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California dreaming

From iconic destinations to off-the-beaten-track experiences, your holiday itinerary can quickly expand due to the endless possibilities in California. The following post highlights a variety of the state’s awe-inspiring landscapes and bucket-list attractions while also capturing that free-spirited, fun-loving, anything-is-possible vibe for which California is famous.

Endless summers - Huntington Beach

A quintessential California beach town, Huntington Beach balances a laid-back, yet luxurious, surf culture. Catch an early-morning swell with surf lessons at the Huntington Beach Pier, join a blue whale-watching cruise or stroll throughout Pacific City to enjoy great shopping and dining. Can’t get enough of the beach? Take a breathtaking bike ride along the ocean to Sea Legs at the Beach. Dip your toes in the sand while enjoying a Pacific sunset, handcrafted cocktails and live music.

A cultural haven - Pasadena

A wide variety of both outdoor and cultural activities makes this city a gem to explore. Breathe in the fresh air at the Huntington Desert Garden, home to one of the largest and oldest collections of succulents in the world. It’s part of the cultural trifecta that also includes the Huntington Library and the Art Collections. History buffs will love the Gamble House, a National Historic Landmark featuring American Arts and Crafts-style architecture.

Laid-back beach escape - Ventura

Enjoy crowd-less beaches and a palm-tree lined city centre with a variety of stores, restaurants and museums in this seaside town. Hire a boat or book a dining cruise at Ventura Harbour Village, the perfect launch point for exploring the Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary. Wrap up your day with a seafood feast at Rumfish y Vino, a gastropub featuring Central American-influenced coastal fare.

Mountain adventures - Mammoth Lakes

This unique alpine destination is the perfect base for exploring Yosemite National Park, Devils Postpile National Monument and other popular recreation sites. Fish in Mammoth Lakes Basin, take a gondola ride for a breathtaking perspective of the Mammoth Mountain ski resort and the Sierra Nevada Mountains and take a break for lunch at Eleven53 Café, the mountaintop restaurant with panoramic views.

Extraordinary experiences - Tuolumne

Tuolumne County offers three incredible holidays in one destination: Yosemite, California’s Gold Country and the High Sierra. Highlights include hiking through the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park to see some of the world’s tallest trees, setting off on a steam-powered locomotive from California Gold Country’s Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, and taking a scenic drive through the Sonora Pass to the High Sierra for beautiful forest views.

Waterside wonders - Lake Tahoe

If you love lakes and mountains, Lake Tahoe belongs on your bucket list. Kayak, paddleboard, picnic on sandy beaches and visit the historic Vikings holm Castle at Emerald Bay State Park. Embark on a scenic road trip along Lake Tahoe Drive between Emerald Bay and Zephyr Cove. Spend the night at Zephyr Cove Resort and enjoy horseback riding and boat rides as well as easy access to nearby Heavenly Village for shopping and entertainment.

Wine country charm - Tri-Valley

Started by Wentes and in the mid-1800s, California’s oldest wine country is home to over 60 vineyards set amidst rolling hills; try the premium estate cabernet sauvignon at McGrail Vineyards and Winery, a local standout. If craft beer is more your thing, taste the local suds at Shadow Puppet Brewing Company in Livermore. For al fresco dining at upscale Mexican eateries and a local farmers market, downtown Pleasanton is the place.

Hidden treasures - San Francisco

Discover off-the-beaten-path experiences in one of the steam-powered and dynamic cities in the world. Take a romantic walk on Lovers’ Lane at the Wood Line, a man-made eucalyptus forest created as an art installation. At the Presidio, visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, relax on the main lawn and indulge in craft beer at Sessions gastropub. The indie shops on Clement Street in the Richmond District, as well as the Sutro Baths, once the largest indoor swimming area in the world and now an architectural ruin set upon rocky cliffs are also must-sees.

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