Dreaming of a holiday in California or have business there and want to explore the state during your downtime? The Golden State is a huge state in the western USA stretching some 900 miles up the stunning Pacific coastline. There are attractions and experiences to fill 10 holidays in the different areas of this incredible region and picking the best places to go is tricky, but we will give it a go.
Where to start when picking some highlights of California. Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Lake Tahoe, Carmel & Monterey, Disneyland, Hollywood, Lake Tahoe, Death Valley and on and on – the list of attractions, experiences and great places to visit in California is long and varied. We have selected 5 experiences/attractions that will give you some food for thought about what to do when planning your next visit to California.
Coast Starlight Train Journey
Driving up Highway 1 is a great experience but if you want to relax and enjoy the same scenic coastline an excellent way to go is on the Coast Starlight Train which departs daily between Los Angeles and Seattle. It takes in Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle and more in style and comfort. The Coast Starlight features excellent dining facilities, sleeping accommodation and the renowned Sightseer Lounge car which affords stunning views of the Pacific coast. This is an amazing experience on one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world and is ridiculously good value for money especially compared to UK train costs. Find out more about the Coast Starlight.
Yosemite National Park
Found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, Yosemite National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty. Giant sequoia trees, the majestic Bridalveil Falls, the grandeur of Half Dome and El Capitan are some of the highlights of this incredibly beautiful area. The views are totally different depending on the weather but when the sun is shining, and the skies are blue this is one of the most beautiful places in the world where you can enjoy breath-taking views, take a trip down the river and much, much more.
Carmel and Monterey
Carmel or Carmel By Sea to give it its full name is a beautiful city (although feels more like a village) on the Monterey Peninsula home to cute wooden houses and inns where relaxation is easy to achieve. Originally an artist’s colony and famous for having Clint Eastwood as mayor for a time it is a charming place to spend some time. A walk along the soft sandy beach will almost certainly afford views of otters, seals and dolphins who regularly follow the surfers along the coast. Monterey is just a few minutes along the coast and is a great place to visit. Cannery Row (the former fish packing factories) is where you will find the restaurants, shops and hotels and a must-see attraction, particularly for families, is the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Disneyland Resort, California
Incredibly, Disneyland is over 60 years old having opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California. There are in fact two parks to enjoy in the same area so make sure you have plenty of time when planning your visit. There is Disneyland Park where 8 themed lands await – Fantasyland, Main Steet USA, Tomorrowland, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland. Take your pick from a variety of great attractions such as the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyages, Indiana Jones Adventure, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, Star Wars Launch Bay and many more attractions. The Disney California Adventure Park is the newer park home to 7 worlds and a plethora of attractions linked to Spider Man, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cars and much more. Find out more about Disneyland here.
Luxury Napa Valley Wine Tour
Explore the Napa wine country in style with your own private limousine tour so you don’t have to worry about driving or finding your way to all the best places. And more importantly you don’t have to worry about driving after sampling the legendary wines of the most famous of Americas wine growing regions.
Flying to California
When it comes to your travel to California, unsurprisingly there are several places to fly into. Your chosen arrival airport will likely depend on your choice of holiday or whether you have business in a specific area.
Los Angeles is a popular choice for visitors to California. Los Angeles International airport (LAX) is the busiest airport in California and the fourth busiest in the world, serving millions of passengers every year. Flights to Los Angeles take between 11-12 hours direct from London and are readily available with Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, American and other leading airlines.
San Francisco is a popular place to fly into if you are planning a trip that takes in the San Francisco Bay area, Sonoma, Sacramento and the Napa Valley. Regular scheduled flights are available from the larger UK airports. Find flights to San Francisco.
If you are heading to the southern part of California, a flight to San Diego would be an excellent choice. San Diego International Airport, formerly called Lindbergh Field, is around 11 -12 hours from the UK with direct flights from London available with American, British Airways and others.
If you want to travel to California in style, consider booking a business class flight with The Savvy Flyer. We are business class flight specialists with a history of finding the very best priced business class flights from the UK. And don’t worry if you want to travel in a different class – we offer exceptional value on first class, premium economy and economy as well!
California on a map