I left my heart in California!

Lizzie Adamson-Brown on 30 November 2016
One of the biggest perks of running my own travel business is getting to see the destination first hand.

I am completely in love – it’s official! Since I was 17 years old, I have wanted to return here. To say I was completely blown away is an understatement. The stunningly beautiful state of California has something to offer everyone.

Our first day was spent exploring Hollywood and learning its history. We visited the Walk of Fame and walked down Hollywood Boulevard.

The next day, we drove down Highway 101 to Santa Barbara and experienced a fabulous local wine tasting on the magnificent pier. For any of you out there who like your wine, I’d highly recommend the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail. Join the locals and taste some of the finest wines produced in Santa Barbara County, all within blocks of downtown and the beach.

This gorgeous State continued to fuel my passion. If you're headed this way, you really need to experience the Land Shark. You have a tour of Santa Barbara on land before the Land Shark enters the ocean.

We were fortunate to be in the USA on Thanksgiving. It was lovely to see all the families at sunrise setting up for beach barbecues. The town was buzzing and welcoming. For the first time in my extensive travels, a place really hit me like a thunderbolt. Santa Barbara is my forever home – I just need to figure out how to get a visa to make this dream come true.

I lived the dream next day, taking a Mustang down the Pacific Highway! We went on the famous Ferris wheel on Santa Monica pier, then a 4-mile bike ride along the beach. This may sound energetic, but you can go at your own pace and truly enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the area whilst enjoying the breeze in your hair and the warmth of the sun on your skin.

Big shout out here to Rusty’s Surf Ranch on Santa Monica pier – great atmosphere and awesome food! Highly recommended! Had a few drinkies and watched the sunset from the rooftop bar of the Erwin hotel. This is a must visit. The views from here are simply awesome! I’ve never seen a sunset like it.

Moving on from Santa Monica, we drove to Beverly Hills, California and recreated scenes from Pretty Woman; the singing might have been a little off-key in places, but it still earned us a round of applause.

One place you have to visit is Sprinkles Cupcake ATM - Beverly Hills. You can go into the shop, or you can go to an ATM, similar to a bank ATM and order your bespoke cake! Great fun and the most delicious cakes ever.

Our final leg of the trip was to Palm Springs. A great place to go and relax, have a spa or, as we did, visit the Living Desert, where you can take a tour through the deserts of the world and see some beautiful animals.

You go to California for the sunshine, right? If you take the aerial tramway, with its rotating cable cars, you can ride to the top of the mountain and see snow! Yes, that’s right – snow! In California.

Our final day was spent shopping. There are numerous outlets in the whole state selling lots of goodies to take home at some bargain prices. If you buy too much, don’t worry – just buy an extra case to store them.

California – I’m coming back – if possible, to stay! A true love affair has been ignited and I want more!

If you want to find out more, please email lizzie.adamson-brown@travelcounsellors.com or call 01914326570/07760885954. The best call you could ever make!