While images of the west coast state of California typically conjure images of Baywatch beaches, the Hollywood Hills and famous shopping streets such as Sunset Boulevard, the reality is as far from the cliché as you’d ever want it to be and offers far more than celebrity sightings and sunshine.
A holiday in California serves up some of the best hiking hotspots in the USA, and even the world - from exploring the trails near Los Angeles or San Diego in Southern California, to heading to the redwood forests in Northern California, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast. What’s more, it provides a feast for the senses, with fabulous food, endless beaches and a coastline rich with marine life.
In addition to awe-inspiring undulating terrain, California’s countryside also boasts Mount Shasta - a volcano and the fifth highest peak in California. It offers everything from white-water rafting and climbing to fishing and cave exploring. You can also go mountain biking, kayaking, camping, water skiing, water tubing, rock climbing and horse riding. What’s more, if you’re planning a holiday to California in the summer, Mount Shasta is home to a spectacular 4th of July fireworks display, which incorporates wine tasting, craft vendors, live shows and concerts, as well as an all you can eat breakfast – which you’ll need after all of those outdoor pursuits!
If you’re more into tapping into the relaxing west coast attitude than careering across mountain ranges, California is also perfect for chilling out and the ultimate beach life – and with 80 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline and 4,000 acres of sandy dunes, there are plenty of sandy spots to choose from away from the tourist traps of Santa Monica and Venice beaches in Los Angeles.
Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California's central coast, the city of San Luis Obispo offers a playground of beaches, including Montaña De Oro, which boasts massive dunes, and caves. San Luis Obispo is also great for vineyards and fabulous food. The area has its own unique microclimate, capturing 315 days of sunshine a year and making it the perfect destination for growing world-class wine grapes, olives, strawberries and a variety of produce.