Way out west, the Golden State of California has long represented the American Dream, with its bronzed good looks, laid-back lifestyle, glamour and wealth.
Much promoted and published, California feels instantly familiar – with Route 66 road trips, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Silicon Valley, among countless other recognisable facets. But beyond the Hollywood-fed imagery lies one of America’s most diverse, enchanting and breathtaking regions.
Explore a state of colossal redwood forests and Sierra Nevada mountains, harsh deserts like Mojave and Death Valley, Napa Valley vineyards and lush organic farmlands, spectacular national parks like Yosemite and 840 miles of golden Pacific coastline.
Los Angeles, a vast, electrifying city sometimes bordering on chaotic, remains the poster child for California. Well-known for its extremes from Venice Beach musclemen to Governor Arnie, there’s nowhere quite like it – a mishmash of celebrity culture, consumerism, international communities and cuisine. Take in Sunset Boulevard, take the kids to Disneyworld, hit the shops on Rodeo Drive, see the Lakers play, dine on haute vegan fusion food in Malibu or order from a Korean food-truck Downtown, this is a city where you never run out of things to do.
If LA is the face of California, San Francisco is the soul. Possibly the most liberal city in a America with huge cultural diversity, probably the most beautiful too with its Victoria elegance, Golden Gate Bridge and undulating Downtown streets overlooking the ocean. Look forward to stunning cable car journeys, trying the world’s best burritos or dim sum in vibrant Chinatown, checking Al Capone’s cell in Alcatraz or just kickin’ back on one of the city’s gorgeous beaches.
Between San Fran and LA, the legendary Highway 1 winds through the sunny Big Sur, with its twisting coastal roads and breathtaking vistas creating one of the world’s most memorable road trip settings. Stop off at Santa Barbara or Monterey, both close to Californian hearts for their laid-back charms and palm-lined beaches. Monterey Bay is famous for its rich marine ecosystems, teeming with seals and dolphins and home to a nationally acclaimed aquarium.
A distant mirage above the desert is the backbone of the state, the Sierra Nevada mountains is where you’ll find the UNESCO World Heritage listed Yosemite National Park, Cali’s most pristine and awe-inspiring wilderness.
With Lightfoot’s tailor-made approach you’ll be able to take in the best of California on your luxury holiday, without missing a thing. Our regional experts will advise you on what include and where to stay using their own experience as a guide.