California

California

Rattled by earthquakes, populated by film stars, surfers, techies and hippies, home to Silicon Valley and that American Dream factory, Hollywood, California is America’s Promised Land, a place where you can be whatever you want, however and whenever you choose.

From America’s wealthiest exclusive suburb of Beverley Hills, to hippie ethics and Earth quake hell of San Francisco, and stunning beaches like scenic Big Sur to the celeb hangout of Santa Monica, from historic Spanish towns like Santa Barbara, to movie star’s palaces, from Gold Rush ghost towns, to the traffic rush of Los Angeles, taking in vast deserts inbetween – The Golden State is the most diverse and extreme of all American states. With a little imagination in this land of superlatives visitors will not be at a loss for things to see and do.

Anchored to the west coast of the USA and containing some of the West’s most stunning scenery, the state is home to 34 million people, many of whom are more inclined to call themselves ‘Californians’ rather than ‘Americans.’ It’s an individualist attitude that defines life here, particularly in the big cities where large immigrant populations are found side by side with alternative communities.

The City of Angels, Los Angeles, is home to the wealthiest American suburb, Beverly Hills where you can shop with the rich in the most exclusive boutiques or simply stargaze for movie actors in the city’s trendy restaurants. Ride out an earthquake in Universal Studios or if you’re lucky, experience the real thing when the San Andreas fault releases a ‘shaker.’

Head into Orange County and you’ll find the the original Disneyland (not nearly as large as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, but definitely worth a visit). From there, you can visit the famous southern California beaches, particularly Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Venice Beach, which are known for consistently good weather and eclectic people.

Drive up Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, past historic Spanish towns like San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, taking in the luxurious architectural history of Hearst Castle near San Simeon. Further up the coast is Big Sur, famous for its writers and scenery, where you shouldn’t miss a walk on one of it’s deserted beaches and a meal at Nepenthes, a local restaurant serving up hearty food that is matched with a breathtaking view of the California coast.

Hike Yosemite‘s trails or spend some time in a ghost town that was the epicenter of the Gold Rush, the feverish period that defined California history in the mid 1800’s, that was later mirrored in the ‘Dot Com Rush’ of the late 1990’s in Silicon Valley, just south of San Francisco.

As the most populous, richest and most diverse state both geographically and ethnically in the USA, the Golden State has always done things differently and with a little imagination in this land of superlatives visitors will not be at a loss for things to see and do.

Los Angeles

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San Diego

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San Francisco

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