31 August 2018
California for families
Although you’ve most likely heard of Disney World Florida, you may not have heard of Disneyland Resort, Anaheim. The resort, which consists of the original Disneyland Park and the Disney California Adventure Park, has themed lands with rides, shows and attractions. Families should make sure they head to Cars Land - recreating the animated film series, there are food outlets with a nod to Route 66, fabulous adrenalin-filled rides and even dancing tractors!
If you prefer something on a slightly smaller scale, there are plenty of other attractions:
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has colourful rides, games and music and is the perfect retro attraction for all the family.
- Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park is a non-profit theme park dedicated to educating children about plants and gardens but also features small, fun rides especially for younger ones.
- Safari West plays host to an amazing selection of African wildlife and safari-style tents with all the home comforts you could ever need. This is an unforgettable experience for those who love animals!
California for foodies
As one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, California has a true mix of food and drink to suit every foodie. Take in a local craft brewery, dine on a rooftop or with a waterfront vista or visit an on-trend farmers market - there are many tasty opportunities across this food haven.
Food events are held throughout the year. Here are a few you may want to add to your holiday calendar:
- Mendocino Crab, Beer & Wine Festival (January): A week’s worth of all-you-can-eat crab, wine competitions, cookery classes and crab cruises.
- Pebble Beach Food & Wine (April): With live demos by celebrity chefs as they mingle with the audience, this is a great chance to chat to some of the greatest culinary minds in the industry.
- San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (November): San Diego’s largest food and wine event is a great opportunity to sample gourmet food, take part in wine and beer tastings, watch celebrity cooking demonstrations and splurge in a wine auction!
TIP: Try El Farolito in San Francisco for one of the best burritos in the Mission District!
Sometimes it’s nice to splash out and there are plenty of amazing places to visit and stay across California if you are looking for something extra special.
- BMW Performance Driving School offers the opportunity to race across a 30-acre track while improving your driving skills and enjoying the thrill of a high-performance car.
- With its opulent estates, palm-lined roads and lavish hotels and limos, Beverly Hills is a great place to catch a glimpse of the rich and famous or to indulge in some extravagant window-shopping.
- Orange County has an unbelievable selection of luxury hotels to choose from. Relax on a private oceanfront balcony at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, experience Tuscan-inspired luxury at The Resort at Pelican Hill or indulge in the 20,000 square foot Spa Montage at Montage Laguna Beach, complete with outdoor whirlpool and personal training sessions.
- Enjoy a VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood with private access to an exclusive lounge. Expert guides astound with their film knowledge as you tour the backlots and sound stages. There’s the opportunity to get up-close to the sets, learn about cameras and lighting and see where many current TV programmes and films are being made!
With its spectacular parks and astounding views, California has so many amazing sights to explore. There are over 280 state parks, ranging from lush forests to expansive deserts as well as ski and snowboarding opportunities in the Sierra peaks, plus a floating skate ramp over Lake Tahoe.
California is home to nine national parks including Yosemite and Redwood. Yosemite is famous for its plunging waterfalls and massive granite faces, and at over 1,100 square miles there are plenty of places to explore. California is also home to the largest national park outside of Alaska; Death Valley, with an astounding 3.3 million acres of sand dunes, salt flats and canyons. Perfect if you have a sense of adventure!
You may not know that California is also famous for its whale watching opportunities. Here are just a few of the top spots to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures:
- Mendocino: From November to April, California grey whales make their annual migration and there are plenty of high vantage points along the coast.
- San Diego: Whale Watch Lookout Point sits 128 metres above the waves at the Cabrillo National Monument, wide a wide field of vision perfect for spotting whales between December and April.
- Moss Landing: Experienced paddlers can take a guided kayak tour into the open ocean to see an amazing show of humpbacks spouting, fluking and breaching all around.