California

United States of America
Orange County featuring a house, a small town or village and street scenes

The Golden State is almost its own country, packing in iconic sights, spectacular national parks and chilled-out coastal towns with friendly, welcoming locals. 

California seems to have it all. Sun-seekers can head straight to the southern coast for laid-back beach towns and days of surfing. Adventure-addicts have miles and miles of untamed landscape to explore, while culture buffs are offered some of the most artistically minded cities in the whole country. Combine all of these and more on a trip to the welcoming and warm Golden State.

Discover California’s history hidden in pockets across the state, which joined the union in 1850 as the 31st state. Explore 18th-century Spanish missions and 19th-century gold prospecting state parks that chart the story of the state’s first European settlers.

Start your exploration of California in the thriving, thrilling city of Los Angeles. Experience laid-back coastal suburbs, the glistening lights of Hollywood and magical family attractions such as the original Disneyland® Park. Hike through Griffith Park, home of the Los Angeles Zoo and Griffith Observatory for some of the best views of the City of Angels.

Don’t miss San Francisco, the home of iconic sights such as Alcatraz, the winding roads of Lombard Street and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. Hop between some of the state’s finest cultural attractions, including the California Academy of Sciences, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asian Art Museum.

Northern California is all about adventure in breathtaking scenery. Hike to the top of Half Dome Peak in Yosemite National Park or enjoy kayaking and rock climbing in Big Sur. Central California hosts the dramatic golden desert of Death Valley, one of the hottest places in the world.

Drive down the coastal highway to Southern California for some of the best beaches in the U.S. Trendy beach towns such as Venice, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach offer relaxed charm and the chance to bodyboard. Coronado Beach is popular with families while many surfers head to Salt Creek Beach.

California’s major cities all have busy airports, including the west coast hub of Los Angeles International Airport. The Golden State truly is a year-round destination, with exhilarating activities and things to see in every season.

Popular cities in California

Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Known for Entertainment, Theatres and Sports
From celebrity-spotting to clothes shopping, the fabled heartland of the film industry offers substance as well as style.

Reasons to visit

  • Wiltern Theatre
  • Farmers Market
  • MacArthur Park
San Francisco showing a bay or harbour and a bridge
San Francisco
Known for Chinatown, Theatres and Art
Tony Bennett famously left his heart here – and so will you. This city knows how to win your affections and keep you faithful to the last.

Reasons to visit

  • Oracle Park
  • Ferry Building
  • Mission Dolores Park
San Diego
San Diego
Known for Beach view, Sea and Ports
On the sun-drenched Pacific coast, this Southern California city provides great beaches, a famous zoo, historic sites and exciting nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Waterfront Park
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • San Diego Convention Center
Sacramento featuring heritage architecture and an administrative building
Sacramento
Known for Historical, Sports and Theatres
Go gold panning, admire historic architecture and explore fascinating museums in the capital of California, a city constructed on the funds from boomtown fortunes.

Reasons to visit

  • Sacramento Zoo
  • California State Railroad Museum
  • California State Capitol
Oakland
Oakland
Known for Sports, Entertainment and Theatres
Farmers markets, a multicultural culinary scene, stunning art deco architecture and an exciting zoo make Oakland a must-visit location for Bay area visitors. 

Reasons to visit

  • Jack London Square
  • Fox Theater
  • Oakland Museum of California
Santa Barbara showing signage, theatre scenes and night scenes
Santa Barbara
Known for Beach view, Walking and Shopping
The American Riviera offers historic adobe architecture, plenty of art galleries, wineries and beautiful beaches. 

Reasons to visit

  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse