the entire west coast of the US. It is a state that is the home of the movie industry, year-round sunshine and some would say that the best betting sites in California are the best anywhere. But where do you go if Los Angeles is off the itinerary? Read on to find out.
The small city of Joshua Tree is east of LA and just north of Palm Springs. But you will only want to use the place as a base, as the main attraction is the desert landscape that surrounds it. You can explore the vast Mojave Desert and the Joshua Tree National Park, just to the south.
There is a distinctly otherworldly vibe about this part of California and the scenery is just begging to be hiked through. Make sure that you plan ahead and stock up on water though, as temperatures can get very high here. For a spot of culture, you can always explore the creative artsy vibe of the town when you return from the wilderness.
If you really want a beach holiday from a trip to California, then San Diego is an excellent alternative to Los Angeles. In fact, with 70 miles of golden sandy beaches, this city just north of the border with Mexico is arguably a better beach destination. That’s what all the surfers who flock here would say, anyway.
Another thing that San Diego has in common with LA is that is a city that has spread out. There are plenty of neighbourhoods to explore, all with the laid-back vibe that is distinctly west coast. If breweries, restaurants and cool spots are your thing, then San Diego is well worth checking out.
Head 500 miles north of San Diego and you will find yourself in a very different kind of Californian city – but one that has been attracting millions of visitors for decades. Known for its progressive attitude, San Francisco was the centre of the hippie movement in the 1960s and 70s and is now one of the global tech hubs.
The Golden Gate Bridge has to be seen to be believed, while the city’s Chinatown is one of the biggest in the world. For those of you with a penchant for the darker side of things, a tour of the infamous Alcatraz prison is also a must. But there’s so much to do in this cool city – just be prepared to shed your inhibitions.
Figure 2 Wine lovers will definitely want to visit Napa
There are, of course, hundreds of activities to enjoy in Napa Valley, just north of San Francisco. But most people head to this stunning part of the world for one thing – the wine. Napa and neighbouring Sonoma are part of the world-renowned California wine country and produce some of the best tipples in the world.
Let yourself sink into the scenery and enjoy the sunsets as the light shines down on the miles of vineyards that dot the area. Make the most of the region by biking between the different winemakers and enjoy some of the best al fresco dining you will ever experience. And to top it all off, stay in one of the beautiful boutique hotels that populate this heaven on Earth.
If taking a picture of the famous Hollywood sign is one cliché of a California holiday, then jumping into a convertible and driving up the Pacific Highway is surely another. With the wind in your hair and the radio playing classic tunes, the west coast road trip is a thing of dreams and legends.
Big Sur is actually found a little south of San Jose, but it is the entire area that attracts visitors who fantasize about the wild and rugged coastline jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of hiking trails and other outdoor activities to keep yourself busy, but make sure you save some time just to hit the gas pedal and ride off into the sunset.