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CaliforniaUnited 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 Seafood, Beach View and Shopping
From celebrity-spotting to clothes shopping, the fabled heartland of the film industry offers substance as well as style.

Reasons to visit

  • Melrose Avenue
  • Santa Monica Beach
  • 4th Street Retro Row
San Francisco showing a bay or harbour and a bridge
San Francisco
Known for Shopping, Tour and Theatre
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

  • Golden Gate Park
  • Van Ness Avenue
  • Presidio of San Francisco
Sacramento featuring heritage architecture and an administrative building
Known for Seafood, Shopping and Family-friendly
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

  • California State Capitol
  • Sacramento Zoo
  • K Street Mall
Santa Barbara showing signage, theatre scenes and night scenes
Santa Barbara
Known for Seafood, Beach View and Walking
The American Riviera offers historic adobe architecture, plenty of art galleries, wineries and beautiful beaches. 

Reasons to visit

  • Leadbetter Beach
  • Santa Barbara City College
  • El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
Morro Bay
San Luis Obispo
Known for Seafood, Beach View and Shopping
San Luis Obispo, with its small-town, Californian charm, offers heritage sites, outdoor adventure and a thriving arts scene.

Reasons to visit

  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Pismo Beach Pier
  • Los Padres National Forest
Inspiration Point Vista
Lake Tahoe
Known for Seafood, Beach View and Skiing
Explore the shores of this stunning alpine lake and get active on the mountain slopes, with plenty of beaches, nature parks, casinos and ski resorts to choose from.

Reasons to visit

  • Donner Lake
  • Heavenly Ski Resort
  • Squaw Valley Resort