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California Holidays

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California dreaming? Make it a reality.

In an enviable position on the USA’s west coast, California is a sprawling state brimming with beautiful beaches, iconic landmarks and lush national parks. A holiday to California is a real bucket-list trip, as you can immerse yourself in multicultural cities and stunning natural scenery. Dubbed the ‘Golden State’ thanks to its spectacular sunsets, gleaming coastline and desert landscapes, California almost feels like its own country – and it’s somewhere you’ll undoubtedly want to return to.

Beach-lined Cali is home to some world-famous cities, each with its own vibrant and distinctive personality. From the cinematic cityscapes and creative energy of Los Angeles, to the innovative and outlandish nature of San Francisco, each spot has something different to offer couples, families and friends. This place is littered with landmarks. Hike up to the Hollywood Sign, watch the sunset from Santa Monica Pier, catch a boat to Alcatraz, and stroll over the Golden Gate Bridge. You can focus your trip on one city and uncover all its hidden gems. Or plan an epic road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway – although we guarantee you’ll find it difficult to leave each place behind.

A holiday to California will also take you to some of the world’s most captivating natural wonders. The state’s remarkable national parks play host to rugged mountains, lush forests and snowy peaks. Like California’s urban jungles, each national park boasts its own distinct character. But Yosemite National Park is the crowning jewel. Here, you can expect to see vast valleys, gushing waterfalls and 20-million-year-old redwood trees, as well as wild bears, coyotes and bobcats.

Offering an incredible mix of laidback beaches, bustling cities and outdoor adventures, California holidays ticks all the boxes. Whether you want to pair Los Angeles with San Diego, combine some time in San Fran with a wine tour of Napa Valley, or head off on a coastal road trip, our travel experts will help you plan your perfect getaway.  

Things to do

National parks

Family attractions

Best time to go

Things to do in California

There is so much to see and do in California. It would take several trips to tick everything off, from the weird and the wonderful, to the incredibly spectacular.

Los Angeles is a good place to start. Home to film stars, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs, the home of Hollywood needs no introduction. Browse the glistening shops on Rodeo Drive, take a stroll along the boardwalk at Venice Beach, and hike up to the Griffith Observatory and the iconic Hollywood sign.

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But, when it comes to must-see attractions, San Francisco certainly gives LA a run for its money. You can cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge, see the famous ‘Painted Ladies’ row of houses, and drive down zigzagging Lombard Street. A trip to world-famous Alcatraz Prison is a must, too.  

If you’re looking for a foodie adventure, Napa Valley should be at the top of your list. In this famous wine region, you’ll find a lavish selection of award-winning vineyards, Michelin-starred restaurants and generous tasting tours. 

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Show Less

National parks

Gushing waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, dramatic valleys – California’s national parks are home to some astonishing natural wonders. From blistering hot desert landscapes to granite wonderlands, the diversity is simply amazing.

Yosemite National Park is popular among outdoor enthusiasts, with its wide selection of activities, including hiking, rafting, rock climbing and fishing. You can also expect to see all kinds of wildlife, ancient sequoia trees and famous rock formations, like Half Dome.

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Show Less

All the national parks are beautiful, but nature lovers should definitely set some time aside for Redwood National Park, home to some of the tallest trees in the world. Meanwhile, Joshua Tree National Park is peppered with unusually large yucca trees and glistening rocks.

But if you’re looking for otherworldly landscapes, there’s nowhere quite like Death Valley. A timeless expanse of Californian desert, this barren place truly looks like another planet. It’s one of the hottest places on Earth, too, with temperatures often reaching 50°C in summer.

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California for families

California caters to families of all shapes and sizes, with a range of activities, attractions and entertainment. Movie buffs will be in their element in Los Angeles, where Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood provided hours of fun for both parents and kids. And the whole family can stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and look out for your favourite stars’ names.

San Diego is also a great choice for families. This city has no fewer than 17 museums, as well as the famous San Diego Zoo. Birch Aquarium is also worth visiting, as kids will love the fascinating array of marine life.

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Another popular option is to rent a car and embark on a road trip. Set off from Los Angeles and head along Route 66, or drive the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego. You can explore at your own pace, as you stop off at Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Barbara, and admire California’s fantastic coastline.  

 

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Best time to visit California

Due to the sheer size of California, there’s no single time of the year that can be declared best for a visit. Los Angeles is very much a year-round destination with plenty of sunshine, blue skies and pleasant temperatures. Even in winter, it rarely drops below 20°C.

National parks like Yosemite and Redwood are at their most spectacular in April and May, when the melted winter snows reveals hiking trails and cascading waterfalls. Southern California’s beaches and theme parks also start to benefit from longer, warmer days in spring – and you can make the most of them before the summer crowds arrive.

Show More
Show Less

If you’d like to explore the Napa Valley wine region, September to October is the best time to visit, as temperatures are mild and the grape harvest – known as ‘the crush’ – is in full swing. At the same time, there’s also a two-week foodie festival in Sacramento that’s well worth visiting.

 

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in California

There is so much to see and do in California. It would take several trips to tick everything off, from the weird and the wonderful, to the incredibly spectacular.

Los Angeles is a good place to start. Home to film stars, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs, the home of Hollywood needs no introduction. Browse the glistening shops on Rodeo Drive, take a stroll along the boardwalk at Venice Beach, and hike up to the Griffith Observatory and the iconic Hollywood sign.

Show More
Show Less

But, when it comes to must-see attractions, San Francisco certainly gives LA a run for its money. You can cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge, see the famous ‘Painted Ladies’ row of houses, and drive down zigzagging Lombard Street. A trip to world-famous Alcatraz Prison is a must, too.  

If you’re looking for a foodie adventure, Napa Valley should be at the top of your list. In this famous wine region, you’ll find a lavish selection of award-winning vineyards, Michelin-starred restaurants and generous tasting tours. 

Show More
Show Less

National parks

National parks

Gushing waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, dramatic valleys – California’s national parks are home to some astonishing natural wonders. From blistering hot desert landscapes to granite wonderlands, the diversity is simply amazing.

Yosemite National Park is popular among outdoor enthusiasts, with its wide selection of activities, including hiking, rafting, rock climbing and fishing. You can also expect to see all kinds of wildlife, ancient sequoia trees and famous rock formations, like Half Dome.

Show More
Show Less

All the national parks are beautiful, but nature lovers should definitely set some time aside for Redwood National Park, home to some of the tallest trees in the world. Meanwhile, Joshua Tree National Park is peppered with unusually large yucca trees and glistening rocks.

But if you’re looking for otherworldly landscapes, there’s nowhere quite like Death Valley. A timeless expanse of Californian desert, this barren place truly looks like another planet. It’s one of the hottest places on Earth, too, with temperatures often reaching 50°C in summer.

Show More
Show Less

Family attractions

California for families

California caters to families of all shapes and sizes, with a range of activities, attractions and entertainment. Movie buffs will be in their element in Los Angeles, where Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood provided hours of fun for both parents and kids. And the whole family can stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and look out for your favourite stars’ names.

San Diego is also a great choice for families. This city has no fewer than 17 museums, as well as the famous San Diego Zoo. Birch Aquarium is also worth visiting, as kids will love the fascinating array of marine life.

Show More
Show Less

Another popular option is to rent a car and embark on a road trip. Set off from Los Angeles and head along Route 66, or drive the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego. You can explore at your own pace, as you stop off at Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Barbara, and admire California’s fantastic coastline.  

 

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit California

Due to the sheer size of California, there’s no single time of the year that can be declared best for a visit. Los Angeles is very much a year-round destination with plenty of sunshine, blue skies and pleasant temperatures. Even in winter, it rarely drops below 20°C.

National parks like Yosemite and Redwood are at their most spectacular in April and May, when the melted winter snows reveals hiking trails and cascading waterfalls. Southern California’s beaches and theme parks also start to benefit from longer, warmer days in spring – and you can make the most of them before the summer crowds arrive.

Show More
Show Less

If you’d like to explore the Napa Valley wine region, September to October is the best time to visit, as temperatures are mild and the grape harvest – known as ‘the crush’ – is in full swing. At the same time, there’s also a two-week foodie festival in Sacramento that’s well worth visiting.

 

Show More
Show Less

Chat With Our USA Experts

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We recommend

Venice Beach

Stroll along the waterfront promenade and soak up the atmosphere at one of California’s iconic beaches

We recommend

Yosemite National Park

Be surrounded by nature and enjoy a range of activities at this incredible national park, where you can go hiking, climbing and rafting

We recommend

Napa Valley

Sip local wines, tuck into Michelin-starred dishes, and wander through the world-famous vineyards of Napa Valley

We recommend

Alcatraz

Gain insight into America’s most notorious prison, hear stories from former guards, and take a boat tour around the island

We recommend

Death Valley National Park

Explore lunar-like landscapes in Death Valley – a baking-hot expanse of rolling desert and craggy mountains

Hotels

How to do California

Our experts will help you plan your trip to the Golden State

Popular places in California

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Ease

Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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