From the misty redwood forests and gently rolling vineyards of the north to the sweeping deserts and sun-kissed beaches of the south, California’s diversity makes it one of the most exciting states to visit in the whole of the USA.
If America has an answer to Tuscany then the celebrated wine regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma are it, where the quality of the vintages is easily matched by the excellent calibre of the hotels and restaurants. Away to the east, shimmering in shades of green and blue, is spectacular Lake Tahoe, a lure for watersports enthusiasts in summer and skiers in winter. To the south, the natural attractions of Yosemite National Park have become icons of the American landscape, from El Capitan, the largest single granite rock on earth, to Yosemite Falls and magnificent Half Dome.
Below wine country lies the City by the Bay, sensational San Francisco, home to vintage cable cars, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. The city also marks the start of one of the world’s greatest road trips – 500 miles of breathtaking seascapes along America’s dream drive, the Pacific Coast Highway, from San Francisco to San Diego. An uncontested highlight is the astonishing stretch of coast from Monterey to San Simeon, a serpentine ribbon of highway winding hundreds of feet above the roaring Pacific through the wilds of Big Sur. From here it’s on to the ‘American Riviera’, stylish Santa Barbara, before setting your sights on the Hollywood hills and the glamour of LA.
Los Angeles has something for everyone, from the designer boutiques of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and the carnival-esque amusements of Santa Monica, to the family attractions of Universal Studios Hollywood and nearby Disneyland Resort. Yet it’s not the only city worth stopping at in the south. Lost in the desert, the oasis town of Palm Springs is a much-loved retreat of the Hollywood elite, while stylish San Diego offers beautiful broad beaches, a world-famous zoo and safari park, and one of the most exciting downtown areas in America.
Housed in an historic red-brick warehouse, this boutique hotel is just steps from Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. A nautical theme brings genuine charm without sliding into kitsch, with vintage steamer trunks [...]View Hotel
Fairmont San Francisco
With impressive views of both the city and the bay, Fairmont San Francisco occupies a coveted spot atop well-heeled Nob Hill, near the only spot where each of the city’s cable car lines meet. The 606 rooms range from standard d [...]View Hotel
This boutique hotel is romantic and stylish in equal measure. Rooms are ideal to cosy up in with feather beds and fine linens, oversized fireplaces and exquisite bathrooms with jetted tubs and steam showers. Suites step things up [...]View Hotel