California is most known for it’s influence on modern culture, and it’s impressive size – its the 3rd largest state in the US, has the largest population, and is a key part of the American West. One instantly thinks of Hollywood, beaches, great weather, movie stars, but California also symbolizes the diversity and prosperity of the United States. You can find magnificent forests, high mountain peaks, deserts wishing a half days drive of the beaches, two of the worlds most famous cities, San Francisco & Los Angeles, and “America’s finest city” San Diego.
Perceptions of California vary greatly, both domestically and internationally…everyone has an opinion of the people and what the Golden State really is, and represents. It’s has the 5th largest economy in the world, and is the most diverse state in the country; geographically, and it’s populous. California has claim to the 2nd highest peak in the US – Mount Whitney, the most National Parks in the US, with Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site taking top billing, with one of the most incredible awe inspiring landscapes in the world. It’s home to over 1,500 plant species that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. It also has claim to the most museums in the US with almost 3,000 of them spanning the entire state; from classic, modern art, natural & American history, pop culture, cars, computers, surfing…if you can think of it, California has a museum for it. Of course, what the Golden State is most famous for is being the entertainment capital of the world. But seeing movie stars, and the excitement of Hollywood is not all the fun to be had. The original Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park, Universal Studios, Legoland, Knott’s Berry Farm, San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and San Diego Wild Animal Park are there to add a little more fun to your adventure, and bring out the little kid in everyone!
A holiday in California would not be complete without a visit to it’s famous wine country in Napa and Sonoma Valley. Even though 10% of the wine produced comes from Napa and Sonoma, you can also get some of California’s liquid gold in the Temecula Valley, just an hour north of San Diego, and a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles. Although not as famous as it’s other wine Valleys, Temecula has been named in the top 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations in 2019 – in the world. Some of the wineries are less than a decade old, with most being younger than 20 years of age…stayed tuned, the future of Southern California’s wine is extremely bright. Be sure to check out Ponte Winery – our personal favorite.
California is also a foodie paradise, and arguably the birthplace of the “Farm-to-table” movement beginning in 1971 when chef Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse. It emphasized local, seasonal ingredients and international culinary techniques. With such a diverse population, California’s food scene is equally distinct and represents most international communities. From fancy posh & artistic offerings in the city centers, to local fare, mom & pop taco stands, and food trucks, there’s plenty to fill your plate!
These images are all part of the allure of California, and is why it has fascinated people since the early days of the Gold Rush in the mid-19th century. California’s cultural sophistication often surprises visitors. Tourist usually come for sun, fun and movie stars, only to discover a state with a much greater depth, personality and charm.
Carmel, Coronado,Del Mar, Encinitas, Hollywood, Julian, La Jolla, Laguna Beach, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, Mammoth Lakes, Monterey, Napa, Newport Beach & Catalina, Newport Beach, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Pismo Beach, Sacramento, Salinas, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Santa Monica,Sonoma, Temecula, Ventura.
Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Death Valley National Park, Redwood National Park. Big Sur, Sonoma Valley, Disneyland, SeaWorld, Legoland, Universal Studios, Balboa Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Lake Tahoe, Joshua Tree National Park, Coronado Island, La Jolla, Burney Falls, Devil’s Postpile National Monument, Mt Whitney & Hearst Castle, Dodger Stadium, Angles Stadium, Levi Stadium, Oracle Park, Channel Islands National Park, Embarcadero, Catalina Island, Balboa Park, California Missions, Olvera Street, Hollywood sign, Mulholland Drive, Malibu Beach, Griffith Park, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles Flower Market, Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf.