From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the chilled out beaches of Santa Barbara, California’s attractions are many and varied. Whether you’re after sun, sea and sand, buzzing nightlife, famous landmarks or outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone, and it’s fair to say that your biggest problem might be choosing what to include and what not to include on a two or three week trip.
For those who want something a little more cultured than the average beach holiday, California offers plenty of options. Wine tasting in the Napa Valley, for example, is an amazing experience and something that’s sure to delight everyone from keen wine buffs to those who just like a crisp glass of white on a warm summer evening. The scenery is stunning, and you can learn a lot about the history and process of wine production from touring the vineyards. The Nicholson Ranch is one winery you really shouldn’t miss. Their guided tours are second to none, and tasting some first rate Pinot Noirs on their beautiful terrace isn’t too bad either! If fashion’s more your thing, exploring the upmarket boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is an absolute must. You’ll find just about every luxury brand you can think of here, as well as some fabulous restaurants for when you need to refuel in between spending sprees.
One great way to take in as much culture as you can is to tailor make your own Californian driving holiday. Spending a day or two at various destinations across the state allows you to take in so much more than you would normally get to see on a two week holiday, and the best part is, you get to pick and choose your own itinerary. While it can be exciting to contemplate the freedom of choice this allows, it might also be difficult to know where to start, especially if it’s a part of the world you’ve yet to discover. But if you’re somewhat daunted by the prospect, it’s good to know that there are some great companies out there who will do all the hard work for you. With a wealth of local knowledge at their fingertips, they work with you to create your perfect trip, combining your individual needs and requirements with their own suggestions and logistical know-how. One such company is the well-established Wexas Travel, and their Luxury California and Las Vegas Self Drive Holiday is a great example of how you can take in some of the best sights in the area in just twelve days.
Kicking off with a short stay in San Francisco and a chance to see the city’s most famous sights, including the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the trip then moves on to Carmel, with its lovely vineyards and fine restaurants, and Monterey, where you can enjoy an ocean safari and a rare opportunity to see orcas, blue whales and dolphins. After that, you can take in Santa Barbara, some breath taking ocean views, the glamour of LA and the bright lights and bustle of Las Vegas, including a light aircraft tour of the Grand Canyon where you will get to see unique vantage points and enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch – sure to be a memorable highlight of the trip.
If you’re a bit of a foodie, California’s food festivals are well worth exploring. There’s a huge amount to choose from, which isn’t surprising considering that the state is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. To name just two notable examples, in January, the Mendocino Crab, Beer and Wine Festival offers a week of festivities on the North Coast, including cooking classes and all you can eat crab feeds, while in June, the hugely popular Castroville Artichoke Food and Wine Festival celebrates one of California’s signature foods in the beautiful Central Coast area.
Whatever your preferred activities might be, and no matter the particular sights you want to see, one thing’s for sure – a tailor made cultural holiday in California is one you won’t forget in a hurry.
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